Making your own Vacuum Forming set up CHEAP

Enclosures for sale.

1 Like

if you want fake carbon fibre look on a box that’s easy.
I did these battery packs in carbon film.

doing the same thing to the ABS box wouldn’t be hard.


Have you tried different plastics with this method? Just wondering about acryllic because it comes in multiple colors and also in clear and color tinted clear. ITs probably tough enough for this application, right?

If I was going to do a floor model, something to build and take to events for display, i’d likely want to use a clear or tinted box so you could see the guts, possibly with a mirror film applied to the deck below the box.

I tried acrylic one day because I found a sheet for 4 bucks. It worked, but it was really brittle. I agree it would be cool for say a lighted display on a showroom floor, but I don’t think it would last long on a board.

Tried Lexan (clear) today and it didn’t work for many reasons.


@psychotiller I’m very interested in how this failed because i have some lexan sitting around waiting for a project. Got any pics of melty plastic?

I couldn’t get it to a glass like state without it bubbling. Even when it bubbled up it still wasn’t ready to form. I’ll snap a picture for you tonight.

I sort of ran into the same problem when i was slumping some lexan for an art project. I thought it was because i was using too much heat since i was using a mapp gas torch at a distance (i didn’t have a good heat gun at the time) but maybe its just the way the plastic is. Looking forward to the pics!

Also, I’m on the hunt for colored ABS. Seems like the only places i can find it only have it in black or white, but i know it can be colored and even clear. Hell they make tail lights out of the stuff and tail lights are tinted clear.

I have found black white gray red and green in 3mm, found c.f. too but it was way too thin.
Look on eBay

1 Like

in your experience is 3/16th too thick? is 1/8th inch or 3mm ideal?

3mm = ~1/8th inch
~4.5mm = ~3/16thinch

3/16 will work. The thing is though, it is a lot harder to trim and your enclosure will be super heavy. Flex will definitely be an issue too. There’s no way it will conform, so you’d have to make a perfect mold to match the concave of your build.


Oh wow. Yeah that didn’t work too well at all. Too bad the shape didn’t form though because the bubbles would have looked really cool with some LEDs in the box.

I’m working out a process in my head that would let me use the deck as the vacuum table without destroying it with holes. I think it can be done. That would allow you to mold to the concave of the deck being used resulting in a perfect box for the deck. Only downside is that if people wanted you to do this for them they’d have to mail you their deck. lol

If I nail down the process though I’ll share it with you. Its something i’m going to need to be able to do before I can build the quality of customs that I want.

That would be an awesome achievement!

just ordered some ABS from ebay. Hopefully I can talk my wife into letting me borrow the oven in the kitchen to droop some plastic in. Wish me luck!

I also just ordered a blank longboard deck from a skate supplier on ebay, but that’s another thread. I will say that it has an ideal wheelbase for the space cell and its 9ply rock maple which means that a decent sized cavity can be routed out of it. its a crazy bullet shape with deep wheel wells but no kicktail, reminds me of one of bustin’s DH boards. All of that is to say that the plan is to vac mold a sleek, low profile box for it while using the deck as the vac table if possible.

Haha nice! I’m looking forward to your build thread.

Isn’t it dangerous to heat up the abs in an oven used for food? I know @psychotiller 's oven is ONLY used for his vacuum forming setup.

That’s a good point, i’ll have to look into that. I know cooking food in plastic is bad, and having food in there with plastic is bad, but i don’t know if having just plastic in there is bad for food that’s in there later when there’s no plastic around. Of course there is the risk of ruining the oven if it melts too much and gets all over. But then again the oven is already on its way out anyway, maybe i can help it along and get a nicer one… hehehe)

1 Like

i spent most of the holiday weekend getting a good start on my vac table setup so i can make boxes specifically for my decks.

I made a form for the boxes using part a blank deck i pressed. i drilled a million holes.

then i made a table for the whole thing complete with an oven box. I’m going to get a toaster oven and tear it down for the heating element and controls, then line the box with foil and put the element there.

hoping to finish it up this week and start tasting it out. I would have been on this a lot sooner except i stopped to have an affair with fiberglass.

if i can get this done and working i’ll have Scarlet deck and box combos for sale on my site along with @psychotiller 's boxes that fit regular concave decks a bit more snugly.