For what it's worth, I'm one of those people who doesn't want to spend money on professional-grade equipment until I'm sure I'll stick with the hobby or do it often enough to justify the expenditure. If there's a cheaper/free alternative, I'll give it a try. Today I'm making fromage blanc (no goat milk, but using a chevre starter) and I want to compare the difference between draining in butter muslin vs. a mold. No time to order a specialty mold, so here's what I did...
The measurement for the chevre molds sold at New England Cheesemaking is about 3.5" in diameter (at the top) and about 3.75" tall. I discovered that this is almost exactly the same size as the containers in which a pint of sour cream and other supermarket dairy products comes in.
After looking at photos of the professional molds, I determined that (a) there should not be holes on the bottom, and (b) the holes on the sides of the container should start about 1/2" from the base and be spaced one on top of the other about 1.125" or so apart (in rows). Skew the placement of the holes in alternate rows so that you have sort of a checkerboard effect.
To make the holes, I used a stainless steel kebab skewer and heated it on my gas stove burner. The skewer made a neat, clean hole with almost no ragged edges. (Every now and then, I wiped the skewer to remove excess build-up of plastic.)
In the long run, I'm sure I will want to purchase professional grade molds because they will hold up to sterilization and washing much better. Can't imagine my re-purposed sour cream container lasting longer than a couple of uses. But as a stop-gap solution I am hoping this will do the trick.