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By BeachAggie
#2291356
Somehow I found myself delving into the depths of the interwebs last night and came across ultrasonic welding videos. Pretty neat stuff. I have some background in plastics using traditional solvent and 2 part resin joining techniques, but I've never messed with sonic welding. Most of the manufacturers use PE plastic which cannot be joined chemically, and using heat and filler to weld plastics usually does not result in a good quality joint compared to other forms of bonding. However ultrasonic welding does bond PE plastics very well (it's how those annoying packages we all stuggle to open are made). Does anyone know if there is someone that does repairs with ultasonic welding?

Those who own yaks made out of ABS you can make repairs with solvents that are as strong as the original material if done correctly.

Tight lines everyone.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2291365
you should find some in neighborhood-sized pipe contractors, because HDPE pipe is now used almost exclusively for water distribution lines in new development
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By impulse
#2291368
Here's 3 options for welding on a PE kayak, from dirt cheap to pretty expensive...

https://www.amazon.com/Gino-Development ... B00B1FKCGA

https://www.amazon.com/Hobie-Welder-Pro ... B004CGCY34

https://www.amazon.com/Ridgeyard-Plasti ... B074DGB5B3

And if ya gotta have ultrasonic, a 4th...

https://www.amazon.com/Welding-Machine- ... B07S1VFQMJ

Disclaimer... I have no experience with any of these. I was window shopping the day after some knob put a tear in my plastic car bumper in a hotel parking lot...
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2291372
I'm thinking he's not talking about buying equipment, but hiring people with the equipment and qualifications.
It's less than cost effective to buy the equipment, and get trained to make one repair, but it might be cost effective to find the people who make this weld for a living, and I think that was his question.
By impulse
#2291381
Ron Mc wrote:I'm thinking he's not talking about buying equipment, but hiring people with the equipment and qualifications.
It's less than cost effective to buy the equipment, and get trained to make one repair, but it might be cost effective to find the people who make this weld for a living, and I think that was his question.


True, but I think his chances of finding anyone like that -especially one who will do a <$500 repair on a kayak- are pretty slim.

I'm still recalling 30 years ago when I had a TIG weld done on my Evinrude head. The guy took 5 minutes to do it, looked up the price of the replacement head, and charged me about $120 for those 5 minutes. (And that was in the '80s, when $120 was a lot of money) He calculated it at half the cost of buying a new head. First and last time I went looking for a welder.

OTOH, maybe there's a business there for anyone wanting to sub-contract their labor to the kayak shops and rental places around the area?
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2291391
if I needed a quality kayak weld, I'd pay $120 to the qualified welder.
The problem with the business idea is the insurance cost, versus the extreme rarity of selling the service. Duane at TG used to make beautiful kayak repairs before his insurance company found out about it. Duane is also a kayak livery on the San Marcos river with hundreds of boats used in that business.
Duane still repairs his boat fleet - he just can't offer the service to us for his liability insurance.
The guy who makes water distribution line welds may take it on with a beer after work if you can make the contact.
I used to work (and sail) with the machinist who built the telescopes at McDonald Observatory - he made great parts for me, from a hand-waved description, and better than I could design - and I'm a licensed engineer. (The thing is, if you brought him a drawing, that's exactly what you'd get, and letting him go with your idea always worked out better.)

Other ideas are contact a local company that provides the equipment and training for the water distribution lines. Try your local AWS chapter, telling them what you need - they may be able to give you a contact. Your boat might end up as a show-and-tell repair in a meeting demonstration. Free repairs have no implied liability.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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