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Old Nov 19, 2004, 10:04 PM
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Reehoe's Avatar
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vacuum former online

Hi all, I just wanted to share a pic or two of a vacuum-formed part (a ribbed dome for a retail product) from my new machine that I built from scratch... God, I just can't believe how well it works! Just know that I have one if anyone needs a part formed... I would be happy to help if I can.

Rich Anderson
Anderson Cockpit Works
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 10:20 PM
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Somerset, Pennsylvania, United States
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nice. where are you located on this wonderful planet of ours?
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 10:31 PM
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That information might have been helpful (kicking self in butt)!!! I'm located in Hendersonville, Tennessee which is right outside of Nashville. My machine can handle up to 24" square parts in all usual thicknesses. I also have access to most types of sheet plastic.
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 02:02 AM
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United States, TN, Knoxville
Joined Dec 2003
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Vacuformer

Nice Reehoe! That looks like a pretty deep pull. I just finished a micro (6" x 8") table to form some dummy radials and light lenses for my K&A Mallard. If I need something larger, I'll definitely contact you. I bought some white sheet styrene in .020" and .030". What material do you recommend for clear parts?
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 09:40 PM
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Thank you RGose! PETG and Lexan are what I'm working with right now.
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 03:47 PM
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Zoom's Avatar
San Jose, California, United States
Joined Oct 2001
567 Posts
Hi Rich,

I'm currently designing a plane and have been struggling with how to do the cockpit. I've pulled my own cockpits by just framing them, heating them, and pulling them by hand over a plug, but the results were not as good as what a real vacuum former can do. I'll send you an email and maybe we can talk about the details.

- Dave -
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 06:14 PM
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You know the one in the book on Ebay by Walsh is not a bad unit. My friend Wally and I just built one following his two stage vaccum system with parts we found at the plumbing supply and auto parts store for the two stage check valve system described in the book and it works perfectly using an house vac and airbrush compressor for the two vacuum sources. We pulled several 1:5 scale canopies for our Schweizer sailplanes using both PETG and Butyrate.

We keep getting defects due to the hydroscopic qualities of the plastic unless we predry or temper the plastics first at lower temperatures. We are picky though since we want the highest quality parts available for our customers. I can post pictures of the unit if anyone is interested and part numbers and sources for the two valves.

Tom
www.tmrcsailplanes.com
"Home of the Schweizers"

Here is a current link to the book: www.castcraft.com/prod8.htm
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reehoe
Hi all, I just wanted to share a pic or two of a vacuum-formed part (a ribbed dome for a retail product) from my new machine that I built from scratch... God, I just can't believe how well it works! Just know that I have one if anyone needs a part formed... I would be happy to help if I can.

Rich Anderson
Anderson Cockpit Works
Would you be willing to share your design with ther rest of us?? I have been wanting to build my own vacuum former for some time and have been looking at his one(http://www.halloweenfear.com/vacuumformintro.html) as a guide, any suggestions?? What not do do??

How about some pictures of your setup?? I'm always looking to see wht others can do with some time and a couple of ideas

Thanks

Mrbaseballny
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Old Nov 26, 2004, 10:45 AM
"Repair"The Art of Flying
Portland, Oregon
Joined Nov 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbaseballny
Would you be willing to share your design with ther rest of us?? I have been wanting to build my own vacuum former for some time and have been looking at his one(http://www.halloweenfear.com/vacuumformintro.html) as a guide, any suggestions?? What not do do??

How about some pictures of your setup?? I'm always looking to see wht others can do with some time and a couple of ideas

Thanks

Mrbaseballny
I built this vac machine and it works GREAT. So great that I built 2 more for friends that saw me use it. I use it to form the canopies for 1/8th scale unlimited hydroplanes. I use 40 and 60 thousandths thick clear PETG and a 6 horse shop vac. The canopies are 11" long by 3.5" wide and 3" tall. I just buy the 4' x 8' sheets of PETG, $18.00, and then cut it up to the correct size for the vac machine. I get 16 canopies out of a sheet. I spent about $100.00 building it and the only design I changed on it was using PVC pipe from the vacuume bed to the side of the box, so I could plug my vac in the side rather then having a flexable vac hose all the way up to the vac bed. Works outstanding.

Pat
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Old Dec 02, 2004, 03:34 PM
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My machine was of my own design, but suprisingly it is very similar to the one that the link above leads to. I guess nessecity is the mother of invention. It is alot larger however. For vacuum it uses a 6hp shop vac and a vacuum pump, and it also has a pancake air compressor to blow the parts off the mold and cool plastic in strategic places during the molding process. The oven is a 220 volt system with thermostat.
I don't have any pictures available right now, but I will soon.

I am in the process of drawing plans and building prototypes using my own funds(I designed the origional for my employer)for several sizes and configurations, and will more than likely include them all in an inexpensive plan pack. The reason I am doing this is that some experienced people in the field have told me that my machine has some innovative features for the hobbyist that makes it easier and more convenient to use. Overall it still remains a simple and inexpensive thing to build... it is mostly MDF board for ease of construction.

ANYWAY, as far as advise and help... I'm full of it ! The more holes in the tabletop, the better. I have found that perf board is ok, but really it needs about 3 times as many holes to work great. My next platen(tabletop) will be steel mesh.
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Old Dec 02, 2004, 03:38 PM
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Reehoe,

Now you have me all excited waiting to see photos of your set-up I have a couple of designs, but nothing that is ready to build. I'm holding out for some more construction ideas, before I start building mine

Let us know when you have some photos
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Old Dec 30, 2004, 07:01 PM
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Photos???

Reehoe,

Any Photos of your setup yet?? I also sent you a PM about some vacuum forming

Thanks,

mrbaseballny
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Old Jan 06, 2005, 12:28 PM
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Tenino WA.
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Reehoe ++++ where are those photos ??????????????????????????????

Jack
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 11:16 PM
Death from Above
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Tennessee
Joined Oct 2004
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Rich,
I am north of outside of clarksville, where do you get your sheeting from?
Riz
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 08:46 AM
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Ours is working great too (from the Walsh plans with the two stage valving) and we were able to make about 5 good canopies for our 1-26B Schweizer foamy/woodie kits last week. We are now adding a slide frame and heating element from an old electric hibachi to the top to facilitate loading and unloading material.

So far we have tried polycarbonate (Lexan), PETG, and butyrate. With PETG we have issues with graininess that the distributor said was likely water in the material. Sources say that the materials (all of them?) need to be dried in the oven for some time at low temp before using to eliminate this flaw from occuring. We also found that if you heat the buck or form, less defects occur.

Any comments or ideas on where to get good dry material where the additional time/expense/trouble of drying is not necessary?

What material do you guys find works the best for 4-12" long 3-6" wide canopies in clear?

Thanks
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