Monday, October 20, 2014

iHobby 2014, ComposiMold Team Makes a Friend & Repairs Suitcase

I had not been to Chicago in several years, so when Stan asked me if Shannon would be ok with me taking a week long trip to the 30th annual iHobby Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois on very short notice, Shannon reluctantly said, “yes.”

Our trip was awesome. I met some tremendous people, got to visit downtown Chicago, saw the Bean, heard a dude singing Johnny Cash on the ramp to the Subway, and learned how to mold, cast and repair  a suitcase on location at the iHobby Expo 2014.

I think Stan was regretting hiring me after I quickly volunteered him to help fix the handle on Robert Trost’s favorite suitcase while we were displaying ComposiMold at the iHobby Expo 2014 at the Schaumburg Convention Center.

Robert explained that he was missing his trusty suitcase, and even though the manufacturer replaced it with a new model, the new one was just not the same. The suitcase company, known for its high quality travel luggage, was unable to provide Robert with the part for the discontinued suitcase and Robert was left using a travel bag that didn’t suit him. So, remembering seeing ComposiMold before and reading that we would be at the iHobby Expo, he brought the broken suitcase part, hoping we could help him make it functional again.

With the exuberance of my daughters on Halloween, I told Robert that of course we would help him fix this part! Then I watched the color drain from Stan’s face. I got a little worried until Stan, without hesitation, told Robert that we would do our best without any guarantees.

I can completely understand Robert’s connection to his travel companion. He explained that it was strong, sturdy and easy to negotiate, and simply traveling without it was not as pleasurable as it was traveling with his favorite suitcase. He was protective of the broken master part that needed to be glued together to be used as the master for the mold. However, we assured him he would lose nothing, it was worth a try! Robert relaxed and enjoyed watching the process of molding and casting the broken part as much as I did.

Recasting the suitcase part was a three day, ten-step project:

Step One: glue the master back together

Step Two: make a mold-box out of tinfoil

Step Three: use clay to secure the master to the mold-box and attach a lump of clay to the master part to create a sprue. The sprue will be the entry point to pour the urethane in Step Eight.

Step Four: spray master with Mold Release and then Bubble Buster  

Step Five: melt and pour ComposiMold into the mold-box until the master is completely covered by ½”

Step Six: wait 4 or 5 hours for ComposiMold to cool back to its flexible consistency and remove master from molding box

Step Seven: spray mold with mold release

Step Eight: mix epoxy per directions and pour into mold via the sprue

Step Nine: wait for urethane to cure per directions and remove casted part from mold

Step Ten: shape part by cutting and sanding off the sprue shape, install, and start using favorite suitcase.

Everything worked out splendid and we were thrilled when Robert emailed me the final results of iHobby Expo 2014 Suitcase Repair Project.

Hello Mike,

I want to thank you guys again for the part you molded for me.After a little cutting and sanding I was able to fit the part into the handle and assemble it again. Now I can use my favorite suitcase again!
          Kind regards,

          Robert Trost
          Hickory, NC 

So, please next time you break your favorite item whether it be a suitcase, model train, or bathroom fixture consider trying to fix it using ComposiMold, the one part, reusable re-meltable, mold making material.

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