Mold Surgery

Things were going so well..

After buffing the mold halves to a fine shine, I layed up the first part. Anxiety was relieved when it practically jumped out of the mold the next morning. The first thing I did was trim the flashing and squeeze the 76 into its slot - and I really had to squeeze it - both hands, one on the back of the pod, one on the front of the 76. Unfortunately removing it basically required a crowbar. That was not going to work - this was supposed to be a friction fit, tool-less removal slot. The project came within a breath of being abandoned after weighing my limited options.

I won't go into the numbing details of the mold modifications. It's enough to say that had it been too big a slot, a little sanding and polishing would have done the trick. Since it was too small, I would have to add material. Adding to a mold is the worst possible outcome and that's what I spent last week doing! A thick spray of gelcoat in the concerning area (about 20 mils) followed by about 40 hours of blending and refinishing brought the mold back to life and as good as new:

Masking the offending area in prep for gelcoat.

Bringing the width to within 1/50th of a mm along the length of the GPS box.

Sanded to 1500 and ready for endless polish and wax - two days of just waxing.

SUCCESS tonight!

Since I was in remodel mode, I brought both mold halves to an even finer finish than before. Next two photos are directly out of the mold, no polish.

Garmin 76 slides in - and out - by hand, all is well in Scottsdale, AZ.

I'm setting up the shop for resin infusion to reduce exposure and have an overall cleaner work environment. As soon as that's done, production will begin. Should have parts rolling by new year's.

1 comment:

Bill Reynolds said...

Very nice piece of work. It looks like the 76 is upside down in the pod. I'm possibly upgrading to the 6030 with one of your pods in 2012. I had the Gecko pod in mind for it's sleekness and weight, if they'll be available. Is there an advantage to using the 76 over the Gecko? I've never used a Gecko.