Directions on Making a Deckle Mold Frame

The size of the paper your mold and deckle will make depends on the size frame you choose to use (or make). The illustration does not have any dimensions. This will allow you to use what ever size you prefer–remember the size of the paper is based on the interior size of your mould and deckle and the size of mould and deckle you make must fit easily into your pan/vat.

dscn0870 300x225 Directions on Making a Deckle Mold Frame

Once your size is decided upon, cut your wood pieces to the sizes required to make all sides. You should have two equal pieces for each opposite side–make sure the interior dimensions of the pieces, when they are layed out, are the size of the paper sheet you desire to make–regardless of whether you are making a square or rectangle frame. IT IS THE INSIDE DIMENSION THAT COUNTS.

Because you are making both a mold and deckle you will need to double the pieces and make two exact frames.

Next, glue (with a non-water soluble glue) the inside pieces to the outside pieces and let the glue set before putting two nails at each corner of the mold frame to hold the sides in place. You may want to drill some pilot holes to keep from splitting your wood. You’ll want to make sure your frame is square by using a carpenter’s square to check each corner, or measuring diagonally from corner to corner–they should each have the exact same measurement.

Repeat the above process again so you have two matching mold frames.

Using a good quality spar varnish–which holds up well when wet–put at least two coats of varnish on each of your frames and let dry thoroughly . . . even overnight. This process should help keep your molds from warping as it dries from use. It also seals the wood from bleaching into your new paper.

Cut the screen 2″ wider than the width of your mold. This will give you a 1″ overlap to tack the screen to your frame. (You will only need to put screening on one frame. The second frame will be without screening.) Starting on one side of the mold frame, place one staple at the mid-point. Repeat this process on each side so that your screen is now tacked on all four sides–pulling the screen taut on opposite sides as you tack it to the frame. Then proceed to add staples around the entire mold frame–again pulling the screen taut as you go. You can cut off any excess screen below the staples. A brushing of the spar varnish over your tacking will help reduce the tacks or staples from rusting. (This same process is used if your mold and deckle are picture frames. However, the embroidery hoop set holds the screen taut by forcing them together over one another..just like when embroidering. No stapling is required.)

You now need to make an insert to fit within your deckle/mould. A piece of flat formica works well, but if not, a thin sheet of plywood cut to fit within the inside dimensions of your mould will work too. Be sure to cover it with spar varnish just like your mould–formica is okay by itself. You should be able to easily remove this insert–which may require cutting it just slightly smaller than you mould/deckle dimensions.

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Ron on January 1st, 2009 | File Under Ideas | No Comments -