Monday, June 30, 2014

Making Windows

Ever since we bought Tortuguita, the forward windows have been leaking.  These windows span the forward cabins and the 5th cabin (The garage).  I re-caulk them every 2 month but they always fail.  The plexiglass on the port window is cracked and both are extremely crazed.

Well, this is not the 3rd world.  There are 3 local shops that do serious thermoforming of plexiglass.  We went to all of them and chose P&M Plastics.  Initially, I did not know what was necessary to make these new windows.  I thought there was a straight bend and it would fit perfectly.  When I got the first one out, I wanted to mark the center of the bend and guess what, it was a complex curving bend.

I went to P&M to find out how this would now work.  They would now have to heat the plexiglass in a huge oven and drape it over a mold of the window.  The mold had to be 50mm larger than the actual window.  What kind of mold, I asked?  Plaster, wood, fiberglass?  They showed me some small things but there was nothing like this in their shop.  So, I bought resin, fiberglass, and wood and glassed up a mold like they wanted.  They wanted to do both at the same time so we had to pull both windows and make 2 different molds since they were mirror images of each other.
What a mess

The cabin is upper.  The garage is lower right.

Extend the windows with wood and foam
I screwed wood around the edge and then glued 10mm styrofoam to the wood to bring it up to be level with the inside of the window

Apply mold release agent

Mold release agent is applied to everything or so the fiberglass form will separate.

Fiberglass was laid up on to the window and then reinforced with wood slats to help keep the shape.

I used my machete to pry the pieces apart and there we go.  One window mold.

Windows and molds at P&M Plastics

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