Reinforce/Repair your TPE Doll fingers

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  ABCcupFan 8 months ago.

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  • #26095

    ABCcupFan
    Moderator

    Reinforce/Repair your TPE Doll fingers


    Courtesy of Abccupfan

    DISCLAIMER: This is intended to be a general guide as each doll is not the same. Your doll may be different. This is a WM 157b with upgraded skeleton, produced between March 2nd to March 22nd of 2018. Follow at your own risk.

    So got a little rough last night? Bumped the hands on the wall while carrying her? Got some funny fingers? here’s a little guide to help on how to fix them.


    WHAT YOU WILL NEED

    An entry level understanding of mechanical application and physics.

    1. Replacement wire. the smaller the wire the better, mild steel OR copper will suffice.(telephone wire size)
    2. Electric Drill and bit to fit inside your palm plate)
    3. TPE glue or heat source to close wound with (I suggest TPE glue from your manufacturer per the blend of TPE)
    4. Construction adhesive (see below)
    5. Clean Heat source ( to heat razor blade for cutting TPE… it’s tough stuff)
    6. Single Edge Razor Blade
    7. Microfiber towels/cloths
    8. Very fast setting epoxy Putty i.e. QuikSteel

    If your doll is a WM model with a Palm plate this applies fairly standard. The only difference is that these fingers will last a lot longer than the factory wires. The downside is that after this repair, the fingers can now be rolled on the wires, or twisted on the wires. I suppose it is not really a downside, you can actually pose the fingers a little better as far as turning them now. Since the replacement finger wire is not wrapped with cloth twine and adhered to the finger TPE.

    Heat the corner of the razor blade and make the cut right at the end of the palm plate where wires exit to go to fingers.

    Cut as needed. To access sides also, TPE is very stretchy you should have to only make 1 cut. If the Pinky and Thumb wires are still in tact, you may leave them until they break or replace them as well. See warning after this picture.

    “The first cut is the deepest”

    Opening the wound video

    [embed]https://youtu.be/Ns3YBXyWCkc[/embed]

    Find the end of the plate where the wires exit and heat the razor blade corner. and then cut alongside the edge of the plate area. DO NOT BREATHE INHALE FUMES OF THE TPE!!! Then, Peel back/cut the fibrous cloth away from palm plate. You should be able to do this then…

    Note the Broken wires. Here is what the original will look like without the cloth twine wrapping.


    Here is the replacement wires I made by twisting 5 strands of mild steel tag wire together with a pair of vise grip pliers and a power drill. Notice I added QuickSteel as “anti-poke” protection since the ends are so “sharp” and “pointy” (please note these pictures are not HQ as I expected.)

    Also after “test fitting” and threading the wires into the holes of the fingers, to match length, I applied some of this to help keep the wires from breaking. (Shrink Wrap tubing) 1/8th inch size)

    After drilling out all the old Construction Adhesive, and cleaning the palm plate (this is easy to do, just get a drill bit that will fit inside the plate and carefully drill.

    Video Procedure of the removal (opens in new tab)

    Removing old adhesive

    The adhesive will turn to powder as you do. I recommend taking a cloth rag and cutting a slit in it wrap it around the base of the palm plate to make a “bib” to catch all of the debris and powder. You do not want this in the wound or on your doll as it is fine powder.

    After cleaning you want to arrange the wires as Such: as a “test fit”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Be sure that you leave enough on the plate end to make “loops” as this will keep the wires from breaking loose in the new adhesive and turning in the finger and possibly pulling out of plate.

    I used Urethane construction adhesive since it has a little “flex” to it. I feel one of the reasons the wires break is due to physics. Meaning that when you have a ridged connection that goes from very strong to just a wire, when impacted it tends to break instead of flexing. This adhesive should allow the wires to flex where the exit the plate a little bit.

    This is what I used, May not be available in all countries. But may have something similar.

    They also make it in an 8x strength. I thought that to possibly be too much!!

    After cleaning palm plate pre-insert all wires into the fingers… The thumb and pinky may be tricky, and it is about like installing a catheter! Just take your time and do not force anything. You do not want to make a second channel in the finger as it will be too easy to roll on the wire and will look awful.
    Clean the inside of the palm plate with 100% alcohol or denatured alcohol and allow to dry well.(20-30 min.)

    Next cut a tiny part of the tip of the adhesive tube off. You may use a drinking straw to make it go into the plate and then holding your fingers on the 2 sides where the thumb and pinky exit, and having the cloth “bib” installed fill the plate with adhesive.

    Pinch the thumb hole and pinky hole to allow the adhesive to only exit the back of the plate (near the bottom at the joint)

    Fill like this:

    Then Insert the looped wires into the top and sides using the above provided diagram.
    And then carefully put the plate back into the wound. You may also have to fold the plate down into the wound to install. You may also stretch the TPE away from the end of the plate to make the looped ends go in. TPE is very elastic and this should not hurt anything.

    After the wires are installed, DO NOT CLOSE WOUND WITH GLUE OR HEAT yet!!

    Allow the adhesive to dry/cure. I waited about 3 days or 72 hours. This is due to the TPE being porous and the air to cure the adhesive takes longer to get to it. After curing, the adhesive should be hard but flexible.

    After the repair test the fingers movement. And then you need to clean the entire area with Denatured Alcohol or 100% Isopropyl alcohol.

    Allow to dry well. If you are using TPE glue, follow the glue’s instructions and close wound. If you are using heat, close wound with that. (I do not use heat so I can’t elaborate on how to do it)
    Before closing it should look like:

    And when Done,

    I hope that this helps someone with the issue I have had. I have one for hand to repair and plan on doing a video on it and posting it.

    This was my first hand repair and yes a lot of things went wrong in this repair that I did not state. It was a big trial and error for me. But I have suffered the fate so others do not have to.
    If you have any questions, please get in touch with me here. I will try and respond as quickly as I can. If you are in doubt… Stop and Ask. A terrible situation may be completely salvageable.

    Thanks for your time

    ABCcupFan


    fine love dolls author picture

    ABCcupFan is a long term doll owner and guest blogger at Fine Love Dolls. He has an extended knowledge of TPE Dolls from inside out, and has already repaired numerous models in the past.

    He is also the administrator of Dollsbook, the social network for all doll kinds. You can see more posts about TPE dolls at http://www.dollsbook.com.

  • #26704

    adminlovedoll
    Keymaster

    Great and insightful post ABCcupFan! Thank you for your kind participation to our community!

  • #30332

    ABCcupFan
    Moderator

    Update:
    Part 1 of a video tutorial

    And yes, I know it is pretty unprofessional. I have very limited time to do this due to privacy. I had to use high compression since it is very long. I tried to give as many details as I could. Also, you may get a little entertainment out of it.
    I apologized to WM in advance for some of the harsh words… I was a little aggravated having to do this so soon.
    This is her other hand.

    Part 1 Removal of the finger wires and clean up.

    Video from YouTube

  • #33005

    ABCcupFan
    Moderator

    Update! Bummer!

    Well, I need to find a better finger wire material. As of last night, and I have no Idea how! No bumps, bangs or much posing.. all the finger wires on Eva’s hand that I repaired are broken in the same exact spot. (exiting the Palm plate)

    I am currently evaluating different material and have put the video tutorial on hold for the moment as far as wire installation goes.
    The mild steel looked as if it would work great, as it was designed to bend over and over due design, plus being reinforced by shrink wrap tubing. I find it odd how they can just break for seeming no reason.

    I will update this thread as soon as possible.

    ABCcupFan

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