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Melted mess of sterling & plastic


#1

I won’t bore (or amuse) everyone by explaining how this happened, but
a 5 x 7 zip lock bag full of around 40 or so 2 x 3 zip lock bags
containing delicate little Bali heart toggles is now all melted
together. That is not to say that the toggles are melted and
destroyed - beneath all that melted plastic, they’re still viable…
I think. I’ve removed quite a few that were untouched by heat and
plastic, and have already peeled plastic from several of the
component pieces with no damage to the toggles; but many of them were
fused into a plastic chunk that seems impossible to penetrate without
damaging the toggles. The outside perimeter of the “chunk” contains
intact baggies (with untouched toggles inside, which can be easily
cut free) fused at their tops to other baggies in the center into
about a 2" x 2" very hard, 1/2" thick chunk. Any ideas for removing
the plastic and reclaiming the toggles within?


#2

Could you warm up the plastic in the oven? This could be rather
toxic unless you use a VERY LOW heat to soften the plastic then
carefully cut and peel the plastic away?

Okay, with that said…you HAVE to spill the beans and tell us the
WHOLE story :wink:

I am curious!

Laney


#3

Years ago I had a rash of silverware items that had been stored too
long in the attic bundled in saranwrap. Stuff had fused to the
silver like varnish. I used marine grade paint remover to get most of
it off. Maybe that would work.


#4
Any ideas for removing the plastic and reclaiming the toggles
within? 

If you heat it with a hair dryer or a heat gun does it soften up at
all? If it does, maybe a heat-proof mitt and a razor knife would do
the job then.

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.fgemz.com


#5

Hello,

use scissors/an exacto knife to cut away as much plastic as
possible. then soak the remaining clump in acetone.

Susannah Page-Garcia


#6
The outside perimeter of the "chunk" contains intact baggies (with
untouched toggles inside, which can be easily cut free) fused at
their tops to other baggies in the center into about a 2" x 2" very
hard, 1/2" thick chunk. Any ideas for removing the plastic and
reclaiming the toggles within? 

This is highly amusing to me :slight_smile: In any case, I would drop the mess
into boiling water (don’t use a pot that you will then use for
cooking). The hot water will help to soften the cube so that you can
rescue the metal components with tweezers.

BBR - Sandi Graves
Stormcloud Trading Co (Beadstorm)
Saint Paul, Minnesota


#7

What an interesting array of suggestions! The hair dryer idea was the
easiest and quickest; however, the heat wasn’t sufficient to do much
more than heat the sterling that was peeking out among the melted
plastic. Hardly softened the chunk at all. Though I may try it again
if I can jury rig the thing so I’ve got the use of both hands. The
oven idea might supply more heat (and I’ve got a little toaster oven
in the studio for Polymer Clay)… but I think I’ll have to find
something on which to place the mess before trying it… something
that can be tossed afterward. I’ve got exacto knives which I use for
cutting PMC, so perhaps a combination of heat, exacto knives… and
then acetone for what’s left. I’ll have at it this weekend. Thanks
everybody!

As for the WHOLE story… if I must. Laney, this one’s for you.
Wouldn’t otherwise reveal my stupidity. I have about six or seven 11"
x 17" cheap framed cork boards I use for individual projects… I
especially like them for pearls, as the frame keeps strays from
rolling off. On a day when I was firing a whole tray of original PMC
pieces (i.e. for two solid hours plus ramp up and cool down), it
happened that one of these cork boards was setting atop my Sierra
Kiln… apparently totally unnoticed by me. I always make it a point
to fire when I’m going to be out of the studio, as I don’t trust the
fumes, and my exhaust fan is about 15 feet away from the best
placement for the kiln. I had a series of errands and some shopping
to do that day, so I fired up the kiln and left. When I returned
later that day, the whole ground floor (but especially my studio)
smelled of burned… something. Turned out to be cork, of course.
There’s a vent hole in the top of my kiln and, at 1600 degrees, the
heat burned a hole straight through the cork and into the zip lock
baggie full of baggied toggles. There were lots of other things on
the cork board, including pearls! So I was fortunate, not to mention
amazed, that the heat didn’t cause more damage than it did. It was
all centered pretty much around the location of the vent hole. I’ve
done some… tidying up… around the kiln since then, as well as
placed several small kiln tray “feet” (used to create multiple tray
levels) on top to prevent me from placing anything else up there in
the future. But, of course, stupidity knows no bounds…

I’ll let you know how it goes with the toggle extraction.


#8

Years ago, I was trying to do some oil painting. For some reason, I
had an Irish setter that decided that the paintings would be good to
lick. Licked paintings look wierd and it wasn’t good for the dog. I
decided that I’d put it in the oven, until the next morning. Of
course, one of my parents decided that they wanted to make toast,
with the BROILER. Baked oil paintings don’t work either. I decided
that it was time to do arcrylics instead. I came home today to
discover that my current setter has developed a taste for Ricola
cough drops. She took a bag out of a drawer (I had left it open so It
would be easy for me to get one). She had scattered some of them, I
retrived them and I just stuck them back in the drawer. She pushed it
open and finished them off.

Cairenn, the Howling Artist
www.howlingartist.com


#9
There's a vent hole in the top of my kiln and, at 1600 degrees,
the heat burned a hole straight through the cork and into the zip
lock baggie full of baggied toggles. 

You’re not alone. My ultrasonic tank has a fitted heavy plastic lid
to keep the solution from evaporating between uses. One time I did a
flask burn-out (always done overnight so I can avoid the fumes). When
the casting and cleanup was all done I went to cover the ultrasonic.
I found the plastic lid on top of the kiln with a perfectly round
scorched hole through it right where it was over the kiln’s vent
hole. It’s not quite as useful to prevent evaporation now, but it’s a
great reminder not to set anything on top of the kiln again.

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.fgemz.com