DoES Vacuum Former Information
A vacuum former so we can make interestingly shaped plastic things
It's a Model 917 from C R Clarke & Co. They're still going (though I doubt their phone number is still the "(0269) 2329" printed on the machine...) and have some PDFs explaining vacuum forming basics at http://www.crclarke.co.uk/products/VF/VF.html The bed size seems to be 9" x 17".
1) Place the thing (known as the 'buck') that you want to vacuum form onto the wooden platform.
2) Lower the platform as low as it will go by pulling out the round black knob at the bottom of the control panel.
3) Take the plastic and place it over the hole.
4) Lower the black metal frame and use the orange handled clamps to lock it down tight onto the plastic.
5) Lower the heater over the top and turn it on full.
6) Watch through the side. As the plastic heats up it will begin to sag. It is ready to form when it sags between 30 and 45 degrees down into the hole. This should take between 6 and 12 minutes depending on the thickness of the plastic. If you notice the plastic bubbling at the corners reduce the heat a little.
7) When the plastic is ready turn the vacuum on and raise the platform hard up into the plastic. Lift the heater up and keep the vacuum on until the plastic cools into shape.
8) Blowing can help release the plastic from the buck. Unclamp the metal frame and lift the plastic off. You can use a flathead screwdiver and/or some baby oil to help release the buck.
9) Have fun and don't be upset if the first one doesn't work - its like making pancakes, you have to get a feel for it first.
We've found these suppliers of consumables (please add any more you find/use):
Technology Supplies http://www.technologysupplies.co.uk/materials/vacuum-forming-sheets.html Used by some of the Cambridge Makespace crew, particularly for the food-grade plastic to let you make Easter egg moulds...