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Removing Plastic Parts from Diecast


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#1 OFFLINE   ibj40

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 10:13 AM

This is in response to this thread:  https://www.diecastxchange.com/forum1/topic/229801-removing-plastic-windows-without-cracking-them/

Here's a picture of the underside of the roof of a typical diecast model, with the greenhouse (in this case, a two piece - frequently they are molded as one unit), held in place with what I will refer to as "mushrooms".  The mushroom, in reality, is a stalk of diecast, molded into the body (or roof in this case), that is then distorted during the assembly process to retain another piece in place.  I have seen mushrooms holding both plastic and diecast parts together.

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A closer look at the mushrooms.

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Here is another model, similar type, in which I have previously, and successfully, removed the rear of the greenhouse.  You can see that it was held in by three mushrooms, one in the center forward, and two at the rear corners.

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I used a Dremel tool (I actually have two, so that I don't have to change the bits as often) to accomplish the task.

I start with an 1/8 inch drill bit.

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And use it to drill directly down onto the top of the mushroom (and practice has shown me that you need more than a drill bit, and I will get to that).

Our subject for this tutorial will be the removal of a plastic dashboard from a diecast body.  The dash is held in place by two mushrooms.

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As I mentioned above, I start with my drill bit, directly into the middle of the mushroom.

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Let the drill bit do the work, and don't press too hard.  The plastic can resist some heat, but if you want to reattach it later, you don't want too much distortion.

As you drill, however, you are going to spread the mushroom remnant out slightly.

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Next, I will migrate over to a grinding bit.  In this case, one with a point so that I have some control over the area I am grinding.

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A word of caution, here, as the diecast metal will build up on the grinding bit, and reduce its efficiency.  Here's an example.

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I acquired a grinding stone, specifically designed to recondition abrasive grinding bits.

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Run the bit over the stone to clear off the residue, and good as new.

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So, I begin grinding on the mushroom remnant, again, letting the tool do the work, and not forcing it or pressing it too hard onto the metal.

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I have a very small, flat screwdriver that I use to check on whether my grinding has been successful.  Again, don't force anything!  What I am doing after each grind, is checking to see how loose the piece is.  I want to leave as much plastic as possible for reassembly later.

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Need to grind some more.

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You can see that there is very little of the mushroom cap left, and with a little bit of pressure, the pieces separate.

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A little bit of buildup on the bit, which I will clean off before starting on the next mushroom.

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And we are done.

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For reassembly, I put a dab of SuperGlue around the stalk, and press the plastic piece down and hold until the glue sets (this isn't a final, which is why it appears distorted and loose).

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#2 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 10:46 AM

Nice guide, I'll pin it :smile:

F**k you Photobucket.



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#3 OFFLINE   preisman

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 11:43 AM

Thanks for the guide. I think there is a good amount of trial and error worked out already that should save everyone a lot of time and headache. Thank.

#4 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 12:25 PM

You do pretty much what I do - although I only have one Dremel!
With clear parts I usually put a short length of clear sticky tape over the drill area, this cuts down on the potential for the drill to run away.

#5 OFFLINE   ibj40

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 12:58 PM

View Postslartibartfast229, on 04 March 2020 - 12:25 PM, said:

You do pretty much what I do - although I only have one Dremel!
With clear parts I usually put a short length of clear sticky tape over the drill area, this cuts down on the potential for the drill to run away.

That's a great idea!  The bad news is that more than one of mine has an "autograph", the good news, usually hidden upon final assembly.  :nice:

View PostCraig, on 04 March 2020 - 10:46 AM, said:

Nice guide, I'll pin it :smile:

Thanks, glad to share.

View Postpreisman, on 04 March 2020 - 11:43 AM, said:

Thanks for the guide. I think there is a good amount of trial and error worked out already that should save everyone a lot of time and headache. Thank.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with.  Gotten really heavy into customs lately, and trying new techniques, and buying more tools.



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