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 Post subject: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Nov Mon 05, 2007 11:08 pm
Posts: 2874
Location: Calgary Alberta
While doing research for what material to use for making a oval convex dial cover , I ran across this company..
I phoned them and they were very helpful in telling me what would be the best to use for forming and shaping a plastic lens for my radio.
This is the kind that you put over your chosen form and put it in the oven to melt and fit the form.
The receptionist passed me on to one of the people who had all the information I needed.
They sell different sizes and thickness of plastic. The size I was going to get was 24"" X 48""
but the shipping to Alberta was TOO MUCH, so they suggested 12" X 12" at a reasonable price
$3.76 a sheet.

For any of you who might be interested in looking into getting and doing your own plastic dial covers here is the site. I have no affiliation with the company at all.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=41606

Dan in Calgary


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Thanks for the info. Please let us know how your dial making project goes. This is something I need to learn.


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 3:07 pm 
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Interesting, thanks Dan. I had tried this a while back, but the material I bought was way too thick and didn't form well, plus it got bubbles in it when I heated it up. Maybe I'll give this a shot.

For the record, the product is Vivak® PETG sheet, in the 0.020" thickness. Webpage says forming temperature is 250°F - 320°F.

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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 3:53 pm 
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You might try Precision Plastics in Beltsville, Maryland.
6405 Ammendale Rd # A, Beltsville, MD 20705
Phone: (301) 937-1317

http://www.PrecisionPlastics.com (abominable website)

Huge place with a huge selection of plastics.

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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 4:35 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
Many colleges carry that material in their bookstore, as art students use it for some of their projects. That could be an option for someone in a big city with a major college who didn't want to pay shipping for a full sheet, or needed some immediately.

You definitely don't want to use anything other than the .020, thinner has issues with tearing at sharp bends in the molds, and thicker simply won't conform to the molds properly.

I can verify that US Plastics is a good company to deal with. They are not far from here, just off I-75 in Lima, Ohio. Nearly every time I travel in that direction I make it a point to stop in their retail store to see what closeouts and specials they have that aren't available online.

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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
chaz wrote:
While doing research for what material to use for making a oval convex dial cover , I ran across this company..
I phoned them and they were very helpful in telling me what would be the best to use for forming and shaping a plastic lens for my radio.
This is the kind that you put over your chosen form and put it in the oven to melt and fit the form.
The receptionist passed me on to one of the people who had all the information I needed.
They sell different sizes and thickness of plastic. The size I was going to get was 24"" X 48""
but the shipping to Alberta was TOO MUCH, so they suggested 12" X 12" at a reasonable price
$3.76 a sheet.

For any of you who might be interested in looking into getting and doing your own plastic dial covers here is the site. I have no affiliation with the company at all.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=41606

Dan in Calgary


Dan,

Some years ago I wanted to do clear dial forming, so I built a wooden box with a pegboard top and a hole in the side for the vacuum cleaner hose. I then went to a local hobby shop and bought some clear modelling plastic there. It was 0.020" thick and is what the modellers use. I bought a 4'x8' sheet for about $30? It was about 10 years ago so I forget exactly how much it was, but it was cheaper to buy the whole sheet than to get it cut smaller. I still have a bunch here somewhere. Send me an address and I'll send you a chunk ... no charge .... I think I know where I stored it and I'll check to see if it's any good still. It's been stored in a dark place.

cheers

John


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 5:24 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
You might also try TAP Plastics. I don't think they do "slump" moulding, but they do have supplies for bending.

http://www.tapplastics.com/product/plas ... eets_rolls

http://www.tapplastics.com/product_info/videos

Do do what you want you might need vacuum forming.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Location: Westhampton, New York
Quote:
so they suggested 12" X 12" at a reasonable price


Chaz, what is the product number for the 12" x 12"?

Thanks for making this info available.


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Nov Mon 05, 2007 11:08 pm
Posts: 2874
Location: Calgary Alberta
The product number for the 12"X 12" is 44211[for the 1/16 "], and the number for the 1/8 is 44301. it cost $3.76 a sheet
Dan in Calgary


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 9:35 pm 
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Location: Latham NY
I think 1/16 (.0625) is too thick, I bought the .020 and it works nice.


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Location: NE Ohio
Been using US Plastics out of Lima for years. First class operation period.

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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 26, 2015 11:34 pm
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Location: Hurdle Mills, North Carolina
I have been making the replacement lens for years using the Vivak material, the first sheet thickness I used was the .030, it did work but I found it required a little more heat and a little longer in the oven. I now use the .020 thickness and find it makes a great replacement. The process I use is to make a mold of the shape I need and then make an outer ring out of 3/4 inch plywoods with the inside dimension about .030 larger than the mold, remember you need enough space to accommodate the material for the lens. I drill 8 or so holes in the outer ring, these holes are larger than the screws I will use to squeeze the plastic over the mold. I use springs I have scrounged from old record players or Zenith radio chassis's. I tighten the spring loaded outer ring as much as I can and then place in an oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. Once I remove from the oven I allow it to cool, usually overnight and then I trim away the excess. I will take a photo of the pieces to the process and post tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Fri 20, 2017 11:11 pm 
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Location: Latham NY
Looking forward to those pics, thanks


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Sat 21, 2017 1:19 am 
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Dan

you might want to search model airplane websites and groups...they have been doing this sort of stuff for years in making cockpits...

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Sat 21, 2017 5:07 am 
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I bought a 10 pack of 12 by12" pieces of this (# 281060116302) .020" PETG material on the bay a year ago for about ten bucks.

Do a search here for PETG, or diy dial covers. There was a post about a year or two ago about the process with pix of the results.

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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Sat 21, 2017 3:52 pm 
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Posts: 975
Location: Southwestern,Ontario Canada
I have bought from U.S. plastics as well. They are first rate. The only problem is the product is very reasonably priced, but the shipping to Canada is the killer. I have a friend with a UPS post box just over the border in Michigan (an hour away) and I have items sent there, so that I don't get screwed on having ship ANYTHING into this country. Example: a Vender will ship anywhere within the Continental U.S. for $2.50 (for some reason they consider Canada International) it becomes $32.50. I would call that a real problem. Also, you have the difference in money. $1.00 U.S. converted is now about .72 cents Canadian.
Tony


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Sat 21, 2017 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Nov Tue 18, 2014 9:18 pm
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Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Great info Chaz and others.

Vivak PETG can also be laser die cut! We have been making emergency hatch covers out of this material for years. Since none of the engineers we have been working with required thermal forming I wasn't even aware it was possible... Hmmm... I wonder what could be made using heat and light vacuum? Also I should look into what methods are required to ink this material. I know it takes screen ink well.

BTW both Tap Plastics and US Plastics are great to work with. I have no experience with precision plastics. We usually use Tap for cut poly-carbonate sheet in the thicker sizes (1" plus).

Cheers.

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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Sat 21, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 26, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 724
Location: Hurdle Mills, North Carolina
As promised yesterday here are pictures for the mold I use to make a lens for an RCA 7T radio using .020 thick Vivak. I have the shape of the lens fixed to the bottom board, I place a piece of the Vivak with the protective film still on the material over the shape and then place the outer ring over it and apply pressure by with the screws and springs pictured. In the oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Sun 22, 2017 12:50 am 
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Nice, so how many of those screws do you use?


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 Post subject: Re: A source fo thermal plastic for making dial covers
PostPosted: Jan Sun 22, 2017 12:54 am 
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Joined: Jul Sun 26, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 724
Location: Hurdle Mills, North Carolina
For the RCA I used eight, if the lens is larger or taller than the RCA I may add another screw on each side.

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