Basics: Join Plastic - #3 Seams & Seals

Introduction: Basics: Join Plastic - #3 Seams & Seals

About: always had a deep connection with junk. drawn to it, magically, from childhood on. spent the nights as a boy roaming the streets and looking for trash to take back home. spent # 2 most of my allowance on the l…

here is how you create seams to weld thin plastic. you can make your own plastic-bags etc with this technique. if you get the knack the results will be air-sealed and water-proof. the process is fast and simple and cheap.

Step 1: Handy Stuff:

to demonstrate the technique lets keep it basic and just use: a plastic-bag from the trash, a paper-receipt from shopping, a soldering-iron

Step 2: Prep the Plastic

straighten it out over some cutting-board or some cardboard or a newspaper, etc.

Step 3: Use Some Paper:

put it over the edge where you want to create a seam.

(the paper, or alu-foil etc, serves to transfer the heat without actually burning the plastic)

Step 4: A Guide:

here some simple strip from a wooden fruit-crate... use whatever that can take some heat (or go free-style)... ready to trace the soldering-iron along and get a straight clean line

Step 5: Heat

now slowly pass the soldering-iron along the guide and over the paper...

btw, if you are stuck and dont have a s-iron: use any similar metal-object you can heat up over a fire (it works too, just takes a bit more skill and takes a bit longer, since you frequently have to reheat the object)

Step 6: Seam Done, Peel Off the Paper

above you can see a complete seam with paper still on. pull it off, carefully

Step 7: Cut the Leftover Plastic

with scissors etc cut a bit outside the new seam


we are done already.. but i want to add a few steps that show that this technique can be used to make air-seals or bag liquids:

Step 8: Water-test

again, keep in mind that whats shown here just serves to demonstrate the technique.... f.e., lets fill some water in the created bag

.... and seal it off... same process as above

Step 9: Sealed... Done...

thats the finished ´product´

obviously you can customi-make any item of pretty much any size this way.


as always: buy less, work less, play more

thanks you all.





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    2 years ago

    Nice Ible, even if many will pass it up because they missed the many possibilities it opens up. It is a great reminder that we are not limited to what the experts and stores offer in the way of things useful to us, as we go about our daily deeds.

    I made my own bag sealer back in the day. I used a couple pieces of Corian, some plexi for the hinged lid, and some door gasket material to creat the seal between the lid and the body of the sealer.

    To pull a vacuum, I used a nebulizer. Merely switching the hose to the other side so converted it to a vacuum pump from a compressor.

    To seal the bags, I used a commercial sealer with adjustable controls.

    Unlike sealers sold for the home, the home built one, because of the adjustable temp, could use any bags. And it was limited only to the size bags I chose. I could seal bags up sixteen inches wide.

    To make the body, I cut two pieces of Corian to the same size. Next, I cut the center out of one. Then I siliconed the two together. This gave me the well your downtown sealers use (where you put the top of the bag).

    To allow me to connect the nebulizer/vacuum pump, I drilled a hole through the side of the piece with the center cut out. The hole was just large enough to force the hose into.

    It worked great.

    la xerra
    la xerra

    Reply 2 years ago

    hey kelly, thanks for stopping by and taking some time to comment - appreciated.

    yes, its ´pathetic´, we are raising the new generation ( preparing it for the machine ) often without them, f.e., not even being able to use a pocket-knife or scissors or what have you.

    the few kids we have up here in this mountain village come and ask if i can fix their flat tyre. no, i say, but i will show you how you can do it yourself (some kids had stopped riding their bikes because they punctured their tube - insane).

    hey, what you write about your bag-sealing experiences sounds wonderful. please, can you go ahead and whip up an instructable on that? i am sure one day some critter will stumble upon it and send you straight for heaven for it.

    anyhow, thanks again. and keep fertilizing the soils (not just) here.