I have a portable cassette player with a clear plastic window on the door
that has broken loose from its frame. What kind of glue can I use to
reattach this window to the door? I have tried Elmers glue which holds for
a few months but eventually comes loose. The window is necessary for the
proper functioning of the player because there is a small tooth on the back
of the window which holds the spring tensioner for the cassette. This
spring clicks the cassette into proper position when the door is closed.
Thanks for your help.
Elmer's is about the last thing you'd want to use. Plastic as you
describe it is typically not porous.
When I built those Testors' plastic models as a kid, I used a "liquid
glue" in a cube-shaped bottle with a brush applicator, which was not
really a "glue" but a solvent for solvent welding.
Identifying the type of plastic and selecting the correct solvent, then
carefully cleaning both surfaces, clamping them together, and applying
a minimal amount of solvent (enough to be wicked into the space
between) may give you the cleanest (almost invisible) solvent weld.
On the other end of the range of precision, you can just use "goop",
which will glue damned near anything to anything else. Pictures of the
For clear plastic like this window, I can think of only a few common
ones: styrene, acrylic, and polycarbonate, and all can be glued with
solvents, although polycarbonate gives only one chance at this since
its surface turns to something white and weak.
I've never gotten epoxy to work well on plastics, except hard ones like
polyester and bakelite.
The best choice here, by far.
Welding it with a solder iron seems to be the only good solution.
Unfortunately it doesn't weld as well as other ungluable plastics, like
polypropylene (Tupperware), nylon, and derlin.
There are many kinds of plastics and some are very difficult to glue. I
suggest an epoxy from your local hobby shop. Go to the hobby shop and ask
them what they suggest. They are much more likely to know what to suggest
than the hardware store. They also often have better products than you will
find in the hardware store.
It's good you used Elmers instead of super glue since the latter gives
a bond that's not good enough to hold the plastic together but
unfortunately good enough to leave an unremovable skin on the surfaces
that prevents any proper adhesive from working. Plastics like this are
best glued with solvent that dissolves them and virtually welds them
back together. Carburetor cleaner spray may work, and acetone surely
will. The window is likely made of acrylic (plexiglass), and hobby
shops and hardware stores sell solvent weld made especially for it.
Try to leave the window alone for at least 24 hours after repair, to
give the solvent time to evaporate completely.
I've been using Ambroid "Pro Weld" solvent glue lately and it works
well. It works on Styrene, Butyrate,ABS and Acrylic. You can get it an
any good hobby shop. Test a little corner of the piece you need to
glue. If it deglosses the piece it will probably work.
I've also tack welded stuff like this with a soldering iron but I run
it at a lower temperature with a dimmer.
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