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Vacuform Canopies - How do you make your bucks?

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  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Vacuform Canopies - How do you make your bucks?
Posted by cbaltrin on Friday, January 7, 2022 6:34 AM

I am looking for advice on making bucks for Vac Canopies. 

I have a Micro Mark Vacuform machine that has been basically gathering dust since I bought it 8 or 8 years ago and I want to pull it out of moth balls. Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks.

On the Bench: Too Much

  • Member since
    January 2020
Posted by Space Ranger on Friday, January 7, 2022 8:36 AM

I haven't done it in some time, but when I did, I cut profiles, x-sections, and plan views from sheet styrene and assembled them to make a sort of "egg crate." I then filled the spaces with Milliput and sanded everything to shape once the Milliput had cured. I then primed it and sanded it again, repeating it as necessary until it was smooth.

The old-fashioned alternative is to carve a master from balsa or basswood and apply several coats of sanding sealer, sanding between coats until satiny smooth.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, January 7, 2022 8:41 AM

cbaltrin

I am looking for advice on making bucks for Vac Canopies... 

Please excuse my ignorance, but what's a "buck" in the context of vacuforming?  I've never heard the term before.  Is it the master, the form you use to shape the piece?

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Friday, January 7, 2022 12:25 PM

Baron, your assumption is correct.

To the OP, don't use CA glue to seal wood bucks, as it will scorch when the hot plastic is pulled over it.  I had that happen to me.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, January 7, 2022 12:36 PM

Note that the vac part will pick up the tiniest imperfections in the master, or "buck".

I've never owned a vac form machine, just have done some plunge molding.

But for instance, if you are using a craked canopy as a master, the crack will show unless you sand it out.

 

Useful skill, show how it comes out.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, January 7, 2022 5:43 PM

Real G

Baron, your assumption is correct.

To the OP, don't use CA glue to seal wood bucks, as it will scorch when the hot plastic is pulled over it.  I had that happen to me.

Thanks, G!  The context suggested it, but like I said, I'd never heard the term before.

To the question, I've used 2-part epoxy putty to make my masters, so far.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, January 7, 2022 6:20 PM

Hello!

For vacforming I found it fastest to make masters out of plaster of paris blocks (they sand pretty easily when still fresh) and then soak them with CA for hardness and final finish. Making them out of wood is also pretty fast and easy, too - it's good to cut a few "gauges" out of cardboard to see if you got the final shape yet - a kind of approach inverse to what Space Ranger proposed. In case of wood you need to watch for grain - if you're not careful with sanding it may show on the vacforms... One cool thing I found is to cover your master with a thin layer of liquid soap - do it one time and it takes care of separating the master from the formed canopy for many runs on.

Good luck with your canopies and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Friday, January 7, 2022 7:39 PM

the Baron
Please excuse my ignorance, but what's a "buck" in the context of vacuforming?

Sorry Baron, That's a term I have heard used. I supposed I should have said  master or template--or all three ... 

On the Bench: Too Much

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Friday, January 7, 2022 7:44 PM

Thanks for all the ideas guys. 

I guess I should have stated that I was looking for a method that utilizes and existing  once-piece kit canopy.  My idea was to press the kit canopy into a blob of 2-part silicone mold putty and fill the resulting mold with resin. The part that I remember giving me issues the one time I tried this was the bottom edge areas not being well defined.

Also, is using the existing canopy as master a viable option with a vac machine like the micro-mark version? I guess it would not be very smart, if you mess the thing up and did not get a good result...

On the Bench: Too Much

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Saturday, January 8, 2022 8:48 AM

I carve my patterns from basswood.  I sand with increasing grits of sandpaper.  At 600 grit, I spray clear lacquer over it, then a final sanding with 800 or 1000.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 10:05 AM

cbaltrin
 
the Baron
Please excuse my ignorance, but what's a "buck" in the context of vacuforming? 

Sorry Baron, That's a term I have heard used. I supposed I should have said  master or template--or all three ...  

Oh, no need to apologize!  I learned a new term!  Wink

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

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