Brooks Ward 3/20/17
Hi All-I'm fabricating a mount that uses a 10" OD Acrylic tube. I have the correct tube in stock, but over time it has ovalized. Does anyone have any brilliant ideas for making it somewhat round again? I was thinking of cutting circles to match the correct inner diameter, wedging it in the tube, and then using a heat gun to get it to take the round shape. I only need a 6" segment. Thanks! -Brooks
Chris Harrison 3/20/17
Brooks,Your idea is a good one. The trick is getting the heating as even as possible and this can be wickedly difficult with a heat gun. You might give it a try if you have enough tube in stock to mess up and try again. An oven will provide more even heat but you will have to watch the piece constantly and this could take some time depending on the wall thickness of the tube. You only have to heat the acrylic enough to relax the material and allow the forms to correct the problem. The heating shold never reach the point where surface distortion becomes a problem. Over heating, or the concentration of too much heat in a small area are the issues to guard against. Good luck! -Chris
Philip Brutz 3/20/17
Would using an oven give you better control?
Philip Brutz Mount Maker The Cleveland Museum of Art
Brooks Ward 3/20/17
I was even thinking of setting up some kind of rotisserie spit to put over the strip bender I have, to keep the heat even.
Jamie Hascall 3/20/17
Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Rounding Acrylic Tube? I’m with Philip on using an oven. You’re looking to try to relieve stresses that have happened over time so any sort of point heating is unlikely to fully plasticize the whole piece. The advantage is that, being passive, it is far easier to so than any other method. Once up to temperature, you can bring it out and you’ll have time to make adjustments to the circular shape. The thing I always think of when working with big tube is how scary it can be to cut. Especially on a table saw, I’ve seen a blade grab and do very nasty things. A full cradle is the safest for cutting.
Suzi McG 3/20/17
Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Rounding Acrylic Tube? I had a friend in college who had a similar problem when he left the tubing in his car on one of our lovely summer days in TX. He had luck using his oven and monitoring it carefully. On the other side of the issue ... I needed to shape a large piece of acrylic for a blanket so I used a box, a bucky pillow and my car to shape the acrylic over a couple of days. If my car was going to hit 122 in the parking lot I might as well take advantage of it. Good luck!
Addie Lutts 4/3/17
If an oven is difficult to come by, maybe an insulated box and heat lamp set up. let us know how it goes!