Molds are commonly dropped in dungeons. They can be obtained other ways; for example, the quest chain of the overly lengthy Dragon Quest now gives molds, including a -6% channeling ring (Still not worth it, probably. For such a fine reward to be not worth the effort illustrates perfectly how long a process it is to finish that quest series). The easiest way is from the Mysterious Merchant; Mysterious Chips are easy to obtain, and cheap. The Mysterious Merchant has a limited selection, but most of the gear is the upper end of Molds in quality of bonuses etc, like the superlative Sleeves of Sea Captain
The forges for crafting molds are, in practice, NPCs; they stand around, and can be interacted with to do things.
- Legendary Armor Forge at 522 628 , in front of General Summer in southwest Archosaur
- Legendary Weapon Forge
- Legendary Orn. Forge (Accessories)
Crafting with molds does not require a craft-specific composite material to be manufactured be, like the metal in Blacksmithing and the cloth in Tailoring. Thus they never require monster drops, and in certain cases, this can make them cheaper recipes than the normal crafted items, despite the large numbers of Resources they consume (although low level recipes are cheaper, such as the level 21 armor, eg Shinguards of Wolf Rage, requiring only seven of each material). Just as weapons require two Mirage Celestones to Refine instead of one, they require twice the materials at the Forges-up to 35 of each (140 total) at Level 97.
Level 4 Tailoring and Blacksmithing can get quite pricey because of the Compound Thread and Compound Oil required; both are quite rare.
- Level 4 molds: ☆Cuisses of Divine Beast, ☆Genie Shins, ☆Dark Shinguards of Hades, ☆Dark Pants of Hades, ☆Helm of Aqua Viciousness, ☆Cape of Tauran Chieftain
- Extremely Rare Level 4 molds (I have never seen these in the Auction House) : ☆Soul Devourer's Greaves, ☆Flame Boots of Intensity, ☆Crystal Headdress
- Blacksmithing: Very rare to see low level weapon molds. Perhaps Calamity Axes of Blood, or Sakyamuni's Light. Used to see Wind and the Clouds, but not for years. Cloudthorn and Evil Stare Daggers you see sometimes because the molds are part of the Tideborn quest, but strangely, neither Phoenix Soulsphere nor Radiant Souldrill are seen.
These molds and some higher level ones can be purchased from the Mysterious Merchant. The Mysterious Chips to make them are quite affordable, but there is a steep Fee attached to the transaction: up to 792,000 for the highest level (level 88 Devil's Cape of Aries), and the one unusually high fee, over 3 million for the Cape of Tauren Chieftain, which is matched in important respects by the Quicksand Maze cloaks.
Sweet spot at 60 with two rare molds for arcane. [ Flame Boots of Intensity] and Sleeves of Blood Moon. This fits perfectly with the 55 Genesis leggings, with two +Magic bonuses, and the Robe from the same source; just two pieces and therefore obtainable through quests.
One of the hidden benefits of crafting with Molds to gain skill in crafting is that they do not require any monster drops, which are almost universally expensive, some extremely so. Compound Oil and Compound thread are commonly 70,000 coins or so, each. They are unavoidable in Tailoring because they are both required to create the Cloth that goes into every single Tailor recipe for level 7 armor.