Plastic Welding

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SEAL
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Plastic Welding

Post by SEAL » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:33 pm

So on my way to visit marauder the other weekend, I hit a dead animal on the road and cracked the front chin spoiler on my car. Fortunately it's just a black plastic piece and not the actual bumper. But to the point, a friend of mine told me about this plastic welding tool that can be used to fix it. He helped me do that today, and it actually works really well. It's basically like a soldering iron type thing, that you can use to melt plastic strips into the crack, welding it together. Apparently it works with any type of plastic, so it got me thinking that it might be a great thing to use for water guns. Any pressure leaks could be just welded back together, which would be far stronger than any kind of glue.

Here's the one that I bought. Say what you will about Harbor Freight, but it's hard to beat the prices. I definitely wouldn't go there for certain tools, but an electric iron seems like it'd be pretty hard to screw up on.

I don't have any leaking guns on hand at the moment to test it on, but I figured it'd be worth sharing.
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Re: Plastic Welding

Post by marauder » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:39 pm

I have plenty of broken guns. We could get together and try welding some of the broken parts back together. That would be pretty cool.
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SEAL
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Re: Plastic Welding

Post by SEAL » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:44 pm

Yeah, for sure. Just note that whatever you want to weld should be something that you don't care about the aesthetics of. Reason being, it won't look pretty unless you take the time to sand it down and repaint it. Internal tubing and stuff doesn't matter, and that's primarily what I'd expect to use it for anyway. On my front splitter we only welded it underneath so it's not visible. You can also weld over a metal mesh (basically a window screen) for extra strength, which is recommended for larger cracks.
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Re: Plastic Welding

Post by HBWW » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:05 pm

These are a bit like soldering irons that just operate at a lower temperature. Obviously make sure the area is very well ventilated. I wouldn't do this anywhere but outside especially without a robust filtration mask.

But most of the time, I just go for the good ol putty/liquid epoxy methods. Use hot glue to position everything in place and lock it down, then fill it up with epoxy/putty, and/or do the plastic welding.
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Re: Plastic Welding

Post by HBWW » Thu May 02, 2019 4:04 pm

Update:

I've recently been experimenting with solvent welding as well. Particularly with ABS glue - mix Acetone and junk plastic parts, obviously in a well ventilated environment. Store in a glass jar with a tight lid. Add more plastic to increase its viscosity, and vice versa. It's an old and cost-effective technique used by modders doing shell integrations in that one other hobby, and it's more direct than using epoxy, etc. As is, it starts curing extremely quickly due to how fast acetone evaporates, which is one of the disadvantages..
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marauder
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Re: Plastic Welding

Post by marauder » Tue May 07, 2019 9:07 am

HBWW wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 4:04 pm
Update:

I've recently been experimenting with solvent welding as well. Particularly with ABS glue - mix Acetone and junk plastic parts, obviously in a well ventilated environment. Store in a glass jar with a tight lid. Add more plastic to increase its viscosity, and vice versa. It's an old and cost-effective technique used by modders doing shell integrations in that one other hobby, and it's more direct than using epoxy, etc. As is, it starts curing extremely quickly due to how fast acetone evaporates, which is one of the disadvantages..
That's really cool. Can you post some pictures?
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