The paper mold illustrated here is a standard 12" x 18" double-faced laid mold and deckle. The frame of the mold and the deckle are made of straight-grained genuine mahogany. The ribs are old-growth (very fine-grained) western larch. The copper-colored wire facing is made of .025" diameter spring tempered phosphor bronze 'laid wires' fastened (twined) together with softer .010" diameter 'chain wires'. Each line of chain wires lies directly above a rib and is sewn to the rib with phosphor bronze wire. You may not be able to see it in this illustration but there is an additional layer of backing wires between the wire facing and the wooden ribs. The cross section drawings may help you to understand the construction.

An older type of paper mold , called "single-faced laid" or "antique laid" does not have this extra layer of backing wires. Paper formed on this type of mold has a unique pattern of thickened areas along every chain line. Again, the drawings may be helpful.

The third basic type of paper mold is known as a "wove" mold. This type always has a layer of backing wires which are sewn to the ribs. A facing of very fine wire screen is sewn to the backing wires. I now usually use 40 mesh monel screen for the top layer of a wove mold. Monel is a nickel- copper alloy which is silver in color. On very large molds I sometimes use two layers of polyester screen to save weight and expense. See drawings and photos:

'Couching' (in which the newly formed sheet of paper is transferred to a woolen felt) is the most stressful step for a paper mold. Smaller molds are plenty strong for this. In molds larger than about 16" x 20" this becomes a consideration. Most old molds that I have examined have developed cracks in some of the ribs just above the 'pin' which connects the rib to the frame of the mold. This doesn't seem to affect the performance of the mold much but I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with a solution to remedy this. If you order a larger mold please ask me more about this as I have had some recent success.

The Price List will give you the cost of various sizes and types of molds. Please keep in mind that since all paper molds are made to order any size (including metric) is possible.

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