Build a Vacuum Form Table by Ralis Kahn

Front and side view of vacuum forming table made by "Ralis Kahn".  (Note the corpse on the right side of the vacuum forming table....very nice touch!)


OK here goes. I built this vacuum form to make positives of faces to pre paint appliances and take them to set. So it is large enough to do a face and neck back to the ears.

Shop Vac (I have a craftsman 6.25 horse power)
shop vac hose to hose adapter
small rectangular electric grill $23.00 at Walmart (it looks just like those
little Sunbeam tabletop gas grills)
Heavy duty cookie sheet, mine is 18"x13&1/2"
19"x13&1/2"x1/4" thick piece of plastic or Plexiglas
2 screen window frame kits
1/2 a sheet (4'x4') of 1/2" particle board or plywood
12' of 1/8" aluminum angle stock
1 tube of silicone caulk
assorted drywall screws & round head wood screws
2 Light switches with plates I use the ones that you just touch the top or
bottom not the old fashioned toggles
Matching wall socket and plate
some 14 gauge wire and wire nuts
2 pieces of 1"x4"x13" wood
(I built the machine out of what I had lying around so this is just a loose guide line for materials.)

The way it works

Vacuum forming is simply heating up sheets of plastic until they are soft and stretchy then placing it over a positive form and using a vacuum to suck the plastic tightly onto the form. I have gotten very good detail with my machine, even pore texture from life casts! I had seen more elaborate machines with tanks, vacuum pumps, check valves etc. I just wanted to test the process and it worked so well that I have been using it ever since. In fact you may have seen pieces made on my machine on The tv show Angel and music videos on MTV.

Well, let's get to it then

Props Page