Monkey with a Football
Join Date: May 2005
Location: With VPN, anywhere
Model: Linux, Firewalls & VPNs
I use my butcher block table and some clear oak planks to clamp the Lexan that won't be bent to the table and to protect that part of the Lexan. I hang the bend part just off the edge of the table.
Then I use another piece of clear oak plank to protect the outer side of the bend from heat while I heat it back and forth, top and bottom with an electric heat gun. This gives me a heat channel where I want the bend to be.
You have to be patient and go slow because Lexan takes a long time (especially the 1/4" thick stuff). Once the Lexan gets pliable in the bend area, I use the hand held plank to bend the plastic in the direction I want to bend it. It will want to bubble on you as the heat gets near the bend point so don't be disappointed if that happens.
Hold the bend for about 3 or 4 minutes until it cools. Don't force it because if it didn't get there the first time you can always re-heat it for more on a second pass.
Once it develops a bend you will have a heat trap so things will happen faster the second time. Be sure to always keep the heat gun moving. Stop at all and you have instant blisters.
This is how I made my Fletchie Pod windscreen and side door cover. All of my corners blistered slightly on the inside of the bends but they were fine.
Be sure to do all your edge sanding and finishing before doing bending.
“...and the rabid dog they gave me
wasn't too much fun”