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Black friction pin without slots connectors are common in older Technic sets. Note that these were quickly replaced by the current version with slots that is much easier to remove.

Black friction pin without slots vs Black friction pin with slots

Especially in older sets, it is not uncommon for these connectors to get completely stuck (as if glued) in bricks with holes. I have to resort to pincers and brute force. This typically results in the connector being damaged.

The orange brick separator is often not tough enough to do the job.

So, how can you separate these things?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends in what type of beams the pin are mounted.

  1. For studless Nicael's methode is the easiest. Otherwise you can use method 3
  2. For studded beams you can use variation on this methode. take a axle of 6 or 8 long, 5 or 7 other beams and some plates. Stack the beam side by side and lock them together with the plates. Place the beam with the pin on top pin sticking out. Place the axle in the hole under which the pin is located. The axle will stick out 1 stud. Puch this on a hard surface that is allowed to be scratch / dented. This will remove also pins that are deformed.
  3. If the pins are in other parts you often can move them to a studded beam by pushing the other end in a studded beam and putting in a minifig tool, like a broom, shovel or light saber blade.

Loose parts:

Loose Parts

Half assembled:

Half assembled

Axle placed:

Axle placed

Pushing pin out on table:

Pushing pin out on table

Switching to a beam:

Switching to a beam

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1  
My preferred method is the last one, but instead of using a Technic brick, I use a half width beam. The stick blocks the pin as it does with the full width brick, but once the stick is removed, the pin is very easy to pull out from the beam. –  Philo Jun 19 at 11:35

Take your cross axle:

And push it into the hole where your pin connector had stuck

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3  
Thanks, it's a method I've tried. I've found it usually works better if you don't push the cross axle perpendicularly (into the empty centre of the connector) as in the image. Rather aim for the black connector's outer edge from an angle (about 20 degrees). I agree that using cross axles is better than the orange brick separator. –  Gruber Jun 17 at 13:44
    
@Gruber Looks like you are right! So it suits you or not? –  nicael Jun 17 at 13:49
    
This method is good, but it doesn't solve the hardest cases. One thing I'm going to try is to see if heating up the plastic in hot water is going to make things easier. Once separated, perhaps washing these black connectors can remove residues or filth that increase friction? –  Gruber Jun 17 at 13:52
    
Indeed, LEGO used to recommend building a tool with two axles, an angle element and two bushes for just this event. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Jun 17 at 14:49

I have resorted to brute force in the past. By which I mean destructive removal of the pins. I use a Dremel tool with a 2mm drill bit or 3mm router bit to carve away at the pin until it disintegrates.

The new style pins sell for about 0.3c each on Bricklink, so if you're assembling a model it makes sense to just buy a pile of new pins and and use those instead. I use the pins as "stuff" for my construction models to work with, so I bought 10,000 pins in one hit for about $50 including delivery. It's just not worth putting the old pins into newly assembled models when it's so cheap to avoid the problem.

To actually remove the pins when they are stuck I use the approaches other people have given. When they fail I use olive oil as a lubricant (soak Lego in oil, wait). That's much easier if you can keep the end you're going to be pulling on out of the oil. Then use the "jam a bar into the end" technique to lock the pin into another Lego beam and pull it out. Usually twisting is required.

But I have to admit that I don't bother any more. I pull models apart, and pins that I can't get out with my fingers I just drill out. If I really have to I'll buy more old-style pins on Bricklink, but I have enough friends who buy second hand Lego and hate those pins that my supply is adequate. And I'm happy to give away the new style pins in exchange. Again, they cost me 0.5c/pin...

The old pins are brilliant if you're exhibiting a model and it has parts that tend to fall apart. Use the "stuck forever" pins and things don't fall off nearly as easily. It's legal, so you can still put the "Model is 100% unmodified Lego" sign on it whereas if you use glue you can't do that.

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Do you have a link to the page on Bricklink where these new-style pins are sold? Thanks. –  Gruber Jun 18 at 6:33
    
@Gruber I edited it into your question but the edit hasn't been approved yet. Sorry I didn't realise that: bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=2780 and click "lots for sale" –  Mσᶎ Jun 18 at 7:35

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