Bags of Trouble.


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

Badly broken Plastic

A distressed looking man is walking towards the doors of the workshop, in his hands are two plastic shopping bags. We unpacked the bags and laid out the contents piece by piece on to the work bench. I started placing the jigsaw of a faring together, the shape it  formed was that of a Honda CBR 600F side panel. On closer inspection it became more complicated, there were a number of pieces missing, some of these major.

I looked at him, he said “I was told it could not be done” I replied ” The only limiting factor is price”  A smile crossed his face the first bit of good news in his quest to put his pride and joy back on the road. ” This is why we say bring it in let us see it in the flesh.” It was not a lost cause. After fixing the price, he left with a happier look, to return in a couple of weeks.

We had our work cut out, first thing to do was to fix all the bits together so the main part of the faring was in one piece, then we could start fabricating the missing parts, these would be cut from sheet plastic of the same material, if it is not the same type it will not weld together.

We are not like other repairers in that, we do not use two pack  fillers to replace parts that are missing in thermoplastic products which a lot of faring’s are made from. Other repairers will do this were they can get away with it or say it cannot be done. If you have a vintage farings on your bike would you not want the best repair possible for this rare item? I know I would!

When you use the same material to repair a breakage it should act in the same way that it did before it was broken. If you introduce another part whether it’s filler or fiberglass it will change the way the panel acts and can cause the repair to fail in the future.

When the man returned he did not believe that it was the same panel until I showed him the back with it’s fine lines of weld. He was very pleased with the result.

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Death of the web site


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.

honda-cbr-600-side-pannel

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!

I hate shopping

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.

hotrods

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.

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

 

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.

Tweet tweet.


 

The best looking coffeehouse and coffee in lincoln

The best looking coffeehouse and coffee in Lincoln

We have opened a twitter account under the name of @pw_mitch it is a little thin on content and followers for now but we are working on it when we can. If you so feel inclined please join us and we will follow you back. A bold statement I know. I am always surprised at the number of friends we make and not in a cynical way.

It is a marketing tool but we will not be flooding it with special offers and adds. It will be an extension of the blog with some of the posts you see here being promoted there. We will be commenting, posting and sharing things that interest us and hopefully you.

Come joint the party we look forward to seeing what you get up to as well.