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Lexan for a Thein

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Forum topic by bbc557ci posted 556 days ago 1204 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bbc557ci

541 posts in 660 days


556 days ago

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

-- Bill, central NY...no where near the "big apple"


18 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1618 posts in 1080 days


#1 posted 556 days ago

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.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2235 days


#2 posted 556 days ago

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

1371 posts in 947 days


#3 posted 556 days ago

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

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Milo's profile

Milo

849 posts in 1905 days


#4 posted 556 days ago

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

REO

577 posts in 660 days


#5 posted 556 days ago

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

bbc557ci

541 posts in 660 days


#6 posted 556 days ago

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 NY...no where near the "big apple"

View crank49's profile

crank49

3325 posts in 1557 days


#7 posted 556 days ago

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,

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6910 posts in 1500 days


#8 posted 556 days ago

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

REO

577 posts in 660 days


#9 posted 556 days ago

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

Grandpa

3034 posts in 1262 days


#10 posted 556 days ago

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/43410

Talk to this post about static and such

View JR45's profile

JR45

538 posts in 899 days


#11 posted 556 days ago

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!
Jim

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

View crank49's profile

crank49

3325 posts in 1557 days


#12 posted 556 days ago

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?

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View JR45's profile

JR45

538 posts in 899 days


#13 posted 556 days ago

You could be right there?
Jim

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

View 58j35bonanza's profile

58j35bonanza

390 posts in 1279 days


#14 posted 554 days ago

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

REO

577 posts in 660 days


#15 posted 554 days ago

Bonanza, I like the plane! try this one. www.ionaircraft.com/2011-a.jpg . 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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