Custom Molds FAQ

Frequently  
 A
sked  
  Q
uestions
  1. Why Isn't Your Phone Number On The Contact Page?
  2. Can You Make an Exact Copy?
  3. Will You do a Knock Off for Us? 
  4. How Much Does a Custom Mold Cost?
  5. Can You Provide A Ballpark Price? 
  6. How Long Will it Take To Make Me A Custom Mold?
  7. Can You Guarantee a Time Frame?
  8. When Will My Mold be Made? 
  9. Can You Guarantee Nobody Else Will Make a Bait Like Mine?
  10. Will You Sell My Design to Other People? 
  11. Will You Keep My Design Ultra Top Secret?
  12. Will You Sign a Non Disclosure Agreement? 
  13. Will You Return Samples and Hardware? 
  14. Can You Make Production Molds?
  15. Can You Make Other Types of Molds?
  16. How Do You Ship? 
  17. How About Other Parts?
  18. My question isn't listed.  How can I find the answer?

1. Why Isn't Your Phone Number On The Contact Page? 
I have a few reasons for preferring emails. 
  • When somebody calls me it is a demand that I stop whatever I am doing and interrupt my train of thought in order to focus on them. I appreciate that people like that personal contac, but it grossly disrupts my day if I'm constantly stopping to answer phone calls. I am unable to work effectively that way. A five-minute phone call can cost me a heck of a lot more than five minutes when it interrupts other work. Not just in time either.
  • Details in conversation go back and forth and get confused and mixed up and people sometimes think that things that "can be" done were "agreed to be" done when mentioned in conversation.  Emails have the advantage of being able to be reviewed to make sure the job gets done the way it was decided to be done. Details are there to be reviewed to make sure they are not missed.
  • I am a one-man shop. By insisting that product details and product features and specifications for the job are sent in email I am able to do the best most efficient job for you. I usually call somebody that seems like they need a call one time. That way they know they aren't just sending money to some Nigerian banking scam.
  • While I realize you are probably not one of them, I do get customers (and sometimes non-customers) that can talk on the phone for hours just socializing.  If you want to socialize lets go fishing when you pass through Yuma, but during the work day its not very efficient use of my time. 
  • What if you have a problem with an order?  We use PayPal for our purchasing gateway.  This provides both you and us with some level of protection in the event of a problem.  Our business phone number does appear on our PayPal account and on our PayPal invoices.
  • I do respond to emails fairly quickly.  Please use the contact form.  If you do not receive a response check your spam folder or junk mail folder.  
  • If you just want to talk anyway please let me know when you use the contact form and I will call you when I come to a stopping point.  This way I can efficiently take the time to focus on you.  I will be calling from an Arizona (928) phone number.  Please answer the call. 
2. Can You Make an Exact Copy ...
  • ...of our unique and original bait? It is highly likely that we can come very close. If you are willing to pay the associated costs we can probably come so close that you can't tell the difference, although often we make suggestions based on our experience that we feel will make the mold faster and less expensive to cut, better able to produce quality baits, and more likely to work properly. If necessary we can send parts out to be laser scanned (expensive), touch probe hard parts, or sometimes just measure and do the CAD, but it takes time and money.
  •  ... of a bait made by some other bait company? As close as we could to your own designs, but we won't. We will not knowingly knockoff somebody else's current production bait. Some baits like basic swimbaits are pretty generic, but if you ask us if we will copy a specific unique design in current production we will politely tell you to go pound sand.
  • ... of a bait made by some other bait company if we tweak some tiny little thing to try and slide by? See the answer above. If I hold them side by side and can't instantly see they are different then they aren't different.
3. Will You Do a Blatant Copy of Somebody Else's Current Production Bait?
  • No. We do not do knockoffs. 
  • What's the minimum you have to change? It doesn't matter. If you are not doing a product improvement change or a new design then all you are doing is lookng for a loop hole. We do not do knockoffs.
  • Are we jerks for telling you what you can or can't have? No. We are not telling you what you can or can not have at all. We are simply telling you of one kind of work that we will not do. We are not telling you in anyway what you can or can not do.
  • Do we think there are any exceptions? Yes. One. If you are the owner and producer of the bait in question.
4. How Much Does a Custom Mold Cost?
  • Price depends on size, detail, bait type, feature size, and number of cavities. Typically a custom mold will cost6-8 times what a similar mass produced mold will cost. However, often people want a custom mold due to features that are difficult to cut or require fine detail work not found on a mass produced bait mold. These things add on to that cost. Typically when I am doing rough estimating I am usually thinking of one cavity depending on the difficulty of the mold. There are several things required to produce a quality bait mold.
  • CAD work. No matter how mind numbingly simple a mold might be some time is required to create the basic CAD drawings from which the work is done. A complex or very detail specific design will often take more time.
  • CAM work. This is the process of using quality CAD files to generate machine code. The machine code is what the machine reads to drive the cutters to create your mold.
  • Machine Time. A mold milling machine is a real expense. That cost has to be be paid for by the resale price of the part that it produces. A good machine may last many years, but it also costs a lot of money. The parts that come off the machine also ultimately have to pay the hourly wage for the person who did the CAD design work, CAM code generation, and machine operation.
  • Materials. While in the grand scheme of things materials are often not the biggest part of the cost of a custom mold they aren't free. Base mold material, clamping screws, alignment pins, etc all add up,
  • Incidentals. Cutting coolant, machine lubricant, cutters, shop aprons, shop air systems, computers, electricity, Internet, phone, and lots of other things all have to be paid for with the parts that come off the machines. 
5. Can you Provide  a Ballpark Price?
Yes. I can if you provide some good information about what you want. If you decide the ballpark is to much for you then its probably best to just let me know you aren't interested or can't afford it right now. Asking me to do more work to give you a firm price is not likely to get you a lower price.
 
6. How Long Will It Take To Make Me A Custom Mold?  
Unfortunately the answer is, "as long as it takes." I hate that answer, and sure would not want to hear it myself if I was having somebody make a custom mold for me, but that is the best answer. I can tell you how much work I think I have lined up ahead of yours, but there always seems to be something that delays it. A machine problem. Something that didn't cut the way it should. A design issue. It just seems like no matter how simple a design is there is some little thing that needs to be tweaked or adjusted. If there is a problem the one thing that hold true is the first molds paid are the first molds cut. Begging, pleading, or threatening won't help. In fact for the most part anything other than a status request is just upsetting and slows down the process. I'll gladly give you an answer to a staus request on your project, but please don't hound us with them.
 
7. Can You Guarantee A Time Frame?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. Unfortunately there are always circumstances that are not totally within my control. Machine issues, design issues, supply issues, and even just a thunderstorm in the area. (I unplug my machines from the wall when there is a thunderstorm anywhere in the area.) All I can tell you is approximately how much work is lined up ahead of you, but if there is any delay for any reason the work that was ahead of you is still ahead of you. Our policy is first paid first cut, and we don't make any exceptions. Then when we get to your project there always seems to be some little thing that needs to be tweaked to get it right for you. If you would like an occassional status report feel free to drop us an email, but please don't hound or threaten if I am not producing fast enough for you. I am working on or thinking about your project, and I will get it done.
 
8. When Will My Mold be Made?
I have a FIRM first paid first made policy.  A job is considered paid and will be added to the job list when 100% of the payment has been received and has cleared the bank.  Regardless of how large or how small the customer jobs are done in the order that they are paid.
 
9. Can You Guarantee Nobody Else Will Make a Bait Like Mine?
The short answer? No we can't. Neither can anybody else. There is absolutely nothing to stop somebody with the resources from looking at your design and copying it. If you spend the time and money to get a patent on your designs you may have some recourse against somebody who copies your design, but it usually boils down to he who has the deepest pockets wins. All we can tell you is we will not take the design work you paid us to do and make an exact duplicate of your design for somebody else. This does not mean we won't do anything similar to your design. If somebody has a bait design of their own that is distinctly different from yours which may have a similar overall function or similar details we aren't going to refuse to design and cut it for them just because you once had us do something similar. If you ask us to do a supplemental change to one of our own designs, like add a different tail, or create a tail mold for it you do not own the sole right to that. Its just a part of one of our designs that we chose to do some more work on at your request. Our design doesn't become your design.
 
10. Will You Sell My Design to Other People?
That is a pretty broad reaching question. In general no, but often people ask if we can make a mold of some type, but are unwilling to pay the cost of development or even give any good direction as to what they want. Sometimes we will chose to add a mold of that type to our inventory, at our own expense. In those cases that is our design. Not yours. If you provide us with good descriptions of a bait, sketches, or drawings, or samples, and pay the full cost of development including CAD, CAM, Setup, etc then that is your design. Often its looks like it might be a grey area, but its not. We know. Also, there are many baits out there that are similar, but have their own unique properties. We won't refuse to do a similar but unqiue mold for somebody else, but we would not sell them your design.
 
11. Will You Keep My Design Ultra Top Secret?
In short, no, I will not take any extra ordinary measures to do so.  I will not generally publish your designs as work we have done for you without your permission, and I will not actively seek out your competitors to sell them your designs.  If you would like extra measures taken to ensure confidentially of your design you may ask, but if I do not specifically and definitively agree you may not assume that any extra ordinary measure will be taken.  Any such agreement will be paired with a significant increase in cost.  General statements are not agreement.  ABSOLUTELY NEVER will anything illegal, unethical, or immoral whether they be requests, actions or discussions or anything related to or associated with such be covered by any form of confidenciality, non-disclosure, or secrecy.  Such determination is made at my sole discretion.  This is not negotiable.  Even a hint of impropriety will completely and totally invalidate any and all promise, policy, or implication of confidentiality.
 
12. Will You Sign a Non Disclosure Agreement?
Generally, no.  It benefits me in no way, and opens me up to additional risk.  In some rare circumstances I may agree to a very limited non-disclosure agreement, but a significant non-refundable advance payment will be required prior to any such agreement.  ABSOLUTELY NEVER will anything illegal, unethical, or immoral whether they be requests, actions or discussions or anything related to or associated with such be covered by any form of confidenciality, non-disclosure, or secrecy.  Such determination is made at my sole discretion.  This is not negotiable.  Even a hint of impropriety will completely and totally invalidate any and all promise, policy, or implication of condifentiality.
 
13. Will You Return Samples and Hardware?
Generally no.  If requested in advance I may return samples or prototypes used in creating a model, but only if requested in advance.  You will pay the cost of packaging and shipping.  I may at my discretion and/or inconvenience either include them with a paid and completed product or ship them separately.  In either case you will be charged for any and all shipping charges.  I do not take any extra ordinary measures.  Samples and prototypes are otherwise simpley thrown away if we do not hear from you for a few weeks or the project is completed.  I receive a lot more samples than I do work.  Hardware items including, but limited to hooks, weights, keepers, rattles, wire forms, blades, and other hardware will not be returned.  It is a condition of all jobs that the customer will provide an ample quantity of all such items to be measured and used in testing.  Ample is determined by me. This assures that I am using the exact item you will be using in the mold when you receive it back.  Tracking and managing such items is not a wise use of my time, so it will not be done.  Any leftover hardware is tossed in a misc hardware box on my test bench.  Any and all contaminated hardware is disposed of.
 
14. Can You Make Production Molds?
We currently have one machine that can do molds up 24 inches long and 13 inches wide. We have done experiments with water jacket cooling and have some familiarity with the basic principals. However, at this time we have not made any molds for any of the high end production machines. If you can provide the specs and layout for a mold to fit your machine we will be glad to make a mold to go with it. As of now all of our molds in service are being hand injected (plastics) or open poured (plastic and lead). Some of our hand injection molds are pretty big though. Its pretty common to make a basic generally straight bait mold in 20 or 30 cavities. It doesn't have the same consistent cycle rate as a water cooled production mold in a semi automated machine, but it will still produce a lot of baits for your time.
 
15. Can You Make Other Types of Molds?
We can certainly try. If you can provide the critical specifications we will be glad to give it our best shot. We can mill graphite and steel (along with a host of other materials) but most of our experience is with aluminum for hand injection molds or open pour molds.
 
16. How Do You Ship?
I ship using the United States Postal Service's Priority Mail Service insured for all custom molds.  In some cases to some countries the USPS does not offer insurance on Priority Mail.  Only on Express Mail.  In those cases we will ship by Express mail.  If we run across countries that the USPS does not offer insured shipping for we may at our sole discretion look at alternative carriers, but may simpley choose not to do that job if its inconvenient for us.  All shipping and packaging costs for custom work, samples, or prototypes will be paid for by the customer prior to shipping.
 
17. How About Other Parts?
Like what? You can certainly ask. We make a lot of our own parts for our machines. We often will make a part just so we can be up and running without having to run to the store or wait for an ordered part to get shipped in. We have done bearing carriers for lead screws, a variety of spindle mounts, and even a bracket used on medical equipment to join the equipment and the consumables dispensor together on the same mount. We have done engraved brass plates for awards plaques, and we have done cut designs on wood plaques. When we neeed a stencil for something like garbage cans or a mail box we just throw a sheet of plastic on the little CNC router and cut our own. If you are willing to work with us we will try to help you with whatever we can.

18.  My question isn't listed.  How can I find the answer?
Just use our contact form.  CONTACT US






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