Finally getting around to making a replacement for my curved acrylic companionway hatch
. Figured I would share some pix.
Pretty simple really. Always helps to have the right tools of the job but I have done some junkyard forming in the past with a variety of heat sources and forming techniques with both acrylic
In the case of my hatch
, I had access to a CNC machine to cut the curved plywood
frames for my form. I also used a vacuum bag to laminate the face of my form, which is made from a couple layers of MDF with a final layer of masonite on top.
(Masonite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
What you see in the photos is a hot platen press with a vacuum bag on top. You start by cooking
your sheet to about 340 F before laying in the form and pulling a vacuum on the bag. Let it cool. Pretty simple.
You can see in the one photo
of the part coming out of the platen press where the heated acrylic is quite supple. That's 1/2" material.
It's nice to have access to the right tools but it ain't rocket surgery, it's just plastic. I have done some junk yard stuff so if you are ever considering a similar project
and have any questions, ask away.
I'll post some photos of the finished piece when I pick it up.