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  • Board Patron

Our local glass shop used to bend plexi for us but their bender crapped out. I would like to make one to have here. If you have the plans or know where to get them shout out!

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Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

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You basically want a couple of rails down your 2 fixed sides. Between them, you want materials supports you can slide back and forth and between those supports, you want to put in your long heating elements. It's not too hard, you just have to play with the temp settings.

You can actually buy ready-to-play kits or full tables for reasonable money...

http://www.craftics.net/ShowItems.aspx?Category=86

http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=291&

The trick is setting up your jigs and forms to do precise repeats, getting good with methylene chloride and keeping some good weights and clamps around.

Here's a how-to I just found (google is your friend):

http://www.bishoptechnology.com/proj_acrylic_v2.html

Edited by YYZ
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You basically want a couple of rails down your 2 fixed sides. Between them, you want materials supports you can slide back and forth and between those supports, you want to put in your long heating elements. It's not too hard, you just have to play with the temp settings.

You can actually buy ready-to-play kits or full tables for reasonable money...

http://www.craftics....spx?Category=86

http://www.tapplasti...ct.php?pid=291

The trick is setting up your jigs and forms to do precise repeats, getting good with methylene chloride and keeping some good weights and clamps around.

Here's a how-to I just found (google is your friend):

http://www.bishoptec...acrylic_v2.html

the methylene chloride he is referring to here is the same product that will bond lexan together.

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  • Board Patron

Thanks Marko! I thought at one time there was a video on here of a guy making one but I can't seem to find it. I don't bend the stuff very often so I don't want to spend very much on a commercial kit.

Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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There's an acrylic shop across the street with a pro setup. I'll take a picture with my phone next time I'm over there and post it here afterwards.

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  • Board Patron

There's an acrylic shop across the street with a pro setup. I'll take a picture with my phone next time I'm over there and post it here afterwards.

Thanks!

Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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  • Board Patron

There's an acrylic shop across the street with a pro setup. I'll take a picture with my phone next time I'm over there and post it here afterwards.

Thanks!

I built a bender much like the "Pro" model in Markos 2nd link nearly 20 years ago. I bought a replacement rod-style element, then just had a sheet metal shop bend some 16 gauge galvanized into the shape (basically a flat sheet with a 1" x 1" recess in the center.

One caveat about bending plastic if you haven't done so already:

Like glass plastic will have cooling stresses after heating/bending. Rapid or uneven cooling will create cracking problems... often months later. Pressing cold metal jigs and guides against just-bent acrylic is a bad idea. We use wood as it doesn't conduct heat away from the bend, and there are felt strips on all guides, jigs, and the bender itself so the plastic doesn't contact them directly. We also throw a small blanket over the fresh bend to slow cooling. This was worked great and completely eliminated cooling-stress problems.

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A couple of hints here.

The gap between your support rails should be 3 times the thickness of the material.

If you are planning to do more than a few bends at a time the support rails need to be water cooled.

A cheap way to get short heating bars is to buy an electric bar radiator.

They have silica glass tubes with nichrome wire coils inside which heat quicker than calrods and do not buckle when hot.

When heated to bending temperature, cast acrylic shrinks about 3%.

This is what causes the cracking if you wipe the bend with any sort of solvent, even glass cleaner.

Because the fold has shrunk, any time one side of the bend is narrow, the fold will warp.

There is nothing simple you can do about this.

Greg

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  • !llumenati

hey chubby,

Nickle cadium wire, springs and a regular 120v variac. Give jimmy at EZ neon a shout, he made an 8 footer but a slightly differnt way. he said he tried to contact ya.

GOOD things happen for a reason......

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