Vacuum former: update 3

An unexpected advantage to regularly posting updates is that I review my activities in a more detailed way. And so, when working on yesterday's post, I realized that I had glued the spacers on the wrong side of the platen! I rushed out to confirm my mistake, and sure enough, I had glued onto the working surface. Luckily, it turned out that the adhesive I used was terrible, and so the spacers fell right off.

So today, I cleaned off the glue residue from the platen, made some new spacers, and researched a good adhesive for attaching wood to metal. In the process, I discovered a great site called ThisToThat. You can put in two materials and it will recommend several appropriate adhesives. Between that site and some other prop building forums, the overall consensus was that J-B Weld was the right glue for the job.

J-B Weld for gluing wood to metal

J-B Weld for gluing wood to metal

I picked some up today and it is an epoxy. It comes in two tubes, one is labeled Steel and the other is Hardener. It's mixed in equal parts, however the result is much thicker than other epoxy I've used. It makes it harder to spread and so the application took much longer than I anticipated.

Flattening the platen and applying pressure to the spacers while the epoxy cured.

I use shot for adding weighing to tool handles and playing pieces, and the bag of shot weighs a good 10 to 15 lbs. This is perfect for clamping down the wooden support spacers to the platen.

The power cord to the shop vac is long, so I cut it in order to wire the vac into the controls and to provide the power cord for the entire vacuum former.

While that cured, I started work on the wiring. I cut the holes for the controls (fuse, pilot light, and 3 position toggle switch) and cut up the power and vacuum cables. I didn't get very far before I discovered some missing tools and decided to call it a night.

So, most of today was spent recovering from yesterday's mistake. I'll get back to working on the wiring in a couple of days.