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mike[_22_] June 4th 15 06:19 AM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
I have an old MacBook aluminum laptop that got dropped on a corner.
I'd like to beat the dent out of it so the lid will close properly.
It's some kind of drawn aluminum can...I think...
Model number suggests it's not the titanium model.

Here's what it looks like.

http://i.imgur.com/ApOjfl4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yRQFVR1.jpg

Hope the image links work.

I can, with considerable difficulty, remove the guts and the
casting around the battery hole.
But there are still some brackets welded to the aluminum
on both sides of the corner.

I can fabricate some wooden forms to recreate the corner.
First question is, "should I try to press it into shape,
or ballistically deform it with a hammer?"

Other suggestions?

It's not worth spending any money to do this.
It's just a learning opportunity.

john B. June 4th 15 01:06 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
On Wed, 03 Jun 2015 22:19:07 -0700, mike wrote:

I have an old MacBook aluminum laptop that got dropped on a corner.
I'd like to beat the dent out of it so the lid will close properly.
It's some kind of drawn aluminum can...I think...
Model number suggests it's not the titanium model.

Here's what it looks like.

http://i.imgur.com/ApOjfl4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yRQFVR1.jpg

Hope the image links work.

I can, with considerable difficulty, remove the guts and the
casting around the battery hole.
But there are still some brackets welded to the aluminum
on both sides of the corner.

I can fabricate some wooden forms to recreate the corner.
First question is, "should I try to press it into shape,
or ballistically deform it with a hammer?"

Other suggestions?

It's not worth spending any money to do this.
It's just a learning opportunity.


You might want to anneal that corner before you try to take the dent
out. I find that often when aluminum is formed that there is some work
hardening and it is useful to soften the aluminum. It is easy to do,
just paint the area with a marker - permanent or white board - and
then heat the area with a torch until the marker goes away. Don't get
excited and decide that if a little heat is good more might be better,
it isn't, but it isn't rocket science either.

Then I would either press or pound the dent out. Some kind of dolly
and planishing hammer might be a good scheme but a smooth ball peen
will probably work.
--
cheers,

John B.


Joe gwinn June 4th 15 02:18 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
In article , mike
wrote:

I have an old MacBook aluminum laptop that got dropped on a corner.
I'd like to beat the dent out of it so the lid will close properly.
It's some kind of drawn aluminum can...I think...
Model number suggests it's not the titanium model.

Here's what it looks like.

http://i.imgur.com/ApOjfl4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yRQFVR1.jpg

Hope the image links work.

I can, with considerable difficulty, remove the guts and the
casting around the battery hole.
But there are still some brackets welded to the aluminum
on both sides of the corner.

I can fabricate some wooden forms to recreate the corner.
First question is, "should I try to press it into shape,
or ballistically deform it with a hammer?"

Other suggestions?

It's not worth spending any money to do this.
It's just a learning opportunity.


There is a standard way to fix such problems in hollowware (such as
silver bowls and pitchers) and to make hollowware called "chasing".

Basically, one hammers a blunt tool into the sheet metal, which is
resting on a bed of pitch. No special tooling is used.

In your case, the frame corner would be pushed by hand into warm pitch,
which would then be allowed to cool. Then, working from the inside of
the frame, the corner would be pushed out by hammering a rounded
hardwood dowel into the corner, stretching it back roughly into place.

I learned this in a course on making jewelry. The textbook was
"Metalwork for Craftsmen" by Emil Kronquist, Dover 1972.

Joe Gwinn

RangersSuck June 4th 15 03:47 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
On Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:06:17 AM UTC-4, John B. wrote:

It is easy to do,
just paint the area with a marker - permanent or white board - and
then heat the area with a torch until the marker goes away.


Interesting - i'd never heard of using a marker as a heat indicator. Any idea what temperature that "vanishing point" would indicate?

I've always used these: http://www.tempil.com/products/tempilstik-original/

Ed Huntress June 4th 15 03:54 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
On Thu, 4 Jun 2015 07:47:39 -0700 (PDT), rangerssuck
wrote:

On Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:06:17 AM UTC-4, John B. wrote:

It is easy to do,
just paint the area with a marker - permanent or white board - and
then heat the area with a torch until the marker goes away.


Interesting - i'd never heard of using a marker as a heat indicator. Any idea what temperature that "vanishing point" would indicate?

I've always used these: http://www.tempil.com/products/tempilstik-original/


I don't know the temperature for markers, but this is a variation on
the method used in aluminum bodywork for most of a century.

If you have to work out a dent, you strip the paint, like you would
with steel bodywork, and then you take your O/A torch and light it
with no oxygen. You then play the sooty flame over the aluminum,
giving it a thin coat of soot.

You then turn on the oxygen and heat the aluminum until the soot just
burns off. This is something typically done with a rosebud torch.

It's not very accurate, but it's good enough to anneal the aluminum
sifficiently to work it with a hammer and dolly -- or a slapper and
dolly, more typically with aluminum.

--
Ed Huntress

[email protected] June 4th 15 05:31 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
On Wed, 03 Jun 2015 22:19:07 -0700, mike wrote:

I have an old MacBook aluminum laptop that got dropped on a corner.
I'd like to beat the dent out of it so the lid will close properly.
It's some kind of drawn aluminum can...I think...
Model number suggests it's not the titanium model.

Here's what it looks like.

http://i.imgur.com/ApOjfl4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yRQFVR1.jpg

Hope the image links work.

I can, with considerable difficulty, remove the guts and the
casting around the battery hole.
But there are still some brackets welded to the aluminum
on both sides of the corner.

I can fabricate some wooden forms to recreate the corner.
First question is, "should I try to press it into shape,
or ballistically deform it with a hammer?"

Other suggestions?

It's not worth spending any money to do this.
It's just a learning opportunity.

I just recently made a similar repair to my iPad. I dropped it and the
corner deformed to the point that the glass broke. Anyway, I took
everything apart to replace the glass and used a small tool I made
from a small flat blade screwdriver to pound the corner back out. I
rounded the end of the screwdriver blade, which was about 3/16" wide,
such that the end is now a section of a thin disc. The radius of this
disc section is slightly less than the radius of the corner. I then
braced the aluminum case with some resilient material and made several
taps on the handle end of the screwdriver while the tool was engaged
with the work. I thought, before opening it up, that the iPad case
was drawn or stamped aluminum but it is actually machined, there are
cutter marks visible in many places and even some chatter marks. You
want the aluminum to move every time you hit the screwdriver, too
light a hit will start to harden the metal and it may crack. I used a
small ball pein hammer that Starret sells which has a magnifying lens
in the hammer head, it was the perfect weight. But any small hammer
will do. The trick is to always move the metal with each hit and to
complete the job with as few hits as possible.
Eric

Lloyd E. Sponenburgh[_3_] June 4th 15 05:33 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
fired this volley in
:

On Wed, 03 Jun 2015 22:19:07 -0700, mike wrote:

I have an old MacBook aluminum laptop that got dropped on a corner.
I'd like to beat the dent out of it so the lid will close properly.
It's some kind of drawn aluminum can...I think...
Model number suggests it's not the titanium model.


There is a mantra for repairing old MacBooks that reads a bit like the
classic recipe for cooking Tofu:

1) Throw the Tofu in the garbage
2) Buy some meat.

Much the same treatment works well for MacBooks.

Lloyd

[email protected] June 4th 15 05:35 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
On Thu, 04 Jun 2015 19:06:12 +0700, John B.
wrote:

On Wed, 03 Jun 2015 22:19:07 -0700, mike wrote:

I have an old MacBook aluminum laptop that got dropped on a corner.
I'd like to beat the dent out of it so the lid will close properly.
It's some kind of drawn aluminum can...I think...
Model number suggests it's not the titanium model.

Here's what it looks like.

http://i.imgur.com/ApOjfl4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/yRQFVR1.jpg

Hope the image links work.

I can, with considerable difficulty, remove the guts and the
casting around the battery hole.
But there are still some brackets welded to the aluminum
on both sides of the corner.

I can fabricate some wooden forms to recreate the corner.
First question is, "should I try to press it into shape,
or ballistically deform it with a hammer?"

Other suggestions?

It's not worth spending any money to do this.
It's just a learning opportunity.


You might want to anneal that corner before you try to take the dent
out. I find that often when aluminum is formed that there is some work
hardening and it is useful to soften the aluminum. It is easy to do,
just paint the area with a marker - permanent or white board - and
then heat the area with a torch until the marker goes away. Don't get
excited and decide that if a little heat is good more might be better,
it isn't, but it isn't rocket science either.

Then I would either press or pound the dent out. Some kind of dolly
and planishing hammer might be a good scheme but a smooth ball peen
will probably work.


It's an APPLE. carve out a negative of the case, with the repaired
corner, out of some strong material. Put half an oz or so of C4 in the
case, clamp the negative mold tightly anround the case and detonate.
That should push the dent out - and since APPLE equipment is so
extra-ordinarily robust, it shouldn't do any harm to the computer ---
(tongue firmly planted in cheek)

Jim Wilkins[_2_] June 4th 15 05:54 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
"rangerssuck" wrote in message
...
On Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:06:17 AM UTC-4, John B. wrote:

It is easy to do,
just paint the area with a marker - permanent or white board - and
then heat the area with a torch until the marker goes away.


Interesting - i'd never heard of using a marker as a heat indicator.
Any idea what temperature that "vanishing point" would indicate?

I've always used these:
http://www.tempil.com/products/tempilstik-original/


Supposedly around 800F, which isn't too far below the
(alloy-dependent) melting point. Aluminum melts without glowing red,
so don't heat it much past that vanishing point or you'll reach
another one.

I'd practice on a piece of 6061 sheet first, especially if you don't
have hands-on experience forming metals that work-harden and crack.

-jsw



Terry Coombs[_2_] June 4th 15 06:57 PM

Repair dent in aluminum MacBook laptop?
 
Jim Wilkins wrote:
"rangerssuck" wrote in message
...
On Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 8:06:17 AM UTC-4, John B. wrote:

It is easy to do,
just paint the area with a marker - permanent or white board - and
then heat the area with a torch until the marker goes away.


Interesting - i'd never heard of using a marker as a heat indicator.
Any idea what temperature that "vanishing point" would indicate?

I've always used these:
http://www.tempil.com/products/tempilstik-original/


Supposedly around 800F, which isn't too far below the
(alloy-dependent) melting point. Aluminum melts without glowing red,
so don't heat it much past that vanishing point or you'll reach
another one.

I'd practice on a piece of 6061 sheet first, especially if you don't
have hands-on experience forming metals that work-harden and crack.

-jsw


Chances are that the case was drawn/stamped in a single op , if so
work-hardening shouldn't be a problem .

--
Snag




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