I preferred plastic, but it quickly started looking like glass was going to be the cheapest way to go.
I had a backup plan. Recently while researching sculpting and mold-making techniques, I came across a pretty good tutorial on vacuum forming. Vacuum forming is used to suck hot plastic sheets down onto a shape, so that a thin clear plastic mold is created.
I didn't want to have to build a whole vacuum chamber, and I definitely didn't want to sacrifice our home oven to experimentation (RIP clothes dryer), but I thought this method would at least be worth exploring. I made a visit to TAP plastics on Auburn Blvd. and found their thinnest acrylic sheet.
Two 16" squares cost about $6 each and I was on my way to becoming master of my own domeing.
"I'll be back on Monday after I ruin these", I quipped as I turned to exit.
"Oh, here, practice on these", the guy at the counter offered, handing over three rectangles of scrap. Awesome! Maybe I could pull this off!
My plan was to heat up the sheets with a heat gun and have them melt into a bowl shape.
I grabbed a steel colandar and dropped the first sheet of plastic inside. I cranked up the heat gun and fired away.
I guess I've gotten used to PVC plastic melting in one minute. This took much longer, perhaps 5 minutes passed before the sheet started to droop into the bowl, folding like a won ton wrapper.
This was obviously not going to work. The plastic was bending, but not really stretching. I needed it to stretch into the bowl and stay tight against the surface of the bowl in a nice clean curve.
On my next try, I took a page from the vacuum forming tutorial: I made a jig.
I cut identical holes into two pieces of lumber and sandwiched a plastic sheet between them. I figured the only place the plastic could go was down, drooping into a nice smooth bubble.
I came back with the heat gun and it worked! I could make a little dome! Even under the gun for 10 minutes, or in the oven for 5, the plastic never got very pliant.
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Spinning Tornado Costume |
Scott's AT-ST Costume |
Balloon Hut |
Feather Pinwheel |
QR Code Costume |
Paparazzi Costume #2 |
Solid Ice Beer Caddy |
Greg's Whiplash Costume |
Lloyd Dobler Boombox Costume |
Best Costumes on the Internet |
The Money you Could be Saving with Geico Costume |
Urban Gardening |
Kindling - wooden Kindle |
Box of See's Candy Costume |
Dwight Shrute Bobblehead Costume |
The Light Sharpener - satellite dish solar cooker |
The American Idol Judges Halloween Costume |
Sudoku Costume |
The Infinite Candelabra |
Baby June, hospital childbirth |
Hero's Engine |
Devo Hats |
Dr. Octopus Costume |
Jenga Costume |
Banana Skin Coat |
California costume |
paper mache satan |
spring shoes |
metallic wings |
fire without matches |
paper mache hummingbird |
paparazzi costume |
matchstick cats |
fish costume |
ketchup packet bear |
Africa costume |
push to cross sign |
paper mache globe |
paper mache alien |
pet coffin |
paper mache Elvis
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October 16, 2009.