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Thread: My try at ABS sludging a xenarc

  1. #1
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    My try at ABS sludging a xenarc

    So I decided to try the ABS sludge method for molding my xenarc into the center console of my 99 VW jetta mk3.

    I searched home depot for quite a while, they didn't carry the ABS pipe that others recommended, or any other items clearly marked as ABS. So I just experimented with acetone and plastics around the house, turns out the shells to these really ancient mac external floppy drives I had are ABS, so that's what I used. Used a 3/8" spade drill bit on my drill press and a big bucket lid to catch the shavings, and this is what I ended up with:

    stuffed a bunch into a dish soap squirt bottle with some acetone, and after some shaking to get it mostly broken down into a chunky sludge, and then letting it sit for a while to finish melting, I had about 1/3 bottle of nice ABS sludge, which is even conveniently almost the same color as my console.

    some quick dremel work, and the cubby hole in the console was gone...

    some more dremel work, and the xenarc fit nicely...

    I took apart the screen, taped the front panel in position, and secured it with a few beads of epoxy around the edges. That didn't turn out to be so strong, since the epoxy didn't bond to the console plastic, but it was enough to keep it in place while I started with the sludge. Unfortunately, I also found out (much too late at this point) that the console plastic is not acetone-soluble... so the sludge doesn't actually bond to it. I decided to go ahead with it anyway, since I have heard fiberglass has a hard time sticking to plastic as well, but people still have success molding screens in with it.

    Anyway, here it is after the first round of sludge. For this, I made it very thick and spread it with a dowel, rather than pouring it on. I had sealed the major gaps between the screen and console by putting a piece of scrap plastic on the bottom gap, and sealing the remainder with some masking tape in behind. I also put some sludge in behind, to give it some more structural integrity. Since I have to worry about the ABS separating from the console, I figure having the console sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of ABS would help a bit.

    And then after allowing that to sit for about half a day, I applied more sludge, this time I added more acetone to thin it out a little more so it would pour, and also so it would tend to spread and smooth out a bit more on its own; this comes in handy because the stuff dries so fast, it develops a skin in just seconds after being squeezed out. making it thinner gave a little more time to spread it out and get everything a little more even; this second application went a LONG way toward getting it ready for sanding, some filling, and then finish work. (sorry the pic is so washed out by the flash, i suck at photography)

    *******
    EDIT: I've removed the rest of the images in this thread, please visit my site, where there's a more thorough article with more pictures:
    http://eegeek.net/content/view/18/30/
    Here's the "final" picture, just for eye candy. This is as good as it ever looked, the failure to bond to the polypropylene ended up creating big cracks down the sides, so I moved on to another method for the finished install - fiberglass. That's for another thread.
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate 3g Jester's Avatar
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    you drink moxie <3

    i like the work. whats the proportions?

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    Maximum Bitrate binary.h4x's Avatar
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    So far so good.

    I have some stuff I picked up from the hobby shop, called Ambroid Proweld. Its a plastic welder that says it will do styrene, butyrate, abs, and acrylic. Maybe you could try it?

    Also I believe most of the ABS pipes are with the custom sprinkler system stuff (black plastic).
    2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

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    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3g_Jester
    you drink moxie <3

    i like the work. whats the proportions?
    hey, it's our official state soft drink

    you mean proportion of ABS to acetone? well I didn't really measure either, I just kept adding shavings as I made them, and adding acetone to get it to the desired consistency.

    Quote Originally Posted by binary.h4x
    So far so good.

    I have some stuff I picked up from the hobby shop, called Ambroid Proweld. Its a plastic welder that says it will do styrene, butyrate, abs, and acrylic. Maybe you could try it?

    Also I believe most of the ABS pipes are with the custom sprinkler system stuff (black plastic).
    I've actually used that type of plastic welder before. As I recall, given how potent a solvent smell it gives off, I would think it would bond to any plastic... I might have to try that. Since I don't have any on hand right now, I think I'll hold off until I see how the ABS sludge holds up by itself.

    I am not sure our home depot has a custom sprinkler section... assuming you mean lawn sprinklers, I'm not surprised, they aren't very common here in maine
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    It sounds kind of like you're dealing with polypropylene (PP). The first thing you need to do before trying new methods for adhesion is to find out what kind of plastic you're dealing with.

    If I don't check this thread again (I'm bad about that), Duramix 4040 is some serious bonding stuff that works pretty well with PP. Downside is that its a little pricey.
    In the works...
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  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate binary.h4x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandude
    I've actually used that type of plastic welder before. As I recall, given how potent a solvent smell it gives off, I would think it would bond to any plastic... I might have to try that.

    Thats probably it, considering it has a label stating that it contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer
    2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC

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    Maximum Bitrate Naamanf's Avatar
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    Moxie. That is some nasty stuff. Stationed in Brunswick for four years.

    Looks like he also skis and is into RC planes/cars.

    Oh looking good.
    2007 Tahoe
    Opus with iBase 896 and Pentium M 735 Transflective Xenarc Alpine DVA-9861, PXA-H900, Sinfoni 45X2 (2) 90x2, Genesis Dual Mono, JL 1000/1 (2), Focal Be tweeters, ScanSpeak Revelator Mids, Dynaudio MW170, Dayton 12" Ref.

    My Install

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    Maximum Bitrate binary.h4x's Avatar
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    Don't forget the Fritos!
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  9. #9
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMOKINV8
    It sounds kind of like you're dealing with polypropylene (PP). The first thing you need to do before trying new methods for adhesion is to find out what kind of plastic you're dealing with.

    If I don't check this thread again (I'm bad about that), Duramix 4040 is some serious bonding stuff that works pretty well with PP. Downside is that its a little pricey.
    Yeah, I searched the whole console and did manage to find a 'PP' marking now that I knew what I was looking for.

    from some googling it appears that solvents are practically out of the question for PP, but according to this place I could potentially do it with high-temp plastic welding, with one of those $30 plastic welders from harbor freight.

    on a side note, looks like I have to start photochopping my pics a bit more before you guys deduce my entire life story
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  10. #10
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    So you just experimented until you found something that you asued wore ABS or how did you know?

    Have a lot of plastic laying around the house (i.e old mac's that you had).

    So should i just put some plastic together with acetone until i find something that will work, or du you have a good way how to identify ABS plastic?

    Sorry for my bad english.

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