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Old 03-22-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
vmpolesov
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Default harbor freight 'plastic welder'

Has anyone tried that harbor freight 'plastic welder' which is some sort of hot air gun, and can weld some types of thermoplastics?

Would this work to weld a plastic fitting into a rubbermaid?

I'm interested because WELDLESS FITTINGS SUCK! You can't tighten them enough to get a good seal without the o-ring squishing out.

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Old 03-22-2008, 05:44 PM   #2
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This is going to sound weird, but try backing off on the connections. Overtightening a bulkhead will often distort the wall of the cooler, and make a leak. Mine is just snug by about hand-tight + 1/4 turn, and it doesn't leak a bit.

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Old 03-22-2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmpolesov
Would this work to weld a plastic fitting into a rubbermaid?

I'm interested because WELDLESS FITTINGS SUCK! You can't tighten them enough to get a good seal without the o-ring squishing out.
Really? I've converted two coolers, and neither leaks at all...not a drop. If the o-ring is misformed, you've tightened it way too much.

The plastic "welder" is interesting though, I may drive over the local Harbor Freight outlet and have a look. One of my kayaks could benefit greatly from such a product.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:59 PM   #4
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A guy at work just bought one of those, its just a small tipped heat gun, along with a handful of plastic rods. I tried to use it a couple of times without any success at all, seemed like junk to me. But who knows maybe you can get it to work fine.

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Old 03-23-2008, 02:31 AM   #5
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I used to do a little plastic welding back in the day...about 12 years ago. I found that it worked good on thick plastic (1/4" - 1/2"). Also the cross section of the welding rod would be important depending on the type of joint. Could not say much about that as I have not done it in awhile. I would guess the type of plastic is very improtant to achive a good weld (e.g. to dissimilar plastic may require skill). I was mostly succsessful at burning my hands with the heat gun. I think you will melt through your MLT.

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Old 03-23-2008, 02:34 AM   #6
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I think it's possible to do some plastic welding on your cooler, but I doubt that it's practical. Give the fittings another try - they just take some finesse.

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Old 03-23-2008, 03:31 AM   #7
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I can live with the weldless fittings. The ones I got have an o-ring on the inside and outside, and I've seen others that sub the outside o-ring with a large fender washer, that seems like it'd work better.

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Old 03-23-2008, 04:33 AM   #8
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Try some silicone lubricant on your gaskets. It's often used in the food industry.

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Old 03-23-2008, 04:57 PM   #9
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At my old company we had 20 plastic welders going around the clock. It defiantly takes some finesse and works better in open areas. It would be difficult to get in inside a cooler and weld around a fitting.

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