"Moulding-machine" and how to work with it

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by Mindaugas, May 31, 2005.

  1. Mindaugas

    Mindaugas Member

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    Hello Friends,

    I will show my "moulding-machine" and how it works, because many members from www.kartonbau.de asked me to do this in the topic of Mi-17 review. Later I will post that review of Mi-17 in this forum. It's going to be a very long post.. :rolleyes:

    There are two versions of word "mold": mold = mould. I told this in order not to misundestand you!

    So the idea of this "moulding-machine" I took from some kind of shop that sells moulding equipment and other stuff (I don't remember how that shop is called...). This machine I made at my grandfathers garage in 3 hours. It is extremely easy and I recommend to make this machine for all of you, if you need aircraft cockpits offcourse :). I made some schemes and then I cut out all parts from plywood with my hand fretsaw :).

    Hand fretsaw:

    [​IMG]

    Then I cut out that large hole for connection of vacuum-cleaner. I also cut it with the hand fretsaw. Then I sanded the edges and covered them with the thick layer of white glue for sealing. And without waiting the glue to dry, I've nailed the box :). All the edges are hermetic because of white glue :). Then I drilled some holes on the top. Later I've attached the rubber part cut-out of the used onetime bag for vacuum cleaner :) (the part on the big hole). It helps to make whole "moulding-machine" to be more hermetic...

    Then I made double frames, which will hold the plastic. They are connected with 4 screws on each corner. Those frames are also cut-out from plywood with the hand fretsaw... :rolleyes:

    The "moulding-machine":

    [​IMG]


    So thats all about the machine. Now lets continue to the work process.
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    Work process

    The main idea is to make a mould according to the parts given by the magazine, and then to mould plastic cockpit from that mould form.

    All this process was made, when my mom was not at home. She would be upset with my useage of the oven :p

    As I am currently making SR-71 with simple cockpit, I don't need any moulded cockpits at the moment, but I made an example for you to watch.

    First of all, I made a normal part of cocpit from paper. Everything that was given in magazine. The important issue is to put connectors outside of the part, not inside. Inside connectors will affect the shape of the mould!!!! This is not good :).
    Some models doesn't offer the shapes for cockpits. They only give the parts with the window frames. So in this case you just copy those parts with window frames on white paper, and then assemble the cockpit form normally.

    Smooth inside:

    [​IMG]

    Connectors are outside:

    [​IMG]

    I use simple plaster, used for building houses :)

    [​IMG]

    Then I mixed up some plaster with water. And then I put that plaster into these paper parts. Be sure not to make that plaster too thin or you will ruin the part. (It happened to me today, when I was making an example to show for you). But if the plaster is too thin, do not leave it to dry for too long!!!! It dries extremely quickly (2-4 minutes)... or then you will have to mix a new portion of it :D :D

    [​IMG]

    So as I ruined my part I made some kind of mould with my hands.. :rolleyes:
    Then I have sanded it. It is very important step, because every nub and rough will be seen on the moulded plastic!!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So then I put a sheet of plastic into the frames of "moulding-machine". The best plastic to use, is a simple platic used for old-generation presentation equipment (nowadays presentations are being presented with modern multimedia stuff). You know what I mean...
    This plastic is very good, because after moulding process it remains clear!

    [​IMG]

    Caution: Use protective gloves, because you will work with items of high temperature!

    [​IMG]

    Before work I prepare the kitchen. I bring the "molding-machine", frames with plastic, vacuum cleaner, a couple of billets and the mould. Then I connect and prepare everything.

    It is better to use electric oven, but it is also very good with the gas oven (mine is gas-oven :) ). So then I heat the oven up to the 200 degrees of Celsius. On my oven it is 7th stage of 8.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I put in the plastic and wait for about 2 minutes. The plastic edges, that sticks out of the frame should be wrinkly and the plastic, that is inside frame should be a bit hollow.

    [​IMG]

    And then I put the mould on the "moulding-machine". I use small "lego" piece to lift up the mould.

    [​IMG]

    After that I quickly pull out the frames with hot plastic and press them to the "molding-machine". Then I turn on the vacuum-cleaner with my leg and wait for 3 seconds. Then I immediately turn-off the vacuum-cleaner. The plastic will cool in seconds and it is important not to overheat your vacuum-cleaner.
    Before this process I've removed the dust bag from vacuum-cleaner in order to get better thrust. (Dust inside the bag will reduce the thrust :D).

    [​IMG]

    Thats all. Then I unscrew the frames:

    [​IMG]

    And finally I cut out the needed plastic.

    Whuolla! The results. I hope you will know where to use such part :D. I didn't get very smooth surface, because I haven't sanded it properly...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is how the nice turrets can be made:

    [​IMG]

    Note: Making small to medium cockpits, everything is easy and without unneeded wrinkles. While larger cockpits may get wrinkly. So I suggest to make bigger cockpits from two pieces, so that way they won't get wrinkly. And you just make the cut between those pieces, where the cockpit opens or where are some window-frames, that will cover it.

    So I hope this helped you. I suggest for everyone to make such a "moulding-machine", because it is very easy and it is very very good and useful tool.

    Thats all. Good luck! ;)
    --
  2. Texman

    Texman Guest

    Thanks for the pictoral Mindaugas. Just a couple of other things
    to add. You can also use Sculpey, a modelling clay that is hardened
    in the oven to take the place of the plaster. You just have to be
    gentle placing in the canopy. Also, after molding and cutting out
    the canopy, use an old trick. Dip the canopy in Future floor wax (for the
    U.S. folks) or whatever clear acrylic coating your local markets
    carry. This gives the canopy a crystal clear, blemish free look.
    Just dip it in the acrylic, and set it on a paper towel or napkin to
    drain. Cover with some type of bowl or such item to keep the
    dust off until dry, usually a couple of hours.

    Hope it works as well for you,

    Ray