Although I could have built one, I took the easy way out and bought a pre-made vacuum form table. I decided it really came down to time or money... and since my time is pretty limited, I couldn't spare the several weekends it would have required to make one. My table was purchased from here: http://www.WidgetWorksUnlimited.com/Vacuum_Formers_s/35.htm
I got the 12x18 model, which is just loverly for my needs ^_^
My hubby was really against me using the house oven to heat plastic (nothing like eating all those carcinogens the plastic vapors would leave behind!), so we built a portable oven. Nope, I didn't break a toaster oven or oven range for my plastic oven, I got some real current producing coil and made what can only be described as a "bake" box. I got the 110 volt coil at Workshop publishing: http://www.build-stuff.com/
You must buy his vacuum form table instructions on order to get the heat element kit, but it is so worth it. Maybe in the future I will make a single vacuum form table with attached heating element, but for now, I have two separate pieces ^_^ Glee!
Now... for my first table test!
Here's the Vacuum form table; pretty straightforward... put hot plastic on and turn on vacuum.
Here's the oven box... as you can see, it's got a coil of conductive wire running along the inside of the fire retardant board which is inside a galvanized metal box. That box is set in a wooden frame. The switch and plug on the side are wired to the element. When the oven is "On" the light turns on. The plug is for the shop vacuum (this is so the oven is not on while the vacuum is on - you don't want to pop a breaker!).
I'm using black ABS plastic 1/8" thick. It's sandwiched between two metal frames that are held in place with bulldog clips.
Leather gloves are on... we are GO for a test pull!
Omg.... the plastic is sagging! It's so exciting! We're ready for vacuum forming!
Here's my male mold ready to go...
Plastic is on.. vacuum is vacuuming.
Success! The head was cut out with a dremmel. It needs some touch ups still, but I'm proud of my first cast!
Whee! Oh Vacuum form table... so wonderful! We are going to have so much fun. 0_o Ah the cosplay possibilities!