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Old 10-22-2015, 12:31 PM   #15
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Martin,

Your mention of the later 3-piece units coincides with what I've been thinking about the last few days.

If I were to divide the front valance into three sections it would probably be a lot easier to repair and make molds from. Would you object to that sort of approach?

There seems to be a whole lot of advantages to using this approach and few if any negatives. I'm not really into originality as much as I am in having a nice looking functional rig.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:59 PM   #16
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Perfectly fine to me Brad.

I think it will actually help give some adjustablity when installing.
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:44 AM   #17
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Watched the video, that's was cool. The piece in question is so big I think you'd need some type of industrial press to make it. Maybe mold in 3 smaller pieces? The sides, then the middle. Back ABS piece that has the tail lights would be good. Mine is cracked but fixable.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:43 AM   #18
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By tomorrow I should have the ABS pellets in my hands and I've already got two gallons of MEK. Since I've never worked with ABS like this I'm hoping to start repairing the smaller cracks tomorrow night. With luck the smaller cracks will give me enough experience and confidence to tackle the larger cracks and holes

Once all the cracks are repaired I plan to temporarily re-install the valance. Once it's in place I want to fabricate some spacers and start making a jig to hold it in it's proper shape.

There are a couple of different approaches that I can take in getting a mold. One is to do what it takes to beef up my ABS valance and use it as the mold and the other is to use my valance to create a plug that would then be used to make a mold.

My inclination at this point is to do whatever it takes to beef up my valance so it's rigid, cut it into three pieces, and then make pieces from there.
Fiberglass is a lot more rigid than the ABS plastic piece so cutting at that point shouldn't be a issue as the fiberglass pieces should hold their shape. The ABS plastic just wants to flop around like a wet noodle

More to come

Brad
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:13 AM   #19
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Actually I may have misspoke somewhat. I believe the process is my valance is used to make a plug which is then used to make a mold at which point parts can be produced.

That's the approach I shooting for

Brad
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:39 PM   #20
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I think you were right the first time Brad.

Your valance is the plug, and covering in glass fiber forms the negative mold, and then future new valances come from laying up the glass fiber into the reverse mold. So nearly certainly the negative mold needs to be in various parts, but there are two options. Clamp the parts of the negative mold together, cast the new valance as a single piece, then release by unbolted the sectioned negative mold. Or treat the pieces of the reverse mold individually and make separate casts from the individual molds, but that has the complication of needing overlaps to be built into separate molds (raised lips on the reverse mold of the sections which will go 'under' the original valance line).
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:27 PM   #21
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Martin, you're right. I guess this is one of those times where I thought I made a mistake but ended up being right the first time

No matter which way I look at this it's going to be tough. It's such a big piece of flexible plastic that in order to make a good mold it's going to have to made rigid. By the time this project is done the original valance will likely be destroyed in the process. That's ok with me as long as we get good parts from the new mold!

Brad
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
No matter which way I look at this it's going to be tough. It's such a big piece of flexible plastic that in order to make a good mold it's going to have to made rigid. By the time this project is done the original valance will likely be destroyed in the process.

snip
This really worries me Brad. Not only are you fixing yours, you are then destroying it for the cause.

How about we get one of the commercial companies take a look and at least quote before we end up with two Argosy without front valances?
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:33 PM   #23
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Martin, I've been thinking about what to do since this subject came up a while back. My valance definitely needs some repair so I have to do something no matter what. Assuming I just fixed mine and re-installed it I would still be sitting with a valance that is made of ABS plastic that has seen better days and is very brittle.

Or I could sacrifice it (if need be) to allow some decent molds to be made. This approach would get myself and however many other Argosy owners decent valances as well. I certainly don't have a problem with this approach.

I will freely admit I'm not a mold maker nor have I ever attempted to make one. I'm pretty handy at some things but if commercial company can make valances that are affordable that's all right with me as well.

No matter which approach is taken I will have to get my original valance in somewhat reasonable shape so I can put it back in place so a jig can be made to hold it in the right shape so a mold could be made. I'm not kidding when I say it flops around like a wet noodle!
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:40 PM   #24
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Well, I must be doing something wrong. I bought these ABS pellets and half filled a small class jar with them and then poured in enough MEK to cover the pellets. I let them sit for 24 hours and I still have solid pellets and liquid MEK in the jar.

The MEK doesn't seem to be melting the pellets. I'm pretty sure its the real MEK and not the substitute thats on the market.

Any suggestions?
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:18 PM   #25
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The issue maybe that they are polycarbonate/ABS mix Brad. PC isn't soluble in most common solvents.
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:05 PM   #26
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Interesting. I didn't see polycarbonate mentioned in the auction but having polycarbonate in the mix would explain why it's not melting.

Tomorrow evening I can try some of the scrap ABS saved from the 345 to see if it melts. If it melts I'll know what the problem is.

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:38 PM   #27
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I'm wondering if taking a first mold of the piece while it is in place is something to consider. It will be held into the desired shape while mounted.

Repair and clean the outer surface through ly then coat with mold release. And start building up the layup with fiberglass. Once it is substantial then glass on some stiffeners on the outer surfaces to maintain the shape once it is pulled off the original piece.

Then the new valence is layed up in the mold. And comes out of the mold with a finished outer surface. Could even start with a tinted gel coat to get the desired color on the new piece.

Just brain storming here. Have done lots of Fiberglass work, but mostly building the pieces and then finishing the surfaces.

If the mold is well done this fairing and finish would not be nessary.

Brad do take care while using the MEK as both the fumes and what can be absorbed thru the skin are to be avoided.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:00 AM   #28
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Richard,

There are enough tears and holes in the valance that definitely need to be repaired before any mold is made. I'm not sure trying to make a mold while it is mounted to the chassis would be all that easy. There are enough angles and cavities that I feel would make the in situ attempt very painful and messy.

I don't I don't think it will be that difficult to make a stand or jig to hold the valance. I've got enough lumber and building materials laying around to do the job, I just need time to do it. Things should be winding down on my friends house rebuild in a few weeks at which time I hope to be able to spend a lot more time on this project.

When working with MEK (and other chemicals) I always use a respirator

Thanks!

Brad
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