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Bending acrylic?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by GAC05, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Bending acrylic?

    Anyone have any fast and easy tips for bending thin clear acrylic sheet?
    The stuff we have is about 1/8".
    I need to bend it back on it's self 180 with a nice tight line 17" long.
    This to make an 11x17 document holder to go on a bulletin board.

    I heated some scrap acrylic with a gas torch while pulling the piece down around a length of bailing wire stretched between 2 struts on my weeding table.
    It worked but I am not sure how consistent I'm gonna be between each one.
    I need to make just 8 but they will be displayed side by side on a single board so they have to end up looking about the same.

    thanks

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
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  2. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    AAG made an acrylic bender pretty cheaply, I'll see if she will comment here for you !
     
  3. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    We use a Plastrip Heater. You plug it in, lay it on the acrylic, it heats it and you bend it...nothing to it.
     
  4. Air Art Girl

    Air Art Girl Very Active Member

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    I was bending acrylic last night. I got an element strip from Tap Plastics and made a heater of my own.

    As far as making the pieces all the same, make sure they are all cut even. Get the plastic hot enough to make the tight bend, bend it and line up the edges. You can use a cold wet rag to help cool the plastic more quickly or just hold it until it cools and stays in place.

    Here is a video that may help you.
    http://www.tapplastics.com/info/vid...indowsmedia&PHPSESSID=20100215184919173873939
     
  5. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Nice,
    thanks guys an girls.
    No stip heaters here - have to go take a look a Home Depot and see what might work as a substitute.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  6. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Another option, if it needs to be tight is:

    --12" x 17" acrylic clear panel face.
    --paint (or vinyl) a 5/8" header and footer (second surface)
    --use a little less than 1/2" vhb or foam tape to create a cavity
    --attach it to a 12 x 17" backer.

    Slip 11 x 17 inset in place.
    You can use a post-it note to pull the page out once it is inserted.
     
  7. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Acylic, use a torch and a break. Ever thought of using polycarb, we bend that in our break all the time for go-kart bodies with NO heat. It will hold a bend and NOT shatter.
     
  8. Wes Phifer

    Wes Phifer Member

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    With the poly you could use the really thin stuff. .040 or so. It would bend easy in a break like mosh said.
     
  9. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    1/8" is what we have used.
     
  10. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Mosh you can bend 1/8" polycarb back on it's self 180 without heat and it won't break?
    I found some lexan polycarb sheets .093" at H-depot the right size for this job.
    No strip heater there, I wonder if I can use a water heater element with a rheostat to control the temp.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  11. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Update
    I took the heating element out of a busted heater gun, fixed the breaks,
    stapled it to some plywood and gave it a go.
    Works as advertised - bends pretty clean & fast - just have to kill the power before the wood catches fire.
    I have some nomex cloth that I can use to keep the heat off the wood.
    I'll run around tomorrow and see if I can find a safer (insulated) heating element to use.

    Thanks all
    this looks like it will be a little easier that I figured.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
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