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Have you ever bought a builder and could not get it apart?  That worries me..

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I have had issues in some cases, but the worst instance, in my opinion, is not being able to remove the glass.

I have this problem with an AMT 1962 Mercury Monterey.

Luckily, I have a Dremel tool and am not afraid to basically grind anything apart.

That would include grinding the glass out of the Mercury and then replacing the glass.

 

You can almost always find solutions to these problems if you give it some thought.

 

 

 

 

Steve

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Have you tried the old Freezer trick ?  I remember guys who said  they got the kit slightly damp and put them in a plastic Freezer bag and left them in the Freezer over night. The idea is that the dampness will freeze and that will pry the parts apart. 

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2 hours ago, espo said:

Have you tried the old Freezer trick ?  I remember guys who said  they got the kit slightly damp and put them in a plastic Freezer bag and left them in the Freezer over night. The idea is that the dampness will freeze and that will pry the parts apart. 

That never worked for me. If styrene is welded together with gobs of glue, it has to be cut apart. I don't think it would work even if water did happen to get in the joint.

I've never bought one that I couldn't get apart. Sometimes you have get creative with a Dremel and photo etch saw blades. But, you can get them apart. Like Steve, the worst I've dealt with is having to grind a window away and replace it.

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3 hours ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

I have had issues in some cases, but the worst instance, in my opinion, is not being able to remove the glass.

I have this problem with an AMT 1962 Mercury Monterey.

Luckily, I have a Dremel tool and am not afraid to basically grind anything apart.

That would include grinding the glass out of the Mercury and then replacing the glass.

You can almost always find solutions to these problems if you give it some thought.

 

1 hour ago, Plowboy said:

Sometimes you have get creative with a Dremel and photo etch saw blades. But, you can get them apart. Like Steve, the worst I've dealt with is having to grind a window away and replace it.

What they said. Improvise, adapt, overcome! B)

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The photoetch saw blades are a miracle in some cases.  They don't give you additional access, but if you can get in where needed with one it will help save parts where in the past you might have had to sacrifice one part to save another.

Before breaking out the Dremel, saw, or knife, first get the paint off of everything.  That can help free up parts thought to be "welded" in with cement.  Most paint removal methods we use now won't affect the clear parts.

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4 hours ago, Mark said:

Most paint removal methods we use now won't affect the clear parts.

With one exception I know of: the old Hubley kits. That glass is some sort of acetate and Super Clean attacks it (learned this the hard way).

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I've tried the freezer method, net result = no luck.  I've had much better luck with mineral spirits - it softens the glue without attacking the plastic.

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Back when I had to make castings at works with plaster and or resin the old guy in the shop told me this Carl. Sometimes you have to decide what you are going to save and what part to sacrifice. 

Look over the pictures well and zoom in with the computer. It may help you out decide about buying something.  

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When looking at project cars at a show, it's easy to spot potential problems like welded-in glass or lacquer crazing on bodies.  eBay sellers sometimes become experts at posing items for photos so as to hide or minimize those problems.  If the pictures leave something unclear, pass on the item and wait for another one.

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4 hours ago, 1930fordpickup said:

Back when I had to make castings at works with plaster and or resin the old guy in the shop told me this Carl. Sometimes you have to decide what you are going to save and what part to sacrifice. 

Look over the pictures well and zoom in with the computer. It may help you out decide about buying something.  

Michigan/Ohio Border? Who do you root for in college football? :)

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I'll echo what Steve and Roger have said. There are those times that you could swear they used half a tube of glue to put the glass in. Such was the case with the '74 Corvette I bought as a cheap built-up (20 bucks) and the glass was a REAL tough job. My variable speed Dremel came to the rescue and I replaced the glass with my own fabrication anyway.

Then there's the issue of damaged/deformed body panels due to so much glue so be prepared for that. Buying a built-up is good alternative to the super high prices some vintage kits can command.

Just be prepared (and patient) with less than ideal build quality with too much glue being the toughest.

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5 hours ago, 1930fordpickup said:

Back when I had to make castings at works with plaster and or resin the old guy in the shop told me this Carl. Sometimes you have to decide what you are going to save and what part to sacrifice. 

Look over the pictures well and zoom in with the computer. It may help you out decide about buying something.  

That’s makes sense..

2 hours ago, Mark said:

When looking at project cars at a show, it's easy to spot potential problems like welded-in glass or lacquer crazing on bodies.  eBay sellers sometimes become experts at posing items for photos so as to hide or minimize those problems.  If the pictures leave something unclear, pass on the item and wait for another one.

Some of those eBay seller are good at not giving you much to look at...

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I bought a builder from one of our club members as he was thinning his collection. He is a really good builder and pays attention to detail as well, depending on the subject matter. Well he had this built up car in good shape and I wanted it for my shelf and knew they would be hard to find and probably expensive as well. So I was happy to purchase it at a reasonable price and I had added an antenna, side view mirror, and license plates. I'm happy I bought this builder.................................................................................

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18 hours ago, Repstock said:

Michigan/Ohio Border? Who do you root for in college football? :)

If I watch ( and have not for a long time) Michigan, and anyone playing the Smuckeyes. I don't even watch the Pro's anymore. I do follow it just don't spend my time in front of the tube watching another bad call against the Lions. They don't need any help in that department. LOL I sure hope the Browns win this weekend. 

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Most older kits were assembled using plastic tube cement.

In this case, glue is not the problem for disassembly.

Plastic cement works by melting the plastic and basically fusing, or welding it together.

 

In my experience, little will work for disassembling parts that have been heavily cemented together other than brute strength and good luck.

 

 

 

Steve

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10 hours ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

In my experience, little will work for disassembling parts that have been heavily cemented together other than brute strength and good luck.

And cutting implements of various kinds. And sometimes, a Dremel. B)

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10 hours ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

Most older kits were assembled using plastic tube cement.

Yeah, unless you are trying to rebuild something built by “modern” techniques, this is what you will deal with. 
Like others above, the freezer trick has never done anything for me - except take away space for cocktail ice. 
The only saving graces are chrome and painted surfaces - if the builder didn’t scrape, you can usually pop them apart. 
I have had some success with razor blade type saw blades - just cutting or scoring enough to break the plastic apart. Most techniques will require repair. Chances are, though, the time and effort are worth it because you should be doing it on a rare or hard to find kit, so alternatives are in short supply.

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Posted (edited)

On minimally glued parts I have had good success with Tamiya Extra thin liquid cement applied between the parts to be separated. It's capillary action (flowing in the seams) tends to soften the old glue and or parts long enough to pry them apart.

If heavily glued I tend to agree with Rocking Rodney Rat, a well placed firecracker is in order.

Edited by magicmustang

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The previously mentioned methods are all sound but I would like to add to the freezer method:

* First hold the glued together parts in a large freezer bag upside-down about a foot over boiling water for a couple minutes (I had a fixture for this).

* Second put the bag in a deep freezer (colder temp that a typical combo fridge/freezer) for a couple days.

* Third repeat a half a dozen times minimum.

Of course this will not work on every nasty welded mess but it has worked more often than I thought it would when I started. 

The key is the steam vapor can work it's way into tiny seams, cracks and bubbles in the melted bond. When it freezes it pushes it apart just a little. When you repeat it the result can actually add up and get things apart you really did not expect to come apart.

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patience and freezing thought I'd never get the backwards headers of my Malco vega  left it in the freeze and boom came free

Just as I picked up another builder for those parts  lol

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A semi related story.. back when I lived in Germany 1969-72, they were still dealing with getting World War II bunkers out of the landscape. They tried to implode them with explosives, run tanks and bulldozers over them to no success. They were built too well. 

Then someone came up with an idea.. they filled them up with water over a cold German winter and the resulting ice expansion broke them apart!  Same principle.

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