working with plexiglass

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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. ---> Ed
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You are going to need to give more infor for #3. Like what are you using the stuff for?
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oups.com:

Lots of good info here.: http://www.tapplastics.com/info/video.php
The thickness you need depends a lot on how big the boxes will be.
Ken
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On 7/18/10 5:14 PM, Ed Lowenstein wrote:

Ask the manufacturer what "glue" to use. Most of it is like pvc plumbing, in which the solvent actually melts the two pieces together.
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-MIKE-

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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, too.
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On 7/18/10 9:38 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

Wow, Doug. Really?
How is that misleading? I told him to ask the manufacturer. I wrote it's "like" pvc, not "is" pvc.
Are you a corporate lawyer or something? :-)
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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.
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On 7/19/10 7:09 AM, Doug Miller wrote:

Yeah, ok buddy.
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What he really means is nobody else can read like he can.
Yeah, ok buddy.
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On 7/19/10 2:17 PM, Josepi wrote:

At least he's doesn't completely make $h!t up half the time.
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PDFTFT
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On 7/19/10 4:19 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

I don't have the patience nor imagination to figure that put. :-)
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On 7/19/10 5:24 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Please Don't Feed The Fine Trolls. :-)
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Froz...


The system will be down for 10 days for preventive maintenance.
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OK, I'll go 60% and that's tops.

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I doubt it's more than half. Be nice.

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Nope. he's just an agitator.
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On 7/18/2010 9:38 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

I was not mislead whatsoever into thinking that Mike was suggesting the use of PVC solvent to bond plexiglass.
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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.
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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
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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 finished.
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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