I may or may not do much in-depth coverage of this build…I don’t have a lot of pictures for it. But I wanted to share this little bit of advice that I wish I had found when I needed it.
I had a piece of old Lexan left to me by the previous owner of my house. It’s almost perfectly sized to become the walls of a Thien tophat seperator, and it’s 3/8” thick. BUT it’s been sitting in the garage for who knows how long, and the backing paper on both sides had rotted in place. It’s the worst kind of stuck-on paper where the paper peels off in 1/2 layers leaving a fuzzy, solid sheet of glue behind over The Entire Piece of Lexan. Apparently, this is common (even on relatively new sheets).
The Internet Knowledge base suggested that petroleum-based products were a terrible idea (Goo-Gone, Goof Off, WD40, etc), and heat would be tricky on polycarbonate. I personally found alcohol to be only marginally effective against the glue, and after an hour’s worth of elbow grease and about 5” of progress, I was ready to just go buy a new piece of polycarbonate. So I checked the price.
3/8” x 48” x 48” Lexan™ Polycarbonate Sheet $262.24/Sheet
Sooooooooo I decided maybe I could work with what I had.
In a fit of frustration, I left the piece sitting in a trashcan full of water for the night. And lo! the angel of the workshop smiled on my frustrated act of despair! The next morning, that glue just gave up and let go at the gentle persuasion of a soft sponge. So the next night, I filled a bigger trash can. (that lovely clean end is the bit that I left soaking the night before)
I had to work one half of the sheet at a time, and it still took a lot of soaking, but I’ll take soaking over scrubbing any day!
Ok, so what I learned:
- Soak old Lexan in plain old water to loosen the glue.
- Use a soft sponge to remove the residue.
- And DO NOT scrub with one of those green scrub pads. Maybe this is common knowledge…I certainly didn’t know it. And now my hard-fought-for Lexan is cloudy in the middle >:/ It’s fine. I’m over it. I’m using it as-is.
And that’s it! Good luck, anyone trying to use old Lexan. If you were lucky enough to have gotten it for free, that’s awesome! But if you had to buy it, hopefully these tips will help you keep from going crazy over it or scuffing it up like I did.