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plastic "refurbishing". i have some ideas

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okay so i got to thinkin today and i had a thought come up that id like to ask around about. i saw my old number plates for my KX in my garage that are pretty beat up and thought to myself "can i make these better?" so after some pondering i came up with this;

what if i took some heavy grit sand paper and sanded all the big scratches out of the plate, then took fine grit and smoothed the thing out.

after that, i would take them to the shop in school and take the acetylene torch (yes i said torch) and LIGHTLY go over the surface making quick strokes until i essentially would "melt" the first layer of plastic.

after it dried im hoping to have a nice shine where the melted plastic formed like a clear coat type thing. so my question is; does this seem plausible? and has anyone tried anything similar?

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It does seem very plausible. A heat-gun would probably be a much better choice for this though. Much easier to control, so you don't end up melting a hole in your plastic or igniting it.

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um , cant you get a full set of plastics for $100 ?? seems like thats quite a bit of work and time you'll put into making those old plastics look ok.

and by the way, they do sell a kit for refurbishing old plastics. it comes with sandpaper and some liiquid stuff you buff it out with. ive never used it before so i dont know if actually works or not.

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I agree with the heat gun. Most of them can put out a temperature over a 1000* degrees farenheit, more than enough to melt plastic.

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ha i know the torches get hot i use them every day. BUT that also means i know my way around them and feel confident of not burning through. and im trying to do this on the cheapy as i currently have 25 dollars in my wallet and no job :thumbsup: im tryin on the job thing though. so im thinking ill try it monday on my old plastic thats really beat so i dont risk my current plastic thats somewhat beat

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By "heavy grit sandpaper" I hope you mean 400 grit or smaller. Then finishing with 800 or even 1000 grit.

But I do like your idea of heat. Try it and report back.

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wont work on number plates. ill tell you that much, but it WILL work on all the other plastics.

you dont even need to sand them. just tourch them, little bit at a time, and all the scratches will melt back together. and if you bent your fender and put a crease in it, that will go away also. however, you have to be cairfull not to heat to much as it willl warp the plastics.

get an old rear fander or rad scoop and try it out. it took me a wile to perfect how its done. but now i can make almost any fenders/rad scoops look like new.

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Yes, it can be done.

Some plastics are a lot more tempermental about their heat range than others, the PE on my KTM goes from solid and unworkable to burning and on fire real quick. Not much useable temp range with it.

The sled's real easy to work with, a butane torch gets it nice and melty. As long as you keep the torch moving, it'll stay in that jelly-like workable state as long as you need it to. Do what you need to with it, get the heat off, sand it down and do a pass over the top with a torch to gloss it over.

Here's a snowmobile side panel I repaired, top part with the holes had completely broken off:

DSC00155.JPG

And after cleaning up the outside:

DSC00154.JPG

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400, 800, 1000 grit then use the meguiars headlight restoration kit with the ball. It comes out pretty good and is a little more predictable. It will also take of any scum you may have on the fuel tank.

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I've played with the heat gun too. It will shine things up but is hard to regulate with perfection. I used brake cleaner to clean and remove small scratches. It will melt the plastic slightly as it cleans. Use a soft rag.

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"Plastic Re-New" is the product that was mentioned. I've used it and it works pretty good but I've had the same results with sandpaper and moving up to 1000+ grit and wet sanding. When you're satisfied with it, apply your backgrounds, decals, etc then go over it all with a few coats of "Future" acrylic floor wax (makes it shine like the bikes in the magazines and in the pro pits).

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ha i know the torches get hot i use them every day. BUT that also means i know my way around them and feel confident of not burning through. and im trying to do this on the cheapy as i currently have 25 dollars in my wallet and no job :thumbsup: im tryin on the job thing though. so im thinking ill try it monday on my old plastic thats really beat so i dont risk my current plastic thats somewhat beat

If it works, go into business referbing M.C. plastics. I am to lazy to do all of that, so I buy new. But I would gladly pay someone to fix up some old plastics. Show us the results.

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Worst that could happen is you ruin old ugly number plates. For the price of number plates I wouldn't bother but I commend you for your resolve. I hope it works for you. Good Luck

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plastics for my bike are almost impossible to find in decent shape minus the fenders. so thats why im tryin to fix up the old stuff. i have the oddball years kx100 95-97

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