Which solvent to use with acrylic patch

Chihuahua6

Premium Member
I think I'm finally ready to tackle my new project since we decided we are not going to move for some time. I am repairing the top seam that came apart from the rear panel. I was advised to use Weld-on 4 of the crack is fairly flat. If there are any irregularities use WO 40 or 16 if that isn't available. I think the crack is fairly flat but I need to inspect it further.

My question is what solvent do I use to put the patch on? I am going to run some 1/2" X 5" acrylic across the length of the tank at the seam once I repair the seam. I'm not sure which solvent to use and how to glue it down to the back panel.
 

scooternerd

New member
wo on 16 will work for the crack and the patch piece just clamp it down overnight. i have built entire tanks using only wo 16. hope that helps
 

Chihuahua6

Premium Member
When I apply the strip across the back do I cover it with solvent, slap it on and clamp it? Do I just use a light coating of the solvent?
Thanks.
 

hebygb

New member
IMO, you should lay the patch over the crack and then use acrylic solvent (the thin stuff) and just apply it to the edge (where patch and back meet) The solvent will be drawn in between the patch and the back. you should not clamp. let the solvent do its magic and weld the two surfaces together. clamping may squeeze too much slvent out and cause a weak weld.

Best of luck in your DIY
 

Chihuahua6

Premium Member
Thanks hebygb. So basically you think I should let the solvent be drawn into the patch? If I don't clamp it then won't I have to flip the tank onto its side so the patch doesn't slide down?I was hoping to keep it upright and clamp it loosely. Will the solvent still be drawn in 5" to the bottom of the patch?

Are you a tank builder?
 

Acrylics

Active member
Hi Amanda,

Is it a crack in the acrylic or a split in the seam? How large or long is the crack/split?
In one part of your post, you mentioned a crack, in another you mentioned you will run gussets once you repair the seam. Pls forgive me if I misread but the details matter :)

James
 

Chihuahua6

Premium Member
It's a split seam. When I referred to it as a crack I was referring to the split seam. The split was about two feet across the back but now it's most of the back. I imagine the split continued while the tank was in transit. My husband drove it down from NY in his truck but secured it and had it on insulation foam.

It is separated where the blue acrylic meets the clear top. The clear side seams appear to be solid with no stress fractures, air pockets or anything. Does the blue color have anything to do with it?

This tank was running for about five years if I remember correctly. The split happened when it was moved after it was taken down. A new tank is just not an option for me so I need to try and do whatever I can to salvage this otherwise beautiful tank.
 

Acrylics

Active member
Hi Amanda,

The blue might have something to do with the issue. Blue can be quite expensive so some shops will use lower grade acrylic which can be tough to glue and get strong joints.

I'd have to say I'm concerned that the joint continued to separate, IME this should not happen and is not a good sign ('course this doesn't *necessarily* mean anything but...)

Simply adding solvent or WO16 is probably useless as strength goes but you should do the best you can with it. I personally wouldn't bother with clamps unless you use them *very* lightly, not enough to squeeze the solvent out but enough to add a little pressure and keep the parts from separating again. Apply the solvent with the tank upside-down and hopefully from the inside (maybe span the tank between to tables or something similar)
Adding gussets is something that must be done IMO, I doubt you'll have much choice but to use WO4 for this. Just make sure the area is very clean prior to gluing them in.

HTH,
James
 

Chihuahua6

Premium Member
First thanks for your help James. I too am concerned that it seperated more. I worry about the sides. Fortunately they have no signs of weakening.

Are you saying I should gusset the back and the inside as well? I was just going to do the back with the 5" wide piece of acrylic I have. I could cut it in half and put one piece on each side if that's what you recommend. I think the piece is wider than 5" actually. I haven't looked at it in months so I forgot what I ordered.

Should I apply the solvent to the edge where the gusset meets the tank and let the solvent be drawn in the way hebygb explained?

Should I order Weld-On 16 and Weld-On 4 or could I use #4 for the seam and the patch?

Thanks again.
 

Acrylics

Active member
Hi Amanda,

Personally, I don't like 16 for anything but if you're not comfortable/experienced in applying 4 over larger surface areas, then you perhaps should use 16 if you can't get 40.

The patch on the back is going to be the weak link. You're a different plastic onto an irregular surface and one of the surfaces you are gluing to is questionable (at least in my mind) so yes - I think gussets on the inside are in order.

Hebygb has it correctly if you use the 4. You will however, have a hard time getting the solvent to "flow" evenly throughout the patch. IMO it's just not that good of a solvent and with an inexperienced user... hence the interior gussets. BTW, not meant as a knock against you by any means :)

HTH,
James
 

Chihuahua6

Premium Member
I'll use Weld-on 4 since that's what you recommend. I'll practice on some scrap pieces first. I'm fairly good at tedious work with my hands so hopefully I'll get the feel for it.

Oh I didn't take that as a knock at all. I am an inexperienced user. No offence taken.

Thanks again to everyone for your help.
 
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