thingmaker or vac u form repair

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phxfirefighter
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:36 pm

thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby phxfirefighter » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:47 pm

I am looking for any ideas about where to get a new heating element for my thingmaker. I have taken it apart and found a broken heating element covered in a white cloth material. It looks like an easy fix if I only knew where I could get an element that would work in this. Any ideas?
Thx Phxfirefighter

dr_goop
Site Admin
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:34 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby dr_goop » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:38 pm

My old friend Ed used to tinker around rebuilding ovens. Ed isn't with us anymore but he did leave some information in the Archives section http://www.dr-goop.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=90 .

Here is an email he sent me about some other heating elements he had found. Some of it looks to be a cut and paste from the retailors website so you might be able to google the description:
Edward to me
show details 11/19/06

The oven Im working on,,, what do you think about this as the new updated heating element? Only thing is,, I think it needs a temp limit switch,, Im trying to find a 325F limit switch that will fit into unit,,,

Standard Fiberglass-Reinforced Silicone-Rubber Heat Blankets These general purpose heat blankets have wire-wound heating elements protected by a fiberglass-reinforced silicone rubber jacket. They're designed for use with metal containers. Thickness is 0.045"-0.08". All units are single phase and operate on 115 VAC, 60 Hz. They have 12" long wire leads . UL recognized and CSA certified.
Plain-Backing Blankets— Can be attached with a silicone rubber adhesive. Maximum operating temperature is 450° F. Can be exposed to temperatures from -170° to +400° F.
10 watts/sq. in. (for rapid warm-up and higher temperatures)


and this was in another email he had sent about the temp regulator:
"thermodisc is the temp sensor I installed to cut the coil off at 335F,,,, the coil was rated at 400F and will just keep going,,"


he also mentions that you might as well clean up and repaint the top black part of the oven while you have it apart. He used a flat flat black oven paint rated at 1200 F.

Lastly here is the picture of the coil he had settled on and mentioned above.
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phxfirefighter
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby phxfirefighter » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:26 am

Great info, I will work on this and let you know how it comes out. Thanks so much for taking the time! :)

dr_goop
Site Admin
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:34 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby dr_goop » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:33 pm

I am pretty sure that the wire inside is NiChrome wire. You can get it at a bunch of places but you have what resistance to use to get the right heat out using ohms law. Here is a link to a site that sells it but you will probably find hundreds more if you google nichrome. http://www.heatersplus.com/nichrome.htm I have to add a disclaimer though, if you don't know what you are doing you might want to talk to an electritian. I was also thinking that you could canabalize a waffle iron or some other appliance to get the heating element out of it. Again, if you don't understand electricity you could hurt your self or someone else. The end result is that the goop in the mold HAS to get in the range of 300-320 F to start to gel. Be safe and ask more questions if you need. If I have time this week I will tear open a dead oven and analyse the heating element.
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phxfirefighter
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby phxfirefighter » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:54 pm

Hello, I have been working on one of my Thingmakers, I found that the heating element is a glass core heater wire with very fine coils running threw it. I also noticed there was no thermostat or limit switch so it was obviously sized to have the correct wattage and resistance to heat to the desired temp. As I was searching for a sutable heating element I took apart a yard sale crock pot ($2) and found the same type of heating element going around the body that holds the crock. There were two elements, one higher and one lower (the two temps settings on the crock pot) . They were both the same length but one was just a little thicker than the other. They were also about twice as long as the one in the Thingmaker. After cutting the thinner of the two the same length as the element in the Thingmaker, I installed and tested. It heated up just fine and then kept going until it was obviously running two hot. I almost scrapped the idea but got another idea for the remedy for the uncontrolled heating element. At the same sale I also found the plug in for an old electric frying pan ($1), the kind with the probe that slides in and a dial that lets you set the heat from 150 to 450 degrees. I drilled a small hole in the side of the Thingmaker and slid in the probe over the hot plate on the corner that does not have the mounting bolt. I JB welded the control to the side of the Thingmaker and success!! It works great and I can adjust the temp were ever I want in the range of 150 to 450, and it cooks and looks Great! Not OEM but Great! and only cost me $3 to fix. I will post a picture here so all can see. I have also been working on my website at http://www.CreeplePeeple.com I have been a fan of Creepy Crawlers and Thingmaker sets for over 40 years and am finally finding time to get back and enjoy a hobby that has got my 6 grandkids going nuts with creepy joy! Thanks for all the help! Big John (Phxfirefighter) :D

phxfirefighter
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby phxfirefighter » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:58 pm

HERE ARE THE PICS FROM MY THINGMAKER REPAIR/UPGRADE. thx John
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ragham1
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby ragham1 » Sun May 02, 2010 11:25 pm

Hi all. Thanks all for letting me join your forum. I just finished disecting my first non working thingmaker myself, and It seemed like the element was broken right next to the connection where it was crimped to the cord. I was just wondering if any one new if it could be reatached and possibly the original element used. I noticed it had been a few days since any one had posted any more results. I'm looking forward to reading any new experiment conclusions. :P

phxfirefighter
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby phxfirefighter » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:31 pm

Okay, I have finally got good at repairing the thingmaker ovens. I have found a replacment heater element but not at a supplier yet. The replacment element comes out of old crock pots, they are the smaller ones found at goodwill and thrift stores/ yard sells. The trick is you need to check the watt rating on the bottom of the crock pot. You need the ones that are around 75 watts plus or minus 10%. This will put you at the proper heat setting of 350 degrees. Some crock pots have 2 settings hi/low, as long as one of the settings(elements) is around 75 watts this will work. Just take apart the crock pot and remove the element, it looks identical the the element in your thingmaker oven. Just remove the old and install the new. I will be making a repair video and posting it on "you tube" with a step by step instruction process. Just go to my web site at www.CreeplePeeple.com and click on the Creepy Crawler oven repair link. Happy Creepying!!! .............John

dr_goop
Site Admin
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:34 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby dr_goop » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:26 pm

John,
Glad to see that you are resurecting all those vintage ovens. The thing you did with the temperature contoller above is just too cool. Love your website is looking nice, keep it up.

phxfirefighter
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Re: thingmaker or vac u form repair

Postby phxfirefighter » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:48 pm

UREKA!!!!!!! I have the part in stock for repairing the Thingmaker Ovens! I had to have them made for me and I had to order a bunch. The new heating element works perfect. You can order one from me for $10 and $2 shipping. Contact me at my guestbook at http://www.creeplepeeple.com I will include a simple set of instructions for making the repair.
thx John phxfirefighter

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