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Old 08-14-2013, 02:28 AM   #31
morepower

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarbinKaiber View Post
WOW. This is EXACTLY why I'm here also. I guess that this is a common event to befall people. Up until now, I felt alone with this issue. My previous gig was essentially shuttered so I can repurpose the space to do my production on the molds I invested into under the expectation that the guy I was working with would be doing the repeat manufacturing of my product.
I think this is how many of us start.... Same with painters too I guess... Finding someone reliable to do the work is harder than people think... But it is either do it yourself or lose an investment in time and money.. OK it may mean we are a long way down the road before we can make usable parts or saleable ones. But it is better to have control over your own destiny...

My story is a little more frustrating and very close to being something much more...
I had a supplier who had been paid up front for 3 kits and the customers I had lined up paid the guy directly.. This meant my investment was time and making the mock up on the bike and the three sales covered (this was the deal at the time) 3 kits and the cost of the moulds. So I referred on the the 3 guys who paid upfront the price the supplier wanted. They got kits and I got the moulds made.... happy happy happy.... But 4 months later 3 kits appeared which were a) not pre-preg and b) worse than the mock up I supplied.... The supplier then had an idea to raise more cash by making the fuel tank and seat a monocoque.. OK.. I agreed only if all the customers agreed too... They did... The parts were sent to a guy closer to me for him to make the moulds.. He set a price based on what he was told about the condition of the parts... The description was way off..... But the parts went down anyway and only by accident did I find out who was now making MY moulds.. I arrived there a couple of days after my pattern parts arrived and after a chat I ended up taking part of it away to correct some massive errors.. So to cut an even longer story short.. I had to make a few decisions on moulds, parts and the 3 customers who paid the original supplier directly...

I paid another 1000+ for the extra work needed to bring my parts up to scratch and spend several months of my time during the working day to work on the patterns and making 120 mile round trips one or twice a week for over 18 months. But I got the original supplier to agree to supply materials to make the 3 kits for HIS customers and I agreed to learn how to make the parts and supply those three customers with full kits at 30% of the retail price (the price the supplier asked them for a seat and fairing only not the fuel tank too) of the complete monocoque and fairing. My only charge would not be for labour but out of pocket expense like painters and resins for the tank base and tank sealing from ethanol and paid for oven time.. So I have put right the wrong with 3 customers even though I in truth had no responsibility to do that, if I was looking at it from a purely business point of view. The guys had to wait 2 years and the kits are done..

I now know how to make my parts, I know the best materials to use, I have access to an oven large enough to cook all my kits and I now know how to build my own oven and so much more that I was shown and taught by the guy who eventually made my moulds and although it is still a steep learning curve I have come a long long way in that time as well as had to do my own work and just keep going with hope of seeing the work finally pay me back for all the time and investment I had to put into what was simply getting a supplier to make parts for me....
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:12 PM   #32
mugget

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Talking At long last...!

The project lives! Finally today I got to spraying all the plugs. I think I have a small dust problem due to my spray booth/area having been reclaimed for storage, it was partly open and I think some dust got in over the months. I probably shouldn't have worn the old coveralls that had been hanging in the garage either, no doubt they got dusty but I didn't even think about that.

I'm sure it's no biggie - worst case I'll just have to flat it and polish it up, which would be needed anyway to get a glass smooth surface. Although if it wasn't for the dust I would have just left it. Anyway I'll take all the parts out into the sun tomorrow when they're dry and see how it looks.

Here's a sneak peak in the booth:


Sneaky peaky by mugget, on Flickr

The larger curvy looking piece at the back in that shot is one of the front side shrouds, the others are plastic airbox pieces. I figured the old airbox would look a bit ratty against new bodywork, so I just painted the sections that will be visible from the sides.

I just sprayed everything black in 2k solid to speed things up, otherwise I would have done some in white, some in orange (basecoat + clear) to get an idea of how those colours would look. Despite the poor lighting and camera phone pic you can see that it looks pretty glossy. I love 2k paints...
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:45 PM   #33
mugget

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Well I guess it wouldn't be a "DIY" type progress thread unless I was honest about difficulties along the way...

For anyone else attempting at home, there are things that make spray painting really difficult:
  1. Not having enough work space
  2. Poor lighting

Maybe I shouldn't have tried to spray all these parts at once, but oh well. As for the lighting, I'm going to have to put up some floodlights to try and fix that.

Well here's how it came out. Some sections are absolutely perfect, others are noticeably rough. I was a bit too worried about getting runs so I kept pulling the gun back and not overlapping the passes properly, should have just trusted that I had the correct setup - which I did and the few good sections show that. But this is only my 3rd ever attempt at spray painting colour/topcoat, I'm getting there... thankfully sanding and polishing is easy.


Painted plugs by mugget, on Flickr


Painted plugs by mugget, on Flickr

The chain guard was a particularly spectacular disaster, tricky because of all the angles, the top edge wraps around over the back. Will have to respray this one.


Painted plugs by mugget, on Flickr

And the painted airbox parts. Those can stay as-is for the time being. It doesn't look that bad in person and not too sure it's worth the effort to flat & polish a piece of plastic!


Painted plugs by mugget, on Flickr

Looks like I don't have to wonder what I'll be doing with my nights for the next week or two...

I think when I do a bunch of plugs on a future project or whenever, I will invest in a surfacing primer from Duratec etc. But for my purposes now it's all good, because I will need to paint the final parts anyway.
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