SciGrip Acrylic Cement Alternative

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Elizabeth

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Mar 3, 2021, 4:28:50 PMMar 3
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Where I live, there are a lot of restrictions on who can buy the SciGrip #16. Seems like it would be possible to get some on Ebay, but we were wondering if there exists some alternative that's not a violation of the South California Air Quality Management rules.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

CrowBoxSteve

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Mar 8, 2021, 2:08:32 PMMar 8
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Hello, Elizabeth. I did a bit of research and what I found is that Sci-Grip does make a solvent cement formula that complies with SCQMD regulations. The formula is called "SciGrip 4SC" and this is the information I found on the Sci-Grip Site: https://www.scigripadhesives.com/scigrip-4sc-low-voc-acrylic-plastic-cement/

There is one big difference- the 4SC formula is one of Sci-Grip's "Water Thin" formulas; It is not a syrup like the #16 formula that we recommend. It's very thin.

For my personal acrylic projects I almost always use a "water thin" Sci-Grip cement. I like how the thin formula gets drawn into the parts via capillary action, and I like that the thin formulas set up much more quickly than the syrup formulas. The reason we recommend the syrup formula for the Crowbox is because the syrupy ones actually add a bit of material to the joints that are being cemented, which helps function as a gap filler. Handling the thick #16 cement is also more intuitive for users, since this cement can be applied directly from the tube.

You should have no trouble assembling your Crowbox with the 4SC formula but the application rules are different. You will absolutely need to use syringes OR a bottle with a syringe applicator tip. I would also recommend when you are working with the Crowbox parts that are 'pocket glued', that you inject less cement into the pockets than what I recommend in the assembly videos. In the videos I say to fill up the pockets, but that's a rule for #16 cement. Using a thinner formula like 4SC, I'd recommend you fill these pockets to half-way. 

I'd also recommend that when you are 'pocket gluing' parts that are temporarily held together with machine screws that you leave these screws slightly loose, inject the liquid cement into the pockets, then tighten the screws before you set the parts aside to dry. Leaving the screws slightly loose as you apply the cement will allow the cement to flow between the acrylic parts via capillary action, resulting in a more complete bond. Be sure to tighten the screws up after you apply cement. You don't have to be in a huge rush, but you should tighten the screws within 2-3 minutes of applying the cement.

Also, here's a tip: When you get your can of cement and remove the cap, you'll find that the can's mouth has a thick metal seal. I like to take a nail and poke a tiny hole in the very center of this metal seal. This gives you a little opening so that you can insert your applicator needle and draw up cement. This cement evaporates extremely quickly, so it helps to only make a tiny hole in the seal to minimize exposure to the air. Always replace the cap immediately after you fill your syringe or applicator bottle! 

I found several videos on YouTube where various people demonstrate how to bond acrylic with water-thin solvent cement. Here is a pretty good one:


Let us know if you have more questions.

-Steve

Elizabeth

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Apr 12, 2021, 1:39:20 AMApr 12
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Thanks Steve! This was super useful- thanks so much for the detailed response. The box has been built and is fully functional, now we just need to put it out! I'm sure we'll share as soon as we get results.

Josh Klein

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Apr 12, 2021, 4:20:42 AMApr 12
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Keep us posted, Elizabeth - excited to hear how it goes!

- J

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