Hey all. Looking for some help making a small acrylic box.
I’d like to be able to make something without using a tabbed joint that seems to be the default for wood boxes. Is it possible to simply glue acrylic together, edge to face? If so, are there any tools made specifically for holding the pieces together for gluing? Any tutorials?
Any information would be greatly appreciated. TIA.
Weldon 4 acrylic adhesive. Can be found on Amazon. It actually fuses the acrylic, etc together.
Just be aware that your cut edges will not be square due to the slanted path of the laser. So the edges won’t exactly meet perfectly at right angles.
And be ready…Weld-on is very thin and difficult to control. Ideally, it should be allowed to ‘wick’ into the seams…which is easier said than done.
… and very difficult when edges aren’t perfectly aligned/square.
That said, 1/8" or 1/16" acrylic will cut fairly square, and the bond is solid - it literally fuses the parts as one, so even if it doesn’t have 100% contact in “width”, the length should make up for it.
There is a gel form of this same solvent cement that is designed to fill gaps that you may want to look into if you have large gaps in your seams.
Yes, it is very possible to do edge to edge gluing without tabs. I do it quite often.
If you do try the #4 “weld” solvent, it may be easier to control the application using a syringe (vet/medical grade), as the bottle can be pretty tricky to use, and any solvent that goes elsewhere than the seam will affect the appearance. (And be sure to tightly close the can after getting out what you need). But when it works, it looks great. I watched a lot of videos on youtube about it before trying… even then, practice first & often!
I personally prefer a brush to apply #4. If you use different sizes of brushes you can get very precise control.
That sooo understates the issues! Getting the parts aligned and held in place, even using corner clamps is very tricky business.
I have had the parts sort of explode all over more than not and the simple case where locking fingers are not possible manages to shift after the sealant is applied, and then wick in between the acrylic and whatever is holding it.
Then there is the Weld-On itself. I keep the can and needle part separate in metal lidded glass jars tightly closed, and even though the can lid is on tight, when the jar is opened there is a woosh of escaping pressure. if there is any material left in the plastic bottle it will evaporate as well condensing in the bottle and having that same woosh. Left at room temperature and any possibility of escape it would likely evaporate in a day,
I am leaving the sealed bottles in the fridge atm but wondering if they should be in the freezer.
Please forgive my ignorance, but wouldn’t it (the glue) freeze then?
That depends a lot on its freezing point that may be well below zero and a lump of frozen in the liquid might not be a terrible thing keeping it below the temp that it would nearly boil away.
The key issue is if it would change its nature if frozen.
That’s the biggest reason why I ask, as Tightbond wood glue, if it gets frozen while wet it becomes useless. After it cures it’s not an issue.
The fact that it is opaque tells me it is not uniform and therefore likely to be a problem. Clear is a different issue.
Another idea for adhesive–I pulled out some BlueFixx I’ve used to repair some things in the past, and tested it on a couple scraps of a clear to a colored acrylic–and it works! I got mine at a local big box store–it’s the UV curable stuff, so you can even shine it thru the clear piece to the joint. It’s viscosity is not too thin, not to thick so it stays where you put it–easier to handle than the Weld #4 that relies on the capillary action to draw up into a joint…
I use Testers Model Cement for plastic 3502 it comes in liquid or gel. Originally used primarily for styrene models, it will weld Plexiglas (acrylic) and it’s clear. Any hobby shop/craft store will have it.
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