Plastic in the cold


Welcome to a freezing start to the new year.
 
This weather has implications for automotive plastic ( farings, bumpers, etc,etc ). Plastic looses its elastic properties when the temperature drops making it hard and brittle but this does depend on the plastic material used.
 
There are two main categories of plastic hard and soft. Hard plastics like ABS  used  in motor bike farings, can become very brittle and break easily. Soft materials like Polyprop , being more flexible , will not crack so easily but will show signs of stress in the cold.
 
With the weather as cold as it is, it means that any damage your plastic receives will be twice as bad. So take a bit more care around that bike stored in the garage.
 
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Unexpected Visitor


 

The owl was very hungrey.so we gave it some chicken cat food. The brown stain on her front is the grave from the food.. She is sitting on my shoulder for this feast.

The owl was very hungrey.so we gave it some chicken cat food. The brown stain on her front is the gravy from the food.. She is sitting on my shoulder for this feast.

It had been a wet damp day and with it getting dark at about four I had decided to shut the workshop early as we were up to date with work and had no bookings for people to drop or collect.

 
It came as a shock to find an owl sitting on the fence looking at me as I came out of the door. He/she just sat there, then opened his wings and took off heading towards me I ducked and as I did he landed on my back Wow! I moved back to upright slowly and as I did he walked up my back until he was on my shoulder.
 
Jac was standing beside me when this happened she could not believe what she had just witnessed not only that but the owl allowed her to stroke him, while she was doing this she managed to get the number of the ring he was wearing and the web address, to cut a long story short we ended up at www.ring.ac which tracks ringed birds across the country. We emailed them and waited for an answer.
 
 But what now? I moved my hand up to stroke the owl and as I did, it gently pecked at my hand so we decided to find it something to eat. It had started to rain so I moved back in to the workshop with the owl still on my shoulder and waited for Jac to come back with some food.
 
Once he got the hang of it he tucked into a bit of  real chicken pieces cat food. When he had decided he had had enough he flew off my shoulder on to a ladder that was standing at the back of the workshop, he looked quite happy so we put a bowl of water down locked the workshop and waited for some info.
 
The following day some info started to come in. It turns out he travelled from Thetford, Suffolk. Quite a way! He was spotted a couple of weeks earlier by another local in the area.
At around about midday Weirfeild wildlife Hospital  in Lincoln  ( www.weirfield.co.uk ) came to pick the owl up. We were informed he had been let back into the wild from captivity but had not gone back to complete wildness.
It was a great experience and a shame to see him go. You never know he may return when they let him loose again.
 
 

Custom GSXR side panels.


We were asked tosuzi-gsxr-upper-side-panels customize some Suzuki GSXR upper side panels. This a story from warmer times.

It was early spring when we had a call from a gent about doing some custom work on a Suzuki GSXR. He wanted to give his side panels that Yoshimura look. The out line was would we be able  to make a series of air vents and weld them into the side panels. I was more than interested as one of my first custom jobs was a GSXR of roughly the same year. So I have a bit of a soft spot for these bikes.

Over the weeks that followed it became clear that there was not the budget needed to allow us to fabricate the vents from plastic and weld them in, as the customer wanted. Which was a shame! When it comes to making parts from scratch it is labour intensive. But all was not lost the customer had discovered a set of fibre glass vents that matched what he wanted to achieve and asked us if we would be able to make them fit.

After some weeks the vents turned up at the workshop and with a bit of trepidation I opened the package. I have nothing against fibre panels but I have seen some really bad ones.  These surprised me, they had a quality finish and looked the same size. On very careful inspection one was slightly smaller than the other and they curved more than the panels they were being fitted into; which in the end lead to an over complicated fitting arrangement.

suzi-upper-side-panel-loverOnce the holes were cut to shape in the side panels, some plastic material was cut to fill the gap left by the original vent.  Then a lip was cut into the plastic where the new fibre vents would sit. If they had not been made with an exaggerated curve this part of the job would not have been necessary.  It took two of us to bond each vent into place. When this was set the vents were then fibre glassed in with a water proof matt to stop weather degradation. When the fibre glass was dry we used a special flexible filler to fill between the two materials to reduce the chance of cracking. 

It is always nice to hear that the customer is happy with the results especially when it is done long distance. 

Lets hope there is a change in the weather soon.

Plastic welding book update.


It is now possible to purchase a copy of our Plastic Welding Guide Direct, just click on the high lighted words which will take you to blurb.

plasweld_book

The fun and games we had producing the book were posted sometime ago with that in mind this link will take you to that post.

You can also find a link on the web site Plasweld

 

Top Ten Faring Repairs?


 

This just a bit of fun. Our top ten repairs.

 

cracking

 

1. Welding up a  cracked  panels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

windscreenfingerreplace

 

2. Windscreen finger replacement.

 

 

 

broken-offtab

 

 

3. Sections broken out.

 

 

 

headlightlug

 

4. Relocating mounts on headlights.

 

 

 

 

 

groundoffsections

 

5. Ground off plastic from bikes that have slide down the road.

We rebuild these with plastic not filler.

 

 

bodylug

 

6. Panel support mounts.

 

 

 

 

gsxheadlightbezel

 

7. Making mount post from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

broken-intobits

 

8. Broken panels.

 

 

 

 

One panel made from two

 

9. Missing part taken from a donor panel.

 

 

 

 

smallreplcementparts

 

10. Small parts made from scratch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we had the idea to do this everyone thought it was great. The reality is that we could not agree in what order they should be placed or if we had the images required to make the top ten. It would be fair to say that these are the most common repairs we see and to a certain degree can be complicated  to complete.

Welcome to the New Year.


Custom bike

Welcome to the New Year we hope that our customers are well and rested looking forward to what 2017 has to offer. As we look back at 2016 – it was busy for us but not in way we had expected.

On a few occasions we failed to keep up with the demand and thank those that were caught up in it for their patience. For the first time we had to close the workshop to all work, due to the unprecedented heat during the summer. Not that many of us remember it now with all the grey, rain and cold.

seat panels

We have noticed that we are seeing more older bike plastic for repair. These have proved to be more challenging to repair technically speaking because of their age. Brought back some fond memories though!. One of the jobs in particular comes to mind which, came in the form of a rare battery cover from a classic Suzuki. As always we work with our customers to get the best possible out come.

I hate shopping

We are happy to talk to anybody that has a problem with broken plastic. It is part of our service to inform not just sell our ability to repair. It is our way of giving something back. Maybe you will remember us in the future when it comes to that job that does need our expertise.

big sign

We have published a guide on how to repair plastic properly using plastic welding which is available from blurb and from time to time we run plastic welding courses. (At the time of writing we have no planed dates for these courses.)

With the festive period over it is back to work as usual. I should say it is good to be back, but to be honest we have not stopped, as there is now a new web site and a twitter feed for Plasweld.

Best wishes for the New year.

Flattened and Broken could it be saved.


Look away to painful to watch

Look away to painful to watch.

A very rare Kawasaki Z 400 battery cover turned up the other day. The cover managed to unclip itself from the bike while the owner was out for a spin. Before the owner could retrieve it from mortal danger he had the unhappy experience on seeing it crushed under the wheels of a car. So close and yet……

 

On unpacking the close to death part it was examined very carefully. Can it be saved? We rushed it into the workshop to start ‘life support’. There were a number of things that needed to be checked. Plastic of this age can suffer from age related symptoms – water retention and fishers in the surface when

Extensive damage shown from the inside

Extensive damage shown from the inside.

heated. Also the material type had to be checked so it could be matched with one of our donor patches. Without this knowledge ‘life support’ would no longer be needed. Fortunately we had a good match, meaning the prognosis was good. In fact when we tested the material it was in excellent health if it was not for the crush ‘injuries’ and missing bits. So we could bring the panel back to full health but it would take time.

Damage from the outside

Damage from the outside. We were told not to rebuild the dummy air vent.

Before dealing with the breakages we slowly reformed it’s shape by heating the damaged areas that had not broken off. Slowly but surely heat and pressure was applied, bringing it back to its former shape. Then painstakingly we stitched together all the cracks. It is surprising how much stitching

Flattend area reformed

Flattend area reformed. Showing missing lug.

was done – near on six metres! With a part this badly damaged it’s repair has to be staged so that it did not get over heated. Because of this it spent a lot of time in ‘recovery’.

Now that the panel was strong enough it was time to replace the areas that were missing.

Shaped and scraped

Shaped and scraped

For this we used brand new plastic. All the parts were cut to a rough size and then tacked into place. Again taking care not to use to much heat. As we worked, it steadily regained its ‘health’.

New lug made from plastic.

New lug made from plastic. Also shows internal stitching together.

Now that the ‘surgery’ was complete the panel was placed in the recovery area to give the repairs time to settle in. Then the brutal task of flattening and shaping the welding and new material would begin. Once done it would be ready for a new paint graft.

Reformed and welded corner.

Reformed and welded corner.

Rebuilt corner with new plastic. Shaped and scraped

Rebuilt corner with new plastic. Shaped and scraped. The darker areas show where the new material has been added.