Vaccum Former

When I mentioned before in “The VrgeN64” post, that my Vacuum Forming attempts had forgotten a fundamental fact about heat was that heat is lighter than air and therefore rises! Well I can’t say I actually forgot it, but my original design was working with nothing more than a backed and sided plywood box with tinfoil lining it as a heat reflective barrier. I was then using nothing more than a cheap heat gun from work to supply the temperature. This does not work and is even more foolish to think that any object you wanted heated will be heated from the top down. Needless to say, a redesign was in order.

  Bring forth the redesigned attempt. What you’re seeing here on the left is an update of an update and has even since been updated, but the basic principle remains the same. On the left side is the vacuum box, which for a few pieces of plywood, some duct tape and peg board works surprisingly well. On the right is the ever important heat box from which the plastic being heated now sits on top of, thus bringing the heat to the plastic instead of the other way around. This was a much improved technique that has continued to improve as I tweak the set up.

Again, this was remarkably easy to produce. Simply a deeper pine box to accommodate for the sag of the plastic when it heats so it doesn’t touch the heat source. Which in this case was a nice score from a scrap pile. You’re looking at a broil element from a junk electric oven that I was able to pull the heat elements from. I then just took a standard 3 wire 120V rated plug and wired some ROMEX 14-2 wire to it and to the broil element which I connected with a couple 14-16 AWG ring terminals.

This was remarkable in it’s simplicity and for the improvement in quality it made was well worth the redesign. Shortly I will have pictures of the case commissions I’ve done for some other Modders, some I’m sure you’ve heard of. Tchay being my best customer who you can see frequenting the Mod Retro Forums.

  1. Cory says:

    Hey Downing. Love the vacuum former and your new genesis portable looks awesome! Oi do have a question for you. I just finished my vacuum former and it works great but I’m having a hard time getting my mold out afterwards. Any tips? It’s a wooden mold, FYI. Thanks man! Can’t wait to see what you’re up to next.

    • Downing says:

      That’s always the hardest part and to be all honest, unless you have a vac-former that will put in a bit of positive pressure before it cools all the way to loosen the grip a bit, it’s gonna be a challenge. I find though that if I drill a tiny hole in the face of the plastic and put a small burst of compressed air from my compressor, the mold pops right out. Most of the time anyway!

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