Formable clamping plastic

Tira

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It also sounds a lot like the thermo-loc that GRS sells. That stuff you can heat in water, but I've found the microwave to be the easiest way to make it soft. It hardens at room temperature and can hold just about anything. I haven't tried the jet-set so I don't know how easy that is to use.
 

Andrew Biggs

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Hi Tira

I've used Jet-Sett and it's pretty good. Instead of water I used a heat gun. However I've found Thermolock to be a bit easier to use.

I tried the Microwave thing a while ago..........I had these two bits of laminated plywood that I had screwed togeather and had placed some thermolock on..........I then popped them into the microwave and set to about half a minute....................within seconds there was black smoke pouring out of the microwave from the glue they used for the plywood followed by a loud bang and a blinding flash. It was then that I remembered about the metal screws......by this time the smoke detecters were going full blast and the whole kitchen was full of acrid foul smelling smoke............Mary, my wife, comes running into this mess and with one of her withering looks asks me what the hell was happening, to which I replied, in my best innocent voice, that it was just another engraving experiment!!!!!!

It was after all the smoke and smell cleared from the kitchen and we reset the smoke alarms I decided to read the instructions!!!!!!

The good side of it all is that the microwave still works to this day (well sort of)

Cheers
Andrew
 

Tom Curran

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I set parts in hot melt dime store glue. Heat the parts to release.

I am curious about the thermo-loc. It looks like it would be great for odd shaped or hard to hold parts.
 

monk

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tira: i have a 1 pound bag of the jet set, but have never tried it yet. when you nuke your kind, how much time do you have to squeeze it into place ? do you have to work real quick, and does it burn your hands ?
 

Tira

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monk, It's kind of like a hot potato. I've never burned myself, but it is hot at first. You actually heat it for just a few seconds and then test to see how soft it is. Usually, I knead it like silly putty until it is all soft. If there are hard parts I throw it back in the microwave for a few more seconds. The time all depends on how much of the thermo-loc you are using. If you heat it too long you get a burnt smell and it starts bubbling. When it comes out I have found that there is more than enough time to get it around anything I have ever tried. I get it clamped into the vise and take a short break to check the forum or get some water and in about 4-5 minutes (again depending on how much thermo-loc I'm woking with) it is hard as a rock. Once I got a Harley Davidson oil can to stand straight up in the magna-block vise by putting the thermo-loc on the end and clamping it down. :)
 

monk

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thanx, tira. i have a rifle job to start as soon as my new airgraver gets here. i may just give that forming plastic a try. maybe on the scope rings. thanks again monk
 

Marcus Hunt

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From what I can assertain, you guys are saying this stuff and jet-sett need to be warmed in water. This is a huge NO NO when it comes to gun parts!!!! Please don't remove it from water and wrap it around steel and then leave it overnight or for any time at all. You'll probably come back and find rust pitting that'll take an age to remove. That's the big advantage of thermo-loc and the microwave.

The reaction you got Andrew would have been what I expected. However, DJ Glasser and Chris DeCamillis swear that if you place a lump of steel with thermo loc around it in the microwave and use the teflon sheet supplied with the thermo loc it can be microwaved with no ill effects! I can't bring myself to try it but I'm going to buy a cheap one for the workshop just for this purpose. Hopefully I won't blow myself up!
 

Sam

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Marcus: I've microwaved metal in order to soften Thermo-Loc and it works. Like you said, you MUST use the teflon pad! I've only had one problem, and that was a gold locket I held in Thermo-Loc. When I microwaved it, a little lightening bolt arced between the two halves of the locket and burned a tiny spot that I had to polish out. I think if the part is solid you're ok, but if there are moving parts then you run the risk of it arcing.

Keep in mind that not all parts need to be squished down into a lump of soft Thermo-Loc. It's quite easy to make resuable split molded fixtures that don't require softening to remove the part.

Sam

p.s. I'm suddenly reminded of the fireworks show in my microwave oven when I was nuking some leftovers on fine, gold trimmed china. Wow!
 

Andrew Biggs

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Hi Marcus

She was a smelly mess alright!!!! I never gave a thought to the wood glue or the screws untill the proverbial hit the fan. Still, that wasn't as bad as putting a couple of hundred black powder brass cases through the dishwasher for a bit of a clean-up. The sparks flew off my wife on that one!!!!

The jet set instructions say imerse in water, but to be honest I never tried that. I ended up useing the heat gun for both the jet set and thermo-loc. I just wave it gently over the product and it softens up just fine and it only takes a few minutes.

The thermo-loc is what I use now as I find it a bit better to use as it softens a lot easier and overall is a better product.

Cheers
Andrew
 

Peter E

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Once on vacation, I put one of those fancy gold rimmed cups in the microwave. Sparks flew!

DJ Glaser did some really interesting demos using the thermo-loc. He had some really clever techniques utilizing hinges for more easily re-using the clamp and removing the object from the thermo-loc.

Peter
 

fegarex

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From what I have read, seen and heard, most of the myths of ruining a microwave is unfounded. The big problem like many have mentioned is more that of "arcing". If you have metal items placed close together you'll get arcing. A good example would be a common fork. I've put larger metal items in with no problem. Of course, I do have a cheap microwave in my shop for this....
As Andrew said, sometimes its not the metal but other items. I had some ThermoLoc on a chunk of pine to hold an item. Microwaving it brought all the sap out and got darn sticky. I also have one of the Micro Hot Air Systems and that works great for removal of an item and for "adjusting". I try to make holder for items and use them many times.
 

Cody

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It's quite easy to make resuable split molded fixtures that don't require softening to remove the part.

Sam


That's a great idea. I bought some thermo loc a bit ago and it works well. I made an aluminum plate for it that clamps easily in the vice and the TL is permenantly stationed on it. I use a heat gun to soften. While the TL works well, I would have preffered something that STICKS to the object then releases when heated rather than something that has to hold onto the object. The hot glue idea would work and I know others that use automotive bondo.

Cody
 

monk

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formable plastic

tira said that she only microwaved the plastic material and then squeezed it to conform to the parts. she didn't say that she nuked the gun parts and plastic together!
 

Tira

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I have never put a metal part in the microwave to soften the thermo-loc. I use an old hair dryer that I keep in my shop. I have a heat gun on my Christmas list (which of course gets longer all the time), but I only have the hair dryer for now. The hair dryer takes a couple of minutes to work - I'm sure the heat gun would be more effective. My only other problem with the hair dryer is a pre-teen daughter who recently decided that she wants to dry her hair in the morning. She is getting tired of running down to my shop to pull the hair dryer out to dry her hair and then put it back. I've put a hair dryer on her Christmas list too. Such is the price of growing kids and progress. ;)
 

Sandy

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I have been using Thermo loc for the past year. It is really great stuff. I have set broken gun parts in thermal lock so I can copy them and then cut new parts. Then put the stuff back in the micro wave with the gun part gave them a 10 sec blast a couple of times Thermo loc is soft and the parts come right out. Got tired of going from the kitchen and getting that "wife look" Andrew was talking about so I bought the Micro Hot Air System from GRS. It works great. Also have been able to melt soldier with it. Thermol Loc does not stick to any metal that I have found as yet. One word of caution, I learned this the hard way, even after Mr. Glaser warned me, don't let it get on wood. It loves wood. Once it touches wood it does not want to let go,, ever. Use a piece of plastic shopping bag and wrap the wood in it and then press into the Thermo Loc. It is Great Stuff to have around for a quick holding device.
 

Sam

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Thermo-Loc also loves kitchen countertops. It'll bond like mad, so don't lay it on the counter!
 

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