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??? Question for the Brain Trust???

2730 Views 15 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  tjcruiser
I have a Lionel 2020 Turbin Loco that the cow catcher is bent on one side. It's bent probably a quarter inch back where it has probably hit something. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience bending them back in place. I was thinking of adding some heat but I don't know how much heat they will take before melting. Would a propane torch or mapp gas work? Don't want to ruin the thing.

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Willsarv, it would help immensely to know what material the cowcatcher is made from!
Let me offer a suggestion, based on something I read elsewhere. Lest I be taken for someone who knows what he's talking about, though, I point out in advance that I don't.

Evaluate the part first in terms of tools, i.e., "Before I start, what do I have that will allow me a gentle, controlled bend?" I can't answer that part for you, so check your toychest and see what looks good.

Second....boil it. Boil it a good 20 to 30 minutes to get it right up to 212F. The beauty of it is you can't melt it at that temp and the heat distribution is perfect. Yank it out and see if you can slowly, gently flex it back into shape. Remember: it bent when it was dropped, so it will bend. You just have to be very gentle with it. Do it in stages, if need be, so it will stay flexible while you work it.

Best of luck on it!
I hope to hear the outcome by reading it instead of the roar!
Jump in and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think "Pot Metal" is the likely candidate for the casting:

"Pot metal, also known as white metal, die-cast zinc, or monkey metal,[1] is a slang term that refers to alloys that consist of inexpensive, low-melting point metals used to make fast, inexpensive castings. There is no scientific metallurgical standard for pot metal; common metals in pot metal include zinc, lead, copper, tin, magnesium, aluminium, iron, and cadmium. The primary advantage of pot metal is that it is quick and easy to cast. Due to its low melting temperature no sophisticated foundry equipment is needed and specialized molds are not necessary. It is sometimes used to experiment with molds and ideas before using metals of higher quality. Examples of items created from pot metal include toys, furniture fittings, tool parts, electronics components, and automotive parts.[citation needed]

Pot metal can be prone to instability over time, as it has a tendency to bend, distort, crack, shatter, and pit with age.[1] The low boiling point of zinc and the fast cooling of the newly-cast part often allow air bubbles to remain within the cast part, weakening the metal.[1] Many of the components of pot metal are susceptible to corrosion from airborne acids and other contaminants, and the internal corrosion of the metal often causes the decorative plating to flake off.[citation needed] Pot metal is not easily glued, soldered or welded.[1]"
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Great idea, Ed.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
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