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Old 02-14-2003, 10:16 AM   #1
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Plastic Welding

Anyone have experience using a plastic welder? I have seen these for repairing ABS especially motorcycle parts, but also recommended for interior hard plastic. Might be the ticket for the cracks in my cabinet surrounds??
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Old 02-14-2003, 10:31 AM   #2
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well, after I posted this query, I found a great descriptive article on a news group. The guy used a soldering iron (old pencil type)
and plastic welding rods (cheap) to fix ABS motorcycle fairings.
I am going to try this method.

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=pl...9.6.201&rnum=1
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:22 AM   #3
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Reminds me of the old days when I would "customize" my plastic scale model cars and boats. I can still remember the stink which would fill the room. Ever seen a stretched "Charlie's Angel's" Chevy van? How about David Hasselhoff's 4x4 Edition Trans Am Nightrider?

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Old 02-14-2003, 12:47 PM   #4
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Yeah...the guy warns you about the smell. Got to wear a mask and have lots of ventilation. I expect I will have to remove the panels, repair from the rear, sand, paint and reinstall.
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Old 02-14-2003, 03:44 PM   #5
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Fiberglass or Plastic inside?

Your plastic welding got me thinking of the cracks on the front and rear top interior rounded panels. I'm not sure if it is fiberglass.

On the front near the speakers are some stress cracks that are about a foot long and separate about 1/16 to 1/8 inch at most.

There is not enough play to get a backing up in there to increase the glueing surface area - although that was / is my best thought. I also thought about drilling a small round *stop* hole at the end of each crack. Also just thought of "living with them".

Any of you had a successful experience with this?

Steve
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Old 02-14-2003, 04:38 PM   #6
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If you are referring to the inside dome area liner- and itsa like my 82, it is ABS just like the cabinet surrounds that are cracked in mine. I have a small crack in that area too, and filled it with a caulk that is flexible and has little specks in it so it blended in. That area looks ok, unless you look real close. The caulk was a home depot item, easy to find. It looked decent on the other cracks for awhile, then re-cracked from the cold weather.
My cabinet areas are cracked either near the lights ( the reading lights), and in one seam like area between the galley and living area. I hope to try the plastic weld, but i found a plastic epoxy repair at walmart this afternoon that looks promising. I will try it, but I bet the crack will be too wide without some filler besides the epoxy stuff. Its called "plastic weld".
The removal of the panel would be the right way to fix it, so i might hold out until i get the plastic weld sticks and use my soldering iron.
By the way Peter removed his dome in the front and said it took at least two guys to put it back in place.
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Old 02-16-2003, 06:38 PM   #7
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Hot air welding

There is a technique called hot air welding used to fabricate plastic parts. I have been researching this as I need to fix a crack in my fresh water tank and may try it. I had not thought of using it for interior plastic.

Harbor freight sells a hot air welder for about $40 as I remember. They also sell welding rods etc. You need a source of compressed air and AC. The thing works by passing air by a heated element and directing it to the plastic with a metal tube. Some of the tubes are set up to feed in welding rod. It takes some pressure as well as the heat. The plastic fron the part being repaired can be used as the filler material. Works with any thermoplastic (plastics that can be remelted).

I have found several sites that discuss techniques and it seems pretty simple. It probably takes some practice. Sorry I didn't bookmark the sites so I can't provide links.

Someone has used a white caulking compound on parts of my interior where the plastic trim was seperating from the ajoining pieces and they did a very nice job. Looks very clean.
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Old 02-17-2003, 03:38 PM   #8
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Hot Air Plastic Welding, eh?

APB,

That's interesting. I think that the caulk *would* tend to separate in colder weather especially since there is some give and take motion both with weather and with travel.

So the plastic weld does make sense. No one commented on drilling small holes at the end of the crack to keep it from spreading.

AlanSD says it is ABS. I assume that they used the same material on this inside liner. It does give when pushed and looks to be about 1/16 inch (or a little more) thick.

Not a burning issue, but one that cosmetically could be better!!

Steve
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:07 PM   #9
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Hot air welding

I talked to a local plastics fabrication house today about welding my water tank. He said you would be amazed at what they can do. Suggested I bring the trailer by and let him look. I'll probably do that before I replace the tank.

We'll see...
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:58 PM   #10
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Ok i used the plastic -weld stuff from Walmart- actually a twin tube of epoxy like material that went on easily, filling and covering the biggest of my cracked spots. It dried hard as the original plastic, and looks buttery light colored. I sanded it smooth with my rotary tool, and now i am off to find some paint i can sponge on to cover the area. With the right colors I think it ought to look pretty good. I will post a photo if it does.
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Old 02-23-2003, 01:14 AM   #11
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Welding water tank

Welder says no problem welding tank, he just can't do it in place as there's not enough room. Since I already have a new tank I guess I'll just change it.

Oh well...
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Old 03-19-2003, 09:09 PM   #12
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Plastic Welding with PS 30

I work on helicopters and have used a compound called PS 30 to bond plexiglass patched on cracked windows on the helicopters. It is a 2 part liquid plastic that's clear. I apply it on the patch and the cracked area, press the 2 together and hold it for about a minute. It adheres and remains clear. Smells like plastic glues.

Cadillac Plastics Co. 1-800-969-0466 Metarie, La.

Grayco 1-800-279-1000 Ft. Worht, Tx.

Dave Spann
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:28 PM   #13
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What's the verdict on the ABS repair?

AlansD,

How well did the Wal-Mart plastic weld hold up for you? Also, were you able to get the paint right? We have some cracks in the overhead bins that we want to repair.
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