View Full Version : using a torch to heat vinyl
01-19-2008, 06:22 PM
I am going to be installing commercial vinyl wallcovering on 27 columns and upon researching how to make achieving tight bends around corners easier, I have learned that heating the material w/ a propane torch makes the job alot easier. But I am concerned about causing discoloration on the wallcovering. Does anyone have some insight on this matter? Thanks
01-19-2008, 06:24 PM
I would use a heat gun before a torch.
01-19-2008, 06:32 PM
Thank you but apparently using a torch is much quicker, which I need.
01-19-2008, 06:44 PM
You don't get it very hot, just warm enough to make the bend. If you have some scrap practice on it and you will do OK. I have even used the electric burner on electric stove to warm thick tiile to be able to make it easier to mark and cut.
01-19-2008, 06:51 PM
Thank you Woodshed!! :)
01-19-2008, 07:58 PM
I've used a heat gun to heat and bend 1/4" thick acrylic sheet. If you're not careful, it'll bubble and boil on you. They are HOT! Easy does it. :eek:
01-19-2008, 08:42 PM
I have used both, but had better luck with the heat gun. I had a tendency to overheat with the propane. My experience was for personal use, where production was not a consideration.
01-19-2008, 08:54 PM
Don't confuse heat gun and hair dryer! My Milwaukee heat gun will shrink a 3" tube in seconds. It's plenty hot with the added benefit of no open flame.
But, a propane torch with a flame spreader would certainly be efficient.
Whichever way you go, let us know how it works out for you.
01-19-2008, 09:23 PM
We use heat guns at work to de-solder fine-pitch ICs at work. They get plenty hot! I've used my Milwaukee heat gun to bend 3/16" acrylic with no problem. But you still have to be careful. I've used a butane torch to do it, too. Given a choice, I'd use the heat gun. If a torch does have an advantage, it's that you can see a flame and judge your distance by it. Either one will cause the material to bubble if you get it too hot. I know it's not the same, but I put vinyl for upholstery in the dryer on a low setting for a few minutes. When I take it out, it stretches and forms very easily.
01-19-2008, 11:23 PM
Here, the skill is knowing when to quit. :eek:
01-19-2008, 11:30 PM
As kids, we had all kinds of fun with old plastic bottles like detergent bottles and such. Just put 'em on a stick, light them, and let them drip. The VEEP-VEEP-VEEP sound as they fell through the air was wicked! So was the pain when the melted plastic hit your skin. MY big bro still has a welt. Beware of hot plastic!