Hi all hears my instructable for building a simple vacuum former
About a year ago I decided I wanted a
Bait Boat for fishing and decided to make my own from fibreglass one check out my instructable for the rod donkey bait boat mk1.
It worked great but I decided I wanted to make another and on that decision thought a plastic vacuum formed version would be cheaper and lighter. So hears the plans for the vacuum former table. This former will do up to 600mm x 500mm sheets
I was going to dismantle the oven to just the thermostat. Control panel and element but after looking at it thought why make work for myself so the plan was simple taken an old table and just sit the oven in it
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Step 1: Heat Source the Table Top Oven Fitting
Ok now I have decided just to fit the oven as you would normally just facing up rather than out
we shall start
1st thing find out how to remove the oven door
Mine had 2 screws below it and 2 on the sides it then allowed the back heat shield to slide up to get to the hinges
I wanted to save the door so I can use it when pre heating if you not worried about that then get it if by any means necessary.
Take your old table / worktop/ plywood whatever materiel it is you decided to use and cut the opening for the oven to fit in.
You do this by measuring the the box on the back it should have a basil type lip that's just a little wider that stops the oven falling through the hole.
Mark the dimensions out on the table and cut out with whatever you have. Mine was something like
550 mm x 570mm
Hand saw etc
Once that's done drop the oven in gently and use the original fixing holes to put some screws in just to help hold it it place.
I wanted to be able to do sheets bigger than the oven opening. To do this I decided to make a 3x2 frame that was the width of my table by the width of my oven square ish. Then screwed that in place from below and covered it in metal tape to stop the wood from burning and aid in heat transfer. It's the stuff that air conditioning engineers use for ducting can be found in most diy stores. It's easy to use as its sticky. You could also tinfoil it
That's it the heat source is done
Now the peg board
Step 2: PegBoard and Vacuum
Next step the pegboard and vacuum
Step 1 the pegboard
This can be made from any timber as long as it has a good smooth finish and its not to thin as it will misshape when vacuumed I used 22mm compressed floorboard. But anything from 12mm should be ok be it ply or mdf etc
Mine is 700mm x 600mm
Allow a 2 inch gap all the way around the outside This is because when you lay your plastic sheet on the board it allows for the width of the sheet clamp. This will become clear later in the instructable.
Mark out a grid 20mm gaps then drill with 5mm hole
To allow for a good seal when vacuuming I placed a rubber gasket around the outside edges. Sticking it down with contact adhesive
I have a mate who works at a rubber factory so just got a sheet from him but the plan before that was a bike inner tube
Again this will all become a little clearer in the next few steps.
Now you have drilled 500+ holes and fitted the rubber seal gasket flip the board over and you will want to screw some 2x2 timber to the bottom then seal round the edges and corners with Mastic. Silicone.
wood or body Filler or Putty you don't have to use them all just one anything to help make it air tight and to allow air flow from the vacuum that's going to below fitted in the table top.
I made a slight misshape and in my haste forgot to drill my vacuum inlet hole before fixing and sealing it all down. So a case of do what I suggest not what I did.
Plumbing waste fittings are ideal for this but find a fitting that is the same size as your vacuum hose. Mine was 50mm something like a toile flush feed pipe
Use a whole saw to cut out a hole the same size as your pipe making sure you get a nice tight fit. If need be if using plumbing gear use the rubber grommets supplied.
Step 3: Screen Clamp
What I call the screen clamp is 2 sheets of timber ply , MDF , anything with a good smooth surface. That the sheet material of plastic is clamped in
How to make it
Mark out the size of your sheets they want to be the same size as the peg board
On them mark out the size of the plastic sheet so it's evenly spaced all the way round mine was 40mm from the edge.
From that line come in and mark another line 35mm this will be your cut line.
This Allows you to trap the plastic between them.
Once the centre hole is cut out. Move the waste out the way and Mark out a line down the centre of the left over outside frame this is the part we need and evenly space out holes for fixing bolts. Making sure to counter sink the bolt heads on the underside.
Once that's done you can stick down some more rubber on the edges so it form a good tight no slip seal and cover the back side edge in silver tape/ tin foil.
Step 4: Test Run Attempts
The first time I struck this up I was remarkably surprised hears a few pics of my attempts and I shall put up a video of it in action soon. Then it's on to the main project of build the boat mould.
To top it all off the only thing I have brought so far is the plastic to do the moulding with. The rest was free from friends or local selling groups on Facebook. Etc And what I can get my hands on from the construction sites I work on
Hope you like this project feel free to comment ask questions and pleas vote for me in the contests. All things used are from your normal everyday household items
Step 5: Video
Please check out the test run video on YouTube on the link below thanks