Building a New Vacuform Table

batninja

Well-Known Hunter
I built my first vacuform table according to the steps outlined at SC's site. The only difference was I added a layer of bottom-framed pegboard to the top, over the centered 'suck-point'. My reasoning was that it allowed air to be sucked down at different points, in case you were vaccing more than one mold at a time.

Does this make sense? Or is it possible to vac multiple molds with just the single 'suck-point'?

I'm starting my new table in a couple weeks, and wanted to see what the general consensus was before I jumped headfirst into this.
 

bigkidbiggertoys

Well-Known Hunter
Professional tables have holes spaced about every inch, so that is how I made my small table. It works well for me & I pull several small pieces at a time.
 

batninja

Well-Known Hunter
I figured as much. I used pegboard for my first one, and it seemed to work fine. I'll modify my construction plans accordingly. Thanks for the info, BKBT!
 

Rammage

Active Hunter
I also made myself a vacuum table a while ago. I drilled small holes every inch, like BKBT. Worked great! I really should use that thing again... It's been a while. :)
 

propsculptor

Active Hunter
The best Vacuform Table instructions I have seen are in the "Prop builders Molding and casting Handbook" , the only thing I would do differently is make it an overhead (or Drop-down) unit like this one:
http://www.halloweenfear.com/vacuumformintro.html I have two Vacuuformers like the Ralis Kahn version and they work Great!!

Now I just need a larger machine to make bigger pieces:)

This propbuilder made one just like Thurston James verson and it looks good:
http://www.tk560.com/vactable4.html

If you have any questions that I can help you with just PM me.
 

batninja

Well-Known Hunter
It is, kinda. My current oven is 24" wide by about 17" deep. However, I need a few extra inches to vac the Fett backplate, so I made my frames/table 24" x 22". The only glitch is I have to flip the frame around during the heating process, but it's not a big deal.

MonCal just gave me a pic of his SWEET vactable setup. I'm still collecting info for my new one. I'm having trouble finding a heating element large enough, and I'm not skilled enough to do the ceramic post version noted above. :)
 

propsculptor

Active Hunter
batninja said:
It is, kinda. My current oven is 24" wide by about 17" deep. However, I need a few extra inches to vac the Fett backplate, so I made my frames/table 24" x 22". The only glitch is I have to flip the frame around during the heating process, but it's not a big deal.

MonCal just gave me a pic of his SWEET vactable setup. I'm still collecting info for my new one. I'm having trouble finding a heating element large enough, and I'm not skilled enough to do the ceramic post version noted above. :)
You might simply email the guy who built this Vacuuformer:
http://www.tk560.com/vactable4.html

He's a member of another propboard I'm a member of and he seems like a cool guy, he might be willing to help you out. It can't hurt to ask.

The heating element he built is much cheaper than buying a heating unit that size, something like that would be Really Expensive!
 

Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Just about done mine, cost $42.

The frame:


The table:


I just need to get the shop-vac connector and some buckles to secure the frame to the table.
 

batninja

Well-Known Hunter
I emailed the guy about his vac table, awaiting a response. Although I like the compact design of the flip-top version, I'm concerned about the plastic sagging to one side of the frame as the frame is pulled across:

sag.gif


I'm guessing that the sag would cause a curved wrinkle over the mold area. Has anyone else built a setup like this? Did you have any issues?

I should be finishing up my table-top version this weekend, and will post pics once I fill some mold masters.
 

cal196

Well-Known Hunter
I thought the heating element was over the top and it droped strait down, that how the ones are built I have seen.
 

batninja

Well-Known Hunter
There are several different methods (hinged, drop-down, stove-to-table, etc). The one pictured above is from TK560's website, which he got out of the Thurston book, I believe.
 

broodmceto

Hunter
Yes, that's the design that Jim, TK560, uses. It's from the Thurston James book. I'm in the process of making one using his and the book's plans. Not too difficult so far. If you already have the tools, then the materials aren't too much. I'm almost done with the vac part. Next up, heating element....
 

phantomfett

Active Hunter
I just finished my table up a week ago, and it turned out great! I did a test pull, and it worked! My first item off the table-- a Phantom mask! :) Cool thing about my mold is that it's made from a vac pull from one of the professional Phantom masks. :) For Phantom of the Opera fans, it's equivalent to having that Boba Fett plug that Rogue Studios has. Woo-Hoo!
 
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Jimbo890

New Hunter
Hello! Jim here from www.tk560.com . I don't get over on the THD much these days, mainly due to the pressure I'm under to get my trooper armor done. I wanted to pass on some information regarding vacuum forming: I shot a video of the whole process, and wanted to give you the link: http://www.imperial-armor.com/videos.html [my new website dedicated to making your own armor] You will need Quicktime, but by now most folks have that, it comes with iTunes! Anyways, I've had pretty good luck with my machine, and have reverse engineered it from Thurston James' book. I did not go with the expensive High vac setup he suggests, and instead went with an old 3hp shop vac. It seems to work fine for the trooper project. I'm sure it would work as well with the Fett parts too.

If you have any questions regarding my vac-table or my MDF trooper molds, just email me: jegner@tk560.com .

In regards to the 'sag' from a flip frame setup. This is a non issue. The motion is fast, and the sag is not that much as to pose a problem. I've even test pulled some trooper helmets, and this is not even an issue on the face mold!

Now, get out there and make a vac-table!
 
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