Idea for DIY dock, need advice on where to find materials


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  1. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi all, I was hoping to get some advice. I have an idea for a DIY dock made out of thick, clear, hard plastic. The plastic would be about 1/2 to 3/4ths of an inch thick. I would then cut pieces to make a cube and glue them together with something like apoxy or crazy glue.

    I'm sort of new to the DIY though and was hoping to get advice on tools and materials.

    So here are my questions:

    - what tools do I need to cut / shape the plastic? How about to engrave stuff on it?
    - what kind of plastic do I need? Does it have a name? Plexiglass?
    - where would I buy the plastic?

    Any help is appreciated,

    Thanks. :)
     

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  2. DrDiff

    DrDiff Well-Known Member

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    Do a search for plastics in your area. Someone will be able to provide you with materials and glues that you would need. Heck you have a Moto Droid. I bet that your droid could navigate you to the shop!
     
  3. messenger13

    messenger13 Well-Known Member

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    Do a Google search for "plastic fabrication", including your City and State. Then call several of them and see if any are helpful. You should be able to buy the raw materials you'd need ... or just have them make it for you (especially if it is a small shop). Large manufacturers won't be so easy to work with.

    There are many types of plastics. You'd probably want to work with Lexan
     
  4. DrDiff

    DrDiff Well-Known Member

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    Lexan is General Electric's brand name for Polycarbonate plastic. Nice stuff provided you treat it right. Radio Control car hobbiests have been using it as body material for decades. I personally have painted Hundreds of polycarbonate bodies

    Paint won't stick to it unless it chemically bonds or etches itself to the polycarb. You have to use special paints and paint it from the "inside" of the stand. Go to a hobby shop and ask for Pactra R/C finish or Parma Fascolor. Pactra requires special thiners to clean the brush. Parma cleans up with soap and water.

    DO NOT use Cyanoacrylate (Crazy type) glues. CA glue fogs the polycarb and the polycarb around the joint area is weakened. You are better off with hot melt glue. Better yet go to your local wally mart and head to the shoe department, also try sporting goods. Look for Shoe Goo, Stinky stuff but won't harm the polycarb.
     
  5. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks much guys. That should help me get tarted for sure. I'll post an image when I'm done for sure but be a month or so probably. Any additional info always welcome but definitely a big thanks to you both. :)
     
  6. barry99705

    barry99705 Well-Known Member

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    I'd never use shoe goo to glue polycarb.

    Lexan Polycarbonate Glue
     
  7. DrDiff

    DrDiff Well-Known Member

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  8. Psychokitty

    Psychokitty Well-Known Member

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    Here's what I would do...

    Make a plastic mock-up of your Droid. Doesn't have to be exactly perfect, but if you shoot for perfection, you'll end up with "above acceptable". This could be done by purchasing a sheet of Plexiglas and cutting out Droid-sized pieces, and laminating them together. You can use a fairly coarse file to round & shape the model, and then sand paper to clean it up. Go slowly and methodically and consistently. It should take you many hours to make this mock-up! Use finer sandpaper (wet/dry paper with water) and work your way up to about 400 grit. 400 should get it smooth enough for what you need.

    Now for the fun part!
    Get a quart sized container of Bondo fiberglass filler. Ask your local automotive store clerk for help, and explain what you're doing. Also get fiberglass cloth. You'll need Nitrile gloves (cheap, and don't get latex!), full cover safety glasses, and disposable breathing masks. -About $15 bucks in safety equipment that's simply a must have.

    Use the mock-up as your model to wrap or curve the fabric to conform. You may need to paint the dummy-Droid with Vaseline so the Bondo doesn't adhere to it. Wrap the dummy up how you like and paint the back of the cloth.

    You can also use carbon fiber and the associated adhesives for that, but I believe it will be far more expensive. The pros to this as an alternative to bending up sheet Poly or Plexi with heat or gluing multiple pieces together is that the fit will be like a glove, it won't want to warp out of tolerance as you work it, and you can paint it.
    You'll also be able to sand & shape it a bit easier than the plastics, I believe.

    Once you start the fabric layer, you can build up on it to thicken it. You can cut for the charger cord, etc, and insert a bung, and build up around it. It'll look terrible and hopeless as you start, but when it's finished up and you paint it, it will look fantastic and surprise you. But painting properly is a whole 'nother discussion that you will absolutely have to have for best results!

    -Better make a couple at once to sell to pay for the materials. ;)
    I have not done this myself, but I have a friend who does carbon fiber hoods and laptop lids in fiberglass or CF. Of course, he made it look really easy! LOL

    I bought a charging station at Target for cheap that I thought would be great for my the new Droids my wife & I got, but it's too narrow.
    So I'm gonna build one that's perfect using Legos, and glue them together. -Complete with a bottom drawer. :)
     
  9. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    LOL, some awesome and crazy advice. Thanks much guys : )
     
  10. Psychokitty

    Psychokitty Well-Known Member

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    -Oh yeah, back to the original question (lol),
    Get a dremel. For plastic, the smallest one they have is all you need and will be the most comfortable one to use. ALWAYS wear dust protection. Plastic is NOT always inert, but even inert particles can stay trapped in the lungs causing irritation until they develop scar tissue around the particles. Really bad news.
     
  11. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Would a standard painter's mask suffice as protection?
     

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