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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ya can never have enough chemicals, I say. But enough is enough, so I am posing this question, which I copied and pasted from my "Not a door" post, which not many may see.

Anyway, I have been experimenting with various solvent cements. That wasn't my intention (I have work to do), but when I tried a new (to me) one compared with what I had been using, I thought, "Dang, I like that stuff!" Then I tried my trusty old MEK and found that for certain things--like attaching my mullions to the window frames--it worked real good too. Then I saw a MLS post where somebody swore by Testors (the kind in the little squeezy bottle that looks like a miniature oil can). And there's the liquid stuff in a little can I got from Russ at TAP. Suffice to say, my mind is boggled. Or is it the methylethylketone or the trichloromethane talking? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif

BTW, we're talking about styrene, acrylic, and other plastics. Not wood, so don't tell me about Eileen's Tacky Glue or Elmer's Yellow or whatever. We live in termite country, so no wood. Besides, if I gotta destroy the environment, I'd rather save a tree, even if I'm contributing to pollution by using petroleum-based products and related chemicals, which may also be destroying the ozone layer. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif

BTW Part II: Do ya know what Trichloromethane is? Ether! No wonder I was feeling so mellow as I worked on my store project. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif
 

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Joe,
A note on the Ether. It will crystalize over time usually around the lid seal. When it crystalizes it is EXPLOSIVE. So although it is a great adhesive for plastics please keep only small amounts on hand. If you have to get it in containers you can't use up in a year (to err on the safe side) share with fellow modelers,split the cost of a can and watch for changes in what you have. Look up the MSDS sheet for more information.
Dave
 

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My personal favorites are MEK for anything styrene, and acetone for acrylics. I've built some interesting doo-dads out of plexiglass using acetone (applied with a brush) to bond it. It also works at least moderately well for styrene, so that's what I use when I need to bond the two together.
I've had decent results with commercial products sold in hobby shops, but it's hard to justify the cost. Since styrene and acetate are about 99% or what I work with, MEK and acetone do the trick nicely.
BTW, my method for testing a solvent is to touch a drop to some scrap or the backside of a part, then stick my finger in it. If I can leave a fingerprint, the solvent will work. If not, that's what super glue and epoxy are for!
 

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I have used Weld-On products #4, 4 oz., water thin, fast curing solvent in a can for joining flat surfaces. And Weld-On #16 solvent, 5 oz. in a tube for gap filling applications. They have never failed when applied correctly. Note to self... They do not like paint.



I believe the TAP plastics brand is the same thing just repackaged.



All of them are a lot less money for the same performance as MEK.



Just a note that might be of interest. They all want you to use a syringe like instrument to apply the thin stuff. A Q-Tip works better.



Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Guys, thanks. I will give acetone a try, as I have a can of it that I use to clean my airbrush when I'm not too lazy to use it.

I have been learning how these various "glues" work. For example, MEK seems pretty benign, works with a lot of plastics (I'll call them all that)and doesn't eat styrene. Plastruct's Plastic Weld works well with styrene and while aggresive (quick!), doesn't destroy the material. And it seems to stick to my Marklon as good as anything. TAP liquid cement (you'll have to ask Russ what it's called)is designed to work with acrylic (it's supposed to dry clear, so that you can make display cases) and sticks good, but wow! will it attack small pieces of styrene! Anyway, I kinda switch back and forth among them all depending on the size of the work and how ambitious I feel (long hours of cutting and pasting tend to wear a guy down). BTW, when I spoke to Russ the TAP Man about stuff sticking to Marklon, he said that not much does. It's like some of the "plastic" used in Bachmann locos or in railroad track ties. In short, about the only thing that seems to bind to it is epoxy, I guess. Please feel free to correct me, as I am totally making this up as I go along. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif

Oh, about the syringe. I got one of thes plastic bottles with what looks like a hypodermic needle on it. Well, guess what? It has a large orfice, so when I tipped the bottle over (I didn't even squeeze it or anything) the cement squirted outta there like a firehose. That's OK if your gluing big pieces together, but I was trying to make window mullions! Maybe a real needle like the hospital uses, woudl work. BTW, I use an OO or smaller paint brush as an applicator, but ya gotta pick the right material (horse hair or whatever). I just bought a brush that is some synthetic and the hairs all stick together if you leave 'em alone for a minute or so.
 

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Regarding the squeeze bottle, Russ at TAP says you should squeeze the bottle while it is facing up. Then, slowly release it as you turn it over. Tat way, you have some control of the liquid coming out.
 

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Actually Joe, ether and trichloromethane are not the same thing, they are quite different compounds. They share some properties but are quite different chemicaly.

Ether, most commonly, is diethly ether. formula is CH3-CH2-O-CH2-CH3. Think of an Oxygen in the middle with to ethane mollecules hanging off each side.

Trichloromethane is a methane mollecule in the middle and three chlorine atoms equally spaced on the sides. Formula is Cl3CH. Trichloromethane is more commonly known as Methyl Chloroform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dave, yeah, I screwed up. I meant chloroform, or whatever passes for it. But not ether, as I wrote. Pretty sloppy work on my part, especially when you consider I get paid to write!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif

Bill, I kinda figured out how to make the plastic hypo bottle work. Not exactly as you described, but well enough to keep the stuff from squirting all over my work. Now if I would only learn to be neat (I set the styrene window wall down on a blot of glue and left an ugly smear mark. Now I gotta sand it off. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/angry.gif

BTW, I confirmed to myself what I said earlier about the properties of that Acrylic cement. It sure loves to kick styrene's butt!
 

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Joe,
The largest component of Acrylic Solvent Cement is Methylene Chloride (dichloromethane). Here is a link to our MSDS for TAP Acrylic Cement. TAP Acrylic Cement is Weld-On #3 packaged with our label on it. This allows us to sell the product at a Lower Cost. If you look at the
MSDS for Weld-On #16 you will see that it has an added ingredient...MEK. The MEK seems to help it bond to the styrene better. At TAP we also use MEK to bond ABS.....

And to clarify the bonding to the Polycarbonate (Marklon)material ... Since the Polycarbonate is so strong and difficult to break, the Glue Joints will tend to fail when put under stress before the plastic itself breaks. This is the case no matter what you use to glue it. My experience has been that the Acrylic Cement gives the strongest joint when bonding polycarbonate. The Marklon is NOT the same as the Acetal or Nylon that some of the Trucks are made from, nor is it the same material that the ties are manufactured from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Russ, just wanted to see if you were paying attention. As stated, I know dang little about anything, much less solvent cements. And I am a confirmed TAP customer, so snide words aside, I still use all your stuff. All of this to ask, "We're still friends, right?" /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif
 
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