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Modding Can I make a plastic heater with a dishwasher?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Cheapskate, 13 Oct 2007.

  1. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I know it sounds crazy and dangerous. That's why I'm asking. I've done lots of electrical repair work, but appliance modification...:worried:
    The thing is I get access to at least one dead dishwasher a year. The most recent one was because the tenant wired the plug to 220.:duh: I was thinking it's a shame to put stuff on the curb I could make useful.
    Anyway, I was wondering if the heater element in the bottom could be removed and made into a seperate unit for plexi bending. I don't have a washer right now to check out.
    also- Is it possible to cut and bend the element, or is it too brittle to reshape?


    And again, I know this is crazy. I already have images in my head of melting power cords and fire...
     
  2. r4tch3t

    r4tch3t hmmmm....

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    For cutting or bending the element it would depend on what its made out of, if it's ceramic or ceramic coated I would doubt it could be reshaped, but bust it open and give it a go. Wear thick leather gloves and have a fire extinguisher handy and you'll be all set. :thumb:
     
  3. ỒĊBłůē

    ỒĊBłůē Also available in black

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    The temperature that the robbed element will reach is pretty important too - you'll need enough heat to get your plastic near to it's Tg, too much though and it'll start to boil.

    Good luck with it :dremel:
     
  4. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    dishwashers don't seem to get that hot... if they got hot enough to bend plexi then most plastic stuff in there would go wonky after a wash. If you can remove the heater than maybe it has enough power to melt a small area of plexi? i dunno :D
    A few dishwasher heater elements however, now that might be enough to melt something as big as a case window?
    Have you seen boddaker's plexi melting rig? That is what you should build, & make me one too :D
     
  5. Cinnander

    Cinnander What's a Dremel?

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    I'd have thought a toaster would be simpler... last time I bent plastic in this way (admittedly it was years ago), the 'machine' was just a glorified 2 foot wide toaster =p
     
  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    @Mvagusta -They don't get very hot when there's water in them, but without the pool of water in the bottom they can get real hot. Ever seen a utensil tray melted like a candle?

    @Cinnander -Those glorified toasters cost $100 and up. I've tossed a dozen dishwashers. They all had working heater elements.

    @r4atch3t -I'm more worried about cooking the wiring in the house. I don't trust the breakers in this house much...
     
  7. woodshop

    woodshop UnSeenly

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    Make your own diy extension cord using thinner wire then your house wiring... that way the extension cord will melt first killing the connection.
    Thats what i'd do, take it or leave it.
     
  8. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    that diy extension cord sounds like death & a fire waiting to happen... seriously :nono: it's much safer to make sure the circuit breakers are decent and not rated above what the rest of the wiring & wallplates can handle.
    If you wanna play with high power stuff then maybe you should get one high power line installed, that you can use whenever you want to "play" It doesn't have to be in the house, maybe put it in the garage or shed? These options will probably be alot cheaper & easier than house wiring.
     
  9. r4tch3t

    r4tch3t hmmmm....

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    Just put one of these in the line. Goes over 3/5/13A and it cuts out. Or if you don't want to keep replacing fuses when your experimenting then one of these may be of more use.
     
  10. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    The elements are designed to be either water-cooled (wash cycle) or fan-cooled (dry cycle). Without something to keep them cool they'll likely dangerously overheat (think electric kettle with no water in it, or HSF failure) though the safety factor may allow for a fan breakdown (probably a thermal trip near the element in the original equipment). Not a good way to heat plastic without some form of power control that keeps the element temperature in bounds.
    Darwin Award goes to woodshop. :worried:
     
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  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    A mini breaker! nice! I was wondering where I could find something like that. I probably can't use a wall dimmer to control this thing, I've never seen one that went above 5 amps. I thought I'd use hardy plank scraps to make a housing. You can heat it up 'til it glows red, so it's good for this stuff.
    I want to add a high amp circuit for the garage, but the box is full.

    @Mvagusta -The problem with the breakers is they are an unreliable model That only kick -sometimes-. The whole neighborhood is like that. I just had an entire room rewired in another house because the idiot tenant had 10 cords on one plug. the breaker didn't kick until after the wiring melted. (This is the same goober who rewired a plug to 220.)
    The breakers are the main reason I'm looking for safety options.
     
  12. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    sounds like you need to get some decent circuit breakers, they don't cost much but it sounds like you have tenants & dishwashers coming out of your rear end? :confused: How many properties do you have? Or is there a "cheapskate hotel" i don't know about?
     
  13. Teyber

    Teyber ******

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    rofl!

    cheapskate: an idea? this may be super stupid... but if you can somehow get the heating element completely submerged in water, you could put it in a aluminum square tube: you know those things like 2 angles together? then put water inside of it. This way, it gets super hot, and you can bend plexi in perfect 90 degree angles. Get what im saying?
     
  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Yeah, Teyber REALLY bad idea. I'm trying to make one of those plastic heaters they make for plexi bending. The plastic does not actually touch the element. Your Idea would just heat up the water and scar the plexi.

    @mvagusta -I'm not qualified to switch out the entire box. We have yet to find an electrician who we can trust with it. I won't say how many houses my family owns, (meaning -I- don't own any,) but we are taking care of a bunch of properties owned by other people as well.
     
  15. ConKbot of Doom

    ConKbot of Doom Minimodder

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    I would just buy variac (which should have a fuse/circuit breaker built in) and use that to control the element.

    Or for a lil more DIY get a power strip with a circuit breaker, and control the heater element with a lighting dimmer. Though it might be hard or just as expensive as a variac for a high power dimmer.
     
  16. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    Things must be different over there? Around here anyone can buy circuit breakers from hardware or electrical stores, remove thier old ceramic fuses and clip in the new circuit breakers. Nice @ all the houses in the family :thumb:

    Have you seen boddaker's melting rig? I dunno if it's worth trying to use the dishwasher heater element...
     
  17. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    @ConKbot of Doom - I think it would be cheaper to just buy a new plexi strip melter. Last one of those I saw was about $200.

    @mvagusta - Problem here is the whole box needs upgraded. Power turned off, 20+breakers changed...
    anyway, way off topic.
    Are you talking about the tiny bit of wire he used? It's a little small for 1/4" sheet bending.:D
     
  18. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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  19. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Whup! vac table! not much on his heater though... I've just been following the BSG case.
     
  20. Noob4ever

    Noob4ever always learning

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    heres a link I found in an old forum post cheapskate, home made strip heater for plexi....... strip heaters are "technically" the right way to do it since it heats the entire length of the piece in one go evenly to do that nice 90 or something like that :D........... thats the way I'd go, Ill be building one like this here soon myself for my upcoming project. and btw I love bloo balls, so long as i dont have em lol............
    http://www.austinpcmods.com/Plex Bending Tutorial.htm
     

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