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Old 13th June 2006, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default Strip heater to bend acrylic????????

Hey all Im at a loss here. I need to know if anyone here knows how to make a strip heater to bend acrylic( plastic) like the kind that are used in highschool shop classes to make the cheesy picture frames. Id rather not spend 200.00 on one thats prebuilt. But I cant seem to find anyplace online that talks about how to go about building one. I can find " strip" heaters on ebay but they are 1" wide or wider and I really need one thats" just like the shop class one" where its around 12" long and maybe 1/4 inch wide. If I recall correctly the strip heaters that I used in the past in shop( 10+ years ago) were a solid bar for a heating element. Thanks for any help.
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Old 13th June 2006, 04:20 PM   #2
Duo is offline Duo  Canada
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How about the coil element from a clothes dryer? They usually have ceramic standoffs inside which would help you as well.
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Old 13th June 2006, 05:24 PM   #3
dnsey is offline dnsey  United Kingdom
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I agree that a domestic appiance element of some sort is the way to go. I seem to recall that 'bendable' sheathed elements are available to replace obselete styles, which might be ideal, but otherwise a look through the stock of your local appliance spares store should turn up something to suit.
An alternative would be the quartz-glass enclosed radiant elements for space heaters, but they are quite fragile.
personally, I'd use some sort of sheathed element - a bare nichrome coil will no doubt work, but is none too safe
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Old 13th June 2006, 05:31 PM   #4
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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How about a long element from an electric water heater?

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Old 13th June 2006, 05:33 PM   #5
BillH is offline BillH  United States
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Quote:
I really need one thats" just like the shop class one" where its around 12" long and maybe 1/4 inch wide.
Try searching the net for 'Calrod'.

Here's an Ebay Auction that may be what you're looking for.
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Old 13th June 2006, 05:40 PM   #6
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
the modern cheap benders have left using the shrouded heater and gone for the bare wire.

I suspect they are nichrome wire run from a small low voltage transformer.
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Old 13th June 2006, 09:50 PM   #7
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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When I was a kid, I bent acrylic by heating it under the kitchen grill when my mum was out. I screened bits I didn't want to heat with cooking foil.
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Old 13th June 2006, 09:53 PM   #8
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Maybe running a paint stripping hot air gun up and down the wanted bend will do it?
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Old 13th June 2006, 11:36 PM   #9
Wombat2 is offline Wombat2  Australia
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Quote:
Originally posted by EC8010
When I was a kid, I bent acrylic by heating it under the kitchen grill when my mum was out. I screened bits I didn't want to heat with cooking foil.

What he said ! except I used the oven. I was making a simple box cover for a turntable and laid the sheet over a block of wood the the width I wanted and let the overhang each side droop down as it softened in the heat. Finished off with a block of wood each side to hold in place while it cooled. Glued a front and back on and it is still in good condition today some 35 years later !!
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Old 13th June 2006, 11:49 PM   #10
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richie,

I have done it with a hot air gun but it's hard to control the area covered, and it got a bit of distortion in it too.
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