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Old 09-18-2017, 01:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Lago Vista, Texas 78645
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Default Joining Acrylics

I turn a lot of acrylics. I recently purchased blanks, one of which is stars and the other is stripes. I want to "join" them to make a single stars and stripes blank. I have a relatively simple set up (lathe, band saw, disc sander, drill press. I know the key has to be to have the ends exactly square in order (for what I would think is CA) is applied so that it looks seamless. I don't have a fixture for holding a parting tool on the lathe to square the end. I do not have a fixture that will guarantee holding the blank square to the disc sander. Is there a suggested trick in making sure this works?

Thanks much for your help
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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there's a couple of different types of acrylic adhesives out there. the ones I use go by the brand name of Weld-On and are widely used by the aquarium industry. Weld-On 4 is a clear, water thin solvent cement that softens the surfaces that are to be joined. It evaporates quickly and gives fast bond strength. The other I'm familiar with is Weld-On 40 and is a two part acrylic adhesive. It's optically clear, incredibly strong but it's noxious stuff. It has a pot life of about 20 minutes. There may be other adhesives that work but the above are specifically designed for acrylic.
This is a 70" tall piece I made out of hundreds of layers of acrylic using Weld-On 4.
Don't know why my photos show up sideways.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Default Joining Acrylics

Thanks for the advice on adhesives. I am concerned on squaring up the blanks perfectly before gluing them together. I would then have a good blank to then center drill for the brass tube.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Mike,
I have done what you want to attempt. Today I use my disc sand to square the ends. However when I first tried this I used a pen blank trimming kit sold by Penn State. I clamped the blanks in the sled and used the supplied saw. I used ca to glue them together however I would recommend epoxy. After I applied the ca I clamped them together the long way and let dry for 24 hours. After you turn your blank you cannot detect that you used two blanks. Quite a few people were surprised when I told them this. I hope this helps.

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Old 09-18-2017, 06:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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If it is Plexiglas, back when I was in school in the early 1960's, we used acetone to dissolve the Plexiglas to glue it together. It resulted in a clear joint. Does anyone know if acetone will dissolve the cast resin blanks?
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I've done this as well and start by cutting each piece to length, then drill the holes for the tube. I square up the ends to be glued with a sanding disk on a face plate and transfer punch in the tailstock. I then use epoxy to both glue the tubes in and the pieces together, all at the same time. I then put a piece of parchment paper around the blank and clamp it on the ends to keep the pieces tight, the tube keeps them aligned.

One other pointer I'll give you to save you some aggravation is to make sure you trim the stars so that you have all whole stars where it meets the striped blank. It looks real bad when there is half of a star right next to a stripe, found that one out the hard way.
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