Buck / Mold Suggestions? (for vacuforming)


ShocKWavE

Well-Known Hunter
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.
 

TD4242

Active Hunter
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
 

ShocKWavE

Well-Known Hunter
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.
 

clonesix

Active Hunter
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.
 

MandoMan

Active Hunter
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. :lol:
 

clonesix

Active Hunter
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.
 

Hammer of Might

Active Hunter
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. :lol:

I've actually bought some there, it was firing clay I think, but It worked for what I wanted.
 
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