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How To Build A Vacuum Former


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#1 Coley

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 04:23 PM

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You will need a small hot plate, you can get this at wally world or other store.Attached File  DSCF0537.JPG   352.49K   279 downloads

Enough 1/16" x 3/4" to build a 12" OD square frame.Attached File  DSCF0537.JPG   352.49K   279 downloads
We are going to use a shop vac for our suction.

One 1" x 6" x 4' piece of pine lumber
One 1" x 4" x 4' piece of pine lumber
Four 3/8" x 2" flat angle braces
16, 1/8" x 1/8" pop rivets with back up washers.
One piece of thin scrap wood, plastic or other type of material 10" x 10"
One piece of what is called punch plate for vacuum bed top, 10" x 10"
Some silicone caulk, some tape, (I used alum. tape) 16 dry wall screws 1 1/2" long

OK, lets get started by building a 12" x 12" box for the hot plate to set in.

Using the 1" x 6" lumber cut 2 pieces 12" long and 2 pieces 10 1/2" long.
Cut a small notch in one of the boards for the hot plate cord to come through
this will become the bottom of the box.
This box is screwed together with the dry wall screws. Screw the 12" pieces
to the 10 1/2" pieces.Attached File  DSCF0539.JPG   283.46K   107 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0541.JPG   259.49K   119 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0547.JPG   193.95K   106 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0548.JPG   242.14K   129 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0550.JPG   209.06K   149 downloads

Now lets build the vacuum bed.
Using the 1" x 4" piece of lumber, cut 2 pieces 10" long and 2 pieces 8 1/2" long.
and screw the 10" pieces to the 8 1/2" pieces using the dry wall screws.
Before screwing the last piece on use a hole saw to cut a hole in it that will fit your
shop vac.Attached File  DSCF0542.JPG   231.75K   156 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0554.JPG   216.33K   135 downloads
The bottom of this hole should be about 3/8" from the bottom of the box we are building.Attached File  DSCF0554.JPG   216.33K   135 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0555.JPG   205.56K   156 downloads
We are also going to tape the 10" x 10" piece of whatever you use on the bottom of the box.
We will then caulk the seams inside the box.Attached File  DSCF0556.JPG   239.24K   208 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0557.JPG   228.61K   225 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0559.JPG   195.03K   268 downloads
Now tape the punch plate on top of the box. We now have our vacuum bed.Attached File  DSCF0564.JPG   257.55K   282 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0561.JPG   279.21K   295 downloads
Now we need to build an angle iron frame with a 10 1/2" inside dia.and a 12" outside dia.
I think the pictures will explain this. The frame will match the 12" box perfect and slip down over the 10" box.Attached File  DSCF0566.JPG   267.19K   250 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0567.JPG   170.74K   268 downloads
Use the 3/8" x 2" flat angle braces on each corner, attach with the pop rivets and washers.Attached File  DSCF0572.JPG   281.11K   280 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0573.JPG   212.33K   333 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0575.JPG   321.16K   429 downloads
Add a couple handles from a piece of dowel.
This completes the construction process

Now to use this, cut your plastic to form 12" x 12" and attach to the alum frame with the binder clips.Attached File  DSCF0578.JPG   244.43K   647 downloads
Place your models on the punch plate, I use baits cut in half, and get a good right and left side.
Set the temp on hot plate about theree fourths of the way, not on high.
I have had not a fire but, i guess you could if it got too hot.
Place the plastic in the frame over the hot plate and start the shop vac.
The plastic will sag at first then tighten up then sag again, it is time to place it over the vacuum bed.Attached File  DSCF0582.JPG   258.04K   804 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0583.JPG   210.48K   828 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0586.JPG   282.79K   728 downloadsAttached File  DSCF0587.JPG   260.75K   657 downloads

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#2 Big Bass Man

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:08 PM

Awesome tutorial bud, Thanks for sharing it!!

Patrick

#3 RayburnGuy

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 08:06 PM

I like your idea of placing the hot plate inside the vacuum box. When I built mine I just built a plywood box with holes drilled in the top. A separate frame that would hold the plastic sheet on all four sides was built and then it would be put into the oven to warm the plastic. The warmed plastic would then be transferred to the vacuum box. I like your idea a lot better. The use of the metal punch sheet is a great idea as well. Nice job. :yay:

Ben

#4 Charles Mitchell

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 11:49 AM

This is a work of art. This must have taken a lot of thought. Good step by step tutorial with pictures to match.

Charlie M

#5 redg8r

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 07:52 AM

Love it Coley.... Great writeup!

#6 Vodkaman

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 11:45 AM

Great result. Thanks for posting. More information stored for future use.

Dave

#7 Coley

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for your nice comments.

#8 Nathan

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 08:43 AM

Great job Coley!!..Nathan

#9 *crankn101*

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:16 PM

Thank you sir.

Great write up!

#10 jwfflipper

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:18 AM

Nice job!!
Question, Why couldn't we just combine all the pieces into one unit and lay the plastic over the baits at the same time as it is getting hot? And when the plastic heats up enough then we turn on the vac and it sucks the plastic over the baits. Just a thought.

I built mine like in this blog
www.vacuumformerplans.blogspot.com

but i am going to build a smaller one like Coleys
jeff

#11 premo

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:30 PM

Can you use this for packaging?

#12 Arkie

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:18 AM

Great tutorial...built one yesterday. For the last 2 years I have been saving old packaging plastic and heating with a gun and shaping over my bait halves. This will be a nice change BUT, can you or someone please tell me where you get your plastic sheeting? I am having trouble locating some.

#13 RayburnGuy

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 04:15 PM

Great tutorial...built one yesterday. For the last 2 years I have been saving old packaging plastic and heating with a gun and shaping over my bait halves. This will be a nice change BUT, can you or someone please tell me where you get your plastic sheeting? I am having trouble locating some.


Just type "plastics suppliers" into your web browser along with the state you live in and you will find what you need. If you still can't find anything holler back and I can give you the name of a company I've used in Dallas.

Ben

#14 hazmail

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:30 PM

Nice and simple Coley, AND I finally get a look inside your shed :oooh: .
Pete

#15 tom1441

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:11 AM

what type of plastic are you using to make the forms and where do you order it