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Messages - Callistemon

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General Knex Discussion / Re: Crumbling axles and recycling
« on: June 30, 2020, 10:04:30 pm »
After K'nex took 13 days just to tell me they did not offer recycling, I contacted The Rodon Group (manufacturer) yesterday. After just 1 day, they have responded 4 times and have agreed to recycle the parts. They say I can just mail the parts to their facility. Much better. If they were to not want the plastic for recycling, who would they expect would? Also this morning, K'nex responded again saying they do not offer recycling and to use a nearby recycling center. Pathetic, because I already told them the centers were closed and how shoddy they were when open. I said that it's not zero-waste to want people to recycle uncommon plastic where common plastic is landfilled. I also told them that I would not throw the pieces into the vacant parking lot of the closed recycling centers! Duh!

Anyways, if you want me to send you some of the broken parts instead of having the manufacturing facility recycle them, please email and include your address, part types, and quantity of each. I will recycle the parts in 3 to 7 days.

Yellow Connectors: 18 (44.91 grams)
White Connectors: 8 (28.56 grams)
Gray 3D Connectors (one purple): 12 (26.04 grams)
Blue 3D Connectors: 3 (9.78 grams)
Orange Connectors: 2 (2.82 grams)
Green Connectors: 2 (4.152 grams)
Red Connectors: 2 (3.352 grams)
Light Gray Connectors: 1 (1.26 grams)
Gray Rods: 8.6 (38.528 grams)
Red Rods (one apricot): 5 (15.2 grams)
Yellow Rods: 6.5 (13 grams)
Blue Rods: 1 (1.314 grams)
Small Green Square Panels: 1 (7.56 grams)
Micro Purple Rods 94mm: 1 (0.8 grams)
Red Ball with Broken Prongs: 1 (24.12 grams)

Total: 73 (221.396 grams, 7.8095 ounces)
16 ounces = 1 pound

The weight estimates are based on quantity and K’nex User Group’s weight per piece. I have purchased 8,700 9117 to 11,100 11,399 pieces of K'nex in the past 8 years, so only 0.78% of the pieces have failed and even less percentage breaks each year (considering a few more have been discovered).

General Knex Discussion / K’nex Motor Quality
« on: June 30, 2020, 03:47:08 am »
I asked K’nex many months ago if their motors are brushed or brushless, and if they have a sleeve or ball bearing. They said the information was unavailable. More recently, K’nex User Group said they did not know either. Brushless motors with ball bearings are superior, being quieter, more efficient, and longer-lasting.

DC brushless motors with ball bearings usually last about 70,000 hours before reaching 10% chance of failure. That’s 8 years of continuous operation.

For my motorized fan I want the silver or red 190 RPM motor, but I don’t know if the torque will be sufficient as the line if battery motors is just different ratios at the same power. There is also the stronger 2-speed motor. The batteries will need to be recharged (alkaline batteries are horribly wasteful), but the worm gear motor is so slow and overly forceful.

General Knex Discussion / K’nex Ordering Options
« on: June 27, 2020, 07:41:59 am »
I don’t know where to order K’nex parts (in the USA). I never purchase anything from big box stores or unregulated marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Target, or Ebay. Anything purchased through K’nex User Group is shipped across the Atlantic Ocean and back in an unnecessary 8,000 mile round-trip. In addition, they said that only airplane shipping was an option on the way back, which has an extremely high carbon footprint. They also said that it would be better if K’nex could directly supply the parts.

K’nex User Group also said that Drop Shipping was not an option, as in that they could not intercept the order before it left the United States. They said their USA market share is too small to establish a smaller USA office next year (of course not this year).

This is why K’nex Replacement Parts was started, but their Terms page says anyone under the age of 18 is strictly prohibited from using their site, because they must have figured it was rated R. I contacted them, and they responded in under two weeks saying that they will consider changing their terms. But they don’t have the red 190 RPM motor or some other parts I need.

I don’t want to wait too long for K’nex Replacement Parts to change their policy, because if they don’t, then I am just wasting the opportunity at K’nex User Group, which recently lowered the purchase limit on angled orange clips from 64 to 4-8.

General Knex Discussion / Re: Crumbling axles and recycling
« on: June 27, 2020, 07:21:29 am »
So yesterday, I replaced that yellow axle with the extra-rigid version of the red rod. I tried that before with the regular red rod, but it bended too much when being cranked. This time, however, it is the rigid rod, and some of the extra length is compensated for by spacers.

Now that it is extra-rigid, it will probably last longer, and since there are now 4 orange connectors for the handle, the handle won’t detach anymore.

On June 24, a day before I installed the new apricot axle, I eliminated the tip-connection bearing and replaced it with an orange connector crossing the axle beside the blue gear, and now the tip of the second axle has a black cap. I replaced the blue clips on the handle with caps, and tried doing the sane on the left end of the then-yellow axle, but a cap there is quickly detached by the spinning. Fluorescent orange flexible arches were also added to increase visibility and appearance.

Update: I will be recycling broken parts not given away soon. See comment below.

I have a K’nex hand crank fan that uses a modified version of the model drill attached to a propeller with four yellow curved panels. Every 8 to 11 days, the yellow axle (before axis conversion) spontaneously falls apart and the area crumbles up. The yellow rod always breaks as it passes through the hole in the yellow connector. There was also a time where the red rod (after axis conversion, yellow in the original model drill) suddenly broke right where it passes through another connector, allowing the propeller to fall off.

Failure Dates
April 25 - Yellow
June 2 - Red
June 3 - Yellow (8 days)
June 12 - Yellow (9 days)
June 23 - Yellow (11 days)

Part suggestions: An extra-rigid yellow rod would help. Carbon fiber may also be a good resource for strengthening the rods, although it is currently not used.

A few of the curved panels have deformed tips and the connection is so floppy that they easily fall off. At the time of the most recent axle failure, there were only two blades on the fan since the other two were previously ejected and were not reinstalled. In addition, during the time of having two blades, there were two incidents where one blade fell off while spinning, which instantly made the propeller so imbalanced with just one blade that the entire red axle and the blue gear exploded off at 43 MPH.

I have an entire cup full of more than 60 broken parts, weighing more than 6.5 ounces according to quantity and K’nex User Group’s weight for each part. These parts are 2 to 8 years old. I need to know how to recycle these parts, unless someone wants some of the broken connectors. I don’t know what to do with the curved panels, as it seems wasteful to have the entire panel recycled just because of the tips, especially since they are discontinued.

K’nex responded after 13 days and said that the plastic is recyclable but they do not offer recycling services. All recycling centers near me are closed until further notice. Even when they were open, they were remarkably shoddy, lousy, and incompetent. The local recycling centers didn’t accept most things. One in particular charged fees for scrap metal, and there are rumors that even some of the well marked plastics were being sent to the landfill. They probably burned their e-waste.

If K’nex can’t even recycle their own plastic, they must not be using any recycled material. And they don’t accept broken parts for recycling. It’s not landfill-free to not use recycled material or accept broken pieces for recycling. I don’t know what to do. If anyone is interested in broken connectors, I will post an incomplete (as more are always being found) inventory of the quantity and weight of each type of part.

Project Ideas and Help / Re: Floors!
« on: June 24, 2020, 12:15:33 am »
Try using either the square K'nex panels (quicker and less parts, but panels can fall down or crack under excessive force, and aren't as solid or even) or several paralleling runs of 2-way orange connectors connected by green rods (requires many pieces, but very solid and smooth).

For the panel option, the framing around the panels provides the support. If the deck is large, then the 8-way white connectors near the corners of the panels can be replaced with 3D connectors, and a truss beam can be installed in either direction, or better, in both directions. Angled 3D orange clips are very useful for perpendicular truss beams intersecting.

For the parallel connector option, the support can be achieved by running rods through the holes of the connectors, which will line up. Not every tunnel needs to have a rod. Extra stiff rods are good for this. Alternatively, if the decking is wider than a gray rod and must not be interrupted, then yellow connectors should be used instead of orange connectors every 4 connectors along each run. That allows truss beams to be installed underneath. Perpendicular rods could also be clipped on the underside of the yellow connectors, but with the same width limit and using a lot more plastic.

This thread is old, but it's still relevant and never received and answer. It seems like most threads on this site are old, even within the first page.

Other Discussions / Re: PLEASE READ: Selling My Collection!
« on: June 23, 2020, 08:29:44 am »
That's a large amount of K'nex, over 18,000 pieces, so you probably don't need it all anymore. However, you should consider keeping some, maybe in the hundreds of pieces (just a bag full). One day you may want to turn to the K'nex for various things. Consider making a hand crank fan, a wind turbine, or small plant trellises. I used my K'nex to build temporary trellises and walls around our planter boxes and wish I had more.

I am in need of about 64 angled 3D orange adapters, but it doesn't seem worthwhile this one purple adapter. The small square plate isn't green, so it won't match the plates I already have. Also, I am in the United States, but it may still be better to get these used parts, which have to be shipped across the Atlantic Ocean once, than new parts from K'nex User Group, which have to be shipped over the ocean twice.

Other Discussions / Re: K'nex and cubing
« on: June 23, 2020, 07:38:48 am »
K'nex is all about truss. Most builds naturally come out as truss. Making arch bridges, suspension bridges, or solid floors is possible, but a bit of a stretch.

I have never ever seen a flexible equivalent of a red rod. The red rod is one of the fundamental lengths and is plenty long enough. If there are going to be flexible white equivalents, then there should be a flexible red equivalent. Sometimes the flexible yellow equivalents are too short and the flexible gray equivalents are too long, other times, there's no debating the length. While acceptable for rigid rods, segmenting flexibles is best avoided as the curve becomes less even, the connector is rigid, and the connections break easier.

Have you tried the extra stiff versions of the plastic rods, which are much easier to find? They are the black versions of the gray rod, and the tan version of the red rod.

Project Ideas and Help / Re: My tan clips keep breaking!
« on: June 23, 2020, 04:44:35 am »
I have a hand crank fan based on the drill model combined with the wind turbine blades. The tan interlocking clips are also one large issue for me. They don’t break, but if there is just one of them, the rod starts slipping and getting chafed. If another clip is placed in the opposite direction, it prevents slipping for some time; but pries open the first clip. Finally, if the second clip is placed right angle to the first, that is the most secure and seems done at first, but then after a while one of the clips is ejected off the rod at high speed. One ejected clip fell in the toilet! The solution is what I call Overload Logic Interlocking Clips. The clips slide down the rod and then clip down, so even if they are ejected, the clips are still trapped on the rod and are right there to be pushed back on. I also considered glue.

Edit: apparently breaking actually just refers to the clip coming off the rod like what happens to me, and not the plastic cracking.

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