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Thin Styrene Strips vs. Glue


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#1 Lunajammer

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

I'm trying to use thin plastic strips (Evergreen #110  .4mm x .5mm) for fine detailing but it disintegrates moments after glue hits it. I've used styrene glue and super glue. If the solvents are too strong for such small pieces, I would think it should melt not break. Or is the plastic too old and dry?



#2 Skip

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

Do you suspect that the Evergreen strips are old.  Why are they overly brittle?  Some of the styrene strip that I have used gets brittle the smaller it is cut.  It may be possible that you are using too much glue to the point that the solvent is melting the whole strip.  I used about the same size with pretty good results to make a grill for an SS 454 Pickup.  I found out the hard way that I was using too much solvent putting it together. 

 

I ended up using a small as in tiny hypodermic needle to squirt tiny amounts of Tenex glue. (the size that diabetic people use to inject insulin).  The other glue that I have heard used with ABS, PVC and Styrene is the universal type plumbing adhesieve for plastic plumbing.  Instead of using the huge dauber use the thread end of a really small sewing needle imbeded into a small peice of wood dowell to apply tiny amounts of adhesieve.



#3 Erik Smith

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:18 PM

What type of styrene cement?  Tamiya extra thin seems to work well for gluing on small styrene bits - I have mashed some it when clamping, but it works pretty well.



#4 Lunajammer

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:26 PM

I know the package is one of my earliest. The price tag is $1.79. I'm most frustrated trying to glue strips in a curve. They break no matter how slight the bend. If it's a matter of getting fresh strips then I guess I'm out $1.79   :lol:

 

I've used Testers liquid glue with the brush, Testers glue from the black bottle with the fine tip, and super glue. 



#5 JunkPile

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:27 PM

Tamiya extra thin works well for me too.  No clamping.  Just hold in lightly place with tip of toothpick for a few seconds then set aside to dry



#6 JunkPile

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:29 PM

My Evergreen is very flexable



#7 Casey

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

I know the package is one of my earliest. The price tag is $1.79. I'm most frustrated trying to glue strips in a curve. They break no matter how slight the bend. If it's a matter of getting fresh strips then I guess I'm out $1.79   :lol:

 

Toss 'em. Fresh/newer styrene strips, especially that thin should be able to be wrapped around a 1/8" rod without breaking...and the price has doubled since you last purchased them.  :lol:



#8 Art Anderson

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:29 AM

I know the package is one of my earliest. The price tag is $1.79. I'm most frustrated trying to glue strips in a curve. They break no matter how slight the bend. If it's a matter of getting fresh strips then I guess I'm out $1.79   :lol:

 

I've used Testers liquid glue with the brush, Testers glue from the black bottle with the fine tip, and super glue. 

 

I've got Evergreen styrene strip stock here that is a good 30 years old, and it's still as good as the day I bought it.   However, few observations if I may, from years of using thin strip styrene for body details:

 

1)  CA Glue (cyanoacrylate glue, AKA Super Glue will make a bent piece of thin styrene break almost as quick as you can say "break", for whatever reason) for that reason I try never to use CA glue for this purpose.  That said, I have a kit-bashed '25 T Touring Car (done from two AMT '25 T roadsters with a good bit of catalyzed putty work to blend the two body shells together, on which I had to add new raised moldings to the extra two doors, as well as replace the kit moldings on the forward half of the body where I used putty to blend the surfaces of both roadster bodies together.  For the moldings, I was using .020" Evergreen rod stock, shaved to half-round, and given the catalyzed putty surface, CA was the only choice.  I was able to pre-bend the home-made half-round, and by CAREFULLY using the tiniest bit of CA on the flat sides, got those to lay down without any breakage (needed a couple of good stiff drinks afterward though!)

 

2)  Both types of Testors liquid cements have a pair of characteristics that I do not like at all.  First, they are a slow drying solvent, which allows the liquid to stay wet long enough to dissolve thin styrene badly.  Second, both liquid cements still use a bit of cellulose thickener in them, which just exacerbates the problem.

 

3)  Solution.  Flexi-File offers a really great "touch & flow" applicator for the really thin, fast drying solvent liquid cements (Flexi-File packs a bottle of this type of liquid with the applicator, but it works equally well with Weld-On #3, Ambroid liquid cement as well.  If you cannot find the Flexi-File applicator, try Hobby Lobby, they sell the item right there in their model car aisle, and they are available online as well. If that is not an option, a really fine, long-bristle artist's paintbrush, called a "liner" also works great--but go for one of the types of liquid glues I mentioned (Weld-On #3 is what acrylic plastic fabricators use to "weld" clear acrylic together, and it works great on styrene as well.  The secret here is to hold the styrene strip stock to the surface you want to glue it to, and simply touch that applicator or liner paintbrush with the liquid cement to the seam, it will flow instantly into the seam by capillary action, and in the bargain, it evaporates VERY rapidly, before it can dissolve the strip styrene (in fact this type of liquid cement dries so fast, that you cannot wet one surface, then the other one, stick the two together before it dries!).

 

Hope this helps, if you need more information, please post back or PM me!

 

Art


Edited by Art Anderson, 10 January 2013 - 04:31 AM.


#9 Tom Geiger

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:00 AM

I've been using Zap A Gap for all my work and have never had it attack any plastic. And I use a lot of Evergreen strip. I've never heard of Evergreen going bad!



#10 Lunajammer

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:51 AM

This is all valuable feedback. Thanks guys.

 

I understand everything you said Art. I have a flattened hypo needle I've used before to apply paint in the same manner you describe. Worked okay but the heat from my hand would expand the liquid out when I didn't want it, then leave air at the tip when I dab off the extra so it wouldn't draw into the plastic. Haven't tried the Flexi-File but I've seen them.

 

I've remained suspect of the plastic itself because they're the only strips I have that's problematic and I don't ever recall having that trouble in years past. My other old plastic seems fine. However, I've never tried glues other than Testers too so that might be worth exploring.



#11 Tom Geiger

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

 

 However, I've never tried glues other than Testers too so that might be worth exploring.

 

Yes Mike, it's the glue!  Try a CA type glue. There are a few brands / types.  I use the Zap A Gap for two reasons. It's got a bit of consistency to it and isn't like water like a lot of the CA glues. Second, it is slow drying so you have some time to move things around to fit or look right. and Third it sands about the same rate as plastic so it's easy to sand off residue as you work with Evergreen.  Good luck!

 

Also- get some Flexi-Files.  They make a world of difference. I've actually got three frames I keep with different grades of sand paper on them, rather than have to switch paper on one. They're cheap enough!


Edited by Tom Geiger, 10 January 2013 - 09:01 AM.