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Subject: Emergency Bit Replacement rss

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Tim Deagan
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I posted this over in the Thrift list the other night after hearing the plight of a poor Geek missing one ring out of a Troke set (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/1993)

I got a request to post it to a more general forum as it is a useful technique for replacing a lost bit. This is not a reasonable way to rip off minis or other unethical or copyright busting things. This is a cheapo/quickie way to cast hot melt glue into a silicone caulk mold and make a quickie copy of something you already own. It'll do great for replacing that lost bit that is keeping you from gaming joy (if you're retentive like me and must have a replacement that looks the same as the lost bit.) If the company sells replacement bits it is MUCH MUCH better to buy it from them.
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Go get:
- 100% silicone caulk. Type I is just fine. Home Depot or other hardware store
- cheap acrylic paint, color doesn't matter
- Color Hot Melt Glue Sticks (http://www.glu-stix.com/shop/page/product_detail/Product/25e...)
- Vaseline or other petroleum jelly

The caulk will need a caulk gun, the hot melt will need a hot melt glue gun, both of these are essential items for any home.

Go someplace with decent ventilation and take a small bowl and squirt a goodly amount of silicone, enough to later cover the ring completely plus a bit. Squirt a small amount of the acrylic paint into it, really just a bit more than a few drops, the amount is not critical. Mix the paint and silicone until they are smoothly combined (use a toothpick or plastic knife or something disposable.) The silicone cures with moisture, the paint provides this so that the silicone will cure all the way through instead of just getting a skin. The color of the paint helps you know if it's fully mixed. Follow the minimal and quire reasonable safety directions on the side of the silicone. The acetic acid (relatively mild, this stuff is for bathroom and kitchen use) will smell like strong vinegar.

Take one of the ring pieces you want to duplicate. Give it a very very thin coat of Vaseline (if you like, you can thin some vaseline with a bit of mineral oil and it will spread more easily.)

Make an 'open' mold from the silicone:
Set the ring on a flat plate. Goop the silicon/paint mix onto the ring and make sure it covers it completely and touches it inside and out. It helps to wear gloves and spread the goop with your fingers. Use all your silicone, make a mound. You may want to vaseline the plate, but the silicone mold will usually peel off with little problem, about the only thing it'll really really stick to is more silicone.

Leave it outside or somewhere well ventilated for a couple hours. Even better, overnight.

When you can't wait any longer, use a knife to peel up an edge of the silicone and then peel the whole mound as a single wad off the plate. Bend it gently to pop/pull the ring out.

Make a new ring with Hot Melt:
Heat up a stick of Hot Melt of the desired color in the hot melt gun and squirt it into the silicone mold (the silicone is good to better than 300 degrees Farenheit, so don't worry about the heat.) Make sure the glue gun is fully heated so that the glue will flow into the mold. Give the mold a gentle shaking to distribute the glue while it's hot. Let it cool a while then pop out the new ring.

If it isn't perfect, try again. If you need to, you can put the silicone back on the plate and cut the top of the mold with an x-acto until you expose a small hole into the 'gap'. Do this again on the other side so the air can get out then squirt the glue in one hole until it comes out the other. Cool, release from the mold and trim with the x-acto.

As an interesting note, you can use the thinned vaseline on the mold itself and use silicone (colored with acrylic paint of your choice) as the casting material.
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Note:
Every time I've ever tried to provide helpful info on the geek I've gotten huge grief from various factions with an axe to grind, so if you feel the need to post regarding the raw evilness that is me, it is of course your duty to do so, but please do not expect a dialog from me on the topic (I have a wife for that )
 
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Kenneth Spontelli
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Okay, let's start the meeting. My name is Ken, and I'm a Tichu addict.
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Hey thanks for the info. After the coloring wooden bits thread - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/779074 and this one I'm ready to do a little experimenting.

I'm tossing a geek quarter in your tip jar; geek cents are too cool.

Thanks!
 
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Tim Deagan
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Thanks!
 
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