Gluing Acrylic - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-19-2012, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Gluing Acrylic

I have a project I would like to try but I would want a clear glue.
A finished piece of wood (sanded) would be placed over an acrylic tube about 3/4" long. Will CA glue the wood to the acrylic without melting/fogging the acrylic? Is some other type of glue better.
Items will be about 2.5" OD finished diameter using 2" OD acrylic tubing.
What I would want to achieve is looking at the inside you would see the wood grain with little distoration of the acrylic/glue.

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post #2 of 6 Old 11-19-2012, 01:41 PM
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Sounds like a really interesting project, but I think you are the trail-blazer here ...

FWIW, if there are likely to be shear forces at play, I don't think CA is the best glue for the job, it gets brittle and fractures.

Epoxy is more flexible, but might be unsightly. I've seen it through some semi-transparent acrylic pen barrels, even though I painted the brass tubes the glue itself looked ugly. Now I try to paint the inside of the hole I drilled for the tube as well as painting the tube itself.

Another possibility -- you might be able to use clear casting resin (but you'll have to figure out how to ensure there are no bubbles, kind of like stabilizing a burl). In fact, you might not need an acrylic tube at all if you do it this way.

Good luck -- let us know how it works out.

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post #3 of 6 Old 11-19-2012, 02:09 PM
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CA glue will more than likely not only fog up the plastic, but will likely cause the plastic to fracture from residual molding stresses.

I recommend a clear silicone caulk and, if possible, cure it under vacuum to remove air bubbles. If vacuum is unavailable, a clear silicone casting resin so that the air can settle out (note that resin shrinkage may be an issue).

Depending on the effort you have put in to this point, I also strongly recommend a test piece as getting the air bubbles out can be tricky.

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post #4 of 6 Old 11-19-2012, 02:47 PM
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CA glue (acetone based) will cause a problem with plastics. There is an instant glue called Plastic Surgery. I've used it on some plastics and it created no destruction to the plastic. It is clear, but I've never used it on clear cast or extruded plastics to know whether it stays clear. It should adhere to wood, but I can't qualify that.

GE silicone II works very well on plastics, but it doesn't dry absolutely clear. It's obvious on aquarium assemblies. It can be a PITA to clean up. It needs some thickness to create a bond. So, whether that thickness will offer distortion, is very likely.

I've used http://www.amazon.com/Henkel-Polyseamseal-All-Purpose-Cartridge-DM705042/dp/B0002YV7ZG for various projects, mainly for installing a watertight seal with a mica backsplash or granite splash to a countertop. It dries clear, and when emitted from a caulking tube does't create bubbles if I remember correctly. It needs very little to create a bond and cleans up with water. I would try a sample before the final item.





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post #5 of 6 Old 11-20-2012, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. I will try some various test pieces and see how it goes.

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-20-2012, 12:06 PM
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I think we are all kind of guessing to some extent but based on our own experiences. CA is definitly a no/no. Too brittle and can cause some plastics to fracture.
I've used epoxy with some success. You have to experiment because some epoxy turns yellow when mixed with the hardener. Some will clear up and some won't. Epoxy in general will turn yellow when exposed to UV light. It might take years so it's hard to run a simple test. Also not every epoxy sticks to every plastic. I've had some really dramatic failures. Epoxy works better when you have a textured surface for it to hold onto but then that rules out the clear part. I've had good luck on many plastics with West system and System 3 mirror coat. However I've also had it peel right off with just a fingernail so the bond was not good. Again, works great on some plastics and sucks on others so testing is important.
Clear silicone Caulking is not totally clear and stays flexible. Great for what I use it for which is gluing mirrors to wood. Not so good for what you want to use it for.
I have not tried using clear casting resin as a glue. I have poured quite a bit of it and it seems to stick to wood pretty well but I sure can't vouch for it's bond to plastic. I will be working with some here after Thanksgiving. I have to run a test to check it's carveability. While I'm doing that I'll run a test by gluing 2 pieces of acrylic together.
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