Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

  1. #1
    ShocKWavE's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2002
    From
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,096

    Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    Hello everyone,

    I have decided to up my skills a bit and try my hand at vac forming. I've been working on a table with an approximately 18" x 12" workable area. I've been reading a lot of information about it, but wanted to get a fresh reply as to suggested materials for form off of.

    I am leaning towards the method of starting with a clay, forming, and then refining from there. I intend to begin with the sandtrooper radio panel, so tool suggestions are welcomed as well for the shaping.

    Locally, I have Michael's and Blick Art Materials as suppliers (likely more actually in San Diego).

    Can anyone recommend specific materials? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    I'm working on one of those right now. I'll try to get some pictures for you. Basicly I am useing MDF and some plastics. Cut each piece to the size I want then throw the whole thing as is right no the table.

    Once pulled I will use that to make a resin copy which will be my main production mold.

    -Bill

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jul 2006
    From
    O'Fallon, Illinois the STL
    Posts
    579

    Re: Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    chavant clay. You'll have to order via phone, but they have the best stuff imo.

  4. #4
    ShocKWavE's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2002
    From
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,096

    Re: Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Pics would be great. I would be concerned with plastics crushing under a vacuum. Are they solid or durable shapes? I'll probably pick up a bit of MDF (and a nice mask) and test it out. Are you using a dremel with it?

    I looked into Chavant a bit. There are several types. Should I use one of the industrial hard clays or are any fine? A local distributor carries the Chavant Le Beau Touche.

  5. #5

    Re: Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    If this is your first try at vacu-forming, then may I suggest starting off simple. You can buy 50 lbs of water based clay for $10. It is much easier to work with than Chavant clays.

    The properties of the water clay will vary as it loses moisture. It is very soft and pliable when it comes out of the bag; that makes it easy to shape. If left open to the air, it will begin to lose moisture and become harder. As it becomes harder, you will be able to get better detail and crisper lines.

    You will be able to get 1 good vac pull from the clay; that pull should be used as a form into which you pour stone, or fiberglass for a permanent mold.

  6. #6

    Re: Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    Not to steal the thread or anything, but I have a quick (and probably stupid) question. Where can a 50 lb bag of water based clay be bought? I'm guessing not a local store like Hobby Lobby? Because I don't think I've seen a 50 lb bag of clay there.

  7. #7
    ShocKWavE's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2002
    From
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,096

    Re: Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    Thanks clonesix, helpful info (and respect to your work btw).

  8. #8

    Re: Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    ShocKWavE said: View Post
    Thanks clonesix, helpful info (and respect to your work btw).
    Certainly welcome, and good luck on your vacuforming.



    Water clay, the same kind you used to make ashtrays with in kindergarten, can be bought at ceramic stores. Just look in the local Yellow Pages under ceramic. You can also purchase it (expensively) at art and hobby shops. I purchase it from a manufacturer that blends many types of clays from terra cotta to porcelain. So it is cheap.

  9. #9

    Member Since
    Jul 2006
    From
    O'Fallon, Illinois the STL
    Posts
    579

    Re: Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)

    MandoMan said: View Post
    Not to steal the thread or anything, but I have a quick (and probably stupid) question. Where can a 50 lb bag of water based clay be bought? I'm guessing not a local store like Hobby Lobby? Because I don't think I've seen a 50 lb bag of clay there.
    I've actually bought some there, it was firing clay I think, but It worked for what I wanted.

Similar Threads

  1. Armor vacuforming services available...
    By Bradleyfett in forum Boba Fett Costume
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: Jan 23, 2009, 9:07 PM
  2. Best 'Bang for the Buck' JP?
    By Darth Flan in forum Boba Fett Costume
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Mar 21, 2006, 12:11 PM
  3. Vacuforming table and supplys
    By BobaFettSlave_1 in forum Prop Building Workshop
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Feb 24, 2005, 12:12 AM
  4. Armor Vacuforming Project ver 2.0
    By batninja in forum Boba Fett Costume
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Mar 5, 2004, 8:12 PM
  5. Vacuforming Moulds
    By Jango_Fett_Jr in forum Prop Building Workshop
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Apr 11, 2003, 3:20 AM
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •