Wednesday, May 28, 2014


If you've read my blog for a bit, or read the Moped Army forums, you may recall that I was producing a clear flywheel cover for the Puch moped. Having gone to school for Industrial Design, I took a section in Vacu-Forming and was able to produce my first flywheel cover specific vacu-former in about a day.

                 It was made out of bondo and masonite primarily. The biggest struggle was removing the formed acrylic off the 'buck'. I tried a number of lubricants and coatings but always ended up prying on the thing and wrecking a few formed pieces in the process. After one frustrating day where I damaged the original,  I began on a totally new vacu-forming rig. The custom buck was cast in a massive block of JB Weld with a wooden core and perforated in key locations to allow for good air flow & forming. The box was made of 3/4in. plywood and the buck sat on a threaded assembly that pulled the buck into the body of the vacu-forming to pop the formed polycarbonate loose. The new rig was an enormous improvement over the first one.

Underside View:

Buck dropping into the Vacu-Former:

The frame that I used to hold the acrylic and then polycarbonate in the oven has been the same since the beginning. It's a modified metal picture frame, even using the original clips to hold the plastic in position. After much experimenting, I devised a metal shield that guided the plastic as it began to soften and expand in the oven's heat.

With formed polycarbonate still attached:

A few weeks ago I was waiting in line at my local TAP Plastic store and thumbing through a book on Vacu-forming and it said something like "Polycarbonate is the most expensive and difficult plastic to Vacuform with the narrowest workable temperature range and prone to failure." and I thought to myself, NO SHIT. Even with a stop watch and digital thermometer Vacu-forming clear plastic is a big ole pain in the dick.

If you have questions about this process, feel free to ask. I probably know more about this junk than any regular person ought to.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Burnout Day

So the Team Nerdspeed support vehicle needed new tires. The day before the new meats were to be attached happened to be MLK jr. Day, so it became Martin Luther Burnout Day. A time of reflection and celebration.

I think Cricket looks very pretty with her new boots.