Author Topic: Crow begins...  (Read 5852 times)

Mitchell

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Crow begins...
« on: April 17, 2011, 10:28:05 PM »
I'll start off by saying that when I started these bots, I had only intended to buy a couple of kits and assemble them. The more I searched for good kits and parts, the more interested I became with the idea of starting from scratch. Instead of looking for replica parts, I shifted my search to finding real parts with the intention of molding, casting and vaccuforming copies myself so that I could then make as many bots as my heart desires (which has quickly gone from 3 to about 10. LOL). I didn't have much luck finding parts myself save for a whole bag of Crown pins, but I've been lucky to have several friends who have all been collecting parts for years but have never gotten around to building their bots. They were all more than willing to loan their parts to me to make molds from in exchange for replicas once I was done so that they wouldn't have to destroy their originals. I guess you could say I cheated by not tracking everything down myself, but at the end of the day, they helped me and I'm helping them so everyone's happy. LOL  ;D

With that said, here's the first progress of Crow's humble beginnings...


I was loaned a real Schwartz Bros. soap dish (as well as the Servo parts you see) to vaccuform and then make a plaster buck from that pull.


Successful pull on the first try! A couple of wrinkles(got my plastic a little too hot) but those can be sanded out of the plaster no problem.




Hydrocal bucks fresh from the original pulls. Still need to be cleaned up and refined.

I didn't get to take and photos over the last couple of build days, but I do have the soap dish buck cleaned up and mounted to it's base now. Will be making more progress tomorrow :)
I think there might be a potato cake in here.

SynaMax

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 11:16:32 PM »
Looking great!! :D  Will you be making a backplate for Crow's soap dish too?

Mitchell

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 11:18:44 PM »
Yes, actually! I'm going to have styrene plates laser cut.  :)
I think there might be a potato cake in here.

SynaMax

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 11:23:14 PM »
Awesomesauce! Can't wait!

Ron

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 08:58:03 AM »
Nice work!

Mitchell

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 06:54:53 PM »
Here's a photo of the finished buck



And the first five pulls. They came out great  :)
I think there might be a potato cake in here.

Ron

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 10:21:32 PM »
Mayhaps some pictures of your vacuform rig, and info for interested parties? ;)

Mitchell

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2011, 11:41:58 PM »
I did indeed take pics of the rig. I just didn't have time to post them before I left the house earlier. My apologies. Here they are now  :)


The box is 24'' x 24''. Constructed out of a 2x4 for the side walls, 1/4'' plywood for the bottom and pegboard for the top. All joints are sealed with 3M "Shurtape" to ensure a good vacuum seal.


3/4'' weatherstripping is placed around the sides(right along the edge of the tape) to create a seal when you push the frame down that contains the plastic sheet.


I have two different sized frames: 22'' x 22'' and 15'' x 15''. The 22'' x 22'' fits right on top of the weatherstripping on the box. For the 15'' x 15'' frame, I have a masonite insert that fits perfectly inside the 22'' X 22'' weatherstrip square. This has a 15'' x 15'' square of pegboard in the center with weatherstripping surrounding it. Previously I would apply the weatherstripping directly to the main box(as you can see by the adhesive residue left over) and duct tape over the parts of the pegboard that were on the outside of the weatherstripping. The insert saves a lot of time and effort. LOL


There's a single 1'' hole cut into one side of the box that a 6.5 HP Shopvac is plugged into. Duct taped around the edges of the adapter for a little bit more of an airtight seal.

Pretty simple little set up, but it does the job pretty damn well  :)

As for the the process itself, there's not a lot to it, either. I have a dedicated standard household oven that I heat my plastic in at around 350 degrees. You cut your styrene or ABS to the proper dimensions for the frame you're using, insert it in the frame, screw the frame together (I usually put one screw in the center of each side. This helps keep the plastic in place as it's heating. Sometimes it can get too hot and actually pull out of the edges of the frame if you're not careful) and stick it in the oven. I use plain red bricks stacked up to lift the frame to about the middle of the oven. This gives you plenty of room for the plastic to sag. Once it's got the right amount of sag, pull it out, set it down over your buck and onto the weatherstripping and then hit the switch on the vacuum and watch the magic happen :)

There's plenty of tutorials online for building your own table and how-to's on the process itself. It's a lot of fun! And pretty inexpensive to start! Not counting the shopvac, I thinK there's maybe $45-$50 worth of materials in the box and two frames. And a 4' x 8' sheet of plastic, depending on the thickness, should cost you anywhere between $20-$40.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 11:44:38 PM by Mitchell »
I think there might be a potato cake in here.

Derek

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2011, 11:58:05 PM »
Thanks for all the info on vaccuforming. I attempted my own table once. Got a few decent results but gave up. Thanks to this info, I think I have the drive to give it another shot.

Thanks again!!

-Derek

Mitchell

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2011, 12:30:39 AM »
No problem! It's a pretty easy process once you get the kinks worked out.

Any questions you might have, just give me a shout. Happy to help any way I can :)
I think there might be a potato cake in here.

Ron

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2011, 09:50:26 AM »
Thanks for the pictures!

SynaMax

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2011, 11:42:02 AM »
Yeah, thanks a lot for the pics!!  That vacuumform rig looks so much easier to make other ones that I've seen online.

Mitchell

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2011, 11:58:15 PM »
Not much of an update, but I finally got around to trimming out a soap dish and making a back plate for it
I think there might be a potato cake in here.

Derek

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Re: Crow begins...
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2011, 11:08:01 AM »
That looks great! Better than any soap dish vacuform I ever pulled... kept getting those plastic folds all over the place. Top-notch work!

-Derek