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Folding styrene.....

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  • Member since
    June, 2013
  • From: Jax, FL
Folding styrene.....
Posted by Viejo on Saturday, April 29, 2017 9:37 AM

I have some styrene railings (thin sections) that I need to bend 90 degrees.  Just bending it slowly results in breakage.

 

If I use hot water to soften it, how hot and how long does it stay immersed? 

  • Member since
    April, 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Saturday, April 29, 2017 9:42 AM

as hot as your hand can handle it & til it becomes plyable.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, April 29, 2017 9:57 AM

Another heat option is a stamping tool, a sort of miniature hair dryer.  I find several uses in my modeling for this thing.  Craft stores sell them (HL and Michaels), as well as Micro Mark.  It heats the styrene pretty fast.  I also use it for shrinking/tightening rigging on biplanes and ships.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, April 29, 2017 10:06 AM

Hello!

An option for you might be to cut a notch in the railing (about half the thickness), apply lacquer thinner to the spot, wait until the railing gets soft and then do the bend and wait 'till the plastic gets hard again after the solvent evaporates.

Alternatively - maybe you could heat a length of wire and then bend the railing using this wire for the bending edge? Just an idea. Anyhow - good luck with your project and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, April 29, 2017 11:34 AM

For a 90 with a sharp corner, I'd just cut it and glue it.

I'm assuming you're going for a curved 90. You could warm up the plastic over a candle. CAREFULLY!!! It is easy to go too far and mess up the plastic. Warm it up, a couple inches above the candle, and bend it around something that is the size of the curve you need...(brush handle, needle???)

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Saturday, April 29, 2017 2:20 PM

fermis

For a 90 with a sharp corner, I'd just cut it and glue it.

I'm assuming you're going for a curved 90. You could warm up the plastic over a candle. CAREFULLY!!! It is easy to go too far and mess up the plastic. Warm it up, a couple inches above the candle, and bend it around something that is the size of the curve you need...(brush handle, needle???)

 

Some good ideas in these suggestions. Here are a couple that work well for me.

1. One of my table lamps is a small halogen, extremely hot to the touch. I hold what I want bend about an inch or so from it and it soon heats the plastic enough to bend easily. Works really well for straightening kit parts that are warped, just move the part, (like a wing or fuselage part,) around it a circular pattern to warm the entire warped surface.

Experiment first, you'll soon recognize how much is enough, or too much.

2. A small, fine tooth hobby saw will make some cuts spaced closely together and about halfway through the plastic bit, at the point you wish to bend. A sharp blade shaped file will slightly widen those cuts, then the plastic stock will bend and close up those cuts. A bit of liquid cement like Tamiya, will strengthen the bent area by bonding the cut surfaces together.

Just a little practice will make you comfortable with those means, before you try it on a real project.

Patrick

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, April 30, 2017 8:10 AM

Viejo ;

 What I have done for years is this . take a small hair dryer . Put your rail on the edge of a metal straight edged Piece of Aluminum angle  . Exactly square from  the edge . let it overhang the amount you need and apply the heat carefully . It should sag just fine .

   As soon as it rests on the downward side of the angle keep heat away .It will cool slowly and there you have a 90 degree bend . I use this method on Tichy Train group Boxcar walkways being converted to rails .

   On your posts " Reply " doesn't come up  .What gives ? By the way , Nice Switching Tower .I didn't know you messed around with trains too ?   T.B.

  • Member since
    June, 2013
  • From: Jax, FL
Posted by Viejo on Sunday, April 30, 2017 11:49 AM

As always, a wealth of ideas and approaches to solve the problem.

 

I went with hot water, and and kind of pleased with the results.....

 

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