The Sweet Smell of Melting Plastic...

I had an extremely rare experience today; I thought of an easier way to do something *before* I did it the hard way, rather than after.
When I took a jar from a kitchen cabinet today a small plastic piece fell out onto the counter. I recognized it as one of those push in shelf supports, sheared off from its mounting peg, which was undoubtedly still pressed into a hole somewhere.
A little searching located where it had come from, the front center of a heavily loaded shelf, with the "peg plugged" hole located in the center of a stile between two doors.
I had a few shelf supports squirrled away from when we installed the cabinets so I headed downstairs for a cordless drill, right angle attachment and drills. What a pain it was gonna be to empty out enough cans and jars to gain working room, Plus maybe I'd screw up drilling in such an awkward location and pierce through the stile leaving a mark I'd never cease to notice. And I'd have to clean out the plastic swarf afterwards and replace all the removed groceries. All that for just a lousy plastic shelf support.
Just as I was reaching for the drill a light bulb lit over my head and I returned instead to the kitchen with my propane torch, a pair of pliers and a one inch long #4 self threading screw.
You can guess the rest I'm sure, but in case you can't....
I just raised the sagged shelf up a bit on some stacked cans, held the screw in the pliers, heated the tip red hot with the torch and melted it into that busted off plastic peg. I waited a couple of minutes, grabbed the screw with the pliers and pulled the peg out quicker than you can say Jill Robinson. Oh yeah, I'd borrowed a mirror out of wifey's purse to let me see where to stick that hot screw in.
File the idea away, it could make you look like a genius in front of SWMBO some day. <G>
Happy Holidays,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Personally, I'd rather just use metal shelf supports :)
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On Sun, 25 Dec 2005 16:07:09 -0500, Jeff Wisnia

I'd like to find these idiots that make plastic supporting brackets. Plastic is not a durable material, and either fails from weight, or from decay, and that wont be long. Get some steel brackets and you wont have to mess with it again. Society is going backwards. They used to make durable materials. Now everything is junk plastic crap.
Mark
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Plastic decays? Does Greenpeace know of this?
I have some shelves with plastic supports for 20 years that are still perfect. You'd be amazed at the properties of some plastics. And they don't rust or corrode.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Yeah, I could have spun up the lathe and made a brass part in a few minutes, but figgered if the first one had lasted since we built the place 19 years ago I was justified in using one of the matching originals. If the replacement lasts as long before it breaks (and I'm still breathing.) I will make a metal one then. <G>
Jeff
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Plastic lasts a really long time, but I've run into a lot of plastic that gets brittle over time (10 or more years).
For shelf brackets, I'd prefer steel.
Every so often a plastic candy wrapper or toy will get into my compost heap. It's always interesting seeing the wrapper or toy turn up a few years later still shiny and looking new. Everything else has turned to dirt but the plastic is in there for the long haul.
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Depends on the plastic, how well it was made, and what it's been exposed to. Temperature cycling and exposure to harsh cleansers (ie: chlorine bleach) or UV can cause many plastics to embrittle or even disintegrate.
Several of the plastic parts of our fridge have gotten rather fragile. It's over 20 years old, so it's somewhat understandable.
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wrote:

I didn't know about this, :) but I do find aluminum soda pop cans in the woods near my home, and they have big holes in them from just sitting there for 3 or 5 years. I'd been led to believe they last forever, but it seems not.

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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Well a lot goes to hell quickly. The plastic sheets used to cover stuff (2-6 mill), e.g., for painting and other uses, seem to shred very quickly from UV light.
Otoh, the my black plastic 1" pipe lying on top of the ground for 20 years of rain, snow, freezing, boiling hot sun, 100 + degrees, full sunlight, etc. continues to do its job just fine. Exposed like that it is it has probably aged the equivalent of 100 years in a buried state.
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

"where to stick that hot screw in" Jeff? It's a family newsgroup, okay? ;)
A few observations/questions: Since you were looking in a mirror, didn't you actually push the stub in? Did the stub appear smaller (as in a rearview mirror)? How many hands do you have? I counted about four before I lost track.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Since I'm going to hit the big "seven oh" in another few weeks I feel perfectly entitled to act like a dirty old man and couch my descriptions in prurient terms. <G>
One of the few nice things about reaching an age where everything making up your body either leaks, dries up, falls out, or breaks ... is that people can't call you a "fresh young punk" anymore when you insult them.
I realized I'd crossed a midline point about 15 years ago when I admonished a young twit who was filling up her car next to mine at a self serve station while dangling a lit cigarette in her free hand ... about a foot away from her car's fillpipe. Her response to me, which I still remember word for word was, "What's the matter you old fart, do you want to live forever?"
> > A few observations/questions: > Since you were looking in a mirror, didn't you actually push the stub > in? > Did the stub appear smaller (as in a rearview mirror)? > How many hands do you have? I counted about four before I lost track.
I'll take the Fifth on those, please.
But I did find it frustratingly/interesting to note that while I can easily shave my face and comb what's left of my hair using a mirror, it wasn't easy to position that hot screw over the peg's location while looking at the reflected view. It took a second heating of the screw before I got practiced enough to put it where It had to go.
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Not to mention tie a tie. In fact, that is the *only* way I can do it easily; i,e, I find it difficult to tie one on someone else.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
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