Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

  1. #1
    formerly joNich
    Member Since
    Dec 2005
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    Columbus, OH
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    Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    I just cut some thigh armor out of a bucket and had heated them up in the oven to bend them into the proper shape. I then stuck them in cold water and then the freezer for 5 minutes. They seemed to have kept their shape so i layed them neatly in the basement overnight.

    This morning, they have reverted back to their original shape before the bending.

    What am I doing wrong? Am I not heating them up enough?

  2. #2
    formerly joNich
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    Dec 2005
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    Aww...come on! Nobody?

    I know some of you out there have trash can armor. HELP!

  3. #3

    Member Since
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    I simply warm it, I never put it in the freezer. I allow that it(he,she) should cool only

  4. #4
    formerly joNich
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    How high are you heating yours though? Should I heat it until it's super-flexible? Currently I've only been heating it until it is just flexible enough to bend.

  5. #5
    tubachris85x's Avatar
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    From my experience with trash can armor, it appeas that it will always retain the original shape it was made as. What you can do is use its natural shape, like I used the cans curve to shape out the chest pieces. One thing I noticed though, is that if you have straps positioned right, and tight enough to where you need the piece to be, and when in the sun, it will start to form to you, sometimes giving you the desired look, and sometimes giving you horrible shape. I honestly dont think theres much anyone can do unless they make a mold of the piece, liquify the material used, and cast the piece. But thats just me. My trash can armor pieces just stay the same. I remember trying to shape the shoulder bells by tieing them to a jar with the right curve, and letting it sit outside in the sun for 2 days. Came back, took it off, lasted for about 2 hours and returned to the origonal shape. Hard to work with.

    -tubachris

  6. #6

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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    I do my costume with PVC, mold it with heat pistol and give him the form.

  7. #7
    joshcube's Avatar
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    I tried to do a trash can helmet before I found out the material doesn't glue worth poodoo. But I did shape them before I gave it up.

    I boiled the pieces, bent them, and then cooled them with tap water. I still have the pieces and they have retained their shape for almost a month now.

    On a side note, I found a website that claims you can weld polypropylene (trash can plastic) with a soldering iron. I haven't had time to experiment with it yet.

  8. #8

    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    Most of those trash cans are injection molded polypropelene....

    a few things about polypropelene:

    the only thing that bonds to polypropelene, is polypropelene

    the only thing that BONDS polypropelene to polypropelene, is more polypropelene.

    when you liquify polypropelene for injection molding, it will always hold its shape to which it was initially molded to.

    if you are looking at making leg pieces and such, you might call your local sing shop, or plastics wholesaler, and get some sintra (aka condensed pvc sheeting) and cutting it out, boilin it, and shaping it how you want it. Sintra will always hold its shape, and you can remold it over and over if need be.

  9. #9
    formerly joNich
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    Well...I'm actually using a bucket (just cause I had one sitting around)...so I don't think it's the same plastic as trash cans. I only heated them in the oven instead of the boiling water...but I may try that then.

    I would have cut them with the curve of the bucket going the right direction, but they were too long and there wasn't enough room on the bucket to cut them that way. So I cut them sideways around the bucket and the curve is on the horizontal when they are worn.

    I'll give the boiling a try and let you all know how it holds up.

  10. #10
    Ripcode's Avatar
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    Muskegon, Michigan
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    tubachris85x said: View Post
    From my experience with trash can armor, it appeas that it will always retain the original shape it was made as.
    True. When people make their trashcan armor, they lay the templates on the part of the trashcan that already has the "correct" shape and contours.

  11. #11
    joshcube's Avatar
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    Actually, Sintra is expanded PVC which is different than condensed PVC. Both can be glued cut and shaped the same way.

    The only difference for armor making is that since Sintra has a foamlike core, some cells (bubbles) are collapsed every time you shape it. Reshaping it will collapse more cells and eventually change the properties of the material.

  12. #12
    I helped at SDCC '08 GCNgamer128's Avatar
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    I agree, just go buy some Sintra. It costs about $10-$30 for an 8'x8' sheet. That's a ton of material at a price that you can not beat.

  13. #13
    Michigan Jaster's Avatar
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    Re: Trashcan/bucket armor tips needed

    JoNich said: View Post
    Well...I'm actually using a bucket (just cause I had one sitting around)...so I don't think it's the same plastic as trash cans. I only heated them in the oven instead of the boiling water...but I may try that then.

    Actually, if it's the typical home improvement store 5 gallon bucket, then it's more than likely polypropylene. Having been in an injection molding shop for half of my childhood weekeds (my dad was a machine repairman, used to hang out on Saturdays), I can tell you that the material is incredibly hard to work with because of it's "memory". It has a lower melting point around 330 degrees F, but it almost need to be heated to almost 550 degrees F to get it to become liquid. Trashcan or bucket armor is good for practicing your painting skills and cutting skills, but sintra is a very nice way to go.

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