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Straightening a 36B Top....

Posted By: 57-Chevy

Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Sep 08 2017 12:50 AM

I picked up another Tokheim 36B a few months back. It was leaning over and a tree had grown into the top. It pretty much looked like a lost cause and was bent inward and downward.

This is the second 36B top that I have straightened. I thought I would take a few pics. and share here on oldgas. I hope this will help and encourage someone else to try and save their top. They can be straightened with heat, pressure, and a lot of patience!

1) Build a heavy duty steel support jig.
2) Have lots of clamps, angle, channel, flat bar, etc. on hand
3) Slowly heat the pot metal top. (I used a Reddy Heater)
4) Slowly apply pressure with each carefully placed clamp a little at a time. Don't go too fast. I would move the bent section a little and place back in front of the heat. I was heating it hot enough that it would almost burn you with gloves on. A lot of the car guys say you can work pot metal at about 300 degrees or so.
5) Once straightened, turn off heat and let it cool on its own. I didn't take the jigs or clamps off until a couple days later. The end result speaks for itself, perfect top again! And NO cracks!

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Posted By: 57-Chevy

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Sep 08 2017 12:52 AM

During:

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Posted By: petropumps

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Sep 08 2017 01:00 AM

That's amazing. Had no idea you could do that with pot metal.
Posted By: Craig Osbeck

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Sep 08 2017 01:38 AM

Good job
Posted By: Speedracer

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Sep 08 2017 01:54 AM

Very, very nice job. Good save.
Posted By: RandyM

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Sep 08 2017 10:34 AM

NOW! That is a great post. Thank you for sharing.
Posted By: shavron

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Sep 08 2017 12:15 PM

Thank you for posting that. I'm a newbie

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Posted By: 57-Chevy

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Sep 08 2017 12:37 PM

Ron, that one can be straightened! Just remember patience!
Posted By: tulareone

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sat Sep 09 2017 02:15 AM

Can I just send you mine -- what you charge-- ruben
Posted By: BrianH

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sat Sep 09 2017 10:10 PM

That is nice work. Good job on straightening out the original part without cracking it!

BrianH
Posted By: shavron

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sun Sep 10 2017 06:56 PM

I haven't got mine apart, but it should fit into an oven and set it to 300 deg.
Posted By: Done4

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sun Sep 10 2017 07:46 PM

Did you get flight control approval on the oven thing? The
Posted By: shavron

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sun Sep 10 2017 09:53 PM

We'll see, I'll keep you posted.
Posted By: Craig Osbeck

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Fri Oct 20 2017 05:46 PM

Could this work also on a Bennett top ? What kind of heater did you use ?
Posted By: 57-Chevy

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sat Oct 21 2017 12:51 AM

Possibly? I placed the 36b top right in front of my shop reddy heater. You can put it in an oven too. I got it pretty hot, so hot it would almost burn me with leather work gloves on.
Posted By: Craig Osbeck

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sat Oct 21 2017 03:13 AM

My wife will really love this.
Posted By: Hardy's Garage

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sat Oct 21 2017 11:11 AM

Great work Mike. I've straighten several pot metal pieces with a propane torch and some gentle hammering and had good results but never anything as complicated as a 36B top and give you a lot of credit for being able to do so. I know pot metal will melt without much warning. I'll bet you could start a small business doing repairs for others!!
Posted By: 57-Chevy

Re: Straightening a 36B Top.... - Sat Oct 21 2017 11:31 AM

Haha! I've already had requests Marshall. I think I'll stick to Telephony. I just wouldn't want to be the guy that snapped that expensive piece. I encourage others to just try it themselves. If it's too bad to use, what do you have to lose....
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