I’m going to do a post on the vacuum former I have been building for the LAW project. In the longer run I’m not entirely sure what this will be used for as very few gun projects of mine have much (if any) plastic in at all. However it seemed like the sort of thing that I should have just in case. I suppose in the longer run I could use this to make custom holsters, battery cages or who knows what (If you have any projects in mind drop us a line!)
If you are unfamiliar with what a vacuum former actually is, it allows you to form simple three-dimensional shapes in plastic sheeting. There are two basic stages:
1. Heat the plastic sheet (I shall be using an IR heater unit) until slightly floppy
2. Place sheet on top of forming table (flat surface full of holes) and mould. A vacuum is created under the table and the higher pressure in the room pushes the plastic sheet hard against the mould and table.
This is going to be used to make the trigger mechanism housing on the LAW.
As you can see, this surface is covered in small holes where the air is extracted, I used a piece of MDF pegboard for this:
In future models I would also add bracing struts under this board as it does seem to flex a little when the air is extracted!
The air is extracted through a tube in the side, although it isn’t greatly pretty it provides a very satisfactory seal. This is attached to a vacuum cleaner to provide the suction.
I ran a test to see if the suction worked on a bit of plastic bin bag, I shot a short video of it sucking the air out which I think looks rather cool!
I will also be doing a post on the heater unit once that is finished.
As ever, if this post has inspired you let me know! You can contact me as ever via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.