Breadvan_update_026: Making a tape mould
From handcrafted clay model to paper mould
Coachbuilder Bas van Roomen has now finished the shape of the bodywork in clay. The shapes of the model have been established together and carefully curated. Design and coachbuilding working in sync to make and fine-tune the clay model. After finishing the clay, the next step is to convert this model into the same exact shape in aluminium. Most noteworthy: the craft of making a bespoke car body will now come into play! Above all it is important volumes, lines and surfaces will be carefully duplicated. Of course the aluminium panels have to exactly match the clay model after the metal beating process. Proportions, surfacing and jewellery of this bespoke commission have been delicately refined. None of this sophistication can be lost. Consequently, the clay should thus be translated exactly into aluminium. Including all the fine details and surface transitions.
Like a tailor made suit
We could opt for a paper mould to do this. Similarly to how a tailor made suit is made, for instance. The different flat parts sewn together, make the three-dimensional suit. However, getting the complex geometry and form information into a paper mould is near impossible. An alternative is making steel moulds. These can also be used as a base for beating the aluminium into place. Unfortunately this is costly. And the metal moulds will not be reused, because this is a one-of car. Bas had to apply a different solution. A thin layer of removable paint should be sprayed on the clay model, in an ideal scenario. This paint would follow the exact shapes and volumes of the clay. After removal that wafer-thin layer of paint, it could be used as a mould. It could also be used as a mould for the other side, by folding inside out!
Tape on the clay model
Unfortunately no such paint or similar material exists. However, applying two layers of tape on the clay crosswise is generating a similar type of mould. In other words: Bas will be usingtape. Two types of special tape are layered to make this mould. One is stronger than the other, but less flexible. The other one more flexible but weak. First Bas has meticulously applied the tapes on the body. Then he carefully removed the tape sandwich as one unit. With that capturing the shape of the Breadvan Hommage. Through these moulds the coachbuilder has enough information on the shapes. Therefore he can now precisely copy the mould in aluminium. The bodywork is made by hand. And for the metal shaping hard moulds are not being used. Checking dimensions and volumes is the only reason the tape mould is applied. Old-fashioned craftsmanship!