[09.15.11] Belt Hatchet Holder: Thermal Plastics

Description of Project

This project is one of my first major endeavors into thermal plastics. The goal of this project is to create a hatchet holder with a built-in belt clip.

Processes Applied:

Thermal Plastics


This project is a simple plastic bending project where I took a hatchet and designed a simple case/holder for it out of thermal plastic. The reason this project came about is that the case that arrived with a new camping hatchet i ordered was inefficient and very bulky without much utility; it had a handle and a form fitted location for the hatchet head to snap into place. So i designed a simple list of requirements for a hatchet holder/case that I wanted; Can be carried on my belt, contains the hatchet head safely and the hatchet can be snapped into place. With a bit of instruction and help from my boss (John Szczesniak) the student shop supervisor, we were able to create a paper model with the locations of the bends required to create this holder. The next step was determining in-which order the bends should take place which just required a step by step mental progression through the process of bending(which you could practice with the paper model). After this i cut the form of the hatchet holder out of one piece of thermal plastic using a bandsaw and file. The next step was the process of taking each bend separately, the way to achieve this is to use bending bars which have internal heating elements. After letting the plastic sit in the bending bars (on the location of the bend) for ~10 mins each bend you must bend the plastic to the correct position and held there till cooled. Cooling can be assisted by compressed air if available. After a lot of time and patience, i was able to complete all the bends and test out the holder which for a first model turned out excellent.

Project Photos