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 Shaping Sterilite Plastic

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Shaping Sterilite Plastic
« on: Aug 13, 2013, 04:38 PM »
Hey everyone! This is my first time posting, and I had a question I was hoping someone more experienced could help me with. I've been obsessed with Mando's since I was in the 7th grade, and just recently found this forum. I'm 17 now and thought I may as well start a kit. I've followed the direction of the dirt cheap tutorial, cutting plates from the sides and top of Sterilite storage tubs. I heated them using the oven and dunked them in ice water immediately after I tried shaping them. The problem I'm having is they begin losing their shape almost immediately. I've tried over shaping them, but I've had no luck. Anyone got any advice. Much appreciated!

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Re: Shaping Sterilite Plastic
« Reply #1 on: Aug 13, 2013, 08:42 PM »
Welcome to the forums! :)

I am also using Sterilite for some of my pieces right now, except I'm using a heat gun. I have some pieces that retain the shape I want them to, and others that just keep flattening out. I've found that the ones that are flattening out are the bigger ones, which I've rested lying down. I've gotten better success "standing" them up or tying them into shape with something and leaving them overnight. You have to be sure you're holding them overshaped for several minutes until they're cool enough to touch without gloves (I don't use cold water, though). They also seem to generally hold their shape once I've got primer and spray paint on them.

Even still, they'll soften back to their original shape eventually. Honestly, Sterilite is a tough material to work with because it's made to retain the original shape it had. Great for beginning kits to learn, but not the most preferred.

Another cheap way you might consider is looking up local sign shops (like FastSigns) and asking them for Sintra scraps. Sintra is so much easier to work with. I got a stack of scraps big enough to make a set of basic plates from my local sign shop for $5, although you can usually get them to give it to you for free.

Re: Shaping Sterilite Plastic
« Reply #2 on: Aug 14, 2013, 07:32 PM »
When shaping sterilite, the only thing I've found that works consistently is a heat gun, and even then, when you heat a piece, it will typically bend away from the gun. The spot you heat, will soften and allow the other side of the sterilite to 'pull' the edges down. So it kind of works opposite to what you think it would. Anyways, I hope this helps.

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