Cutting Buckets/PVC for armour



Hey all. Been working on my armour over the last few weeks with foam, and am about to start combining some plastic for some of the armour. For those of you that have used the bucket method, what did you use to cut them with? Its pretty thick plastic, I have tried a dremmel with a drill bit, too sloppy and out of control, and a small saw...was taking forever, and kindof leaves rough edges. Would a jig saw work, or is there a better way?


Supreme Hunter

I personally havent done ne pvc/ bucket work before but i believe that either way whatever u cut it with it will leave a rough edge, but thats what we have sandpaper for lol. im pretty positive that DIAVOLO will chime in when he reads ur thread.



When I'm cutting 1/8" plastic, I use heavy duty metal snippers. Those kind of scissor-like tools give me more control of my cut line.



This is the way that I have achieved the best results...

1. With a Dremel, use heavy duty cutting discs and cut the very bottom and top off of each bucket.

2. Make a cut down one of the sides of the bucket.

3. Using an industrial strength heat gun, carefully and with the use of two Ovegloves (heat resistant gloves) slowly uncoil the PVC and apply heat until you have a long flat rectangular sheet. I picked up the type of heat gun that can stand by itself with it's back to the bottom of the ground and shoot heat upwards. I picked it up at a local Home Depot, it's a Milwaukee Model #MHT3300.

4. Next sketch out templates of what you want to render in PVC and then trace the template onto the PVC. (You only need to make either a left or right side template. Make one side and then flip it and trace it to make it's opposite piece.)

5. Then use a pair of heavy duty Fiskers to make the detailed cuts.

6. Heat and shape each piece, be sure to keep a bucket of ice water nearby and once you have the shape you desire, quickly submerge the piece into the cold water and it will instantly cool and freeze the PVC in place.

This is what I have been able to achieve so far with this method...






I still have to work on the gauntlets and lower leg and pelvis armor as well as finishing the crest piece that goes over his sternum and the flat ab and back armor. If you have any questions, feel free to pm me. Good luck and be careful around the heat gun. I am certainly no expert on this method, I can only speak of my own experience, through trial and error, Diavolo would also be a great advisor, as his amazing suit was my initial inspiration to mess with PVC.

Kindest Regards,


Here's a piece I just weathered...




Ah, you guys are awesome. Thanks a bunch for the suggestions, I will attempt using either some heavy duty fiskars or snips....just wanted to see what works best for those who have already been down this path. Thanks again guys, and fantastic job on that armour Alan! Between you and Diavlo, you have been a fantastic help on getting the armour done, as well as even making it possible for those of us that are "artistically challenged"!