So Cunning Turtle Needed a vacuum former for a new project. Not wanting to get crazy I decided we wanted a small toaster oven sized former.
We will be trying HDPE which is a commonly found on milk and water jugs. Our oven temperature is 280F.
We will be using a ten year old toaster oven as our heat source. It's old rusty and we have a shiny new one for $20 anyway.
Vacuum tables are usually just an semi air tight box with a peg board top. Sometimes weather stripping is applied to the edges to allow a better seal when the plastic is laid on top.
Plastic Holding Frame
A lot of times these frames are made with wood like a picture frame and the plastic sheet is stapled on top. When it is formed the operator flips the sheet over.
The important thing to remember is the plastic will sag and the frame should be supported a few inches above the rack of whatever oven is used.
Some designs use aluminum channels that are binder clipped together.
Whatever the option, just remember to use oven mitts of equivalent work gloves cause this will be hot when it's pulled from the oven.
Some people use a heat gun during the drawing process for really deep draws. As the plastic is molded over the shape it will start to cool. A heat gun helps to reheat those areas.