Today I filled the molds for the second base. It took a long time for the mycelium to hydrate because my basement was too cold, so after five days it had not grown at all, but it seemed ready today. I used plastic cups as spacers this time since I knew I would need the spacers, unlike last time.
I used the same amount of mycelium, but I was actually able to fill a fourth mold this time. It is probably because I did not compress the mycelium as much, but we will have to see.
Today I removed the slices of the side table from their molds. It was surprisingly easy to remove them, much easier than the plastic mold I purchased from grow.bio. I was able to get out the spacers that I had put in to reduce the amount of mycelium needed for each piece, and then I stacked the three slices. I put everything in a larger bag, and after sealing it and poking holes for condensation to escape, I put two heavy textbooks on top to keep everything in place. In two days I should be able to take the piece out and let it air-dry. I am a little bit worried about the three slices growing together because the sides that touch are not fully flat, but I think it will be more of a visual issue.
Today I broke up the three bags of mycelium and filled the molds to form the slices of the side table. It did not go as planned.
I think I miscalculated the volume of mycelium that I would need, so I did not have enough to fill all of the molds. I noticed that the three packages did not look like much when I received them, but I did not think anything of it. It took 2.5 bags just to fill 2 molds, so I wanted to place cups in the center of the molds to take up space that would not be structurally important to the final shape. I could not access any cups in time, so I had to resort to crumpled up paper towel wrapped in plastic wrap. This is not at all sustainable, since I will probably have to through it all out later, but my work is more of a proof-of-concept. If this were to be manufactured, no paper spacers would be needed, just like cardboard and tape molds will not be used in a manufactured version.
I also ran into a timing issue, so I had to stop working and cover everything in the morning before coming back to work in the afternoon.
I ended up with two almost fully filled molds and one that will be thinner. The piece will have to be a foot stool since it will probably only be 10 inches tall (I couldn’t make all of the slices). Now I have to wait 5- days until I can start growing the pieces together (I still have to figure out how to hold them together without a stabilized clamp. I need to make sure they can at least air-dry by the time winter break starts, then I will bake the piece after break.