Lexan for a Thein

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Forum topic by bbc557ci posted 01-03-2013 02:46 PM 1709 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2073 days

01-03-2013 02:46 PM

I picked up a piece of Lexan at the box store last night. It measures 30×28 inches. Plan is to cut +,- 8 inch strips to use around the outside of the thein I plan to build, as I thought it would be cool to see what’s going on while it’s in use.

Because of the dimensions of the piece of lexan, there will be a couple of “butt joints. I’m thinking of bringing the ends together, and using a lexan plate at the joints, and using 1/8th inch bolts and silicone to hold the plates in place at the butt joints.

Now my question….. what is the best type of drill to use on lexan that is about 1/8th in. thick?

Thanks in advance :o)


-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

18 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2492 days

#1 posted 01-03-2013 02:52 PM

Just a regular twist drill will do fine, I used that on a Lexan blade guard I made, and then tapped the holes. You will want to drill slowly to avoid melting the stuff.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3647 days

#2 posted 01-03-2013 02:53 PM

regular split drill or spur bit will work just fine. make sure you have a backer board behind the lexan to avoid splitting it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2360 days

#3 posted 01-03-2013 03:06 PM

You can weld the lexan with methyl ethyl ketone and avoid the bolts.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3318 days

#4 posted 01-03-2013 03:25 PM

If you make a clear top Thein you’ve GOT to write it up and show pictures, ok?

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2073 days

#5 posted 01-03-2013 03:27 PM

I don’t believe MEK works for bonding use Methylene chloride. |Lexan can be cold formed without breaking. one can drive a nail through it without it breaking. any type of drill can be used even a nail. when you drill it feed rather quickly to avoid heat and melting. instead fo nuts you can thread the lexan and it will hold a thread to a point. Unlike plexiglass great care must be taken when heating to form or you will expand bubbles of trapped gasses and not be able to retain its optical clarity.

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2073 days

#6 posted 01-03-2013 03:30 PM

Clint – where would I get the methyl ethyl ketone….is it the same stuff used to join PVC ?

Milo – Would be cool to do a clear top, but the clear lexan would be a bit too pricey for me. Maybe I could use plain old plexiglass for the top??

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2970 days

#7 posted 01-03-2013 04:25 PM

Check plastic supply houses. They make solvent cement for welding Lexan. It’s the industrial equivalent of model airplane cement. Works great and not all that expensive.

I ordered some Lexan and Lexan solvent cement from US Plastic Corp. a
while ago. They sent me methylene chloride,

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2913 days

#8 posted 01-03-2013 05:26 PM

Won’t the Lexan create a large “static cling” surface and block the desired view, besides giving off one heck of a ‘Zap’?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2073 days

#9 posted 01-03-2013 05:32 PM

just another point on gluing or welding. when the solvent is applied the parts are already loosely assembled. you don’t flood the two pieces and then try to get them together before the solvent flashes. a PE applicator or a glass hypodermic work the best to apply the solvent at the joint line and capillary action pulls the solvent into the joint.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2674 days

#10 posted 01-03-2013 05:44 PM

Talk to this post about static and such

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1038 posts in 2311 days

#11 posted 01-03-2013 05:47 PM

I understand that there can be some nasty side effects when using Methylene Chloride that you might want to check on before you go ahead. Caveat emptor!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2970 days

#12 posted 01-03-2013 06:36 PM

Side effects from Methylene Chloride? None that I am aware of. . other than maybe growing a second head or short term/long term memory loss, or . . . what were we talking about?

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1038 posts in 2311 days

#13 posted 01-03-2013 06:40 PM

You could be right there?

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View 58j35bonanza's profile


395 posts in 2691 days

#14 posted 01-05-2013 12:49 AM

The key to drilling lexan, is to use a very dull drill bit, with a high speed drill, and let it melt its way thru.
I personally drilled 256 holes in a Christian Eagle canopy and did not crack it.
I was told how to do this by an original Christian Eagle employee.
It is a very nice airplane.
Hope this helps you.

-- Chuck

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2073 days

#15 posted 01-05-2013 08:29 PM

Bonanza, I like the plane! try this one. . I believe the canopy for the Eagle was plexiglass not lexan. that is the practice for plexiglass so that a chip doesn’t propagate when the drill exits the back side. Although lexan is much more durable than plexiglass it has a softer surface and scratches are next to impossible to remove. It is pretty hard to get lexan to crack. the preferred method for forming is cold. 1/4” will stop a 22 cal bullet. take a vise grip to the corner and bend it over on itself. TOUGH STUFF!

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