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Unbending Tracks


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#1 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:13 PM

I recently bought a small bunch of RC/PF tracks during a garage sale. They were cheap, really cheap. The thing is the points are bent: when on a flat surface, the ends stick out by 0.5-1cm. It seems they were stored in a hot garage attic...

Has anyone an idea on flattening the thingies? I mean anything quicker than: "put it under a few dozen pounds of books and wait for a (very long) while" would be welcome.

#2 LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:21 PM

You could try heat. I think Lego starts to soften 200F-300F, but this, I found, might contradict that:

  • ABS maximum temperature is 80C (176F) and melt at 105C (221F)
  • Polycarbonate plastic used for transparent bricks melt at 267C (512.6F)


Still if you use your oven and start the heat a it's minimum (mine is as low as 170F) and raise it slowly you should be fine. Definitely try a practice run first

Posted Image  

Edited by Lego Guy Bri, 25 March 2012 - 10:21 PM.

-I don't tell you how to tell me what to do, so don't you tell me how to do what you told me to do... I know when to use finesse

#3 legoboy3998

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:17 PM

try a hair dryer and then put a heavy book on top to hold it flat.  I once had a LEGO hotrod style exhaust pipe that was bent, i heated it with a candle and it got very soft very quick.  A hair dryer on hi should work fine.  I use that method to soften the leather on work boots to speed the breaking in process.

Sal
WFB, WI

#4 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 05:42 PM

View PostLego Guy Bri, on 25 March 2012 - 10:21 PM, said:

Still if you use your oven and start the heat a it's minimum (mine is as low as 170F) and raise it slowly you should be fine. Definitely try a practice run first
Posted Image  


Tried that out. I heated the point to about 100C (212F) for 5-10 minutes until it started flattening. Took it out and let it cool under some weight. And voilà, a nice flat point...

Thanks.



Edited by Frank STENGEL, 27 March 2012 - 05:43 PM.


#5 JasperL

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:59 PM

Great idea! I've got a level crossing gate that's really bent, I will certainly try this. Just think I need to be extra careful because it's really thin.

http://www.bricklink....asp?P=4512pb01

#6 LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:44 AM

View PostFrank STENGEL, on 27 March 2012 - 05:42 PM, said:

Tried that out. I heated the point to about 100C (212F) for 5-10 minutes until it started flattening. Took it out and let it cool under some weight. And voilà, a nice flat point...

Thanks.

Glad it worked out for you! And thanks for the info on heating, I have a few elements that need it  Posted Image
-I don't tell you how to tell me what to do, so don't you tell me how to do what you told me to do... I know when to use finesse

#7 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:47 AM

View PostLego Guy Bri, on 28 March 2012 - 01:44 AM, said:

Glad it worked out for you! And thanks for the info on heating, I have a few elements that need it Posted Image

Just one thing: keep a constant eye on the parts. You want to be able to take them out of the oven before they are overcooked :wink: I had a chair in front of the oven which had my wife wondering what paint I was watching dry *huh*

#8 LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:55 AM

View PostFrank STENGEL, on 28 March 2012 - 06:47 AM, said:

Just one thing: keep a constant eye on the parts. You want to be able to take them out of the oven before they are overcooked  I had a chair in front of the oven which had my wife wondering what paint I was watching dry

Good to know. About how long did you have in?
-I don't tell you how to tell me what to do, so don't you tell me how to do what you told me to do... I know when to use finesse

#9 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:04 AM

View PostLego Guy Bri, on 28 March 2012 - 07:55 AM, said:

Good to know. About how long did you have in?

I don't remember: 5 to 10 minutes...

Edited by Frank STENGEL, 28 March 2012 - 09:07 AM.


#10 splatman

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:53 AM

View PostFrank STENGEL, on 28 March 2012 - 06:47 AM, said:

I had a chair in front of the oven which had my wife wondering what paint I was watching dry *huh*
:laugh: Mom, I'm bakin' some LOLs. I need to make shure it's just right. haha. :laugh:

#11 J_B2

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 09:11 AM

Boiling some water in the microwave and then putting the pieces in the boiling water is a mostly safe way. Water boils at 212 degrees F.

#12 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 10:56 AM

View PostJ_B2, on 31 March 2012 - 09:11 AM, said:

Boiling some water in the microwave and then putting the pieces in the boiling water is a mostly safe way. Water boils at 212 degrees F.

Actually, I tried this. It did not work: the water cooled too fast for it to properly heat the rather large parts.

#13 J_B2

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:57 PM

View PostFrank STENGEL, on 31 March 2012 - 10:56 AM, said:

Actually, I tried this. It did not work: the water cooled too fast for it to properly heat the rather large parts.

You could try a double boiler method on the stove top too.. a bit of a PIA though.

#14 splatman

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:32 AM

View PostJ_B2, on 31 March 2012 - 05:57 PM, said:

You could try a double boiler method on the stove top too.. a bit of a PIA though.
Yep, a Pain In Anterior would be the result if you stood too close to the stove too long.

#15 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:40 AM

Beware! Check the temperature of your oven and stay there to be able to act quick!


As previously stated ABS starts melting at about 105 °C. I just made the bitter Posted Image experience. I had wanted to go faster and heated the oven to 110 °C. Result : a totally shrunk piece of plastic ready for the bin (or to be used for modding !)

#16 teflon

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:49 AM

Ups, this sounds like Dali's tracks:
Posted Image

You should call those track an art and sell them for a lot of money:-)

#17 Frank STENGEL

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:34 PM

View Postteflon, on 19 April 2012 - 11:49 AM, said:

Ups, this sounds like Dali's tracks:
Posted Image

You should call those track an art and sell them for a lot of money:-)

Weird, my wife said exactly the same! Posted Image



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