Advice and guidance on repair and restoration techniques.
junior
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Flatten plastic

Postby junior » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:24 pm

I have a Fireworks. To cover the hammer there is a decorative piece of plastic on the front of the box held by two screws. Over many years of existence the plastic has twisted and cracked so badly the hammer won't work. The only answer I could come up with was to place it on a baking tray in an electric oven on low and heat it up and gradually try to flatten it. It took about 10 minutes in and out and it has eased itself back into a respectable shape, helped by some thumb pressure. So far so good. Hope this helps someone in future. Now you can't learn that from Sainsbury's or Tesco. :D

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badpenny
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby badpenny » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:08 pm

Good tip that.
Although I believe Waitrose covered it in August :lol:

I believe it has/should have a bulb behind it? So perhaps that helped its distortion?

liquorbox
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby liquorbox » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:16 pm

A cheap heat gun will give heat only to where you need it.
I use one to make birds out of plastic piping and it works well !!CHEERS!!

junior
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby junior » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:49 pm

Thanks for replies. The plastic is only 3 x 2 inches in size so I wanted to heat the whole of it evenly to get flexibility as it had twisted both ways and had a crack in it. I considered using a heat gun but thought it would be too intense. This piece of plastic has a picture on it and I wasn't sure if it would melt. Done enough, looks OK and hammer works.

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gameswat
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby gameswat » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:03 pm

JR, old plastic that's been bent & re-flattened has a habit of returning, so after years of messing with this (vintage pins especially) I usually now end up covering the restored originals with thin but tough polycarb clear which does wonders in stopping the process. And the added bonus of UV protection.

greg
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby greg » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:03 pm

Topic copied from What is it? - Site Admin.

DSC01512b.jpg
I have tried flattening a play field with the gentle application of heat from a heat gun with not much luck. I even tried laying a piece of glass over it to distribute the heat evenly. The glass shattered.

The oven scares me. With the heat gun I only screw up one small area at a time. With the oven I can destroy the entire thing in one shot. I'm sure someone has a "Double Secret" way to flatten play fields they have never shared....it's time to share your secret with the world and the world will love you for it!

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badpenny
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby badpenny » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:44 pm

I think gentle persuasion may be the secret to this greg.
Try laying it between two pieces of single ply wood sheeting and then place the largest flat bottomed pan you can find on top and fill it with boiling water.
Keeping the water hot and repositioning the pan in order to give all of the back flash a chance may produce results.
What sort of results you'll get could be a bit of a mystery, but at least you'll be more informed than us.

I'm in Rugby in Warwickshire England'land. I don't really need a Mills/Sega escalator slug catcher but could never resist something free, are you at home during the week?

BP

greg
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby greg » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:08 pm

Thanks for all the great suggestions on fixing the play field. Here is what I have tried in the past and also what I did this time.

Try #1. On another Allwin, I completely removed the play field from the game and tried to evenly heat the entire thing with a heat gun. I thought that if I got the entire thing to the same magic temperature it would just flatten all on its own like a good little play field. It didn't and I wound up melting one corner.

Try #2. I decided it needed some weight on top while I was heating it. I placed a large sheet of glass on top of the play field and some heavy weights on top of the glass. I then heated the glass for a long time with the heat gun. Not enough heat was getting to the play field and eventually the glass shattered.

This time #1. I decided to try flattening the play field in the game. I removed the 12 winning hole thingie. Just 4 screws on the back so that was easy. There were 4 tiny nails in the plastic just above the holes. They took a while to get out because I didn't want to crack the plastic were they were driven in. Then I took out my heat gun, set it on low, and heated one small section for about 30 seconds. No change so I touched it to see if it was hot enough. It was and have the burnt finger tip to prove it.

I decided I needed to protect my little paw so I got out the old family asbestos gloves. If you don't have a pair of asbestos gloves sitting around an oven mitten will work. Just don't use the one with old food stuck to it.

This time #2. I applied heat to the play field, one small section at a time. Then stopped the heat and I rubbed it (with my gloved hand), pressed it flat, held it as it cooled and told it that it was pretty pretty play field. I kept repeating that over all the bad spots. It only took about 15 minutes and it was flat enough to work again.

I had to trim the plastic a little around the slot where the 12 winning hole thingie goes. I also didn't put the 4 tiny nails back in. They were a big part of the reason the play field buckled.

I don't know how well you can see it in the earlier picture but the play field was buckled all the way across the top of the winning holes and it was impossible to get the ball in any hole.

The play field isn't perfect but game plays great now and that is all that really matters.

Thanks again for all your help.
DSC01516a.jpg

junior
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby junior » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:29 pm

A heat gun is too intense. Glass will not shatter if it’s toughened glass. Same as oven doors. The plastic I tried to flatten was only 75mm x 50mm and thicker than a sheet of clear backflash. It got hot in electric oven all over enough for me to change its shape.
Took about 5 repeated easing into shape but now it’s OK to go back into the machine.

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scottie
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Re: Flatten plastic

Postby scottie » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:26 pm

Hi Junior
You could try a hot iron with a damp towel. I did this on a top flash and then after I was finished I put the top flash under a heavy flat surface to cool off and it worked great. I'm sure it would work on the backflash, just being bigger it would take a bit more time.
Scottie


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