How to get thermolock off a part?

Joined
May 20, 2009
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11
Location
Denton, Texas
Thread starter #1
I used thermolock to hold a part for practice. How in the name of all the Blessed do you get that stuff off? The receiver came off the mass of thermolock that held it to the vise okay but now I have this hard polymer coating on one side I can't get off. I tried heating the some of the sticks and daubing it. I also tried heating the part. Still got a layer.

Before I start trying nasty solvents or chipping it off, I figured I ask you smart people.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
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Location
Pensacola, Florida
#4
I used thermolock to hold a part for practice. How in the name of all the Blessed do you get that stuff off? The receiver came off the mass of thermolock that held it to the vise okay but now I have this hard polymer coating on one side I can't get off. I tried heating the some of the sticks and daubing it. I also tried heating the part. Still got a layer.

Before I start trying nasty solvents or chipping it off, I figured I ask you smart people.
Heat gun. Harbor freight for 10 bucks
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
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#6
I use hot water that I keep in a small rice cooker. Submerge the thermolock or the whole thing is it can get wet. It should soften right up and you can remove it. It’s reusable, too, just heat it back up in the hot water and then form while warm.
 

Archie Woodworth

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#7
Got my "lesson" once with at tennis bracelet...it got into every nook and cranny. Had to end up dissolving it with methane chloride. The stuff is bad Axx so you want to use it in an area where there is plenty of air and don't breath it. Its the active component in some paint removers. I got mine in the form of plexiglas solvent. Just soaked the whole bracelet in the bottle.
BTW now I use plastic grocery bags between part I'm trying to hold and thermolock.
 

davidshe

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#8
I use thermoloc quite often. The trick for me is to reheat it probably about half of what I heated it when I applied it and then let it cool down until it is not sticky any more. Then it just peels right off without much of a mess. I peel it off with fingers or toothpick in small areas. You Just need to get the temp just right before you peel it off. Takes some experimenting. I also use hot glue occasionally and it does indeed come right off nicely with some alcohol or acetone. But, the advantage of the thermoloc in my opinion is that it hardens much better than the glue and therefore reduces vibration which means a lot to me. Better cutting and less sharpening.
 

thughes

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#12
Not an answer to your question, but I cover the part of the object that will be in contact with the thermolock with blue painters tape. Gives it a little more grip for things that are small or smooth, keeps the stuff from getting in the cracks, and sure makes easier to get loose.

Todd
 

tdelewis

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#13
I have used thermolock many times. I also use the block and aluminum bar that fits into the block that GRS sells. I have never had a problem. Using the white plastic block that GRS sells you can make a custom vice that takes the shape of the part and a hinge that will fit in the vice so that you can lock the part for engraving. They may have a video of this on their website.
Don't force the thermolock into small cracks as might happen if you were doing folding knife. For larger pieces I have made a small wooden trough with a strip on the bottom that I can lock in the vice. I soften a large block of modeling clay and fill the trough with it. Put the piece to be engraved in the clay and pull the sides up around it. The clay will become rather stiff enough that it will hold the part for engraving. The heat from your will cause it to soften after a time. Put it aside and let it cool with the part removed but do not change the shape of the imprint of the part. When the clay is stiff again, insert the part and push the clay around it and continue engraving.
 

tdelewis

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#14
I have two theories about thermolockand and its stickiness. One, The hotter you let it get the more it will become sticky and difficult to remove. Two, It is my suspicion that the more times you microwave the stuff there may be a breakdown in its structure and it will become more difficult to remove.
 

mitch

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#16
I have two theories about thermolockand and its stickiness. One, The hotter you let it get the more it will become sticky and difficult to remove. Two, It is my suspicion that the more times you microwave the stuff there may be a breakdown in its structure and it will become more difficult to remove.
that's been my experience, too. even if you're careful about heating, it eventually gets old and starts to stick.
 

quickcut07

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Ontario Canada
#19
Hot glue pop it in the freezer get it cold slide plastic probe anything non scratching under the edge and apply small amount of pressure and it will come free
Thermolock will do the same thing.
For silverware pendents or other similar items I adhere them to hardwood or plastic blocks. Saw a little slit a little over halfway up the block with an 1/8" cut or slightly better. Put the thermolock on both sides of the slice heat and set the item. Do not close over the gap with the thermolock. When finished engraving slide a wood wedge into the slot and gently expand the sides and lift the piece out. Works great on smaller parts I have not tried it on larger items
 
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#20
Was recently experimenting with a CNC machine, which was VERY disappointing, but on one of the forums I was researching, I came across something that machinists do which I tried and worked quite well. Basically they cover the bottom of the work piece with painters tape, and cover the mounting surface with same, apply superglue to the bottom side of the tape on the work piece, and BOOM, you have an instant bond you can just peel right off when you’re done. So simple, and absolute genius, right?!
 
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