plastic welding

Has anybody done plastic welding? I have a kayak I’m going to be doing. Need to fill in a space 4" long 1/4" wide 1/8" deep. I have a stick of same color plastic to fill with.

Have a heat gun with two settings.

Anybody have any tricks or hints on doing this?



Leister heat tools

– Last Updated: Dec-31-07 5:43 PM EST –

Try to find a pro that might let you try one. I used to use Leister heat guns at work and the sales guys would come around with the latest models and attatchments for us to try. Can't be beat for 'welding' poly. There is a learning curve, however. If your stick of the same color was supplied by your boat mfr. specifically for the purpose, you're almost halfway there. What's key is getting the surface of the original plastic to start to liquify without blasting a huge melted hole completely through it, while, at the same time, having your welding stick at the perfect temp. (viscosity) and applying it accurately. Sound tricky? The Leister tools have infinitely variable temp. and airflow controls and nozzle accessories designed for the task. Oh yeah, they're Swiss made and priced accordingly. Good luck, Tom On second thought, it's such a small repair. There must be somebody nearby with the know-how that would do it for a nominal fee. Really, it's a five minute job for a pro.

plastic welding
I used a plastic welder for a few years building lab equipment, and got into doing a few kayak repairs. The bottom line is practice on some scraps before making your repair on the boat. Once you get the hang of heat control you’ll do fine. If the patch is a bit rough when you’re done, it can be smoothed up with an exacto knife or razor blade. Be careful.