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Adding kidney shims for larger troopers!

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So I researched the posts and found two proposed methods of adding shims to the kidney plate. Both are feasible and work but have their drawbacks. For instance when you bend on it while wearing you can get a hairline crack where the old seam is because the epoxy or ABS sludge is simply not thick enough there to support any stress. I tried both methods and wasn't happy for that reason and tore it apart.


I ended up figuring out what I think is the strongest method to add a shim that you would want to hide.


1. Hold the two pieces together. Use a soldering iron and weld them together. Don't worry, unlike a heat gun or oven this will only heat where you want to heat and you won't damage other areas. Doing this alone will make it seem very strong but follow the next step because I trialed and error this already. Also it will discolor the ABS but it's gonna be painted so that's no concern.




2. Add rear support just as you would other parts of your armor. Note: you will want to sand your weld to get the shim to lay flat and nice.




3. Add epoxy to the front of the seam. I used Apoxy Sculpt which is available from Amazon. Use a little water while you are applying it to make it softer and so you can maneuver it. Note: you will want to sand this down also before applying the epoxy.






4. Once the epoxy is set (overnight) it's time to sand. The epoxy is tough so I used an orbital sander. I started with 220 and worked my way up to a 400 grain.




5. Now it's time to paint. I taped off everything but where my shim starts and to the end of the kidney. I used a Krylon paint because it seemed to match better than the previous recommended for my armor. Disregard the last piece of tape as I removed that before painting.






6. Once the paint is completely dry it's time to sand again. You have to blend your tape line in. I used 1500 and wet sanded until the paint blended well. At some angles you will see some color difference. This is expected unless you plan on going ahead and painting the entire kidney. I don't recommend this because it's better to have a smaller area slightly off rather your whole kidney.




And you're done....in person you can see blemishes but it's the best you're going to be able to achieve without a custom mould. I'm happy with it. If you are remotely good at drywall or any other sanding and finishing it can be very nice. The most important thing is the STRENGTH! with that solder weld it's like one piece. That method can be added to thighs or other parts of armor if you are having problems holding them together.




The above picture I put in the worst light to show you how the paint can be off. In other lights it's virtually invisible and the pair matches perfectly.





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Not..at...all , grab a few scrap pieces you have laying around and play with it, it's incredibly easy and clean.


I would recommend anyone attempting it to practice on scrap pieces. I surely did that myself.



Sent from a galaxy far far away

Edited by JedIinTraining
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Randy... This is really awesome!!!


Great find, great job, and a great share!


THis will no doubt be of use to a lot of troopers moving forward!!

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I am in the process of welding and then using abs paste to fill the weld. Then I'll sand and use Novus. I am seeing if I can find a way to avoid painting. That would be ideal so there's no matching or off color issues



Sent from a galaxy far far away

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