MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Plasti-Dip as toggle switch caps (pic)
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Plasti-Dip as toggle switch caps (pic)
Rex Coil 7
Hey folks. A few weeks back I posted a thread regarding those little plastic (?) colored toggle switch caps, specifically ones that fail (split open) inside of a few days or weeks after installing them. The topic of using "Plasti Dip" came up as a possible alternative for making one's own DIY solution to the splitting switch cap issue.

So, I bought me some red Plasti Dip and gave it a whack. Works great! Make damned certain to follow the directions closely regarding how fast to dip your part in the spoo. Something not covered in the instructions is to make sure to gently (seriously, gots to be gentle when stirring it otherwise air bubbles become trapped in the spoo and then show up on the dipped part) and stir it a little more just right before you dip the part. What happens is that a bit of a skin begins to form on the top of the goop in the can, and when you go to dip your part the skin collects on the part making for a crappy looking job.

So you're fighting two things .... bubbles and skinning. And DO NOT DOUBLE DIP! Dip once, retract as slowly as you inserted, and hang the switch with the bat pointing straight down. Allow that coat to cure partially (about an hour) if you wish to add another coat. You may add as many coats as you see fit. The toggle in the picture was dipped once.

Also, use something you can sortof scrape off to stir it with. It's pretty sticky stuff so it wants to build up on the stirring stick, if you choose the proper ~shape~ of stirring thingy, it will easily scrape/wipe off on the inside edge of the open can and you may recover nearly all of it that stuck to the stirring stick. I'd suggest something round and smooth. Ultimately, a length of clean stainless steel, about 1/2" or thereabouts in diameter, would be my first choice. I ended up using a wooden spoon handle, about a foot long, to stir it. Scraping it off back into the can was a cinch, and later when the residue cured on the stick it was very easily sanded off totally clean. So that way I won't be getting residue and dried goop mixed in with fresh dip, thereby ruining the job.

Other than that, I'd say it's a 100% success! Only one pic, but it tells enough of the story. The switch in the picture is a man sized toggle, has a 1/2" barrel. However I'm certain there'd be no difference with minitoggles.



Not too bad for a fella's first shot at it! It looks the shit, and it feels just great when the switch is operated.

So give it a shot. The 14oz cans cost roughly $8.00 bucks at Wal Mart. I bought blue and red, I also want yellow, but it has to be the ~right~ yellow. None of this "day glow" stuff (1984 called, they want their faddish colors back!). Safety Yellow would be a good start.

Anyhow .... so there it is. Plasti Dip as switch caps.

Done!

thumbs up
Revok
It looks great. Something to keep in mind is that once it is opened, the Plasti Dip can dry out in a couple months.
megaohm
That is awesome!
One question though,
are you able to pop it off after dipped and dried?
Would love to do a large batch with some kinda jig setup thing but wondered if they are permanently stuck on or can be removed like store bought caps.

Pink caps...
different shades of grey and blue...
Ahh, the possibilities have got me dreaming.
Rex Coil 7
Revok wrote:
It looks great. Something to keep in mind is that once it is opened, the Plasti Dip can dry out in a couple months.
Excellent advice. Thank you.

megaohm wrote:
That is awesome!
One question though,
are you able to pop it off after dipped and dried?
Would love to do a large batch with some kinda jig setup thing but wondered if they are permanently stuck on or can be removed like store bought caps.

Pink caps...
different shades of grey and blue...
Ahh, the possibilities have got me dreaming.
I haven't tried to remove it, but I intend to .. y'know .. cuz reasons. It's probably going to attempt to remain adhered to the surface of the bat. Had I forthought it more I could have used some sort of "mold release" ... or ... "release agent" on the switch bat to make the rubber able to slip off easier without destroying it.

Plasti Dip has a custom coloring kit. Some kind of neutral colored Plasti Dip with dyes included that you use to create your own colors. Take a look at their website, they've got a lot of ~stuffage~.
ratsnake
kinda want to get into plastidip too but no idea where to start. I assume its pretty much the same as picking the right epoxy mixture or glue for the material - or is it more forgiving - like same brand/type for a piece of steel, alu, copper or plastic? I guess its pretty cheap - any pointers for brands available in EU / germany ?
Randy
It worked! Now to get some white and try pot shafts. That part about inserting and retracting slowly is really important. This stuff takes some patience to use.

Randy
Rex Coil 7
ratsnake wrote:
kinda want to get into plastidip too but no idea where to start. I assume its pretty much the same as picking the right epoxy mixture or glue for the material - or is it more forgiving - like same brand/type for a piece of steel, alu, copper or plastic? I guess its pretty cheap - any pointers for brands available in EU / germany ?
The only thing I can offer is that "Plasti Dip" is it's actual brand name, so perhaps check their website and see if dealers are listed. Hopefully someone else will come along with more useful information for you.
Rex Coil 7
Randy wrote:
It worked! Now to get some white and try pot shafts. That part about inserting and retracting slowly is really important. This stuff takes some patience to use.

Randy
Yup! Seems to have worked indeed.

Pretty happy with it so far. nanners

One the dip/retraction thing, make certain to NOT have a fan of any type blowing nearby when you dip something. It will create a skin that I spoke about in the opening post. If that skin forms during the dipping or retracting process it messes up things.

So just turn the fan away while you dip, and turn it back on you after you've got the part out of the spoo.

Fans are still on around these parts this year, last week it was still hitting nearly 90f during the day. It's cooler now, but when I did this part it was still hot out, so the fans were on. No matter what's going on outside our home's inside temp is typically around 80f all year round. (I mean, after all, we live in the FRIGGIN DESERT!!!!!)

lol
Rex Coil 7
Ok ... I removed the dip cap from that switch ... and ~no~ the dipped cap was not salvageable ... it came off ok, but it did not survive the process. It left absolutely zero residue on the toggle's bat, and gave me no grief during removal. But as I said the notion of making ~caps~ for use on other switches (or making them for sale) is a lost cause.

First of all, the toggle bats are tapered ... smaller at the bottom than they are at the tip. That alone makes the toggle bat a poor candidate for use as a mandrel. Perhaps if one were to make some kind of straight bodied mandrel (on a lathe) out of stainless steel, and then polish it to near mirror finish. Then, it would need to be coated in some type of mold release before dipping it. Then ... maybe ... it may work out.

I'm aware that switch caps are actually made that way (the "soft touch" type), but again it most likely involves mandrels that are straight bodied and coated with some type of release agent prior to using Plasti Dip on it for the purpose of removing the cap once cured.

On the good side of this issue, this means that if you fuddup the cap, just allow it to fully cure, remove the errant cap, and go at it again. .... as many times as you wish. Great for fickle folks who may decide they want to put a different color on the switch.

So there's the "can I make switch caps with that stuff?" report.

thumbs up
whoop_john
Do a search for PVC end cap on Aliexpress and you will get a whole bunch of ready made caps. Buy a size smaller than your diameter. So for a 6mm pot shaft get a 5mm or it may be loose. For toggles go for 2mm.

[/img]
Rex Coil 7
whoop_john wrote:
Do a search for PVC end cap on Aliexpress and you will get a whole bunch of ready made caps. Buy a size smaller than your diameter. So for a 6mm pot shaft get a 5mm or it may be loose. For toggles go for 2mm.

[/img]
Well ... uh .. yea, I'm fully aware of that. I didn't do this Plasti Dip thing because I can't locate commercially made switch caps. There are any number of vendors that will supply those. I did the Plasti Dip test to see if it worked out, after having bad experiences with poorly made caps made of recycled junk plastic.

Commercially made caps have proven ... time and again ... to many of Miffwugglers members ... that they split open after a few hours, or days, or even weeks after installation. The Plasti Dip is a great DIY solution for those of us that are fed up with spending (wasting) money on crap ass toggle caps.

So I tried doing my own to see if they'd provide better life and service, as well as to see what they would look like (would they be off-colored, would they have a matte finish, gloss finish, how do they feel, and so on).

So it's not about not being able to find them ... geez they're available from literally dozens (more?) vendors, many of which I've dealt with for many years and have purchased switch caps from them in the past.

It's about making something better than commercially available.

seriously, i just don't get it

Pics with annotations that I sent to the last vendor that I bought toggle caps from........



MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Page 1 of 1
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group