Many advise heating 55 gal. barrel plastic (or the commercial plastic
product) in the oven and then applying
it to the appropriate part of the body.
Thank God they don't do this to make their cup!
I too went thru this agony for many months, emitting toxic fumes, burning
my body parts and parts of
others, getting melted plastic all over the interior of my wife's oven.
This is no way to make armor!
To make armor from plastic, it should be formed at a relatively low
heat. To control the process, I do
You will need a propane torch, welding gloves, a saber saw, chalk,
patterns (see Known World Handbook for shapes, though the cuisse is best
patterned on each individual with grocery sack paper), and a 5 gallon bucket
of water. And a black (please) barrel or sheet of commercial non-shattering
If the 55 gallon barrel contained distilled water, you are ready to
go right away, except for care in pattern placement to follow the lines on
If the 55 gallon barrel contained harsh detergents, rinse it out thouroughly
If the 55 gallon barrel contained acids, (How DESPERATE FOR ARMOR ARE
YOU????) be sure to use baking soda to neutralize them, then rinse very well
If you are using commercial plastic you have none of these problems.
Mark out the patterns on the plastic with white chalk or with yellow
crayon, so you can see it.
Cut out the plastic with your saber saw. Debur the edges by rubbing
them with a rasp, or I just slice along the edge with my fingernails. Some
guys just use the torch to burn off the edge, but this makes a mess of the
floor, and I don't like the way it leaves the edge looking.
Light up the propane torch, preferably by using a spark making device
or a fireplace lighter. Set the flame to about 2-3 inches long. You want
to heat the plastic with the tip of the blue in your flame. (That's the hottest
Put on Welding gloves for this part. Hot plastic will burn you.
Heat the plastic where you want it to bend, passing the propane torch
over first the inner side of the curve, then the outer (plastic tends to
bend away from the side you are heating, so end on the OUTside. You will
know it's heated enough when it just starts to look shiny. If it starts to
smoke, you've gotten that place too hot.
Once you have the piece in exactly the curve you want it to have, put
it into the bucket of water to "set" the "memory" of the plastic. This will
be what keeps it from always wanting to unbend. Hold it for at least the
count of 20 seconds to bring down the plastic temp while keeping it in the
One last note: It's actually easier to make armor out of aluminum (if you
must have it lightweight) than it is out of plastic. And it looks a whole
lot better. Try it both ways, and that way you'll have a loaner suit for
the next guy, too.