Sunday, May 17, 2015

How to Glue Acrylic - Solvent Welding - DYI Bookends

Solvent welding is is the act of using a compound to join two pieces of acrylic together. It is really the coolest thing! You can create all sorts of things with it, including these beautiful bookends!

I added my geode bookends for embellishment, but you can add anything you like, including coral or even spray painted toys.

The first thing you need to do is pick up a piece of plexiglass. I talked about where I like to buy it in this post, where I talk about how to bend acrylic. If you don't have a saw, the same company can even cut it for you! It will just costs little more than using a piece from the scrap bin. I use a thicker piece for these. I think it was 1/2 inch thick. I probably used $1-$2 worth of plexiglass, because the thicker stuff is more expensive.

To glue the pieces together, you will need:

To polish the edges, you will need:

My husband already had one and I didn't know, so I bought one. You never know what you might have lying around. Map gas burns at a higher temperature than regular propane, and is the key to beautifully polished edges on your acrylics.

We got ours from the scrap bin, and my dad cut it down for me on his table saw. You can use any saw. Just make sure to go slow, and use a fine blade.

Once you cut your pieces of acrylic, don't forget to sand the edges! Remember from my last post, that you want to sand all your edges with moistened sand paper?

 The next thing you need to do is cut the paper covering off where you plan to join the pieces. We used a razor blade.

Set the pieces where you want them to be, and add the Acrylic Adhesive. My dad is a pro at this, and he can show you!

It takes a couple minutes for the bond to be completely strong. Here are our results.

It's kind of like instant gratification, and the acrylic bonds are awesome!

The next thing you need to do is flame polish the edges with your bernzomatic torch. This step will make all the difference! I don't have a clip or picture of doing this, because I did it in the rain, but a good video on how to flame polish can be found HERE. I tried to do it with nail polish, and it did alright, but didn't work nearly as well as flame polishing. Plus, I felt way cooler holding a torch than a bottle of nail polish.

I LOVE my bookends, and will be sharing more acrylic projects in the next few days!

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


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