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Rotting plastic tool handles.

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toolsntat

Yep, I collect tools and tat
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Yep it happens.
In some plastics the solid starts to disintegrate.
First sign is a sicky vinegary smell and signs of it sweating.
This continues with the body of the handle shrinking and distorting.
Eventually it fragments and turns into a powder.
Some people will never have heard of it or see it but owing to my collecting so much stuff I present my infected handle isolation department :roll:
Andy
 

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Inspector

Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
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I have tools from the late 70's and none show any signs of disintegration.

Man you must sweat bad juices from some nasty food you eat. :twisted: :wink:

Pete
 

marcros

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I have heard of this elsewhere, but I can't remember where.
 

Orraloon

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They may have been in contact with a solvent perhaps. Strange to see a number of them all go at the same time. The most usual factor in plastic breaking down us UV exposure.
Regards
John
 

sunnybob

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That has to be storage issues. I have many screwdrivers and chisels from the early 60's and they all look good as new (apart from the paint splashes, the hammer dents, and 50 years of grime) :roll:
 

Bodgers

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Given that it can upwards of something like 500 years for Acrylic plastic to break down I don't think what is happening to these (pretty filthy) tools can be called rotting... :)

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harryd

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Interesting. I have some American Stanley #60 chisels with clear Amber plastic handles, some of which have decomposed and some of which are fine. Fascinating background if you Google for "decomposition of plastic tool handles"
 

ED65

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This is a well-known phenomenon. Storage conditions don't appear to play a significant part in the problem. Differences in an individual's sweat may be a factor, this is most definitely the case for rusting (both positively and negatively) so no reason to suppose it makes no difference to other things.

But the plastic itself is the main culprit and it's why Kodak upgraded their formula.

As given in at least one previous thread here, if memory serves, the simplest solution to the most noxious aspect of this, the smell, is to coat the handles with shellac. Some report it is 100% effective, others less so.
 

Bod

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Most of those affected tools are "Steadfast" brand?
I've had a couple of screwdriver do that, both were "Steadfast", most others I've seen are the same make.
Years ago(40+), whilst in the motor trade, I bought a Compothane hammer, after some years in storage, it went white. Recently the plastic split and leaked a thin red liquid.
After a bit of googling, this was a common problem, with the chemical ageing process.
Happy ending, the supplier honoured their lifetime warranty.

Bod
 

Sideways

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Interesting to see this as I've not experienced it personally. The older hard clear plastics have mostly done well by me.
The more common modern issue I have seen several times is soft touch coatings used in plastic tool handles and surfaces of technological gizmos going slimey. Exposure to oils etc may contribute but it can happen to items which aren't handled at all.
 

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