If you have been looking for our web site it no longer exists. It was a hard decision to make, we had become quite attached to the ageing site. To be honest it had been on life support for sometime, the number of patches it required to keep the ‘ailing body’ secure was taking up to much time.
So at the end of the month we allowed it to pass away…quietly! Now that it has gone we have more time to concentrate on the work we do. It just go’s to show what a lot of time was wasted on keeping it! We now have time to do the repairs,write and think what we would like to post on the blog again!
From what I understand, the only people that are really missing our presences are the scammers and hackers. They no longer have email addresses that they can fill with rubbish that wasted someone’s time to delete everyday! … it was no surprise that the person who looked after this side of things took all of us out for a drink to celebrate!
We were warned that it would impact the business big time, but as yet we have not seen a drop in sales, if anything the phones are ringing more. Life has become simpler and healthier.
So what next! a new web site? All in good time, you may see a new one. At the moment we are enjoying the freedom, it allows us to concentrate on our customers more. A big plus for our second to none service we already provide.
Don’t forget you can still get in touch on twitter @plasweld1 or you can find our founder Mitch on Facebook. We are happy to take questions on both sites. You will also find lots of images of the repairs we have done.
Even though plastic welding has been around since the seventies it is still surprising when a faring from that era comes in, how much fibre glass has been used to patch up the damaged areas. We were asked if it was possible to repair the plastic panel on a GSX 750 Katana the one with the pop up head light.
From what I have already said you would have gathered that these panels were in a bit of a state. Of all the farings that turned up it was the left and right side nose panels
( the nose cone in this case is divided into three section two sides and a Bezel that fitted around the pop up head light) that presented the biggest challenge. The customer wisely turned up with two panels for each side. The problem was to work out how much of each panel was the original plastic and which pair had the least fibre glass holding it together.
Fortunately the headlight bezel only had a cross shape lug missing. In itself not a difficult repair
but time consuming to reproduce. All the side panels were heavily damaged where the side mirrors would be mounted. One of which had a big bit missing.
The first thing that needed to be done was to get rid of the large quantity of fibre glass from the damaged areas.
Once it had been ground off the outside of the panel. The stuff caked over the inside was gently persuaded to leave home, coming away in one piece. Almost leaving it clean enough to weld. It just go’s to show if it had not been fibre glass both sides it would have fallen out ages ago.
The one thing plastic welding does not like is contamination of any kind. Which meant we had to remove as much of the residue as possible to be sure it would repair properly.
Once that was done new plastic was cut into shapes to replace all the missing bits. Because alot of the damage was concentrated in one place we had to be careful about over heating. By phasing the repair it would keep the heat shrink to a minimum, making for a better repair over all. You also have to take into account when renovating old plastic it has a tendency to get very brittle. A way round it is to temper the area with some heat before you start welding it together. This also helps to drive out any water that the plastic has soaked up over the years. This leads to a stronger weld and a satisfied customer.
Not all the plastic that turns up at our door can be repaired by gas welding. Dare I say it that we have to resort to two pack bonding don’t get me wrong it is a good repair but 90 seconds to apply the adhesive is not on some occasions enough time to get the job done.
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.
The other day I had to nip out to get some materials. A bit of an under statement as it involved a journey of a hundred miles each way. As we were going up the by pass at the beginning of the trip there was a metallic clanging sound of something hitting the under side of the truck which slowed progress as I considered whether or not to stop and check. Needless to say I didn’t as the van felt and ran OK.
Ninety odd miles later . We stopped at a well known supermarket for a break. To be met by a shushing noise. A quick look round the truck did not show anything untoward but the shh persisted; then I noticed that the rear near side tyre looked soft. In that short time it was half flat, the air was coming out that fast. I can’t believe it – another puncture! and its the new one! I will not repeat what was said but I think you can guess!
I ran round to the cab pulled out the jacking kit and got it in place just before it went completely flat. Ten minutes later the Tyre was changed.
Before we returned home I wanted the puncture repaired, so tracked down a tyre shop and took it in. “No prob’ mate have that done for you in a jiffy”. Then things went sideways I saw him call over a colleague and then me. It took us all by surprise. I was told that I had been extremely lucky that it had not blown apart when it happened. The pictures speak for them selves!
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 owlsitting 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.
We were asked to 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.
Once 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.