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Old Sep 12, 2010, 05:01 PM
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ken_nj's Avatar
United States, NJ, Howell
Joined Mar 2008
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Mini-HowTo
DIY - Vacuum forming

Have I have few things I need to make for my 1/24 scale boat that I have not been able to find online. Besides learning something, I also probably saved some money making them myself. The pictures should tell most of it. These first items I show here are floodlights that will getting super bright LED's. I started out with .010 plastic cut to 6"x6". Changed to .015 as it sturdier. It was trial and error for a while to correct two issues. One was webbing, the second was bubbles at the bottom of the pattern.

Other parts I will be making are trash cans and coolers. Not sure what else there will be.
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Last edited by ken_nj; Jan 02, 2011 at 10:20 AM.
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 05:23 PM
Air, Ground & Water
freechip's Avatar
Canada, ON, Rockland
Joined Aug 2008
22,285 Posts
Wow, nice work.
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 05:53 PM
Grumpa Tom
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Sep 2003
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Brilliant!
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 06:17 PM
Boats on the brain!!
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Arnold, Mo.
Joined Jul 2005
4,493 Posts
1:24 scale....

I'll be your official tester.
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 06:23 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
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Richmond Virginia
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 07:03 PM
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ken_nj's Avatar
United States, NJ, Howell
Joined Mar 2008
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Thanks guys! Here are 2 quick video's in action.

Vacuum forming, part I (0 min 19 sec)


Vacuum forming, part II (0 min 29 sec)
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Last edited by ken_nj; Oct 19, 2013 at 08:47 AM.
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 09:25 PM
Taking care of the pond.
MILLERTIME's Avatar
USA, CA, Fresno
Joined Apr 2004
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What they all said.
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 11:14 PM
Boats on the brain!!
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Arnold, Mo.
Joined Jul 2005
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Twist the frame and pop them out like ice cubes.
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 12:09 AM
Registered User
United States, ID, Rexburg
Joined Sep 2008
6,380 Posts
Trick I have used to fix the frames is when they get too loose wrap a layer of masking tape around the tongues of the corners (I have the same frames in my windows and the dogs go through them so I am an expert at replacing screens). I that does work you can take a nail and dent the frames into the corners slightly.
Foo
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Last edited by fooman2008; Sep 13, 2010 at 12:10 AM. Reason: spellcheck!
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 05:26 AM
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United States, NY, Buffalo
Joined Oct 2003
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A great thread with some neat thinking

Well this is a definate copy for future review and file away into the technique folder

Great Job,
Rich
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 01:18 PM
GILL
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United States, NJ, Hopatcong
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Nice job.
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 01:22 PM
The Sicilian Texan
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USA, TX, Waco
Joined Mar 2010
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ken nj, that is a super cool box. I am getting materials together now to build it. ironman1 (Ray)
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 03:12 PM
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United States, NJ, Howell
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Building the box is simple. Cutting, assembly and gluing should take about 1-2 hours. The plywood frame has glued rabbit joints. The cross braces float in the 2 sides and the 4 dowels float in the cross braces. My MDF top (platen) and bottom right now have a tight fit into the rabbit joints so there is minimal air leakage. The top or bottom can be glued\siliconed or you can use masking tape to seal the joints. I suggest gluing\silicone the bottom and leave the top removable. This will allow you to have platens with different hole patterns.

If you can get the woven metal window screen, you really do not need all of those little holes. Just drill one large hole, maybe 1 to 1.5 inches in the center. When you place the screen over this large hole, the screen will allow the vacuum to distribute evenly under your pattern. Two layers of screen might be better.

If anyone needs any other info, just ask away.

For the window screen frames, some hardware stores might have metal corner braces, you might have to miter the corners. They would be better as the plastic, after repetitive use will deform due to the heat. You can do as Foo says, dent the frame to hold. Or build some sort of wood frame.

When you sandwich the frame with the plastic in the oven. Elevate the frame with two pieces of wood as the plastic will sag and you do not want it touching anything as it warms up.
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Last edited by ken_nj; Sep 13, 2010 at 03:32 PM.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 12:54 AM
ADM. 48TH FLEET
oxnard ca.
Joined Jul 2007
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thanks ken........gunna start constructing mine this weekend.....joe
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 01:11 PM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
Western N.Y. winemaking country
Joined Jun 2005
9,631 Posts
I pulled instructions for a vacform box similar to yours from the internet a few years ago, but never built one.

Yours appears to be simpler to build, and may be a better design.

Now where did I put that---.
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