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Old 29-12-2019, 10:18 PM
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Default Homemade balloons (of sorts)
I am aware of a number of people making their own balloons using the moulding technique (myself included). I recently purchased some clear latex sheet which is the stuff they make fetish clothing from. I got a weird idea about gluing some of it together and making a balloon from it. Most likely doomed to failure, but I wanted to try it nonetheless.

I cut a strip and joined the edges with a slight overlap to form a cylinder shape, using cycle puncture repair glue. I then painted over the seam with liquid latex to reinforce it. When it was dry I dusted it with talc and tied one end with string. It's a pretty messy and inexact process and I was expecting it to pop as soon as I tried to inflate it.

I put it on the electric pump and as the lovely clear latex began to stretch and inflate I felt something of my own beginning to do the same ;-) It made a lot of worrying sounds, as the seam strained in places and bits of the glue came unstuck. However, much to my total amazement, it fully inflated. It reminded me of a GL500 though banana shaped, as it curved inwards in the direction of the seam.

OK, so I figured it would pop as soon as I tried to ride it, so I decided to test it to destruction without the use of a pin (my favourite popping method!). To make it more fun I stripped naked and dived on top of it. The balloon held. I kept on bouncing on it and still no pop. Feeling that taught rubber under me that could pop at any moment, was all too much and it was me that gave first ;-) It was such an amazing experience. I just had to deflate the balloon for another day.

This went on for several more tries, with the same result each time - it was Me that popped first on each occasion ;-) Finally, on the 5th. try I had another go. I inflated it harder than before and it looked like the result was going to be the same - I was bouncing on it and still it held out. I dismounted and blew more air in to it. I started riding it again, when suddenly 'BANG' it finally popped and so did I shortly afterwards

I made a MK.2 as shown in the last picture, next to the popped Mk.1. It is a barrel blimp shape with a larger diameter. I've had a few good rides on that too, but it keeps puncturing and deflating where it is tied with the string. I'm wondering if the larger diameter is causing more strain where it is tied (I'm no physicist!). I have reinforced it with liquid latex in that area and am looking forward to the next test run :-)

Tonight I have started work on the MK.3. I am using thicker latex sheet (0.5mm) and it's a lovely dark blue semi-transparent colour. Watch this space :-)
Attached Images:
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (875.6 KB, 106 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (813.6 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (826.5 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg 4.jpg (1,002.7 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg 5.jpg (407.2 KB, 93 views)
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Old 29-12-2019, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Homemade balloons (of sorts)
Looks interesting. Wonder if you could do more complex shapes. I’m guessing a beachball would be possible. There’s a lot of seams though, would be pretty difficult. A giant pillow would be simple enough though.
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Old 29-12-2019, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Homemade balloons (of sorts)
Giant pillow sounds a nice idea
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Old 30-12-2019, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Homemade balloons (of sorts)
That homemade balloon was impressive. I liked the pictures. I was surprised to find out how strong it was. How did you manage to get it to inflate properly?
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Old 30-12-2019, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Homemade balloons (of sorts)
Well, the Mk.3 didn't go well. It was a lovely looking balloon but with the thicker latex and smallish diameter, it was really tight and putting a lot of strain on the seam. I got it fully inflated but as I was about to ride it, it went off with a loud bang. Totally ruined :-(
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Old 30-12-2019, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Homemade balloons (of sorts)
0.5mm latex seems far too thick for a balloon. It would be under a lot of pressure so will be unstable. Especially when it’s got weak seams. I’d go for something thinner. Perhaps make the balloon bigger too, so there’s less pressure on the seam.
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Homemade balloons (of sorts)
Yup, I think you are right there. The Mk1 & Mk2 were made from 0.25mm latex sheet
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