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Thread: Forming Plexiglas

  1. #11

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    Mar 2012
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    Thank you for the article "Kitchen Window". It gave me a couple of ideas. I have a small forced air propane heater I use to heat my garage during the winter. I think if I made some sort of box to hold the hot air I could use it as an oven. Also I like the idea of using air to "blow" the plexiglass. That would save a lot of labor associated with making a male mold out of wood. I will have to fabricate female curves to match the curve of the top of the wing and the front and rear cross pieces, but I think that will be less work than a male mold. Blowing it also eliminate my concern for protecting the plexiglass from scratches when using the male mold. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. #12
    Neil's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    I made windshields for my Biplane using an oven that is designed for baking silk screened immages in "T" shirt shops. The process was outlined in the Acro Sport Newsletter #62. These newsletters can be accessed from the homepage of <BiplaneForum.com>
    Attachment 0007.jpg

  3. #13

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    Mar 2012
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    I am going to try to use what I have on hand to heat the plexiglass. If my little propane heater doesn't work, I will investigate the link to the ovens.

  4. #14

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    Aug 2011
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    Central Queensland coast. Australia
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    Get hold of Light Airplane Construction by Leo Pazmany. He gives a good run down on making a canopy for the PL1 and PL2.
    He recommends air heating in an oven with the sheet hanging from pressure clamps. Felt or flanel moulds should be covered in grease.
    If you can't get a copy easily. email me 355yen@tpg.com.au and I will see if I can photopy and email the relevant info to you.
    I must stress that I have never tried this process myself, at least on anything over the size of a light lens.

  5. #15
    Sirota's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    What temp do you need? Companies that do powder coating have large ovens that heat to 400 degrees. Possibly you could strike a deal with someone that would let you put your skylight in their oven?

  6. #16

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    Mar 2012
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    Hey, that is an excellent idea. I need a temp of around 300F. I will ask a couple of friends that do powder coating.

  7. #17

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    Aug 2011
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    Central Queensland coast. Australia
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    According to Pazmany temps vary dependant upon ambient temp. He gives a working time for 1/8" plexiglass of 1.5 min at 75degF and heated to 320 Deg F Going to 2.8 mins at ambient of 120 deg F. He suggests 280 to 360 deg for heating, and thinner materials need greater heat due to their quick cooling, so your project should be OK I would think at 300 deg.

  8. #18

    more bending

    I have seen a glass shop mobil service truck work with plexiglass. You've seen these trucks haul large sheets of glass, and windows on angled racks, basically
    the truck had a six foot length of schedule 40 black iron pipe approximately 2 1/2" in diameter, heated internally with a propane burner, and attached to the big rack on the truck with a couple clamps, The pipe stood vertically and was not capped. The service person fired the "bbq" burner and went about other tasks, the pipe section had an oven temp gauge, nothing too fancy,
    There was no contact between the pipe and the sheet plexi, he worked it back and forth across the heated pipe until the area he wanted the bend was "at the temperture" all this was done without jigs or molds. He had done this before, can't tell you the thickness, or temps. At the time I just found the process interesting with little thought of using this method until a shielding guard for a process that used water was damaged. Myself and a coworker used this method with the pipe in a vise with a heatgun blowing through, took a little longer but we made three bends to form a box to shield the escape of water.
    Sounds like you are just rolling one edge? to create the leading edge of your skylight? Check with a local glass shop, they may use this method and or have scrap that you can do the tests first.

  9. #19
    one other note, you can us clean window glass as a work surface

  10. #20
    gmatejcek's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    Indiana
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    Forming Plex

    Another approach is to see if the nearest A&P school has an oven for heating plex, and if they'd let you use it.

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