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Folding dinghies using corrugated plastic


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I am intrigued by some of the folding dinghies I have seen on the web using corrugated plastic.  I am curious to find out if anyone has tried making one of these and is willing to share their experience(s).  I have an 8ft x 50" piece of corrugated HDPE left over from a roofing project that is just begging to be used for a folding dinghy. 

Thanks

Tom 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks Charlie,

And yes I have found the Ken Simpson's web site.  That is what got me interested in the subject.  

What was your source of the corrugated plastic?

And how do they actually move in the water?

Can you keep them going in straight line?

 

This will be my winter project using a Solexx panel I have left over from building a shelter. 

 

Tom 

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well, it's a kind of floppy boat- has a ply floor. Would last for a while I suppose

 

The kids raced them against one another and I didn't notice much slewing around

 

The stuff we used was donated by the company, since it was for school kids

 

Picture of one partially assembled

 

post-31-0-66904800-1447271184_thumb.jpg

post-31-0-27812500-1447271276_thumb.jpg

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I will be trying this out with a product called Solexx.  This is a square corrugated plastic for greenhouses.  It should be UV resistant. I have just enough left from covering the carport to try it out.  

However, this product is quite stiff and will require careful cutting of the inside layer of a crease because it will not crease well enough to hold a bend otherwise.  

This will be my winter project, and I will post the results here when I get it done.  

Tom

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I'd consider heat instead. The poly glazing I think this stuff is, can be pretty brittle. Stretch a 12 gauge wire taut along the line you want your crease, and short it's ends on a 12 VDC car battery for several seconds. It'll reach the softening and melting point of the plastic quick so some exsperementing is wise. While it's soft, remove the wire and bend. A heat gun would be my other choice. Place the panel over the edge of a table, where you want the bend, then heat both sides. When it's pliable, it'll start to move under it's own weight. Use a cold water soaked rag to "freeze" the bend in place.

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Chick and PAR

Actually I have tried all these methods in experimenting with scraps. First I use a dull 4" mason's chisel to try to crush the corrugations.  However the thickness of the plastic did not allow for a good bend.  It would only bend 90 degrees.

 

I then tried using a plastic welder that has a narrow tip.  This melted the layers together and the result was so thick that no bending was possible. 

 

I then tried heating a 1/2" metal rod in the oven to about 325 degrees and placed it on the plastic this created a larger melted joint but again it was very difficult to bend.  The layers melted together producing a plastic that was 2-3 mm thick. I may end up using this method if I can work joint somewhat to make it more flexible.

 

The easiest way I have found to bend the Solexx is to cut the top layer.  Even then if I want the uncut side to be on the outside of the bend I have to cut the inside in a V shape to allow for the bend.  I use an angled mat cutter on which I can adjust the depth. Each layer of the Solexx is actually thicker than two layers of the plastic used in most corrugated products for signs. 

 

If I can figure out how to work the Solexx I think it will provide a dinghy with quite a bit more strength. 

Tom 

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