Making a Tool Handle With Polymorph

I'm a hobbyist maker who is trying to pass on something of the excitement and passion for making ...

Intro: Making a Tool Handle With Polymorph

Polymorph is a low temperature thermosetting plastic. There are loads of different makes with different but usually similar sounding names and some have different melting points.

The one I'm using here ( polymorph) melts at between 60 ad 65 degrees Celsius. A lower melting point plastic may be useful if being assisted by young children. Just bear in mind how hot the plastic is likely to get in use or in storage as it will re-melt if the temperature rises above it's melting point.

As well as the tool handle I made here, I've also added a couple of other ideas at the end of the Instructable.

Step 1: Step 1: Melt the Polymorph

Put some granules of Polymorph into a cup of freshly boiled water from the kettle.

The Polymorph actually melts at between 60 and 65 degrees Celsius so it can have cooled quite a bit but the cooler the water then the longer it will take to become pliable. It's also OK to heat the polymorph in other ways ( e.g. with a heat gun. However you soften it, be really careful you don't burn yourself.

You can reuse polymorph and melt down something you've already made but not it will take a lot longer to melt a solid chunk than the granules. You may want to chop up big chunks prior to melting.

For this project I used about 4 heaped teaspoons of Polymorph

Once you put the granules in the cup of hot water, watch for the granules going clear, once clear they will be soft and ready to shape

Step 2: Step 2: Shape Your Handle

Once clear, take the polymorph out of the water. Use a spoon or stirrer to swirl round in the cup and gather the granules together then lift out the resulting clump.

Allow it to drip dry for a few seconds before touching it, this is so you don't get wet and most importantly so you don't scold yourself.

IMPORTANT: Remember the polymorph has been soaking in boiling water so it will be HOT! Take care not to burn yourself.

There is no need to rush this stage, unless you are making something very thin, you will have quite a few minutes working time to get the shape you want.

I wanted quite a chunky shaft due to the stubbiness of my fingers and a flat head to make it easier to hit with the hammer

Step 3: Step 3: Allow to Cool and Then You're Done!

As your handle cools, it will turn white and you will feel it harden.

One word of caution, if your handle is quite thick, it will take a long time to fully cool. You can speed it up under the cold tap but polymorph is quite a good thermal insulator so it will probably only harden on the outside.

Running under the tap is a good way to help it keep it's shape whist it fully cools though.

Once it's fully cool, you are ready to use your new tool.

Step 4: Some Other Ideas for Polymorph

Whilst I had the packet out, I made a handle for my makers mark (Remember it won't be any good if you are going to hot stamp as the polymorph will re-melt.

I also made a little dish to keep small pieces together such as these brass posts. If you are making a dish, it would be a good idea to have a small blank (e.g. piece of wood) to slump the plastic over whilst it cools. The dish will cool much quicker than the tool handles though due to it being much thinner.

This is my 1st Instructable, I hope it's been of some use

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    That looks pretty handy. I am going to have to check this stuff out.