ABS as an Enclosed track material

  • Hi all you experienced Gun builders out there,

    Wondering if anyone has an opinion on using ABS plastic as a suitable material for enclosed tracks. Ive been toying around with the idea for a while but havent brought myself to test it out yet.

    Reasons I believe it may be a good material for tracks are;

    1) relatively cheap material to buy in sheets blocks or strips

    2) relatively good adhesion to wood using epoxy (as compared to acetal, nylon, uhmw, hdpe, etc..

    3) good machinability

    4) very good impact strength as well as tensile strength

    I realize many will think "Why not use epoxy, graphite, chopped fiberglass etc...?", or "just rout a wooden enclosed track"

    While I do see these as the industry standard of enclosed track materials, I'd like to try something different.

    Also I feel like I'm just pouring money down the drain whenever i pour an epoxy track that I will rout 60% of the material from it anyway.

    Also, chopped fibers EAT jointer, planer and router bit cutters.

    Id love to hear your opinions,



  • Ah uv resistance, ABS sucks at that apparently, but if coated with a UV inhibitor (ie paint, epoxy) it shouldnt have too much of a problem. Abs seems to be porous so salt water may have some effect but i haven't tested this.

    One reason for this interest in abs as a track material candidate is that the Cressi Comanche line of speargun handles and muzzles were made from ABS (not sure if this is true today) but they seem to do ok, I have a Comanche that was originally purchased over 10 years ago and it still holds up to my abuse.

  • u can put a specimen of ABS in salt water in direct sun exposure ,use an old big pot in your yard or in roof top ,check after a month of direct exposure ,this 30 days equal to 720 hrs of service .

  • mosaad, not sure what youll be using the powder for. Mixing with epoxy?

    in any case, copper does react with salt water so I wouldnt use it for a marine application.

    I have a few scraps of abs, ill do some testing as you mention, uv/saltwater exposure over a few days

  • mixing copper powder for track with epoxy ,the powder used for lubricating the bearing so its same like graphite but good point u said it react with salty water .

  • Epoxy is also affected by UV. European speargun builders coat their guns with two (or more) layers of polyurethane to protect the epoxy. I haven't see anyone coating the epoxy from their tracks with anything. I think the exposure damage is minimum unless you leave the gun in the sun forever. I would use ABS with total confidence. That should work very well.

    Marco Melis

    A bad day fishing is ALWAYS better than a good day at work.

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