Making Pilas: Removing the Mold

Making Pilas: Removing the Mold

Actually, I should say removing the mold pieces. Basically, to manufacture pilas, washbasins, there four basic steps:

  1. Set the mold pieces and iron rods pieces to serve as skeleton. The mold concrete pieces are applied a light layer of burnt oil so they don’t stick to new concrete structure.
  2. Fill it with concrete and wait 24 hours.
  3. Remove the mold pieces and clean up
  4. Paint and add the final touches, like white dots.

Here we see the worker removing the concrete mold pieces by hitting them with a hammer and piece of wood so they break loose.

Don Eduardo Gonzalez shared with me that a good quality pila like the ones he builds could be bought for Q25/$3 when he started 24 years ago. Compare that with today’s going price of Q500/$60. Of course, 24 years ago the Quetzal was worth a lot more; if I am not mistaken, the exchange rate was Q3 per $1 (today’s exchange rate is Q8,39 per US$1).

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