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Old 07-28-2014, 09:33 AM   #1
HanShotFirst OP
Joined: May 2013
Oddometer: 82
ABS Plastic Welding


To begin with, if you haven't done this and you're thinking about doing it; DO IT!! It's just too damn easy.

This weekend I took one thoroughly trashed faring for a ZZR-1200 and a semi-trashed faring and made one perfectly good faring; all through ABS welding.

I was dubious about this technique, but not only is it easy, but when you're done, the seam is solid and the end result is VERY satisfactory.

Sorry I don't have photos, I just didn't take any; but I'll describe how I did it.

The big job was I had to graft in the turn signal section and mount that holds the turn signal. So just cut it out of one, and made a corresponding hole on the other side. Spent a good amount of time matching everything up, but even with that, I did end up with one 1/2" section that was off by 1/4"; I figured I was just screwed.

My technique was to use a soldering iron and burn a slot 90 degrees to the seam. Essentially just melting a deep slot right across the seam. When you burn that slot, the burnt ABS will curl up out of the way. Once you have made the slot, I then use the soldering iron to just fold that curled up section down back over the slot as a filler...It worked out very slick. I did these slots every 1/8" all the way around the seam. When it was done, after pressing the melted plastic back into the slot as filler material, it looked like one solid weld measuring about 1/4" wide.

For the one section that was 1/4" off, I just took a sliver of plastic from something else, and used it like a welding rod and just slowly melted it and building it up, and filled in.

On one of the seams I had to do it on the outside, and on the other I had to do it on the inside. When done, just touch up with a palm sander to make all the contours match. Then a VERY thin coat of Bondo, sand again and you're set. EASY-PEASY!!!

I mean I really can't believe how easy that ended up being and the seams are strong. So glad I tried this.

As for the "ABS Welding Kits", I just don't see that you need one. If you have a half way decent soldering iron with a flat tip, you're good to go.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:28 PM   #2
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Joined: Dec 2013
Location: Barrie ONT Canada
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just be sure to use a respirator or at the very least a good fan to blow the fumes away from you. ABS is pretty nasty stuff.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:37 AM   #3
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky-Eastern that is!
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I've done this for years-I'll ad that I keep a spray water btl close by to cool the "weld" and keeps the work stable as you go. Can help to "tack" plastic welds just like with metal. Also works well to use plastic scraps as "filler rod"-just make certain plastic is the same material as the repair.
I can also attest that this will quickly burn up a Weller soldering iron.
"If I had my life to live over,I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up.I'd be sillier than this trip, take fewer things seriously, I would take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges, at age 85
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:59 AM   #4
The PacRat
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Joined: Dec 2007
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You can mix ABS shavings with Acetone (roughly 50/50) and it will create a slurry that will bond INTO the old ABS and "weld" it back together. Probably easier than heat welding it. But always good to know a different method.

I fixed this giant hole in a trunk with this method and a little fiberglass tape in between the layers of slurry.

Strong as new.

If a hammer don't fix it, then it's an electrical problem.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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Joined: Jun 2014
Location: NE England
Oddometer: 49

A great confidence builder there thank you.
I have a repair to do on a plastic boat hull, i have watched the youtube vids and got the general idea. But have been puting off the inevitable job itself due to lack of confidence, you just gave me that little push i needed.
I got a hot air gun, and an old Wolf soldering iron i will jump to it now and get the job done.
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