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General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
Good use of a useless product!
magnusf
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: May 02, 2006
KitMaker: 1,953 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 03:30 AM UTC
I've always been of the opinion that the USB-driven coffee heater is one of the worlds most pointless and redundant products. Apart from that it is also passé: I think the era of "USB-fun" was ten years ago or so, at least it was then a friend of mine fried his CAD laptop connecting both a coffee heater and a USB christmas tree. The IT department weren't impressed - not at all!

Fast forward a decade to an evening of decalling. I like using reasonably warm water for decals, the problem is that it cools off rather quickly. Off to the sink, emptying the little plastic tray I use for decals (or what's left of the water, quite a lot of it is usually spilled on the floor, much to the annoyance of Mrs. Fridsell who otherwise has the patience of a Zen monk with her husband´s antics), filling it with warm water that lasts for about three decals maximum and then the process restarts... Floor gets rather wet after half a Spitfire...

Then that crappy product turns up in my head from nowhere, a quick google shows that it still exists, off to the electronic junk shop and back home again to try it: it works like a charm! And I don't even have to risk the laptop: it can be driven off any USB smartphone charger!



"Best buy" - at least today !



Magnus
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: September 03, 2009
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 09:32 AM UTC
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! If you let on that people are using them for modelling the price will go through the roof!
Holdfast
Staff MemberPresident
IPMS-UK KITMAKER BRANCH
#056
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England - South West, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 11:10 AM UTC
Very interesting Magnus but cold water works on decals
chris1
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: October 25, 2005
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 12:13 PM UTC
Magnus:
I never knew such a thing existed.
But I might have to try the warm water trick,just to see what
the difference is like.

And I'm sure what Mal meant was Masks work too.

Cheers


Chris
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 12:17 PM UTC
Neat idea Magnus.

It could also work well to warm up paint (it sprays better).

All the best

Rowan
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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New York, United States
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Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 12:06 AM UTC
Magnus,

Great idea and find.

I've been looking for a coffee cup warmer to use to help keep the decal water warm. And while Mal is right that decals do work in cool water, the lower temps do contribute to the curling issues, and it takes longer for the decals to relax and loosen up from the backing paper.

Will have to look around for one of those or a similar product.

Joel
Berwickboy
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England - East Midlands, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 12:45 AM UTC
This migh give you some idea of the amount available http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=usb+cup+mug+warmer&tag=googhydr-21&index=aps&hvadid=26267677611&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3346290536693625038&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_895tu3m62f_b
bomber14
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 02, 2015
KitMaker: 328 posts
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Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2015 - 12:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Neat idea Magnus.

It could also work well to warm up paint (it sprays better).

All the best

Rowan



yeah, just don't heat up a spray can on it-lol

i was thinking of a simular item. there is also coffee cup warmers that plug into a power outlet instead of a usb. just that i like the plastic cover from a blank cd container i use because it is big enough to fit larger decals and i don't know if it would melt on the pad.something the size of a coffee cup is too small. do these things have a temp control?

joe
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2015 - 05:54 AM UTC
Do you have a set of dishes you hate, or that's missing pieces? I find that a saucer is the perfect size to dip decals in. You could also go down to the thrift store and buy an old knocked-about cup and saucer. Dispose of the useless cup or use it to hold paintbrushes or whatever and you've got yourself a lifetime decal-dipping dish.
magnusf
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: May 02, 2006
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Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2015 - 04:08 PM UTC
Joe! Mine is a 2-speed version with all the extra bells and whistles ! Jokes aside, there are is a 3-way switch for "off", "I" and "II" and it doesn't get terribly hot either way, I think an empty CD-case would survive, especially if there's water in it. I would avoid letting it run dry though! Or go for Jessie's suggestion with the thrift shop, apart from getting you a suitable ceramic tray you would get the added benefit of your money spent going to a good cause !



Magnus