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mark poulson

easy stencil making

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This guy made his own 10" vacuum chamber out of a piece of pipe, and plywood ends.  He drilled holes in the top lid, and put a vacuum attachment on one side.  Then he put a bait on top of the chamber, covered some of the holes farther from the bait with some kind of tape, placed a plastic dish plate that he'd heated with a heat gun over the bait, and turned on his shop vac.  It sucked the plastic plate right down around the bait.

He use a full bodied bait, not a half, so he faced some trimming.  Or maybe not, I don't know.  But I thought it was a really clever idea.

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  I made something similar. I am using a one gallon shop vac and an old metal popcorn tin, the kind you get a Xmas. The vac hose fits snug into the top of a cut off Gatorade bottle, which I epoxied to the can, covering a large exhaust port drilled into the side of the can near the bottom. Drilled a field of small holes in the lid to create the vac table part. I heat the stencil material the same way. I use stencil material from Hobby Lobby, never heard of the plastic plate thing, I've heard of using cut up plastic milk jugs .You have to cut the stencil material fairly large to envelope the entire bait and still cover the table part enough to get sucked down effectively, if that makes any sense.

  The stencils will need to be trimmed of melted/wrapped flashing and then have the design or effect cut into them.  I will make the stencil with the hook hangers in place and then trim the back half of the stencil where the plastic has wrapped around the hanger and is to keep the stencil positioned exact when applying to the lure. 

  I have scratched the underlying paint a number of times when applying the stencil so I tend not to have the stencil wrap beyond the top and bottom of the lure, more like snugging it to the side. 

  Makes nice clean lines.

 

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Edited by AZ Fisher
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I built one years ago using a nail plate and just a simple pine box and sealed everything with silicone.   Just heated the stencil material till it draped over the crank half then kicked the shop vac on to form.  I ended up deciding would make a better set up and chucked my little one and well many years later still haven't done it.

Lots of vacuum forming DIY stuff out there with the Cosplay crowd.  

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My setup is very similar to AZ Fisher’s.  I cut a blank in half which prevents over wrapping and (for me) eliminates scratching. For a bait that I didn’t want to cut in half, I made a cardboard cut out, half the bait thickness, to set the bait in while vacuum forming. This was pretty successful in forming stencils that didn’t scratch.  It’s funny because none of this is very ‘pretty’ but it works

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I built one with a 8 inch pvc pipe coupler. Siliconed plywood to bottom and peg board on top, then used hole saw to fit shop vac. Just lay bait on it and heat the plastic i want to use and when hot just hit the on button and it forms over the bait and leaves flat parts to clamp 2 halves together 

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