“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
Last month I was commissioned by Chris Lauten, Northwestern Basketball’s Director of Operations, to fabricate a trophy for their off season competition called “Pound the Rock”. The honor is given to the player who embodies the values and principles of Northwestern Basketball on and off the court. Chris was thinking of something similar to the Nickelodeon Guts trophy but purple.
Here are some pictures taken throughout the process.
I started out by fabricating a foam-board pattern to cast a mold from.
I used joint compound to cover any seems in the foam-board.
I added a texture using Liquitex Heavy Gloss Gel Coat.
I only had a few weeks to complete this and have it shipped before it was presented to the winner so I hired my pal Rick Payson to help cast the silicone mold and build the base for the trophy. This was the plywood box that covered the pattern and acts as the frame for the silicone mold.
Poured 2.5 gallons of Hapsil 360 which is a tin based silicone.
This picture shows the pattern still in the mold. Once it was removed I post cured it at 145F for 8 hours.
I built up a 1/4″ thickness using 1/4″ foam to represent the part while the core is being cast.
We made a wood core for the silicone core to save cost and make it more rigid.
Once it was screwed in place, we used another 2.5 gallons of Hapsil Silicone to make the core.
Once the that cured, the foam layer is removed leaving 1/4″ gap. The gap will be filled with urethane resin to make the part.
I used Hapco’s Hapflex urethane with 1% violet tint added to the catalyst and I vacuum degassed both components separately.
Once mixed, I poured into the mold and pressure cast at 80PSI.
The next day we removed the core and de-molded the part.
With the actual piece to use as a guide, Rick and I built the base to follow the angles of the rock.
To make this trophy structurally sound, I decided to add 1/4″ rabbet on all four pieces for the top to sit down into.
Once the box was tacked together, I added a beveled edge using the table saw at a 45 degree angle.
When the base was built, bondo’d and sanded, I primed and painted it in a flat black finish to offset the glossiness of the rock.
To light the trophy, I found this set of LED puck lights at lowes.