make a vacuum forming oven from a two-burner hot plate and disposable aluminum pans - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Jan 07, 2010, 01:51 AM
KE your cub.
Curare's Avatar
I'd suggest balsa or Jelutong. Both are easy carving, and if you get the finish fine enough, you'll be able to pull straight off your plugs. The big problem I see is getting a frame to hold your plastic over the plug and box big enough to pull it down!

The over box idea looks okay, but I can see a spaz like me coming out with thir degreed burns on both arms, possibly a leg and a head too.
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Jan 07, 2010, 04:09 AM
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philba's Avatar
I just finished a vacuforming set up. Did a Dr Crash style platen and had a shop vac that really sucks. In a good way... Total cost including heater was < $30. First pull was good. really good.

The "oven" was a good find. I was in a thrift store and found an electric grilling pan that has a heating element in the lid. $4 for the whole thing (though I only wanted the lid). It heats really well and can do a 12" x 12" area though I made my frames for 9 x 7 material. It works great. the cool thing is the lid sits right on the frame perfectly. I've also seen electric hot tray heaters that could do around 12 x 18 though they didn't have the controller/power cord so I passed on them.

For making plugs, I've used water putty in an existing plastic cowling that was too flimsy. It produces good pulls. The nice thing about water putty is as it hardens, it firms up but is easily carved for about an hour. When it's hard you can sand it or even add more.

I also made a cowling plug with pink foam (extruded PS) and then glassed it with water based polyurethane. I put on about 5 coats. I was going to make a mold to to make a plug but thought, what the heck, and did a pull with it. To my surprise it came out good and the plug was fine. I made 2 more pulls on it and it looks ok.

Finally, I've heard good things about something called styro spray which is a 2 part epoxy like coating you put on foam. It sets up to a very hard surface and plugs made this way seem to last for a lot of pulls.
check out TVCasualty's cowling and engine. I'll probably get some and give it a try. Carving foam is pretty easy.
Apr 29, 2017, 02:57 PM
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Homemade tools guy here; not a spammer ( proof: ).

Just a note that we featured your clever vacuum forming oven in today's newsletter, at the link below:

We know; you guys are a good source of homemade tool ingenuity among forums. We've indexed 49 homemade tools so far from this site:

I hope we've been able to send you some good traffic.
Apr 30, 2017, 01:43 PM
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Bare's Avatar
Recently saw a video where a fellow made a V good (exceptional actually imo) heater from the heat coil assemblies from a Toaster.
He cobbled up a Wooden support for the heaters positioning them a few inches above his already in position above the plug.. Plastic sheet .
Very Simple No pile of baking tins required ..with a handheld stopwatch type timer. For heating time .. albeit resulting from trial and error with a thermometer.
Heat.. then drop the plastic onto the plug.. Just like a Commercial unit.
Precisely replicable results every time.
No matter what we do there is always a 'better way'

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