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507 Posts

Profile of briansmagic
I am building an original tube illusion. I have already built the tube out of wood but it is heavy, the paint gets beat up and it doesn't slide very well. Anyone who has built tubes know what to do? Any kind of plastic out there to use? Anything anyone can tell me would be great: materials, where to find, how to assemble, etc. Also, if anyone knows what the rim collar-like thing should be made of let me know...thanks!
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Inner circle
Southwestern Southeast
3999 Posts

Profile of ClintonMagus
Please describe the tube in more detail. Is it made like a Square Circle? Is it round? Square? how large is it? What are you using it for? Do you have photos available?

Depending on your use, it might be as simple as stripping the old paint and reapplying a good primer and seveal coats of lacquer, sanding between coats.

Chance Wolf posts here, and is a master finisher, so he can probably guide you in the right direction.

Amos McCormick
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
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Inner circle
7325 Posts

Profile of hugmagic
There are some plastic sheets that can be bent around a form and glued. They come in a variety of names, colors, and thickness. One is Strata I think.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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507 Posts

Profile of briansmagic
The tube is a square tube...Imagine a tube you would see in mini kub zag but it is square....thats what I am making. It needs to be able to hold a little weight....not that much but some
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Loyal user
Western Massachusetts
242 Posts

Profile of GuySavoie
Corrugated plastic sheets (Coroplast) are a popular choice for those kinds of tubes.

I don't know how much weight you need it to hold, but if regular corrugated cardboard would hold up, then corrugated plastic would likely do the job.

It's great stuff to work with, and available in thicknesses over 3/8" if you need it that thick.

It's available in many primary colors, so you can also save on painting/finishing expenses.

If you need something even sturdier, high impact polystyrene or acrylic sheets will stand up to most tasks, but are obviously much more expensive.

Check with your local sign or lettering shops to physically inspect the materials and/or buy a small amount to prototype.

Then, check prices, including online (factor in shipping expenses!)

Good luck.

--- Guy
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207 Posts

Profile of WolfgangWollet
Another plastic to look at weight wise would be SINTRA. It can be glued into a square tube but then it again depends on the weight...
Clayton Cavaness
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New user
56 Posts

Profile of Clayton Cavaness
I have used 1/8" to 1/4" Lexan(polycarbonate)sheets. You can easliy bend it to any angle you want in a sheet metal brake. Be sure to mark where you want the bend to be with a marker. If you score it or scribe it the material will break along that line.

You can glue the tubes together with a special glue. It actually melts the pieces together. I forget the name but you can most likely get it from the glass store where you buy the lexan.

You can get this material in colors too.
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Seattle, Wa
335 Posts

Profile of zaubern
Check out Tap Plastics http://www.tapplastics.com/ They are in Washington so that's a plus Smile
Zaubern Smile
Josh Isenhardt
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44 Posts

Profile of Josh Isenhardt
Formica might work for what you are trying to do. You can buy it at most home improvement stores.
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