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Brent B3B

working with plastic

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any plastic smiths out there? looking to learn how to tell the difference in what kind of plastics can be reformed. 

at work, if I need to re shape a flush handle for a toilet, I heat it with a lighter or heat gun, soften it, reform and it cools to a solid form again.... but it also doesn't get a lot of force behind it.


at home, I would like to try and reshape a car flag pole to form around my door frame, so the window will roll up and "pinch it" in place  


I realize this might be a trial and error kind of experiment but I'd hate to waste a pole if there is logic why not to or a better way to do it. 

OR how do I know if it's nylon?


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A heat gun has worked well for me on several different plastics that needed some slight reshaping. Heat until pliable bend as needed  cool and check to see if shape held. if not heat slightly more and try again. Easy does it. Sneak up to it!!  ;)



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Essentially there are 3 different types of plastic:

Thermoplastic, Duroplast and Elastomer

Only thermoplastics can be formed by warming. The other ones will get destroyed when attempting to form them by application of heat. Unfortunately it is difficult to determine which kind of plastic you have in front of you, since there are many subtypes with different characteristics. So in doubt heat your plastic piece carefully (as DJ194950 wrote with a heat gun for example) and slightly put tension on it. If it moves, you are likely dealing with a thermoplastic. If not, your nose will tell you when to stop putting more heat onto the part ...

Maybe that links gives a little insight …




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I bet it's made of HPDE, which is a type of thermoplastic and will bend and shape as well as any. If you make it thinner by heating it up, you can buy/ order some P-Tex which is actually base repair sticks for skis and snowboards but is just Polyethelene sticks. The P tex can be burned/ melted and then using a razor blade/ sanding get it smooth again

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I thank you gentlemen! each of your input gave me the confidence I needed to go for it. mission accomplished....



now if I can figure out how to reproduce that plastic "DODGE" script in the center of the 53'...... 


I suppose that will be next winters project :)


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A picture of a Miller 1957-60 Gas tank sender removal tool re-made on a printer ..actual size and the smaller green one for the smaller DeSoto Firemite.......

Miller Gas Tank Sender 3 D Printing (1).JPG

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