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View Full Version : Bending Plastic?.. Strips and Rods.



Gagoc The Ancient
07-02-2009, 12:42 AM
I wondering what the best technique for bending plastic is?

I want to bend a plastic rod, 6cm long 2mm diameter, into a horseshoe type shape for my Chariot conversion, but I don't know the best way to do it.

With plastic strips I just physically bend them, but this causes splits and a rod would probably snap.

I know that a quick soak in hot water can make plastic more pliable, but I don't know if this will work in this case.
I have had suggested that a hairdryer / heated blower/stripper would work, but there's none in the house and if you're not careful the plastic can melt and deform.

So which technique can be recommended?
Or is there another technique or option available?

Would whichever is recommended also work on plasticard and plastic strips?

Drackonis
07-02-2009, 01:38 AM
I've read about one technique where you heat salt up over a stove (in a frying pan, pot, etc) and then put your plastic in that for a little while, you're plastic is then heated up and you can proceed to bend it.

I hear it takes a bit of practice to get it right, but it seems to be effective.

I guess it makes the salt hot enough to make the plastic bendable, but not hot enough to melt and deform the plastic.

I've never used it before though, so I'm not expert. Try Google-ing it!

Arkaedin
07-02-2009, 01:41 AM
Try hot water, that was my first thought. It should work if you're careful enough and make sure it's hot enough.
EDIT_ oh yeah! Salt-dipping! We have it in the tutorial database in the article/tutorial forum- check there! It works, I've tried it!

Captain Castus
07-02-2009, 08:24 AM
Well... For bending resin FEW recommend hot water... But I think the 'bendy point' of resin is lower...

I'd try that or a hairdrier rather than salt-dipping... Which sounds a bit hit and miss to me!!

CC

Excal88
07-02-2009, 10:24 AM
well, the salt dipping is pretty plausible; with normal table salt's high melting point, just heating the salt up can make you "mini" coals to keep the plastics in. kinda like a bbq...except with plastics....course you'll have to be really careful. salt can store a ton of energy *in the form of heat* and will most likely have a higher melting point than the plastic, so don't leave the salt on the stove for 10 minutes on high settings.

Rabidnid
07-02-2009, 09:56 PM
Salt works but is very hit and miss. try the microwave if you have one on a piece of sprue and see if that works, at least you will be able to be consistant. Warming over a candel or gas burner works as well. Boiling water should work but is exceptionally messy and dangerous.

Bending temp for the plastic varies but you can heat with a candel and part bend, then let it cool and do it again until you have the shape you want.

Excal88
08-02-2009, 07:20 AM
the main problem with an open flame is that you might char the plastic, or make it bubble if its too hot. usually open fires aren't the best choice. also, microwaves can be dangerous if you leave the plastic in for too long; fumes and the such from plastics can be released upon heating, and they are very very dangerous if inhaled.

KaizerVonAwesome
13-02-2009, 09:40 PM
I've read about one technique where you heat salt up over a stove (in a frying pan, pot, etc) and then put your plastic in that for a little while, you're plastic is then heated up and you can proceed to bend it.

I hear it takes a bit of practice to get it right, but it seems to be effective.

I guess it makes the salt hot enough to make the plastic bendable, but not hot enough to melt and deform the plastic.

I've never used it before though, so I'm not expert. Try Google-ing it!

I remember this was on the the old Astro site somewhere

ThePixelGuru
13-02-2009, 11:53 PM
I would probably try a heat gun, though that's just because it's the thing I happen to have experience with from various jobs over the years. They're pretty cheap, too. Just don't burn yourself. ;)

The salt dipping looks promising, but I've never tried it.

Gagoc The Ancient
06-06-2009, 11:45 PM
Sorry for the long wait in getting back.

I got a HeatGun, and tried on some plastic rods. They went and gnarled up, which is not what I wanted.

I think I got the heatgun too close, but I'm not sure as it didn't come with instructions.
So has anyone got some advice?

grimdisco
07-06-2009, 01:23 AM
Heat it up in a pot of water boiling water.
Have a large container of ice water

let the plastic rod get hot in the boiling water. Slowley bend to the shape you want . When you are happy with the bend dip it into the ice water to flash cool it in that shape, if you dont flash cool it, it may stray out of shape.

Gagoc The Ancient
08-06-2009, 01:42 PM
I tried asking Jeeves (ask.co.uk) about this and I found one pertinent link on the first page.

The guy, whose page it was, said he used a DIY heatgun and did it by propping the gun up and holding the plastic rod into the heat with both hands.
That way he could feel when the plastic softened, take it from the heat, bend it, and put into cold / ice water so it holds it shape.

He said if you don't use both hands then the plastic rod goes wobbly.

Guess what I was doing?
Heatgun in one hand, plastic rod in the other, and the plastic went wobbly!
D'oh!

Thank you Jeeves!

Gagoc The Ancient
09-06-2009, 07:14 PM
I tried this method.
Destroyed at least 3 rods before I got one kinda the right shape (horseshoe).

Today I used the hot water technique, with a former to shape it, to refine the good one. Success!
Then I used the hot water + former to make two more with good results.

Now I can proceed with my Chariots!

grimdisco
10-06-2009, 05:05 AM
Sweet. glad that it worked for you too.

Wolf Lord Mattian Wolfbane
10-06-2009, 05:33 PM
Happy it worked for you