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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Gluing Plexiglas (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mike_york
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I was wondering if anyone had any experience with gluing Plexiglas and what type of glue you used to achieve a VERY strong hold.

I went to Home Depot and asked around and they foolishly tried to sell me silicon sealant used in bathrooms. I don't think that will work. But, you never know.


Thanks for your help,
Mike
Thomas Wayne
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"Plexiglas" is a brand name for various forms of acrylic plastic and there is a special solvent-based cement sold specifically for obtaining the highest quality bond. You can buy it at any plastics supplier and often at large hobby shops. The joint requires a close fit and must be held in place while the solvent cement is allowed to flow or "wick" into the thin space between the two pieces to be bonded. This is sometimes described a "capillary action".

A similar result (not quite as strong) can be achieved using very thin cyanoacrylate glue ("super-glue"); if your joint fit is less precise thicker "gel" type super-glue will also work. Super-glue will also bond Polycarbonate ("Lexan"), which cannot be bonded with the solvent cement process, but do not use super-glue accelerant sprays, as these will react with the polycarbonate and make it weak and brittle.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
RiserMagic
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Mike;
Knowing the type of plastic or acrylic that you are working with is critical. Your plastics dealer will have a full selection of solvents to work with whatever you have. Years ago we used to cement the plastic together using ether - but we did have unlimited supplies of ether on hand.

If you want a good strong joint, it is critical that the parts mate very closely. I usually mill the edges to make certain that they are flat. Some people sand them flat on a belt sander; but this is not as accurate. Tape the items together so that parts will not shift. We usually squirt the solvent along the joint allowing it to flow into the joint (as described by Thomas above). If there are gaps between the edges being joined, the solvent will not flow into them to do its job. Allow everything to fully cure before removing the tape. Use only enough solvent to flow into the joint, any extra may "craze" the region next to the joint.

Top edges may be hand polished or flame polished.
Jim
mike_york
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I have tried just about every number in the phone book and no one knows of any type of glue made specific for Plexiglas. One guy did tell me to find EDC. It may be hard to come by as it is very toxic or so I was told. He also suggested MDC as well.

Does anyone know were I can find this stuff? I have called every number under the plastic section of the phone book and none of them know what I am talking about.

Or does anyone know of a plastic worker that can get this stuff for me?


Thanks,
Mike

Never mind I found some online. Should have tried google first. Man it's amazing what you can find on the web these days.


What is the best way to attach Plexiglas to aluminum angle? Would you use regular hinges to make a door?

As you can tell I have never worked with Plexiglas before. So any suggestions and helpful hints would be appreciated.


Thanks once more,
Mike
Tim Taylor
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1970 - 2012
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Hey Mike, I own my own glass and mirror shop in MS and I use this stuff all the time. I can order you some, If you are interested. PM me and let me know. Smile


Hey Mike, just read the rest of your post.
If you are going to hinge something together and you are using plexi glass your best bet is to use a clear flexiable material that is glued on. Trying to drill through plexi is risky. It breaks real easy. Your best bet is to use lexan in the areas you want to drill. Lexan is unbreakable it is what they use to make bulletproof windows. They do this by laminating them together. Tuff stuff! Smile
"Even a mosquito gets a slap on the back for a job well done" - Tim Taylor
Chance Wolf
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Mike, Take Tim's advice! He's da Man! Smile
Chance Wolf
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

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Tim Taylor
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Gosh...Golly...Gee...Aw, Shucks. Thanks Chance.
Be carefull taking my advice for my name is Tim Taylor.
Time for Tool Time! Smile
"Even a mosquito gets a slap on the back for a job well done" - Tim Taylor
mike_york
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Thanks for your help guys.

Your name is Tim The Tool Man Taylor?

At what point should I expect making a trip to the local ER?


I have some Lucite I want to drill into. I need to create a door. What would be the best way to do it without drilling?

Thanks,
Mike
Tim Taylor
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I have seen people make the hinge out of a thick "band-aid" of clear silicone. If you want to try this route I suggest "Water Clear Silicone". This is achieved by a thick bond breaker tape 1/8" tall that you use to make a "well" to put the silocone in. Then a slick smooth finish is put on top of the silicone(it is not self leveling). Let it dry then remove tape. With the "water clear" I'm talking about this would look sharp.
I'll warn you now. The price on the "water clear" wholesale is $25.00. That is just 1 tube. Smile
"Even a mosquito gets a slap on the back for a job well done" - Tim Taylor
mike_york
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In the world of illusions 20 bucks hardly fazes me anymore. How much does one tube cover?

Let's say that I want to drill. Any tips or suggestions on creating a nice and strong hold?


Thanks for all your help,
Mike
mkiger
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McMaster Carr sells the acrylic cement.

A tip with working plastic from a magazine was to use a router to trim the plastic. Cuts very clean and 90 degrees.
ClintonMagus
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Here's a very helpful document that covers Plexiglas fabrication methods:

Amos McCormick
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
bcookmagic
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Hi there, I thought I would add my 2 cents worth. I build many props out of acrylic and get most of my supplies form tap plastic http://www.tapplastics.com
I hope this helps. Brian C
If your not having fun doing what your doing....dont do it!
WWW.BRIANCOOKMAGIC.COM
Clayton Cavaness
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Great resource amosmc,

This will be going into my special folder.

Thanks!
magicmanrob
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Whenever we have used acrylics and wanted a strong joint we too have used the router to help make the edge as straight and true as possible which aids in making for stronger bond. As far as drilling its not all that bad just try to keep the bit from getting too hot and melting , we blow air from the air compressor as we drill it. As far as adding hinges we have used aluminum rivets with backing washers and this provides a good solid fastener.
Starrpower
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Check with plastics dealers for clear plastic hinges. I use United States Plastics and they have *everything*.
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