Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Adhesives for plastic models

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kimberly, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    4,039
    Blog Entries
    43
    Thanks
    1,889
    Thanked 2,369 Times in 994 Posts
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Adhesives for plastic models

    These are some of the currently the most popular solvent type adhesives for plastic models. The prices run from about $3.00 for one ounce through $8.00 for two ounces.

    Tenax 7R, Plastruct Pro-Weld, Ambroid Pro-Weld, Tamiya extra thin Cement, Testors Liquid cement.

    They all work well on polystyrene. They dissolve the plastic on both sides of the joint effectively welding the pieces together. Each has some minor advantages and disadvantages.

    On the other hand, MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone), works as well on plastic models as any of the above products. It has all the advantages and none of the disadvantages that I can see. IMHO

    The point I am trying to make here is that you can buy a quart of MEK in the paint department at any of the 'Big Box' home improvement stores, (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) for less than $8.00.

    It is probably available in any hardware store or paint store at near the same price.

    I use a very thin hypodermic needle to apply it. The type Diabetics use for their Insulin shots. They cost about 15 to 25 cents apiece at any pharmacy.

    That's cheaper than the thin hobby capillary type applicators.

    YMMV
    (The voices I hear in my head may not be real, but sometimes they come up with a good idea.)

    Have fun.

    Moose

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to MooseID For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ashland Oregon
    Posts
    4,746
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks
    4,122
    Thanked 3,926 Times in 1,884 Posts
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I totally agree with you Moose! Hobby shop cement is a big rip off. I scratch build a lot and find, once in a while, a plastic that regular cements and MEK does not react with. Then I go to the "big gun"... PVC cement. The clear stuff, you don't need the purple primer.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,679
    Blog Entries
    8
    Thanks
    1,677
    Thanked 1,355 Times in 636 Posts
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    The MSDS for most of the hobby bottled styrene cement says MEK on it, and little else. A quartor two is just about a lifetime supply!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, New Zealand
    Posts
    2,993
    Blog Entries
    17
    Thanks
    3,599
    Thanked 2,582 Times in 873 Posts
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Thanks Moose, I like the hypodermic needle idea - must give it a try. For those who haven't used it before, might I suggest that a bit of caution is needed when using MEK. For those who do decide to, make sure that you use it in a VERY WELL VENTILATED area! The smell is 'delightful' (at least to some), but it can be overpowering if used in large quantities, and the side-effects are a bit hard, as it will cause irritation to your eyes and nose. Unfortunately, it also tends burn well, so avoid naked flames and cigarettes around it. That minor detail aside, it's an excellent solvent, which literally welds the plastic together, so when the plastics are joined, that's it folks!! There is no going back...

    One can ruin a perfectly-good model when trying to reverse the process

    Aside from these aspects, it is, if used with care as Moose has said, an excellent material.
    Komata "TVR - serving the Northern Taranaki . . . "

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Tri-Cities, WA
    Posts
    1,188
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    244
    Thanked 1,780 Times in 545 Posts
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Has anyone attempted to use the MEK substitute as a plastics solvent? I've looked at Home Depot, Ace, and Lowes a couple of times over the last year or so and have not been able to find any MEK, but they do have MEK substitute. I'm guessing the California state government decided it causes cancer if you give too much of it to lab rats or something and ruined it for everyone (I'm in Washington State). Actually, MEK is pretty serious stuff and can lead to severe illness and death and so it does need to be handled carefully. Of course that does not necessarily mean that it needs to be removed from the market. Bleach can cause serious burns and even kill you if not used properly and I can buy that at the Dollar Tree. Anyway, seems like MEK is no longer available in hardware stores and I'm wondering if the "substitute" has the same effect on plastic. Thanks!
    Bronman - "Trains and Legos... you can't have too many of them."

    My Layout Build Thread - The Spokane & Eastern Washington
    - Featuring motive power by Burlington Northern, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Montana Rail Link and Amtrak in Spokane and Eastern Washington in the mid-1990's.
    _________________________________________________
    "That's what she said!" - Michael Scott, The Office

    "That's just dumb, D-U-M, dumb." - Me.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kimberly, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    4,039
    Blog Entries
    43
    Thanks
    1,889
    Thanked 2,369 Times in 994 Posts
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronman View Post
    Has anyone attempted to use the MEK substitute as a plastics solvent? I've looked at Home Depot, Ace, and Lowes a couple of times over the last year or so and have not been able to find any MEK, but they do have MEK substitute. I'm guessing the California state government decided it causes cancer if you give too much of it to lab rats or something and ruined it for everyone (I'm in Washington State). Actually, MEK is pretty serious stuff and can lead to severe illness and death and so it does need to be handled carefully. Of course that does not necessarily mean that it needs to be removed from the market. Bleach can cause serious burns and even kill you if not used properly and I can buy that at the Dollar Tree. Anyway, seems like MEK is no longer available in hardware stores and I'm wondering if the "substitute" has the same effect on plastic. Thanks!
    The MEK substitute works just as well as the original. That is what I am using right now.

    It does not dry as fast as the original allowing for a little extra time to position the pieces.

    The fumes are not as noxious the the original.
    (The voices I hear in my head may not be real, but sometimes they come up with a good idea.)

    Have fun.

    Moose

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MooseID For This Useful Post:


  9. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Tri-Cities, WA
    Posts
    1,188
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    244
    Thanked 1,780 Times in 545 Posts
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    That's very good to know!
    Bronman - "Trains and Legos... you can't have too many of them."

    My Layout Build Thread - The Spokane & Eastern Washington
    - Featuring motive power by Burlington Northern, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Montana Rail Link and Amtrak in Spokane and Eastern Washington in the mid-1990's.
    _________________________________________________
    "That's what she said!" - Michael Scott, The Office

    "That's just dumb, D-U-M, dumb." - Me.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,626
    Thanks
    2,835
    Thanked 2,022 Times in 842 Posts
    Mentioned
    41 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Just showing again how "hobby" is just as bad for prices as "wedding".

    I think plain styrene and paint thinner probably have a worse markup though.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Chicago Area, USA
    Posts
    860
    Thanks
    677
    Thanked 600 Times in 274 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    My glue usually last me for quite some time. I buy my Tamiya from eBay at about 3.00 a pop, so I usually grab 3 or more bottles and catch a break with shipping. I use a lot of Loctite CA, probably 2 bottles a year, that's where I spend the most. My crystal clear is used sparingly, once that stuff is open it's hard to keep it stored for long before it dries up. All in all, I spend maybe 15.00 a year on glue. It's really not a bank breaker.

    This is basically all I need for 99% of my plastic needs.

    glues.jpg
    C:\Users\debby\Documents\MILW_PCELogo new.jpg

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC
    Posts
    661
    Thanks
    1,042
    Thanked 572 Times in 182 Posts
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    After going through this thread, I'm wondering now if there is anything that Testors liquid cement can actually be used for?

    The bottle I currently have has zero tack, and probably just as much strength, but it was rude enough to seal up the bottle of only one use, anyway

Similar Threads

  1. Adhesives for locos
    By Smokey J in forum Steam
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 18th Mar 2013, 02:45 AM
  2. Urethane Cast plastic vs. Styrene plastic
    By rothman24 in forum Scratchbuilding & Kit Bashing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11th Jan 2013, 09:16 PM
  3. Testing Adhesives
    By musicman in forum Trackage
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 19th Mar 2010, 05:39 PM
  4. Need tips on ageing plastic models
    By ranulf in forum Modeling Techniques
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24th Feb 2006, 01:09 AM
  5. Which glue for plastic models???
    By thirdrail in forum Structures & Scenery
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2nd Oct 2005, 12:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •