Minicel Seat Disaster

So i got myself a nice block of 3" minicel foam to carve a new seat (last seat flew off the roof, oops).  I loosely mapped out what i wished to carve away and began shaping with a radial orbit sander.  Now my seat is only half way carved and looks like a dog has been chewing on it;  the sander didn't take much away after a good half hour of sanding with 60 grit paper.  Any advice for a better tool or technique to shape a minicel seat?

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RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

Read this arcticle, you will find it very useful.

http://www.oneoceankayaks.com/Wshophtm/kayakseat18a.htm

Also in my experiance 120grit actually works much better and quicker than 60grit on the minicell foam. Enjoy the black dust.

Jason

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

I carved a seat in about two hours that has proven very comfortable. First I cut it roughly to shape with a sharp knife that was made to cut foam. Then I shaped it with a Stanley Surform file - the little curved one. Finally, I finished it off with 120 grit paper. Coarser paper will tear the material, as you unfortunately learned. You can see photos near the end of my blog at http://twofootartist.com/merganser-construction-notes/ -Wes

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

Having lost my seat in the wind just before going to Maine to visit friends I picked up a block of microcell with the intent of hand carving a new one.  Didn't like the slow progress so checked out their garage for a sanding disc to chuck in my power drill.  INSPIRATION, an electric chain saw!  The seat was formed in about 15 minutes.  Final fit was done with hand sanding. 

 The end of the bar is perfect for the curves.

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

I used a wire wheel inmy drill.  You need to control it very carefully, but it will definitely remove the material.  The rasp seems to be a good way to finish of off.

Paul

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

Well, I hope you learned a lesson here, I recomend that anytime you transport a yak, you use a cockpit cover on it.  It keeps you from losing seats (that should be glued down) and other gear you may want to transport in there(wet PFDs) but it also keeps out weather and debris from blowing in at high speeds.  But mostly it keeps undo stress of wind beating on your bulkheads causing them to leak.

Sorry I can't tell you how to carve mini cell, I have never had to do it

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

I am in the process of forming a seat for my Wood duck 10.  The problem I'm having is how to figure just how deep to go.  I have read the two sites refered to but still  I am at a loss just how deep is enough and what is to deep.   I'm using a bread knife and the stanly surform, works good.

Please some advise about dept!!

Coach C.

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

Thanks everyone for the responses.  I'll get back to it with better sucess hopefully.  Kudos to C.Dubois for the most creative suggestion! haha.

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

Responding to Clay's question: you only need about 1/2-inch thickness at the thinnest point. A well-carved seat will support your entire buttocks and upper thighs, spreading the weight evenly, so you don't need much padding at the contact points. It doesn't have to be perfect either, as the foam will gradually adapt to your shape with repeated use. -Wes

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

Thank you Wes.  I will keep on digging. 

Have a great day.

Coach C.

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

I like Wes's idea .I used a surform file to shape my thigh braces and hip pads. also used it ti rough cut the inside of my petrel before sanding . although some thought tht a litttle more then needed . Nick though I did a good job

b

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

You might try an electric carving knife. It works better on foam than it does on turkey.   

Josey

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

Try using Dragon Skin which is a fine metallic grating sheet available at Ace Hardware and possibly other hardware stores.

RE: Minicel Seat Disaster

I have used a disk paint stripper - about a 5 inch disc that looks like a scrubby on steriods - chucked into a hand drill.  It carves the minicel quickly.  You have to be careful to not let the edge of the disc "grab" the foam, or you can get a gouge.  When roughed out, you can ease up on the pressure and get a fairly smooth surface that doesn't need a lot of sanding.  These carved seats are great - you can even make hollows for your femur heads to avoid seat pressure.

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