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Online Painlesstom

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Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« on: January 20, 2014, 05:29:42 PM »
Been promising a video on this for a while. I finally made it happen, hope it helps.  \./8

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8MdVNAGSE8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8MdVNAGSE8</a>
Tom

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Offline bizler

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 08:45:08 PM »
Nice job, Tom.  Thanks for posting this video.  I hope I never need to make a repair, but if I do, i know how to do it now.

Offline Peter

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 01:16:38 AM »
Good job!

Offline Hillbilly

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 01:03:24 PM »
Thanks, Tom... Time for me to re - do a few ugly patches.

Offline SuckNwater

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 01:46:30 PM »
Tom, loved the video...This subject really needed to be addressed by someone.  I had an experience with cracks in the jet drive housing around the bolts which caused leaks back into the boat.  But getting to my point...after a bunch of research etc.  I found the following two products work on polyethylene products particularly HDPE. The main one is G/Flex (an special epoxy) and the other one is called FiberFix (Fiberglass Tape impregnated with Epoxy). These two products seem to be fully compatible. The way I have used them is to put a coat of G/Flex epoxy on; then the FiberFix over (if needed); and then another coat of G/Flex.  You only need the Fiberfix tape if you trying to covering a large hole/crack.  The secret to the G/Flex adhesion is to first prepare the HDPE by cleaning with solvent (alcohol?)to get rid of any oil/grease... some light sanding; and then run your mini butane torch over the surface...being careful not to over due it...no more than getting the wet look similar to your video.  The heat of the butane changes the charge of the molecules from a positive to a negative, thus,  making it bond to the G/Flex epoxy which has a positive charge.  I actually called the techs at westsystems (the maker) and discussed.  The G/Flex becomes stronger than the HDPE.  There is even a video of some guy cutting a HDPE Kayak into with a chainsaw and then using only the G/flex to mend it...each piece end to end.  I think between your method and these products one could fix most anything on your boats.  Also, the G/Flex is most assuredly better at withstanding heat...which is an issue.  Thanks again for all the work you do on this. SuckNwater.
http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-epoxy/
http://www.fiberfix.com/

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 02:50:03 PM »
Thanks everyone, glad I could help.

  I think between your method and these products one could fix most anything on your boats.  Also, the G/Flex is most assuredly better at withstanding heat...which is an issue.  Thanks again for all the work you do on this. SuckNwater.
http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-epoxy/
http://www.fiberfix.com/


Good info, thanks for sharing.  \./8
Tom

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Offline bravodelta

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 02:08:53 AM »
Great video Tom... I am glad with all the holes I drilled and other modifications I did to my Mokai that I kept the larger hull material. Too bad I didn't keep the shavings and put them in a jar or something to store it. Hope I don't have to do any of this but if I do... the video helps tremendously.
Bravodelta

Offline Odie

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 07:26:57 PM »
I too, appreciate the tip, I've done similar repairs on small spots using donor scraps to create texture.

Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2014, 12:14:40 AM »
I just gave this a shot tonight as I had a number of holes to fill on the hull. I think it works pretty well, as long as you don't expect the repair to completely disappear. I did not have a propane torch so ended up using a heating gun instead, and 100 grit sandpaper seem to be about the best match to the boat. I used a figure 8 motion with the tip of the soldering gun held at a very flat angle to smooth things down. The more level and flat you get this to begin with the better it's going to look.

It does take some patience, but you can get pretty decent looking results. Thanks for posting this great tip Tom!
Best,
Troy

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2014, 12:26:43 AM »
Good job, Troy. That looks great, couldn't have done better myself.  \./8
Tom

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Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2014, 08:35:30 PM »
Just a little update as a precaution to anyone contemplating hull repair. Be very careful around points of attachment, such as struts, steering relocation plates, etc. I inadvertently warped part of my hull without realizing it. The plastic is going to deform regardless when you apply heat to it, but if it's held or attached in one spot, parts will expand and other parts will not. If it cools that way it will be permanently deformed. My solution was to remove the attachment point, reheat, and I think I've got things back to normal. It was something that I certainly did not anticipate doing cosmetic work, so be careful!


 
Best,
Troy

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2014, 09:44:57 PM »
Hope you can get things back in shape again, Troy. After some thought about your experience, I remember why I did not use a heat gun in lieu of the propane torch. A small concentrated flame can be directed exactly at the area of repair, where the heat gun covers a much broader area than needed. I've never had any issues with the torch method, and would recommend this to be the best way to perform those small cosmetic repairs.
Tom

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Offline Mokai Dreamin'

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 11:07:37 PM »
I would say that's a very good advice Tom! Somebody had to be the guinea pig though. My goal in posting about my experiences is that it helps others in some way. In this case avoiding the same mistake! The only danger I can see with the propane torch (with it's concentrated heating point)  is that you really need to keep it moving, or there is potential there to burn the plastic easier.  I had a little mini butane torch, but went to the heat gun thinking this might be an issue. I would say the propane torch (in hindsight) would be a good compromise between too small and too big.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 03:32:31 PM by Mokai Dreamin' »
Best,
Troy

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2014, 03:12:41 PM »
Your work is good MD. I use a heat gun and glue gun for many apps around the garage. It took some research and practise but the correct glue sticks can be used to fill and a heat gun followed up to meld into the existing plastic. If appearance is important, sandpaper or other household stuff can add a nice texture finish as it cools. With a little patience, I have repaired or replaced small parts for other applications that are otherwise unavailable or convenient to acquire. As far as differenent plastics: if the intent is neither structural or too large, many plastics do mix well after heating and are quite strong in the result. Color selection for donor material is the toughest part.

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Re: Hull repair - Plastic welding the DIY method
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2014, 03:27:24 PM »
Your work is good MD. I use a heat gun and glue gun for many apps around the garage. It took some research and practise but the correct glue sticks can be used to fill and a heat gun followed up to meld into the existing plastic. If appearance is important, sandpaper or other household stuff can add a nice texture finish as it cools. With a little patience, I have repaired or replaced small parts for other applications that are otherwise unavailable or convenient to acquire. As far as differenent plastics: if the intent is neither structural or too large, many plastics do mix well after heating and are quite strong in the result. Color selection for donor material is the toughest part.

Great idea Odie! I can say for the green/olive colored boats, the Krylon Camo paint is a near-perfect match, so that would be yet another option to blend. At the end of the season, I may take everything off the boat, fill in some gaps and shoot everything with a coat of that stuff. My boat has many battle wounds at this point:( It dries completely flat, and I know Tom has done his entire boat in the stuff, and has not reported any issue I'm aware of.
Best,
Troy