Lulubell Toy Bodega Visits Kamijo Mold Factory!!! Pt. 2
Here it is, ladies and gentleman. The final blog post from my visit to Tokyo between January 15th and March 15th. Diving in headfirst, let us venture deeper into Kamijo factory, with part two! More after the break! Enjoy!
This, boys and girls, is fully produced, factory metal mold!
Roll call! The newspapers you see on top of the molds is to help prevent dirt and debris from entering the molds. It also helps with reducing moisture!
A machine used on metal rods to coil them and be cut into rings!
Here, we see the machine in mid coil!
Metal shavings and cut pieces, collected and disposed of properly. Very upkept factory space!
Fully coiled, and ready to be cut! The placement of the rings on the molds serve as the holding spots for the centrifuge in sofubi factories!
Heavy duty equipment and arm strength are necessities for cutting these rings!
All cut and ready for welding!
A bit of a ceiling library of a good handful of molds produced by Kamijo!
This is a metal molds chemical bath. When the toy's wax sculpt is ready, this is where it resides for "X" amount of time!
These are the copper metal balls that eventually become the walls to the sculpt's mold!
The copper is then placed into a side net of the bath, where they slowly disintegrate into tiny, copper particles.
When the bath is ready, the sculpt is then tied and suspended from a hanging rack by metal wire.
The wax sculpt then sits in the bath, where a switch is flipped, and an electric current is run through wax sculpts, causing a magnetic attraction for the copper. The copper gathers to the wax in droves, until it eventually forms an outer shell of the wax sculpt. The wax is then melted out of the inside of the copper mold, leaving you with an empty copper copy of the sculpt! This process can take as little as a few days, to as long as two weeks, depending on the size of the sculpt.
Some wiring made readily available to string up some wax!
Wiring that's just left the bath, in need of cleaning and stripping of chemicals!
This is your typical metal mold kit. The tray, for which the molds are welded to along the circular cuts, the handle, and the two metal rings to be locked onto the centrifuge!
The mold trays, lined and ready to be cut and have the molds attached!
This is where the trays go for their precise circular cuts!
Fully assembled, only awaiting the toy molds to be welded for completion!
This is an industrial sand blaster. You may, or may not, have noticed some toys have a natural matte finish to the vinyl. This is what is used to achieve such a finish. The inside of the mold is blasted until all remnants of gloss and shine are removed.
The inside of a shiny mold. Notice the high reflective shine.
Matte finished mold. No gloss, no reflective quality!
This is the workspace of Makoto's younger brother, whom it is his responsibility to repair the inside of damaged molds. A very intricate and delicate process!
In process of repair. Notice, the light inside of the mold. There are extremely thin flashlights that are paired with repairing tools, in order to adequately see inside!
The outside of the breakroom for the factory. Local legend, according to children walking to and from school, is the Kewpie's eyes follow you as you walk on by!
Arigatou gozaimasu, Makoto - San, and Kajimo Co. team!!!