martbaz

Vacuum Forming

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Alright so I have a bit of clear lexan at home and wanted to try my hand at vacuum forming without many costs as I am a student .....anybody have any experience trying to vacuum form lexan?

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Suggest you use the search function on this site. There are several posts on vacuum forming that include some homemade version and methods. You didn't say how thick your lexan is.

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1/16th sounds pretty thick for vacuum forming. Are you using it for stencils? It would require a lot of heat. Plus, I'm not sure how well lexan takes to being melted either. But then again, you never know unless you try.

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No I wanted to try forming bait bodies with some stuff I had on hand but ill try it with other thinner plastics first then move to the thicker lexan to see if it works ...

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I used to vaccum form and I used the clear milk jugs for it. It forms very nice. I tried the white ones but I didn't like the outcome.

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Just yesterday me and my son used a shop vac an a coffee can to vac form some stencil material. Basically cut a hole in the side of the can to insert the vac hose We ended up using a tin lid off a paint can to replace the plastic one from the coffee can Drilled about ten holes in the shape of the bait in the lid and duct taped it air tight. Placed bait over holes turned vac on placed a swatch of stencil over bait and used a heat gun After the first run. Noticed wrinkles so we cut a few slits. Worked like a charm. Hope this helps

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Thanks guys I did myself a box out of plywood about the size of a birdhouse.. Drilled one big hole in the side for the shop vac (5hp) and drilled a bunch of 1/8 holes on the top in a 4" x 6" squared area where it would be big enough for my baits where I could just tape off the extra holes to match for the size of baits and worked like a charm with heat gun although I did get a few wrinkles and will take trimming into consideration

Thanks!

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Just one question. If I were to form for a round body 10" long with taper would I cut out the fire tiger stripes first then heat and form. I am going right now to make my forming box. Just trying to save some time. I looked up on the serch but most of the forming is for bass baits.

Thanks for any input.

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I wouldn't recommend cutting out the pattern first I think it will distort You may find you need to cut some slits to allow the stencil to form without wrinkles though. It is fairly easy to cut out your pattern after it is formed I always use a new blade. And or a stencil cutter ( like a soldering iron ) A cheap but nice tool. Hope this helps

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"redg8r" has a great Video tute on vacuum forming here somewhere, probably posted about 2010.

Pete

Edited by hazmail

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