DIY Raft Pads - am I nuts? - Page 4 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-07-2016   #31
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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Very impressive

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Old 02-07-2016   #32
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Those look great. Good idea to do the removable closed-cell foam to keep the funk out.
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Old 02-10-2016   #33
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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So I finally got most of the tools but the nozzle I got for the heat gun didn't fit. I decided to do a small test anyway to get an idea how it was to work with the material. Long story short, there's a reason they use the attachments on the heat gun. It's hard to control the temps, get the material sealed, and not have wrinkles in the seam with a big, bulky nozzle in the way. You really need three arms.
My leak test (with a stack of books on the test piece) showed it wasn't air tight, but it took a long time to lose air, so it was close, even with all the wrinkles in the seams. The hardest thing is getting a consistent seam seal. It should be much easier with the proper attachment, but it will take a few more tests before I'd consider attempting a raft pad. In the end, if I can't get really solid seams, I may end up going with glue after all.
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Old 02-10-2016   #34
 
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nice work man!!! learning curve for sure
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Old 02-10-2016   #35
 
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First attempt that looks pretty good! Might have a cottage industry on your hands.

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Old 02-10-2016   #36
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Fraser, Colorado
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Not to shabby!! Especially for a first project.
Inland marine sells a product for sealing pin hole leaks in rafts, works pretty good, though a little pricy.
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Old 02-12-2016   #37
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Tucson, Arizona
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If you actually decide to make these things, and don't use the pink you will loose an opportunity to make some humor.
Go for it!
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Old 04-29-2016   #38
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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So I finally put one together

I'm doing a quick run on the San Juan in a couple of days and I really wanted to take pad with me. I'm starting grad school in about 10 days, and I haven't had time to work on my plastic welding skills, so I decided to try a glued pad because it seemed more straight forward and there was less of a chance that I would totally screw it up. If it didn't hold up, I could just cut off the old tarp and try again, re-using the interior pad and valves.
I think the first attempt turned out pretty good. I placed valves on the sides, on either end, so I could blow air through and dry out things if a little water entered. I went with white, for heat reasons, but I'm sure it will look pretty dingy soon.
The pad is 3" x 27" x 82", There was just enough material to do a 2" wide seam down the length of it, and the ends have 2" seams as well. It's a pretty tight fit. If it holds up well, I'll put some corner patches on it, and maybe pull out the sharpie to draw a logo, I'm thinking my family's ranch brand would be cool... the Bench Lazy R. I'll post a few more photos soon, but so far I'm happy.
I assembled it during my daughter's nap time, and all told, it's about $70 of materials, with the foam running almost $50.
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Old 04-29-2016   #39
 
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Nicely done! Looking forward to hearing about the test drive now.
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Old 04-29-2016   #40
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Looks awesome! love your idea of valves on both ends to push air through the pad for drying out. good thinking. you'll have to let us know how that works if you ever get water in it and get a chance to try that out.
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