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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Fix dented lota? (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

impossible man
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I recently dropped my lota and put a dent in the outside. I'd love to smooth it out, but I can't think of a way. Has anyone else experienced this?
Dean Gilbert
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Bill Hegbli
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I purchased a used and dented P&L copper Lota a few years ago. The bottom was bowed out and the side at the seam was dented in. I bought it thinking I could tap it out. Well, it did not work and just threw it in the trash. Would you believe they had it on a table as potting plant holder.

You don't give enough information, where is it dented, how badly. Is it aluminum.

With auto body work, they say some dents will Pop back out if you tap with a hammer around the place where the dent starts, the rounded inward edge. With auto work, you can get to both sides, and they have a steel rounded jig, to conform to the round shape. Pushing as you tap on the dent. With a Lota you cannot get to the inside. You can try tapping with a leather hammer. I don't think it will work without back support. If can take it apart, then use a large wooden wall to work on from the inside, while tapping on the outside. Or maybe you can just work the ball back and forth until it pushes out. I have had success with most thin metal working with a wooden ball only. I dropped my Morrissey Aluminum Jumbo Egg and was able to work that back out from inside.
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Inviso
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Yes, Bill, I would believe one being used as a flower pot. I have a glass (orange) one that looks homemade but had been used by my mother as a flower bowl for ages before I got it back.

Imp. Man, is it possible to get the nozzle from the vacuum cleaner to cover the are and suck it out?
If you half filled the lota with water (both compartments) and froze it, would that be enough to pop it out...or just destroy your lota.

Just spit ballin', haven't had to deal with this.

Randy
impossible man
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It is aluminum, dented where the body bows out pretty widely. I think it could stand up to a vacuum. Thanks both of you.
Dean Gilbert
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impossible man
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This thing is thick enough that the suction from a vacuum will not work. I think I'll mask the scar with geometric designs on the sides.
Dean Gilbert
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Dan Ford
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I filled one with water and froze it. It was copper and worked. The dent was on the side of the vase. Can not guarantee it will work for you, but mine came out. You may have to repeat the process a few times.
BCS
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Dean... Her is a long shot... I collect Cups and Ball sets, people that fix musical instruments can usually fix dents and such, perhaps they can help you.

Good luck,
Bruce
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I've had almost every sort of Lota! P&L "gallon size". Abbott's with the Chinese "face", Abbott "Six Shot", P&L "Six Shot, an ancient (!) Abbott (I think made from a Revere brass flower pot, AND, a Gen Grant with a removable gaff! I still have the last two. The "Grant" is especially "good" on outdoor dates (fairs,festivals, picnics, etc. I think the Grant prop was made when Grant was associated with Percy Abbott (MANY years ago!)!

I think that if I had a small dent, I would just keep the dented side on the upstage side!

Oh! I even had a pottery Lota.
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John T. Sheets
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When I was a kid, I had a trumpet which had a large dent in the bell. The music teacher took the large end of a drum stick (large-round end), pressed it firmly into the bell, then pushed and "rubbed" the dent back out. It worked extremely well. Maybe this would work in your case with the Lota Bowl.



I hope this helps!
Magically,

John
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See the "Quantum Bender 3.0" trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkTVw9FjonE

See the "Energy Bender" trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpJOfL0k8xA

See the "Table of Death" in Las Vegas trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YivizLAKD7I
ClintonMagus
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I spoke with a friend who used to repair musical instruments. He said that, if the material is not too thick, a repair shop might be able to heat it up and "suck" it out.

Also, look at method #3, here:

http://www.wikihow.com/Repair-Minor-Dents
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Dave Fiscus
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John mentioned the rubbing method used on horns and that's correct. I formed bowls from copper and brass for several years as a student in art metal classes and was taught to push out dents by rubbing hard with a rounded stick from the inside. . If you can reach the dent in there then use a hardwood stick with the working end at least the size of the dent and rounded somewhat like the lota's outside curve. Aluminum is soft and hard rubbing will likely work the dent out just like it does with copper and brass. If you can't get to the dent from the inside, try one of the other suggestions or just fill your dent with Bondo then paint! Good luck, Dean.
Dave
DATMagic
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I saw a guy on youtube pop out a dent in his car by heating the dent with a hair dryer then blasting it with cold air from a can of compressed air like you buy at office depot. he turned the can upside down when blowing the air out, maybe to get it as cold as possible.

Good Luck,

DAT
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Michael Baker
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Those mentioning pushing out the dent from the inside know something about musical instruments, but little about Lota Vases. Smile

Now, class... why won't this work?
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Dick Oslund
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Hey Michael! (hee hee) I have a Gen Grant Lota (I think it must have been made when Gen. was at Abbott's!!! --"MANY!!!!!YEARS AGO"!!!!) 'cuz the vase is the shape of early Abbott Lotas. I had one in the mid '40s (painted red with a Chinese "face" on the side). I still have a chromed vase ("Revere")that I'm sure was Abbott's. It's original Revere and is "one piece". Percy later copied the Revere "style", but the top section was spun separately and soldered to the bottom section. (My "Chinese" Lota was a two piece model.)

The "Gen Grant" model has a "loose" gaff, easily removable. I've never seen another like it. --or even heard of one!
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John T. Sheets
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Pushing out a dent from the inside of a Lota obviously won't work with all models. I mentioned this technique because as a kid I had a Lota bowl where the secret something was press fitted, making it somewhat removable. Perhaps someone with some shop skills may benefit from this idea, as it may be something good to keep in mind, if not for the Lota, then maybe something else. Smile
Magically,

John
www.johntsheets.com

Inventor of the "Quantum Bender" line, as well as many other creations for the professional performer.

See the "Quantum Bender 3.0" trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkTVw9FjonE

See the "Energy Bender" trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpJOfL0k8xA

See the "Table of Death" in Las Vegas trailer here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YivizLAKD7I
impossible man
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Hi, John and Michael,

In my case the drumstick method would be prevented from reaching the affected area. What I did was decorate the outside with designer tape while filling the depressed area a bit. The tape did not conform to the sunken area and thus the problem is disguised unless the resulting flat area is set exactly at right angles to the audience.

Sorry this reply took so long, but I've had a lot of upheaval in my life since the post. Still kicking, however.

Dean
Dean Gilbert
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donrodrigo
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Hi dean. same happened to me. just took it to a friend auto body shop. wow, it came out a hummer.grayish metallic. beautifull.
TheRaven
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I suggest you search YouTube for automotive dent removal. There are a number of new techniques involving special pads, hotglue and pullers. A do-it-yourself technique is to glue a wooden dowel or knob in the center of the dent using hot-glue. When the glue dries you pull hard. This may be easier with an immovable car than a light weight lota vase. More likely a body shop could look at it and tell you what they could do. Hard to imagine that would be cost effective. Even when you pull it out, it usually isn't perfect.
61magic
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Let me offer up a little advice. One of my many hobbies (magic is first) includes car restoration so I'm familiar with removing dents using the hot/cold method and various pullers.
The problem with metal getting dented is the stretching of the metal that happens, simply pulling on the dent may bring the low point level to the surrounding surface but will leave the metal distorted.
This is where heating the metal causing it to expand and cooling is quickly shrinks the metal, done correctly the metal will shrink and resume its original shape.
Now here is the trouble, this technique is really an art, knowing how much heat and how much cool to apply. Steel vs. copper vs. aluminum will act differently. Too much heat and the distortion will get worse, too much cool can do the same thing.
The different metals expand and shrink at different rates so this may take quite a bit of trial an error to get it right.
Most Lota construction is using a permanent double wall so using any metal rubbing like someone would do on a instrument bell is out of the question.
You could try the technique mentioned above to pull the dent using hot glue and a dowel. This technique is also used in auto body repair for panels and curved areas but usually requires some amount of filler to even out the distortion before refinishing.
Assuming your Lota like mine is polished bare metal getting it back to where is was pre-drop may not be practical. Unless this is something rare or uncommonly shaped you are better off purchasing a new one.
Just a thought...
Professor J. P. Fawkes
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