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RobRus

Member Since 10 Feb 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 10 2013 10:35 AM
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Topics I've Started

Welding Plastic

06 May 2012 - 07:35 PM

There is nothing that makes me more crazy than waiting for glue to dry when I am trying to do some major modification like adding fender flairs or chopping a top.

What is worse is the model is much more fragile than before I cut it and the glue lines always seem to bleed through to the finish.

The reason is because we are using glue that softens and melts the plastic and it takes a long time to evaporate out.

I started welding plastic when I was about 15 and there is nothing that is stronger and faster than using heat to weld seams and joints. I use an adjustable temp pencil tip soldering iron. It has a very small tip that is perfect for welding plastic. It is important not to melt the surrounding area so a variable temp soldering iron is a must.

I have to make this warning and I want everyone to read it and understand that melting styrene fumes and smoke is not a good thing to breath in.

WARNING!!!!

VENTILATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WHEN WELDING PLASTIC.

AT THE VERY LEAST SIT BY AN OPEN WINDOW WITH A FAN BLOWING OUT TO EXHAUST THE FUMES. DO NOT BREATH IN THE FUMES OR SMOKE!!!!!

OK I have warned you... Don't be dumb and ignore this.


The first thing to understand in welding plastic is not to get it hot enough to smoke. If it is smoking and turns brown you are burning the plastic and it will become brittle and your joint will fail.

When you see smoke stop and clean the tip of your soldering iron with steel wool.

Practice is the best thing I can suggest to figure out how hot to get it and when to get off a spot before it starts to warp. But here is a quick explanation of how I do it.

I will put a good weld up against any glue as far as strength and the best part is when you are done welding you can get on with your customizing and do not have to wait for anything to dry.


Thanks and I hope this helps.

Bob




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First make sure your area is clean and free of any flammable materials like paint or thinner.


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Start by tacking the parts together to keep them in position.


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V out a small section and weld in the rod to fill the V. Then create another V and repeat the process.

Notice when I create the V I push the plastic out to the sides of the V. This will be mixed in with the rod in the next step.

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Start welding by laying the rod in the V and moving the iron very close to the end of the rod.

When you see the tip of the rod begin to melt start pushing the rod into the V. While it is soft I start to move it around and then pull the sides of the V in to create the weld.


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The real trick is to get a very small spot hot but not melt or warp the surrounding plastic. I like to brace the part I am working on with a finger under the spot I am welding. If the opposite side is too hot to keep your finger on then you need to stop and let that spot cool (it only takes seconds).


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After I have welded a complete seam I like to go back over it and clean my weld up buy dragging down both sides to move any bumps into the middle of my weld. Then I drag a diagonal line to create a nice smooth weld. If your joint looks smooth with no holes or burns then it will be a good strong joint.


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40 Ford Custom

18 April 2012 - 08:15 PM

Hi Guys,
This is a project I started about 2 months ago when I decided to get back into plastic modeling. I know the 40 has been done over and over but this is a car I always dreamed of owning so I thought it would be fun to start with. My plans are some what open but I know it is going to be a low, smooth and have a hand rubbed laquer finish. Other than that I am open to any sugestions and opinions on it.

I ran into a bit of difficulty when trying to fit the motor and front suspension in and decided to stop working on it and do something less custom (for those that have seen it I did that blue 69 Cougar in the "Under Glass" section. I figured I needed something simple to get completed before I got to far into sawing plastic.

I think I have documented the pictures pretty well so you can follow along to see what I have done but the short list is this:

Models:
40 Ford Coup
79 Dodge Ram - Tire Donor / partial wheel donor (for silicone mold)
Nascar Lumina - Engine and suspension/drivetrain donor

Customization done so far:

Shaved all chrome, door hinges, wipers
Widened rear fenders 4 inches
Frenched in Porsche Headlights
Custom molded wheels using parts from the above kits. I want deep dish chrome reverse with baby moons and wanted to try my hand at casting a set.

I looked through the Under Glass section to see if there were any other 40's for some inspiration but only found one. I have a few photos I have collected to give me some direction but I am really open to any ideas you may have as long as they are in the same theme as "low, smooth and shiny

I think the pictures speak for themselves but I will be happy to explain anything you don't understand.

An interesting thing I found when molding the tires is I tried to inject Hot Glue into the mold and it actually worked better than resin and the results actually feel just like kit tires (soft and bendable). I am sure someone else has done this but I thought it was cool...

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69 Cougar (First Build in 20 years)

16 April 2012 - 10:51 AM

Greetings, This is the first plastic build I have done in 20 years.

This was my real car back in 1972 that I saved my pennies for after having blown up the engine in my previous car street racing (that was a 65 Ford Galixey XL with a 427).

An interesting story behind my Cougar that you may find amusing (I didn't at the time). After buying the car from a private owner who orderd the car without any of the Eliminator graphics or rear wing (what we use to call a sleeper). I had the car for about 3 months and was fully enjoying it when one day coming home from work I was about a half of a mile from home when I heard this horrible clatter. Nothing like I had ever heard before but I knew it was not good so I shut the key off and coasted as far as I could. I made it about 3 blocks from my apartment and coased to a stop. I got out and popped the hood... everything looked fine there so I looked under the car to see if it was leaking anything... there was nothing out of the ordinary. So I got my buddy and we pushed home. I worked in a body shop and one of my friends I worked with was a mechanic so I asked him to look at it. He was a serious motor head and had a 64 Buick Special that he raced on the weekends. So I hauled the car to him and in a few days he came to me with these little tiny pieces of what appeared to be a threaded bolt of some sort...

It turned out the bold that holds the ram air on jiggled loose and dropped down into the carb. From there it went through one of the intake ports and broke up into 3 different pieces. Two of the pieces some how came back up through the intake valve and went into 2 other cylinders. Surprisingly the 3 pieces never touched any of the cylinder walls or did they break or bend the valves. Dan said he could not bieleve all it did was crack 2 pistons and beat the ###### out of the other. Fortunately I was smart enough to shut it down as soon as I heard it.

I ended up letting him do a few modifications to the motor as much as my budget could handle. I had a race cam put in it as well as having the heads shaved, a new double pumper Holly carb, headers and a new coil. When all was said and done I was running the 1/4 mile in 11.60 at 115mph.

So I found this model on Ebay and decided to make this my first build in almost 20 years. It is pretty much box stock except it didn't have a center consol in the kit (strange) so i built one up.

The paint is automotive laquer and I started with a black base with a very light pearl over it. I then used Candy Apple Blue and over that I dusted some Flip Flop blue. The color in most of these shots really don't show off the flip flop and it actually appears lighter blue than it really is.

This is also my first time playing with Alclad Chrome. All the chrome has been done with Alclad and I am pretty happy with how it came out (althought I had to redo them 3 times)

You can see that I pinned the instructions on the wall behind the car so you can see how smooth it is. I did this pretty much how I use to do my custom paint jobs. Prime and block, Color and block. Clear and block and then rubbed it out with ultra fine compound and then a final rub out with toothpaste and then a rub out with swirl mark remover.

I hope you enjoy.

Bob

How do I remove my ID and get out of here?

12 April 2012 - 02:00 PM

Thats it. only 27 posts and I am done here. This seemed like a friendly forum but after being told off two times for just trying to contribute to threads it is clear this is not the place for me.

I guess I am too stupid to find the "Delete my account" button.

So if any moderators read this please delete my account or tell me how.

Too bad, I thought this was a great forum.

Help posting pictures or setting Avatar

22 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

I recently joined the forum and am unable to post any pictures or set my avatar.

I tried to search for restrictions you have on new members but didn't seem to find anything.


I made a post about a problem I am having with a paint job but it doesn't help much if people can not see a picture (as the saying goes "A picture is worh 1,000 words).


Can someone help?