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jegner
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Joined: 30 May 2003
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Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:29 am    Post subject: Vac-form Machine Gallery Reply with quote

Post pics or movies of your machines in action!
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jegner
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Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 2134
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my machine in action:

http://www.imperial-armor.com/videos.html

and a still pic:



to get this thread started.
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tubachris85x
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Joined: 15 Jan 2007
Posts: 351
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those videos you posted really do help out alot. I am going to go through with nichrome wire oven now, just need to find those ceramic posts...

-tubachris
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cod
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Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 322
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome

another invaluable resource.
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crashmann
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Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my rig with a shop vac under the platen:



Pretty much the same setup as Jim's, except with 24" x 32" plastic holding frames.

A video of me pulling thermal detonator endcaps and the plug for the shop vac hose connection under the table (it's the tall cylinder in the middle of the table). The second pull is using the Gast 1065 vacuum pump to draw down .125 HIPS over a 10" tall clonetrooper chestplate

http://tk386.com/vacuum_chamber/vacuum_forming_small.avi

Here's a bunch of pictures of the plumbing for the vacuum pump underneath the forming platen, the Gast 1065 pump, and "ole' rusty" the water heater tank.

Note the black shop vac connector in the middle


White cap on the shop vac connector


The small line to the left leading to the white square is for the vacuum gauge mounted in the forming table


The vacuum gauge on the forming table


The Gast 1065 pulling 22" of mercury


Plumbing connections for the vac pump with quick connect coupler


Plastic holding frame clamps (much better than wingnuts!!!)


Ole' Rusty, the water heater vac chamber!


A video of pulling sandtrooper backpack boxes. .080 black HIPS over MDF molds with tapered sides. Note the gentle release technique Smile Trimming with a bandsaw, and components of the backpack. The definitive sandtrooper TK1536 strikes the "Br00tal" at the end!

http://www.tk386.com/backpack_boxes/Sandtrooper_Backpack_Boxes.mov


Update!!! 3/15/2008

I have upgraded to a single hole platen made from a 1/8" sheet of aluminum. I cut 1.5" notches in the corners, then clamped each edge between 2" x 4" boards and beat down the sides until it turned into a box.



I mounted the new platen to the table using 2" x 4" blocks (which are actually 1.5" tall)



Then I drilled a single hole in the middle of the platen and mounted a 3/4" floor flange.



This is then connected to a new control valve system. The valve on the right connects to the platen. The middle T connects to the vac pump. The valve on the left connects to the 50 gallon vacuum surge tank. The middle valve acts as a vacuum relief when using a dome for degassing silicone or liquid resin.



To operate the table, heat up the plastic over the oven. Close the valve to the platen. Open the valve to the surge tank and pump it down to 25" of mercury. When the plastic is ready to be formed, turn on the pump and open the surge tank valve. Flip the plastic over and open the valve to the platen. After a few seconds, close the valve to the surge tank which will make the pump pull directly from the platen resulting in 29" of mercury vacuum!!! Watch the huge video below to see this process in action.

352x240 (31.1MB)
http://tk386.com/video/Vacuum_Forming_Single_Hole_Platen_3_small.mpg

720x480 (125MB!!!)
http://tk386.com/video/Vacuum_Forming_Single_Hole_Platen_3.mpg

I use a combination of 1/4" wire mesh and window screen to provide air flow under multiple molds on the platen. Here's what happened when I only used the 1/4" mesh with 29" of vacuum




Here's a shorter video pulling clone armor parts with the new platen:

352x240 (5.39MB)
http://tk386.com/video/Vacuum_Forming_Clone_Armor.mpg

720x480 (19MB)
http://tk386.com/video/Vacuum_Forming_Clone_Armor_bigger.mpg


Go to this thread to read more about the single hole platen upgrade:
http://www.tk560.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=922&start=0


Charlie
TI-386
http://www.tk386.com <=== Lots more pictures here!!!


Last edited by crashmann on Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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cod
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Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 322
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:10 pm    Post subject: best instructional video everrrrrrrrrrrrr Reply with quote

thanks heaps. That was like a semester of Vacuform 101.
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jegner
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Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 2134
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love watching Charlie's machine in action! I too have been working on the trooper back pack boxes, and just about have the molds finished. I don't seem to be having the same issues with them releasing though. Hmm.

Thanks for sharing. Nice hi-vac rig you have there, glad to see it still in operation. Can you tell us where you got those wing-nut replacements?

Jim
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crashmann
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Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the blue cam clamps from a recommendation here on the board: Rockler.com

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10602&filter=cam

And they're cheap too! Only $6.99 a pair!

Charlie
TI-386
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crashmann
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Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 496

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Beer Keg Vac Table!!! Reply with quote

Here's a vac table built by another person that uses a beer keg for the vacuum chamber. Initially, he was going to use an MDF box for the vac chamber, but even after painting the oustide and sloshing lots of paint inside, it was still leaking air.




Here's the plastic clamping frame with rubber handgrips. Also note the huge vacuum gauge and ball valve on the sides of the vacuum chamber box.




The overhead heating box





Since the MDF was not able to hold vacuum, he upgraded to using an empty beer keg. Not as pretty as the original box, but certainly more functional!





This table is a lot of fun in the preparation stage as you "empty" the beer keg Wink The whole photo gallery with construction plans can be found here:
http://www.tk386.com/beerkegvactable/


Charlie
TI-386
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drcrash
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Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 705
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting machine, but for those people who missed long wrangles about vacuum tanks a while back,

DON'T USE A BEER KEG. Some beer kegs will implode under vacuum, and do it in a nasty way, suddenly ripping and end dome loose. (This is true of some European beer kegs, anyway, and until you find out otherwise about American beer kegs, they're best avoided.)

Also, MDF is a poor material for making vacuum tanks. If you don't know how to design a vacuum vessel properly, don't roll your own.
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Paul (a.k.a. Dr. Crash)

Tired of buying cheap plastic crap? Now you can make your own! www.VacuumFormerPlans.com
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jegner
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Joined: 30 May 2003
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Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie's hot water tank is the way to go for vacuum storage, IMHO.

Jim
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drcrash
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Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 705
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one's not mine, but it's worth watching:

http://www.engelads.com/publicfiles/Boddaker/Video/vacuform.wmv

That's a video of vacuum forming a cartoon-scale chubbified Boeing 737-shaped computer case. (The award-winning, magazine-article-featured "UAL 737" by Brian "Boddaker" Carter.)



The up, over, and down mechanism for getting the plastic to the oven is a pretty cool alternative to a flip frame for a side-by-side configuration. It brings the plastic down much straighter, closer to what an over-and-under does.

It's discussed in this other thread, which has a link to a thread over on gruntville.com:

http://www.tk560.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=439&highlight=gruntville+drcrash
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Paul (a.k.a. Dr. Crash)

Tired of buying cheap plastic crap? Now you can make your own! www.VacuumFormerPlans.com
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gobler
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 30
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Hey Charile, what is the size of you vac table? 24x48?? Thats one hell of a nice set up.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Hey, how hot does this plastic get?.....Holly JEEEZZ it burns!!!!
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falcondesigns



Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel so ....................small.Alexander[/img]
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jegner
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Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 2134
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

falcondesigns wrote:
I feel so ....................small.Alexander[/img]



LOL

Size matters not.

Very Happy
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