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Old Jun 19, 2001, 04:27 PM
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rayc's Avatar
Indianapolis, IN, USA
Joined Jun 2000
179 Posts
how to build a vaccum forming box?

I need to build a samll VFB to make plastic cowls, etc... Anyone have plans or can point me to URL.

I have only found 2 sites that describe them. I just need something simple and cheap. Less than $20 in parts if possible.

I read several thread here on ezone but none of them where vacuum boxes they just pulled the hot plastic over the mold.

I need to make a cowling from my 24" wing span P40-D.

Thanks, Ray
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Old Jun 19, 2001, 08:01 PM
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USA, WA, Bellevue
Joined Apr 2000
199 Posts
I built a box 17" square and about 3" high, because that was the size plastic I use. The top needs to be peg board material, then you need a picture frame like structure to hold the plastic in, which then fits over the box neatly. The plastic is held in the frame with staples and tape(for air tightness).Of course you need a hole in the box, that matches your shop vac hose. reverse the shop vac hose , put the plastic in it's frame in the oven- watch it, it will sag after a bit then you are ready. more or less.
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Old Jun 20, 2001, 11:18 AM
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Canada
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If I might suggest that you buy some electronic 'perf' board to use as the platten for your vacu-former, being 1/16 epoxyglass and having hundreds of tiny holes it's very cheap ($5) and perfectly suited to the purpose..
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Old Jun 20, 2001, 02:03 PM
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Mesa, AZ USA
Joined Mar 2001
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Ray,

A few issues ago in RCM (march 2001, page 26) David Anderson wrote an article that talked about a "two pass mothod for forming crystal clear canopies". He said that he used an aluminum cake pan for his vac-box. Sounds cheap to me. Get one that has a flat flange around it, the kind that has a matching lide that slides on. Quite honestly I'm not sure if they make that type anymore, I was considering stealing my mothers. The reason for the flange around the outside is that it will allow you to clip/bolt/screw the perforated top to it. Just make sure that it is sealed. Cut an appropriate sized hole in the side for the vac source plug your shop vac in and make sure it seals well and there ya go! On a larger unit you might need to put a brace across the inside of the box to keep the vac from collapsing the top. The Electronic perf board sound perfect too!

Tom
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Old Jun 20, 2001, 03:48 PM
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Indianapolis, IN, USA
Joined Jun 2000
179 Posts
Well I broke down and ordered one from www.crosshobbytools.com

$49.95 + 6 shipping.

Hopefully it will be a good one that will last and last. The guy I talked to was nice and very helpful in explaining the process to me.

I'll let you know if it turns out to be a good deal...

Thanks everyone,

Ray


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Old Jun 21, 2001, 12:57 AM
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UK
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Some more references: http://www.proto-form.com/index2.htm http://www.crosshobbytools.com/diagrams.html http://www.flyelectric.ukgateway.net/matter.htm#vac

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Old Jun 28, 2001, 03:45 PM
Dave Segal
Philadelphia PA USA
Joined Jun 2001
545 Posts
The November, 1995 issue of Model Airplane News has an article on how to build a vacuum box for making small parts.

Dave Segal
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Old Jul 02, 2001, 09:19 AM
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Indianapolis, IN, USA
Joined Jun 2000
179 Posts
Here is a short review on the cross hobby's vaccum box.

I got the kit Friday nite and it went together ok.

the directions are poor. If it weren't for the 2-d and 3-d design photos I don't think I would have figured it out.

Despite this aspect the material was top notch and everything was included in the kit except for wood glue and 5-min epoxy.

I tried it out Saturday night and it works great! I never expected to get the level of satisfaction that I got out of this.

It has a great design with the hinged lid and the soft rubber connector for the vaccum.

Overall this is a great little product that I would recommend for anyone who is not sure about making a vaccum forming box.

Good luck,

Ray
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Old Jul 03, 2001, 12:03 AM
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Canada
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C'mon .. it's a flat box with a perfboard top, costs $6 in raw materials and takes 3/4 hour to scratchbuild..
not a decision to lose sleep over.
Anyhow glad you like it.. now try heat shrinking 'pop' bottles for even easier and much more durable parts.. dosen't do reverse curves though.. still need a Vacu box for that
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Old Jul 07, 2001, 10:17 PM
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Boca Raton, FL USA
Joined Jul 2001
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http://www.studiocreations.com/howto/index.html

Check out this web site. He has a tutorial for making a vacuum form box. His is large but could easily be scaled done.
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 06:50 AM
Goose
Ireland, Dublin, Dublin
Joined Feb 2008
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Vacuum Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayc
I need to build a samll VFB to make plastic cowls, etc... Anyone have plans or can point me to URL.

I have only found 2 sites that describe them. I just need something simple and cheap. Less than $20 in parts if possible.

I read several thread here on ezone but none of them where vacuum boxes they just pulled the hot plastic over the mold.

I need to make a cowling from my 24" wing span P40-D.

Thanks, Ray
Hi, If you look at thomanie's blog he gives a very simple and cheep way to build a very ingenious vacuum box, I built one and it works perfect. John
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 10:39 AM
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lake flyer's Avatar
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I have seen an article where a plastic dishpan and peg board were used to make the box.
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 10:42 AM
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A lot of our shapes can be made by the pull down over a mold method .

That is how I made the canopy for my RV6 , it was about 7"x7"x3".
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 10:44 AM
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And of course there is the mold in a bottle and shrink with a heat gun method .
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 10:46 AM
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St.Petersburg, FL
Joined Feb 2004
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The book Scratchbuilt! by John Alcorn has plans on P.48

sp
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