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  • Metal in a microwave?

    I have made a gavel** from recycled HDPE, both head and handle are HDPE and now I need to work out how to attached the two.

    Maybe if I spun the handle in the head I could friction weld but I am unsure so I am thinking of wrapping wire around the thin end of the handle and putting the assembled gavel in the microwave to heat the wire and weld the HDPE.

    How say you?


    **gavel "a small hammer with which an auctioneer, a judge, or the chair of a meeting hits a surface to call for attention or order."

  • #2
    As long as the wire around the handle is "within" the head and hot exposed, it shouldn't do
    any harm ( to the microwave )

    As far as how the HDPE will react, I have no idea but am curious.

    I would try short bursts to test it ... like 15sec shots
    John Titor, when are you.

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    • #3
      A while back I tried to heat up some thing that was in a plastic jar. I don't recall what it was. But although I loosened the top I failed to inspect for metal. The traces of foil left by the original seal heated up and sparked and melted and burned the plastic.

      I'm not saying you could not use wire in this way as a heat source. But the risk of failure without a lot of previous trial and error is very high.

      Plastic is typically a very poor heat source. What I'd do is heat both the socket and end of the handle with a low flame from a propane torch and when both are quite sticky I'd push and twist them together. Or even better would be to fit them and then cross drill and pin them together with a nice dark hardwood dowel or brass pin that is a nice firm hammer in place push fit.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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      • #4
        I'd use an induction hot plate for that. Dirt cheap now.

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        • #5
          Put a (red) hot knife between the two pieces. Press the pieces together and remove the knife. Clean up on the lathe.

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          • #6
            I would REALLY like to see if that works...never thought of using a microwave in that way.

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            • #7
              You might find that just winding a helical coil of wire won't do much- but if you short the ends together it could vaporize. Part of the equation is the gauge of the wire, and part is the length. It's an experiment worth trying anyway. For short duration testing you aren't going to hurt the microwave- but do allow time for the magnetron to cool between tests.

              The coil can be tested before placing it onto the handle. Just wind it such that it would slip onto the handle properly, then set it up on something to keep it off the floor of the microwave. If it heats too quickly it may not work for you, as the plastic doesn't absorb heat very quickly and might burn before enough plastic is melted to form a weld. On the other hand, the burn might turn out to be the 'filler' that bonds the pieces together. I think I'd prefer a slower heating so I could 'wring' the parts together, knowing that it would end up as one piece.
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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              • #8
                I heat my Vinnia sausages in the can in the micro wave

                put unopened can in a cup of water heat for 2 minutes
                George from Conyers Ga.
                Remember
                The early bird gets the worm, BUT it's the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by George Seal View Post
                  I heat my Vinnia sausages in the can in the micro wave

                  put unopened can in a cup of water heat for 2 minutes
                  In your case the water is both acting as a partial shield as well as conducting the heat away fast enough to keep anything "dramatic" from occurring.
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                  • #10
                    I found the answer, I just smeared the smallest amount of conductive paint in the join and gave it about 5 seconds!

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                    • #11
                      And ????!!!!!
                      John Titor, when are you.

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                      • #12


                        ...just a little gavel made from recycled milk and shampoo bottles etc.

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                        • #13
                          What kind of conductive paint did you use? Did you make your own like this: http://www.instructables.com/id/Conductive-Paint/

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                          • #14
                            I used conductive paint from RS Components, it is black and presumably carbon based.

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                            • #15
                              :-) I'd call that stuff (all of it) "Resistive paint" not conductive. The "Conductive paint" I've seen used is silver particles filled and would have had a few Ohms between the two probes in the "experiment" above. :-)
                              ...lw...

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