Gluing Flat Acrylic Sheets

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jcdrums

New Member
This is my first post on the RPF so be kind and apologies if this has already been covered I couldn't find anything.

I need to glue a stack of 3mm acrylic sheets together but face to face as to make a sort of acrylic ply board?

Once they're glued I need to be able to cut them to shape as to where my problem comes in as I only know of gluing acrylic on the edges which I'm assuming if I cut and chamfer the edges will lose the bond on the edges?

Any suggestions or advise on types of glue or methods would be majorly appreciated!

Thank you!
 

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cavx

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Weldon#3 is the stuff you want if you can find it. It is a water thin solvent that will (through capillary action) seep up in between the layers of plastic. You don't need weight or clamps, but having blocks or similar to prevent the parts sliding is a good idea. The only down sides is that if you want the outer surfaces to keep their original shine, the Weldon#3 excess may fog the surfaces it comes in contact with.

The only challenge I have when using this is keeping the surfaces clean after removing the paper as static attracts and causes particles of dust to stick. Wiping the parts just creates more static and more dust will be attracted. I do have a clean station with a filter and fan for blowing away airborne particles, but never used it for this.

So you simply stack your parts and squirt the Weldon#3 onto the parts. It probably pays to layer one at a time. Once the Weldon#3 has dried (it evaporates fast, but needs min 20mins to set with max strength after 24 hours), your layers of Perspex will the same as one really think piece of Perspex.

I layer up many circles of 10mm that have been laser cut to form a tube, and then I have that machined on a lathe. The stuff is strong.
 

jcdrums

New Member
Thank you for that Cavx, what are the biggest sheets you've done this with? I was looking to to sheets of A4 do you think this is too big for the Weldon#3 to seep through? This has been my concern all along, I could at a push do smaller sheets but this would limit my options there after.
 

cavx

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thank you for that Cavx, what are the biggest sheets you've done this with? I was looking to to sheets of A4 do you think this is too big for the Weldon#3 to seep through? This has been my concern all along, I could at a push do smaller sheets but this would limit my options there after.
Your welcome. You can do big sheets with this stuff. I have bonded large areas of a full sized sheet with this. During the making of the molds for my 2015 BTTF 2 jacket, I was able to get the Weldon#3 to penetrate up to 400mm in from a side on a sheet 1200mm x 1200mm. So it was really just the centre part that didn't have any fusion.

I didn't really need the 2 sheet fused that well anyway, but if I was going to cut this and needed the centre part bonded, I could always just add more after the cut was made.
 

jcdrums

New Member
Thank you so much! This is perfect! Is Weldon#3 the only glue that will work for this type of project or is it just the best option overall?

Can't wait to get on with it now!
 

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cavx

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There are a few water thin solvents that will do the job, just Weldon#3 seems to be the stuff the pros use.
 

cavx

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Glad I could help.

You will probably have to go to a plastic supply place. I doubt that you would find anything like this at a hardware store.
 

jcdrums

New Member
Yeah no doubt i'll have to find an online store or something, I have pretty limited options locally here so hopefully can find the right stuff for a good price and go with it!
 

jcdrums

New Member
Glad I could help.

You will probably have to go to a plastic supply place. I doubt that you would find anything like this at a hardware store.
What am I specifically looking for in the glue, I'm in the UK and seems all the Weldon #3 is not in the UK so I'll either have to pay the shipping or find something that matches it here?

Any suggestions?
 

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joostin

Active Member
I've also had success with clear araldite. I used it to build a clear acrylic electric guitar.
The trick is thinning it to make it easier to work with depending on your surface area. I've done this with isopropyl alcohol.

It does modify the curing time depending on how much you use, so it's all a bit of guesswork, but it's another alternative that you could try if you struggle to find Weldon or anything.

As cavx said, any low viscosity solvent that doesn't weaken the material will do the job.
 

jcdrums

New Member
I've also had success with clear araldite. I used it to build a clear acrylic electric guitar.
The trick is thinning it to make it easier to work with depending on your surface area. I've done this with isopropyl alcohol.

It does modify the curing time depending on how much you use, so it's all a bit of guesswork, but it's another alternative that you could try if you struggle to find Weldon or anything.

As cavx said, any low viscosity solvent that doesn't weaken the material will do the job.
Thanks Joostin, I'm looking at options, a lot are pointing to Tensol 70 which seems pricey compared to the Weldon stuff so will have to get some trial and error, thanks for the head up on the araldite!
 

Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here in the UK you want Plastic Weld which is sold in most model shops.
It's basically a chemical solvent called Dichloromethane which we in the modelmaking industry have used for ever as an acrylic solvent.
For A4 size pieces you will need to flood the acrylic by simply pouring an amount along one edge and then slowly laying the second piece down so that it traps as little air as possible and at the same time pushes the solvent away covering the rest of the sheet - like the action of closing a book.
Once completely covered you need to lightly weight in down for a few minutes until the solvent has started to take effect.
You will undoubtedly trap air but that what happens with this method of lamination.
If you’re after perfectly laminated acrylic you'll need to use Tensol 70 but that takes quite a bit of practice to perfect.
Both adhesives have heavy vapours and I strongly suggest that you do this in a well ventilated workshop or outdoors.
Also use disposable gloves as you don't want to be getting it on your skin.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/221691715546?hlpht=true&hlpv=2&rlsatarget=&adtype=pla&ff3=1&lpid=122&poi=&ul_noapp=true&limghlpsr=true&ff19=0&device=c&chn=ps&crdt=0&ff12=67&ff11=ICEP3.0.0-L&ff14=122&viphx=1&ops=true&ff13=80
 

jcdrums

New Member
Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed, i've been going round in circles looking for Weldon#3 in the UK but its not happening so this is perfect and thanks for the advise on method, I was planning on that method at least for my first attempt.

I had looked at using Tensol 70 but it's SO expensive and I have no idea how far one bottle will go as I need to work with a lot of surface area.
 

Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
To avoid so much laminating couldn't you use thicker sheet, or do you already have the 3mm pieces?
If you really need to laminate such a large amount it may be cheaper to buy the Dichloromethane from a chemical supplier as we do;
http://www.chemicals.co.uk/dichloromethane-tech
May I ask what you’re making.
 

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ThePropBox

Active Member
To avoid so much laminating couldn't you use thicker sheet, or do you already have the 3mm pieces?
If you really need to laminate such a large amount it may be cheaper to buy the Dichloromethane from a chemical supplier as we do;
http://www.chemicals.co.uk/dichloromethane-tech
May I ask what you’re making.
This ^

I was JUST going to write that! Just couldn't remember the name of it though.
From my experience Dichloromethane is the way to go either if you want to stick/glue large sheets or more fragile things made from acrylic.

Make sure you're using gloves, a proper mask and that there's proper ventilation in the room you're working. A big fan can be used too.

EDIT: Whoops, didn't see that Dichloromethane was mentioned already two posts above. Sorry!!
 

jcdrums

New Member
To avoid so much laminating couldn't you use thicker sheet, or do you already have the 3mm pieces?
If you really need to laminate such a large amount it may be cheaper to buy the Dichloromethane from a chemical supplier as we do;
http://www.chemicals.co.uk/dichloromethane-tech
May I ask what you’re making.
Pro Mod well I want to end up with a block with many colours in that it can be cut and figured to show different amount of each colour.

You may of course ask...I build drums..as in musical hit them kind of drums as well as smaller props and things, and I love trying to push new ideas and I have a few ideas using block and sheet methods with acrylic hence my many questions to work with many methods.
 

Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I hope everything works out okay!
Cavx, your problem with static can be reduced, if before removing the backing paper you spray the sheet with an antistatic spray and gently wipe of the excess. This method tends to cut down the amount of static produced when removing the paper and consequently less dust deposits on the surface.

This is an example of some optically clear Tensol laminations we produced as awards using layers 25mm and 5mm Perspex.
 

jcdrums

New Member
I hope everything works out okay!
Cavx, your problem with static can be reduced, if before removing the backing paper you spray the sheet with an antistatic spray and gently wipe of the excess. This method tends to cut down the amount of static produced when removing the paper and consequently less dust deposits on the surface.

This is an example of some optically clear Tensol laminations we produced as awards using layers 25mm and 5mm Perspex.
http://i863.photobucket.com/albums/ab196/Narcissusmodel/Tools/Laminated Perspex award/Perspex awards_zpszdysajpl.jpg
Do you have a site for your work? I'd love to get in touch about some possible work for you if it would be of any interest (and within my budget!)
 

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