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Thread: firm the shape

  1. #1
    ronmecer is offline Newbie
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    Smile firm the shape

    Hi, I'm writing an instruction about "Bending PVC pipe". Here are my steps:

    1. Heat the PVC pipe gently with a blowtorch.

    2. Bend the PVC pipe when it becomes soft.

    3. Wipe the PVC pipe with a wet rag to firm the shape.
    or (Wipe the PVC pipe with a wet rag until firm/ fixed /set)

    I'm not sure if "firm the shape" is a correct usage. If not, is there a better way to say it?

    How about "firm / fixed / set"? Which one is more suitable in this case?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: firm the shape

    'Wipe...until set' sounds good to me. I don't think you could say 'to firm the shape' in this case, as you're doing something until it gets firm, not doing something in order to make it firm.

    'Firm' can be a transitive verb, but not in this case. (A common, rather informal, use is in connection with arrangements: 'I'll phone nearer the time to firm up the details.')

    b

  3. #3
    ronmecer is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: firm the shape

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    'Wipe...until set' sounds good to me. I don't think you could say 'to firm the shape' in this case, as you're doing something until it gets firm, not doing something in order to make it firm.

    'Firm' can be a transitive verb, but not in this case. (A common, rather informal, use is in connection with arrangements: 'I'll phone nearer the time to firm up the details.')

    b
    What's the difference between "until set" and "until firm"?
    Some people say "until set" is a cooking term used in recipes.
    So, why is "until set" more suitable in this case? Thanks

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: firm the shape

    Until set is used when a liquid hardens into a solid - jelly sets, etc - it's not only used in cooking.

  5. #5
    ronmecer is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: firm the shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Until set is used when a liquid hardens into a solid - jelly sets, etc - it's not only used in cooking.
    Hmmm…Interesting. Because PVC pipe is not a liquid.

    So, is it wrong to say "Wipe the PVC pipe with a wet rag until set" or "Allow the PVC pipe to cool until set"?

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: firm the shape

    Because PVC pipe is not a liquid.
    You are heating it until it becomes at least semi-solid.

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