Shower pan for cassette toilet installation

After reading about all the fun others had when installing a Thetford 400 series cassette toilet, and given the cost of the 'real' shower pan from Europe, I decided to create my own from scratch. This isn't my first rodeo with custom plastic parts - my 1993 Karmann Distance Wide lost one of the 'unobtanium' plastic body panels in the winds of Wyoming on its way to me on the shipper's trailer. Solution: made a mold, a very labor intensive project spanning days! Impressed by the results from that job I gave to the local plastics shop that has a large vacuum table, I've created a mold for the perfect shower pan to match the toilet. I'm dropping it off to the plastics guy tomorrow, planning 1/8" ABS which is textured on one side. It can be molded smooth side in or textured side in. Anyone else interested while he has the table fired up? Multiple copies are cheaper at the same time. He is about 2 weeks out on doing the job.


Photo 1, shower pan mold
Photo 2, finished product, Karman panels, 3/32 ABS
Photo 3, panel mold
 

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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Photo 1, shower pan mold
Impressed.

Could you add more detail how you made the mold. Like what draft is required. What is surface finish. Finish need to tolerant of heat? Several or one vacuum hole?

I need a cover for a non Sprinter project that needs a mold. I can do wood working as required. Have local vacuum fabricator nearby.

Dave
 
Impressed.

Could you add more detail how you made the mold. Like what draft is required. What is surface finish. Finish need to tolerant of heat? Several or one vacuum hole?

I need a cover for a non Sprinter project that needs a mold. I can do wood working as required. Have local vacuum fabricator nearby.

Dave

The shower pan mold is framed from scraps of 2x4 and 2x3 pine, multiple passes through my router table and some plain old hand sanding. It's capped with 5/8" OSB and 1/8" tempered fiberboard to give a strong smooth surface. The drop is 1/2 birch ply scrap.

I haven't drilled any vacuum holes in the mold yet, I know the basics on where to drill but want the plastics guy to tell me what he feels if best for the shape before I drill. Shapes that aren't flat or w/ recessed like the previous mold wouldn't need vents. There isn't any finish on it, he'll warm up up a little but the wood should stay pretty accurate to dimensions. Or did you mean surface finish of the ABS? This is what the black looks like:
 

Attachments

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
The shower pan mold is framed from scraps of 2x4 and 2x3 pine, multiple passes through my router table and some plain old hand sanding. It's capped with 5/8" OSB and 1/8" tempered fiberboard to give a strong smooth surface. The drop is 1/2 birch ply scrap.

I haven't drilled any vacuum holes in the mold yet, I know the basics on where to drill but want the plastics guy to tell me what he feels if best for the shape before I drill. Shapes that aren't flat or w/ recessed like the previous mold wouldn't need vents. There isn't any finish on it, he'll warm up up a little but the wood should stay pretty accurate to dimensions. Or did you mean surface finish of the ABS? This is what the black looks like:
Thank you for the info. The 1/8" tempered fiberboard is good info. as is the pebble surface of the ABS.

Draft required to ease removal from the mold?

Your help is appreciated.
 
Most shapes the mold pops out easily, but there is also a spray I believe they can use to make it less likely to stick. The plastic doesn't get to the temperature of 'stickiness'. Can you supply a photo of what you're planning to copy and maybe I can be more specific.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Most shapes the mold pops out easily, but there is also a spray I believe they can use to make it less likely to stick. The plastic doesn't get to the temperature of 'stickiness'. Can you supply a photo of what you're planning to copy and maybe I can be more specific.
Thanks for your help.

This is a new part. Not copying anything. Design is still in my head and not yet a drawing. Going to build a "portable home power" cart. We have had fires and PG&E power outages which I expect to increase in the future. Cart is a clean quiet power source for running the refrigerator. Kept charged with normal house power and during power outages rolled to the refrigerator to power it. When depleted roll to a solar panel for recharging. Repeat cycle as necessary.

Now use my van for the same purpose. Drive to back door and run a extension cord into house to run refrigerator. Solar on van keeps up with refrigerator power requirements. No sun then run the vehicle powered inverter with Transit gas engine running to charge van house battery.

The "portable home power" cart needs a pretty cover to cover the electrics.
 

Riptide

Member
What color are you having the parts made from? If it matches the interior of the bathroom, or is white, I'm in for two (since I'll mess one up during installation)...

Guess I better order me a toilet. Been stewing about this for a few years.
 
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The choices in ABS are black and white. You can imagine which I chose. He's only running one piece for now to test fit, in case I need to modify the mold. It will be 2-3 weeks.
 
Yes, drain is exactly in the same spot. I won't know the cost until I pick up the first one and ask how much per copy.
 
It came out fairly well, although the pricing far exceeded what I was expecting - and the shop wants too much to make multiple copies. So - I am thinking about finding a fiberglass fab shop to do them that way, depending on demand.
 
Making a mold would be a ton of work. I'll just add some glue on my cracked side panel. ;)
 

Wasaabi

Sprinter Westfalia #133
I plan to do the cassette toilet swap soon. Although nicer to use a custom pan, since the drain is in the original spot, why not save the trouble and mount the cassette toilet over the original pan on the strong but elevated toilet mount? Then just fill the gaps on either side of the mount with something to prevent water from going under either side of the cassette toilet base. Unless someone has a good reason not to, this is the route I plan to take to save a great deal of hassle.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
I think one or more Westy owners have done this--made a platform.

Positive aspects include (a) no modification of shower pan so less work and time, and (b) added height for tall people.

Negative aspects include (a) added height, (b) original oval toilet base extends out and is visible (cassette toilet base is shallower than Bravura shower pan base), and (c) side gaps (as already pointed out).
 
This puts the toilet higher that most would want, and there is that fugly lump still sticking out. It's going to be a tall filler, the Thetford filler is already about 5". Removing the shower pan was incredibly easy and then using my Bosch multitool, cleaning off the old glue mess took less than a half hour. I'll look into having FG ones molded using my mold if I get five people interested, I suspect that can be done for less than 200 each. The plastic shop said he could do ten in ABS fopr about the same price but that the mold degrades each time one is done as it has to be heated up for the plastic to mold properly.
 
Not by me...I just have the wooden mold.
 

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