Unexpected visitor update.


A short rest to let my dinner go down.

A short rest to let my dinner go down.

Just recently the BTO sent us information on the Barn owl that we had to visit. For starters he is a she,  Jac felt   he was a she at time.She was very gently with us except when she court my hand with her claw. It was only a light touch but cut my finger quit badly. The man from Weirfield Hospital said  you need to be very  carefull of their feet. That is why falconer ware gloves.

She is a young bird at three years plus.  We do not know if she has been re-released back into the wild one day we may come out of the workshop,  to find her sitting on the fence looking down at us.

While on the subject of  wild life, this year so far has been quite good for spotting rare birds, I say rare because I’m not a bird watcher looking to spot fowl. On several occasions whilst walking the fat controller (our border trolley) we have seen a white heron in the small stream between the houses.  A first ever for me and the area. To add to that on two occasion in the same place we have seen a kingfisher’s sudden flash of blue as it disappears up the stream into the distance.

Electric superbike.


An electric superbike beats Ducati 1198 and KTM RC8 in a race in the states, with a top speed of 158 mph. Here’s the video. I said electric bikes are getting more popular. I didn’t realise they were pocket rockets already.

The rise of plastic welding.


Free_hand_weldingGas welding for plastic has been around for decades.  The Swiss company’s introduction of  a hot air gun  that had a very exact temperature control made it possible to use this method  for fabrication and  plastic  repair.

It was not until the release of Ford Escort MK4, Austin’s Maestro, Montego and the Rover 800 series ( These sites have pictures and histories www.maestro.org.uk and for the Rover www.aronline.co.uk ) and other makes along these lines, that a good reliable way of repairing flexible materials  needed to be  found. The traditional method of  the  fiberglass patches behind the damaged area as support  had to change.

It did not take long for the Insurance companies to realize that they could not sustain the replacement costs of all these bumpers. The type of plastic used in the Austin and Rover ranges would not take much of a knock before it shattered. The insurance lab’s at Thatchem ( www.thatchem.co.uk ) had to find a way to cut costs.

Two pack urathane repair material.

Two pack urathane repair material.

It did not take long for two systems to come to the fore; two pack polyurethane and plastic welding. The two pack procedure still required with some repairs, a patch behind it, this limits it to the smaller repair. As to the welding, it can cope with the full gamut of damage from a small crack to broken pieces. It became clear that this was the way to go.

At this point I must point out that flexible materials  fall into two categories:- thermoplastic the injection molded type that  repair by gas welding and the other is thermo-set; this is where two chemicals added together  form a solid like two pack polyurethane and glass reinforced plastic (GRP).

Badly broken nose cone  Plastic welding can rebuild this nose cone where glue cannot

Badly broken nose cone Plastic welding can rebuild this nose cone where glue cannot

Plastic welding has come a long way since the early days. The Institute of  the Motor Industry recognise it as a valid repair for plastic parts and has become part of the body repair apprenticeship. It  only takes a few hours to learn the basics of plastic welding but it is a skill that takes some time to perfect, more so when it comes to broken and missing pieces.

The motor industry is introducing more and more plastic into its products, part of the reason is to cut costs, another to make vehicles lighter meaning they will go further on a tank of fuel and in the current climate of higher energy costs this is a good thing. But where will it stop? In the future the plan is to have the vehicle made of plastic right down to the wheel rims.  I know we already have GRP cars like TVR ( www.tvr-car-club.co.uk ) but I’m talking about thermoplastic cars that go beyond the Renault Espace (www.matrasport.dk ). It is possible that in the future, the engines that propel these cars could be made of plastic but that will depend on fossil fuels still being used.

A long time!


Since setting up this blog I have not had the time to return until now. I am only able to do this now because it is a bank holiday known as Whitson which also ushers in half term for the kids meaning they get a week off. This used to mean that the drive into work was easer and the traffic much lighter. but now it almost makes no difference.

For a down turn year we have seen our work load go up. Why?  People are hanging on to their money?  Yes!  That’s not always  the case, the way they are spending it is a bit more considered, checking out there options before committing to a course of action.

We are getting more enquiries and from that more work, repair is making more sense over new and now in many cases second hand. It is strange that people do not think that when they opt  for a repair that it is good for the environment.  Lets be honest when you have smashed up your pride and joy all you want to do is get it back on the road as quickly and cost affectively as possible, This is where in an increasing number of cases we are coming to the fore.

Are we a green company? Possible.