Mount Making Using Vivak Polyester Sheets

Making a Book Mount

Step 1:

Scribing and breaking is an easy way to cut Vivak. Scribing is limited to straight cuts on thin sheets. Choose the swivel blade or heavy duty blade cutter. The sheet should first be scored using the tip of the tool and a metal straight edge as a guide. Then, the hook point of the cutting tool is placed at the far edge of material and drawn the full width while applying a firm pressure. This is repeated once for every 0.025” to 0.040 inch of sheet thickness.


Step 2:

The scribed line is then positioned face up over the edge of a table (you can also use over a ¾” diameter wood dowel running the length of the intended break). The sheet is held with one hand and downward pressure applied with the other hand on the short side of the break.


Step 3:

After cutting the sheet, it is often desirable to scrape the edges. Scraping removes any nicks or burrs, and improves the appearance of the edge by removing cutting marks. Choose the edge scraper, which features four functions in one. Not only will it remove saw marks from flat edges, it also bevels thick and thin material and will radius the edge quickly and evenly. The Vivak sheet should be held firmly in a vise or holding fixture. Scraping maybe accomplished by pushing or drawing of the tool – whichever feels more comfortable. Firm, steady pressure should be used throughout the scraping process. Care should be taken to keep the scraper edge square.

Step 4:

Vivak becomes soft and pliable when heated, and can be formed into almost any shape. As it cools, it will harden and retain the formed shape. To bend a sheet along a straight line, it is best to use an Acrylic Sheeting Bending Strip, which will heat only the narrow area that has to be formed. By using a strip heater, you will not only save time, but you will also obtain better results. Because the sheet stays cold (with the exception of the narrow heated area in the center of the strip) both sides of the angle will remain flat and not show any distortions. Please note that bowing can result form uneven heating or uneven cooling. Pieces longer than 24” will also have a tendency to bow.

The strip heater is placed over the sheet of Vivak or acrylic (up to ¼” thick). Remove a 1” strip of the masking film on both sides of the sheet where the bend is to be made. Place the Vivak on a heat resistant work surface with the bending strip on top of the sheet. Another piece of heat resistant material is placed over the heater to keep it in contact with the Vivak. Be sure there is continuous contact between the heater and the acrylic. Plug in the heater and heat the Vivak until it is soft enough to bend without having to apply excessive pressure. This could take up to 30 minutes for ¼” thick material, lesss for thinner material.

Step 5:

Use a heat gun to facilitate bending of Vivak and to create a "softer", wider, more gradual bend than that obtained by use of a strip heater.

Step 6:

Bend the sheet to the desired angle and hold it in place until the sheet cools. A square bar may be used for sharp bends or a round dowel rod for radius bends.

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