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Thermoplastic used by physical therapists tip


Hello Orchidland,

Some time ago after reading about the thermoplastic used by physical
therapists (PT) for shaping temporary casts/supports, I asked for
some scraps from a PT friend. She gave me some strips and other bits
left-over from her work.

I’m here to tell you, see if you can get some too. The stuff is like
sheets of JetSet and when placed in hot water, it becomes malleable.
So far I’ve used it to wrap around needle file handles to make them
easier to handle, make plier jaw covers to protect metal from dents,
and here’s the latest:

The cap to my Jewel Jet steamer was over-tightened and I couldn’t
unscrew it. The company doesn’t make a “wrench” for the cap and
suggested using a vice-grip to remove it - which would likely deform
the cap. I’d have to buy a new cap for the steamer… a pain in the
tuckus at least.

I took a strip of the thermoplastic and warmed it up, then placed it
over the cap and squashed it down into the grooves on opposite sides
of the cap, leaving a couple inches extending as “wings” on each
side. I let the strip cool and, voila’, I had a removable "wrench"
that gave me enough leverage to unscrew the cap!

Introduce yourself to a PT and see if you could have some left-over
bits of the thermoplastic sheet. I think it is generally discarded.
I’m sure you’ll find uses for it and be a recycler too.

Orchid Rocks!!

Judy in Kansas, where a freeze last night will slow things down a
bit, but the asparagus is coming up and my rejuvenated strawberry bed
is looking good.

BTW, check out the YouTube videos from Brad Simon, you may find some
useful tips and ideas.


There is a similar product available from Douglas and Sturgess in
San Francisco, CA called ADAPTIT. It comes in sheets or pellets, is
very hard when cool but very pliable when warmed (in water that was
just boiling). It does stick to most material, so makes great tool
enlarging handles and custom hammer heads and, and, and… I used it
once to “fix” my friends glasses (broke at the connection of the
temple bar and the frame) and he wore them for over a year before
getting a new frame… All of my “dental tools” have enlarged
handles, files have great handles, etc. Was about $18.00 a pound the
last time I bought it (4 years ago) but worth every penny.

John Dach

There is a similar product available from Douglas and Sturgess in
San Francisco, CA called ADAPTIT. 

Thermo-loc by GRS is another similar product which I use all the
time. Others have suggested JettSett (sp?) too. In the UK, someone
put me onto the following website which is run in conjunction with
Middlesex University:

They sell a thermo-plastic which is if I remember rightly less than
half the price of similar things such as Thermo-loc or JettSett from
Jewellery supply houses. I’ll be buying some from them when my
Thermo- loc runs out in a few years’ time! They call it Polymorph and
it’s under the heading “Smart materials” in the website index down
the left hand side of the window. These materials seem to be a
fantastic modern alternative to the traditional setter’s shellach,
holding a piece of jewellery solidly in the vice jaws or engraver’s
ball jaws, or supporting an antique and thin platinum ring setting
whilst setting stones, as well as a great tool for lining plier jaws
and making ergonomic handles for tricky tools.