I planning a project where I'll need to make boxes with plexiglass
sides. I need to know 2 things:
1. What adhesive to bond 2 pieces of plexiglass?
2. What adhesive to bond edges of plexiglass boxes too sapele base?
3. What thickness of plexiglass should I buy?
Thanks in advance.
Correct, but potentially misleading -- the solvent you need is *not* the same
stuff used for PVC plumbing. The principle is the same, but the substance is
not. The stuff you need is called IPS Weld-On. You won't find it at Home Depot
or Ace Hardware. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Plastics". Any plastics
dealer either carries this, or can tell you who does. Check with sign shops,
I said "potentially misleading". And IMHO it is -- someone not reading
carefully could conclude that PVC pipe solvent would work for that job. Since
the OP clearly doesn't know what to use, I wanted to clarify for his benefit
that it won't.
Google "IPS Weld-On". You won't find it at home centers or hardware stores;
look in the Yellow Pages under "Plastics".
Sorry, no idea. My best guess is that you'll probably need a mechanical
fastener of some sort. Acrylic plastics are glued to each other with a solvent
that essentially bonds them into a single piece. This process obviously won't
work if the other piece is wood. Epoxy or cyanoacrylate ("super glue") might
work -- experiment on scraps.
Depends on how large the boxes are. If they're only a handspan wide, 1/10"
should be plenty. OTOH, if they're as large as you are tall, even 1/4" might
not be thick enough.
I have successfully glue acrylic 'Perspex' to wood with a general purpose
hot melt adhesive. It pays to warm both surfaces before gluing.
I seem to remember that you can make an adhesive by dissolving scraps in
glacial acetic acid.
Take care with the acid.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
All sorts of solvents. Exactly what depends on MSDS / OSHA regs in
your part of the world. Talk to your plastic supplier, but really this
is a simple problem and you just buy a jar of their recommended
moonshine. There are two sorts - thin pure solvents and also thickened
glues, made by dissolving plastic scrap in the thin stuff. One gives a
cleaner job, the other helps to fill gaps.
Mechanical fasteners, with the ability to slide for cross-grain
moisture movement of the timber. Otherwise use well-dried and long-
seasoned stable timber, small linear dimensions and epoxy.
Depends on the size of what you're making, and what you can get. I
make big display boxes from 6mm, small things from 3mm.
You need some tools, first of all a saw. Bandsaws work well, as they
aid clearance of the swarf. A problem with working plastic like this
is the "wooly" swarf that comes off, and its tendency to re-weld to
the sides of the cut with heat. On my bandsaw I had to also remove the
mesh finger-guard from the dust extract port, to avoid clogging. If
you use a reciprocating jigsaw, it needs to have low vibration and
works best with a mild pendulum action - swarf welding is the
problem. Fretsaws work well too, but are obviously slow.
A belt sander (cheap benchtop mounted one, common these days) is a
useful tool for finishing edges, before gluing. Straighter, smoother
edges need less gap-filling from the glue and so look neater when
Finish polishing is important. Use many different grades of wet & dry
paper in turn (double the grit for each step) and you might find a
powered sander helpful. As always, don't switch grits until you're
finished with the larger grit, otherwise you end up with a polished
mirror that has big scratches left in it. Final polishing used to be
done with paste polishes (and took ages), but these days it's far
easier to buy some Micro-mesh abrasives. These work excellently well
for polishing acrylic.
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