Vacuum forming advice?

I built this vac form box and attempted to form by drilling a hole for a heat Gun. The box got up to 350F but the ABS wasn’t even close to being hot enough. Any advice? Maybe try 2 heat guns?

I think the heat gun stream is too focused, you need something more convection to heat up… that just seems a bit dangerous.

I did have a fire extinguisher standing by lol. BTW this is 1/8 inch ABS

i’m willing to bet if you pointed the gun at the ABS it would heat it enough, but its too focused in one area… and its not even pointing where the ABS is. you really need convection to heat the piece evenly all over.

I understand. I get nervous about using a heating element with wood. Is there something I could line it with that would endure the heat? I’m currently using aluminum tape.

Id be inclined to use the tried and tested old oven.

wood and heating, don’t sit well with me LOL

remember that time I tried to make a welding jig out of wood??



Heat gun won’t work. I’ve tried and failed with vacuum forming until I finally got everything dialed in correctly.

Make sure your box is super precise and that you’re not trying to form something too big. Use a GD oven. Or a smoker element like @psychotiller said. I use an oven. Put two quarters on top each other on each corner of your mold. Use only up to 1/8 Use a strong vacuum. DO NOT USE HIPS. (Waste of my time)



aluminum tape is fine. I hot glued aluminum foil to the inside of my wood box and i use an actual space heater with propane flames inside that bad boy. Just have little water spritzer near buy and you are all good. You may want to reconsider the heat gun though, i recommend a space heater + a blow torch.

ended up using two heat Guns and it worked.


Just FYI I made the my box with the heat gun so the frame fit inside it like an oven, but I’m glad you got it to work!

That’s a pretty dope alternative. 1/8? I’m looking to make a big vacuum forming machine. What do you think about stealing the elements and fans out of like 4 of them?

It may work. Harbor Freight has their 1500 watt heat guns on sale for 8.99 next weekend. And yes 1/8.

1 Like

Thanks for the heads up I will look into that

Cool former! I have been keeping a close eye on this thread, I may use the same method.

Wonder if running four of them off a single outlet will trip a breaker

Yes it will!

Where did you put the other gun ? Would you mind posting another set of pics of the successful rig? Thanks and looks great.