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Author Topic: vacuum forming heater? ( with more than one use? )  (Read 3345 times)
Professor J. Cogsworthy
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« on: May 10, 2012, 05:42:38 pm »

Hey, experienced vacuum formers

My shop is a little on the crowded side and I probably would not be doing a lot
of vacuum forming anyway.....

Do you think I could use something like this as a heat source and then have a
heater that I could use to heat the shop in cold weather also? 





Or would an electric heater be a better choice?

How much heat do you need?

The only single purpose item would be the vacuum table and they are flat for the most part....
I've got a modular router/grinder/spindle sander table that I could make one more top for that
would probably be big enough ( about 20" square ) Each use has its own table top that I trade out
as I need the tools.
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Professor J. Cogsworthy
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 05:46:21 pm »

( while I have your attention )

 If you are a little slow can you use a heat gun as an assist?
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Maets
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 05:54:22 pm »

I really don't know much about vacuum forming, but for heating, I think a heat gun would be a much better choice.  The propane heater is a radiant heater and limited to the position shown.  A hot air gun provides heated hot air, surprisingly, and can be used in just about any position.  Hopefully someon who knows what they are talking about adds in.
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Uncle Arthur
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 08:40:19 pm »

My buddy who is involved in the Delahaye project built a vacuum forme table for the shop using an oven heating element. If you like I could get more details from him.
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Professor J. Cogsworthy
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2012, 08:45:37 pm »

My buddy who is involved in the Delahaye project built a vacuum forme table for the shop using an oven heating element. If you like I could get more details from him.

I do not have 240 in my shop to power a oven element...... But if you want to ask sure
I'll read anything you can find..... There would still be something useful I bet in the info.
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Uncle Arthur
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 12:01:52 am »

As close as I can remember the vacuum was supplied by an unregulated milking machine compressor  drawing through a perforated MDF table mounted in an old washing machine body. It so far has done very well making parts for several vehicles that are no longer available commercially .
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 08:56:24 am »

a heat gun would work on a fairly small sheet but would take forever on a bigger piece, if it could do any good at all.

you need both even steady heat that isn't too hot nor too cold. you want the plastic to come to the right temperature all at once so it won't sag in spots while its still getting hot all over.

the infrared heater could work ok on styrene but might have problems on clear plastics. they produce some heat from the burning too. the small commercial unit I have uses ceramic cones wrapped with heating elements like in hair driers and they have screw in bases like light bulbs. I was told by someone that some guitar amps use similar as resistors. the cones are set in the center of metal reflectors that could only be used to reflect the infrared.  I would think as long as there is enough hose between the tank and the heater head that you could try it. unless the heater has a safety tip over switch, it should work laying flat once it has heated up and is burning evenly. you definitely don't want to tip the tank over at all, that can cause liquid propane to enter the regulator and thats not a good thing.

some of the homemade designs I've seen have the plastic over the heat and the drawback to that is as the plastic sags it gets closer to the element and heats more unevenly. my unit looks sort of like a box kite and the frame is on magnets that hold it under the heater so as it sags away from the plastic, it won't develope hot spots as bad. plus you simply slide the frame straight down over the vaccuum base and it done. the heater has a timer like a bathroom heater timer so you can heat the thing without having to pay undivided attention to it.
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