Author Options:

How to join waterproof material Answered

Hello! First topic. :)

I'm trying to make a waterproof cover out of an army poncho for the Base of my mobility scooter. I'm having trouble joining the material. I've tried hot glue, duct tape and strong adhesive with no joy.

Any ideas? It's for a parade tomorrow so I'm kinda up against it.



So I eventually came up with a solution to the problem of covering the base of my scooter. An ikea blue bag! With a small hole in the bottom to accommodate the seat post it fits perfectly. I'll try to get a photo as it's an unbelievably snuggle fit. :)

You should turn that into an instructable!

A stapler?

I hope you do realise that their material is of lowest quality and that the metal clamps won't like moisture?

You want to do it properly, so I suugest to take a leftover piece and a sewing machine.

Fold both edges of the material so they form two interlocking V's, line them up and secure them flat with a few pins.

Set the sewing machine to a zick-zack pattern that is wide enough but leaves about 1-1.5mm to the folded edges.

Depending on the material and it's thickness secelt the right yarn and needle, for example:

Normal canvas material can be stiched with a good jeans needle and the yarn for yeans - it is very strong and soaks in wax and grease in case it needs to be fully water proof.

For plastic material that is tear resistand, like the material for sails and kites a thin needle and strong synthetic yarn should be used, the wax for sealing in this case will "glue" the materials together, so something flexible like bees wax is perfect.

If tension strenght on the seems is an issue with thin material use a duble fold instead of the single fold and a double row of stright stiches near the edges of the fold, followed by a wide zick-zack.

Using a sewing machine sounds daunting to a lot of people but if you only need to do striaght stiching you might be surprised how easy it is, give it a try and you might even agree on it ;)

I ended up borrowing a stapler from the neighbour. I've got quite a bit of material remaining so I might take up some of the suggestions here and make another that's a bit tidier.

you may want to try barge cement (http://www.bargeadhesive.com/products.html). it's what the guys who escaped from Alcatraz used to glue up their rafts (if memory serves correct). it's often used in raft repair, making sails, making giant inflatable balloon things, etc..

Thanks, I think I'll commit that to memory for future use.


3 years ago

An Army poncho eh....

So it's probably made out of nylon, but in saying that, there's still some variance. If your poncho is a fabric type material, with little threads composing the poncho, instead a plastic sheet, film type poncho, it can change how this works.

As others have said, make sure the mobility scooter's attachment surface is thoroughly clean (soap and brush work), but also make sure it's degreased. Degreasing requires alcohol or acetone. I tend to prefer acetone myself, but that's me.

The method that I have seen work most often is heat fusing, but you can't always use it. For something like this, you'd want to use a heat strip, which is basically a strip of nickel chromium wire connected to a variable amp power source. A heat gun or a plastic welding gun works too, but you have to hold the nylon in place under pressure while you heat it, and it can be a little tricky to deal with the molten nylon. Hot glue guns aren't hot enough for this. Nylon needs extremely high temperature to melt and thus form a good quality bond. They mix nylon with fiberglass and use it in automobile parts because of it's high heat resistance.

Barring heat fusion, you want an adhesive that's oily and has a fairly long drying period. Gorilla glue wouldn't be a horrible choice, but a contact cement would probably be better one. Contact cement has you paint a strip on the nylon poncho, and then a second glue line on the scooter. To join the nylon to the scooter you 'contact' one glue line to the other. The best part about contact cement, if it's not going to work, you'll know fairly quickly because the contact cement won't hold as you paint it on to the nylon (or the scooter) before you allow it to dry.

it's kind of a plasticky material.

I don't have the dexterity for sewing .I do have some snap studs, perhaps they might work. Or self-fusing silicone tape? I'm looking for a really quick, temporary fix. H thanks for the replies. :)

Hmmm, just staple together and cover with a strip of duct tape. Any of the cut edges you can bind with duct tape on both sides to reinforce.

Clean the surface with alcohol to remove dirt, oil, etc. Alcohol doesn't leave residue like soap can. Any adhesive needs a clean surface to bond well.

Duct tape will usually stick to most surfaces, maybe try to scuff up the smooth plastic with some sandpaper or use a scouring pad if you don't have sandpaper handy, just enough to give the surface some tooth for the tape to stick.

Rubber cement. Contact cement. Shoe goo. Fusing with heat. Gorilla tape.

Is it a plastic material or fabric?

Fabric usually should be done by stitching, preferable with a double seam.

For plastic material one of the best options is the pepair stuff you get for those rubber swimming pools - not the inflatable ones, the big ones in a metal frame.

It is a two part system, first an activator and then the glue on both sides.

Only problem is that ou need to know what you are doing as the glue is fixed as soon as you press the parts together, only minor adjustments are possible after that and in a short timeframe.

Vinyl glue is not really suited as it goes to hard and won't last long in outdoor conditions.

The trick is to seam it like a tent. I hope you can sew. Use cotton thread so it expands when it gets wet to fill out the needle hole or use seam tape or seam sealer coating to further weatherproof the joint. Just look up tent seam to see how they do it, I think it is also used on blue jeans since it encapsulates the raw edges. Go Army. Good luck.