Friday, June 05, 2009

Motorcycle Saddlebag Update

Made some more progress on the saddlebags. There is a lot of prep progress going on because I want these to look good. The model, form, plug whichever you want to call it requires tons of sanding and molding to get it right, if you don't have this right then the end product will just look like crap. The inside of the plug does not have to be anywhere near perfect because it will not be mirror imaged like the outside of the part will. The outside of the plug is what needs to be as close to perfect as you can get it otherwise you'll need to do tons of sanding and filling of the mold when it comes off of the plug. Why? Because the outside of the plug becomes the inside of your mold which in turn becomes the outside of your finished part. And, you don't want to be sanding and filling your finished part do you.
I have some previous holes in the saddlebag plug that need to be filled and in the top as well. I've had to degrease the plug and sand it with 80 grit then 100 grit, 220 grit and then I'll go to the 400 wetdri and then a 600 wetdri. The 400 and 600 won't be done until after all scratches, pits and holes and imperfections have been filled with glazing putty. This is tedious work but my end result should be a superior set of saddlebags that will look good on any motorcycle.

After all the initial prep work of the plug is done it will be painted and sealed. After seal is done then I'll wet sand with 600 wetdri, apply five to six coats of parting wax and let this cure. As the wax cures the process of the two part mold box will be built. This is what will hold the plug that becomes the mold that becomes the finished saddlebags will come from. Whew! Did you get all of that?
Just before I lay on the fiberglass to make the mold the plug will get another coat of parting wax and be buffed nice and smooth then sprayed with some PVA (Poly vinyl alcohol release agent) so everything comes out of the mold all nice and easy like.
Sure, maybe this first process is taking a tad bit longer than some would do it but I just hate making bad parts and like getting it right the first time.

These will also be great for bicycles as well as the weight will be fairly light. On the scale with hinge and latch they come in almost exactly at 5 pounds each. Plus they are water tight so a bicyclist won't have to worry about anything getting wet like with bicycle baskets.


Mark said...

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