Topics

MEK Substitute and current plastic cements

Denny Anspach
 

I am on the very edge of using up the last drops of my Tenax and Ambroid liquid plastic cements, and I was jolted this morning when my reliable ACE Hardware store informed me that they can no longer carry my otherwise usual MEK (and this is IOWA, not California). I do have some Testors (2-3 years old), but at least the bottle that I have seems to take forever or…. not at all to set up.

ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be, and I am loathe to buy a quart of something that may not at all work. What are other listers’ experiences these days?

Excuse the cross-listing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA

Pierre Oliver
 

Contact your local plastics supplier
MEK is used by the pint for plexiglas joinery
Pierre Oliver
www.elgincarshops.com
www.yarmouthmodelworks.com

On Aug 20, 2019, at 9:55 AM, Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:

I am on the very edge of using up the last drops of my Tenax and Ambroid liquid plastic cements, and I was jolted this morning when my reliable ACE Hardware store informed me that they can no longer carry my otherwise usual MEK (and this is IOWA, not California). I do have some Testors (2-3 years old), but at least the bottle that I have seems to take forever or…. not at all to set up.

ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be, and I am loathe to buy a quart of something that may not at all work. What are other listers’ experiences these days?

Excuse the cross-listing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA



Jon Miller
 

On 8/20/2019 6:55 AM, Denny Anspach wrote:
ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be

    It does not work.  They had some (long time ago) in my local HD (CA) and I bought a small amount.  It runs off styrene like water.  I emailed the manufacture about that.  I notice HD does not carry the substitute anymore.

    It was so different I suspect they got a lot of complaints as it was not a substitute.

    Best bet get some from another state or go to a paint shop that may carry it.  I would consider ACE to be the same as a big box store (i.e. HD).

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, 
SPROG, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS

Nelson Moyer
 

I bought a quart of MEK at Menards about two years ago, but I haven't look for it since as a quart goes a long way. Tenax is methylene chloride, and I found an online chemical supply company that will sell 500 ml bottles of methylene chloride.

https://www.carolina.com/catalog/detail.jsp?prodId=875970&s_cid=ppc_ms_products&scid=scbplp875970&sc_intid=875970&msclkid=4278d12ae0331a02f9698c76e90512b2&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=SC%20Shopping&utm_term=4577541784564665&utm_content=All%20Products

The web site suggests ethyl acetate as a green substitute, but I have no experience with ethyl acetate as a styrene cement. You might also look for MEK at a full service paint store.

Nelson Moyer
Iowa City, IA

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Denny Anspach
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 8:55 AM
To: RealSteamEraFreightCarList <RealSTMFC@groups.io>; Passenger Car List <passengercarlist@groups.io>
Subject: [RealSTMFC] MEK Substitute and current plastic cements

I am on the very edge of using up the last drops of my Tenax and Ambroid liquid plastic cements, and I was jolted this morning when my reliable ACE Hardware store informed me that they can no longer carry my otherwise usual MEK (and this is IOWA, not California). I do have some Testors (2-3 years old), but at least the bottle that I have seems to take forever or…. not at all to set up.

ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be, and I am loathe to buy a quart of something that may not at all work. What are other listers’ experiences these days?

Excuse the cross-listing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA

Ted Schnepf
 

Hi Denny,

Scale Coat , the paint people have produced a new solvent that works like Tenax or the old pro weld.  Same size bottle.  Check out a local hobby shop, or Scale Coat directly, as can no longer send through the mail.

Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120


847=697-5353


On Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 08:55:29 AM CDT, Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:


I am on the very edge of using up the last drops of my Tenax and Ambroid liquid plastic cements, and I was jolted this morning when my reliable ACE Hardware store informed me that they can no longer carry my otherwise usual MEK (and this is IOWA, not California). I do have some Testors  (2-3 years old), but at least the bottle that I have seems to take forever or…. not at all to set up.

ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be, and I am loathe to buy a quart of something that may not at all work.  What are other listers’ experiences these days?

Excuse the cross-listing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA


Jon Miller
 

On 8/20/2019 7:01 AM, Pierre Oliver wrote:
MEK is used by the pint for plexiglas joinery 

    I've never had any luck using MEK to join Plexiglas.  I use a acrylics cement from TAP plastic.  The can says Dichloromethane contains;

Methylene chloride
Trichloroethylene
Methyl Methacrylate Monomer

    Anyone know a chemist?:-D


-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, 
SPROG, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS

Matt Goodman
 

There was some discussion about MEK and methylene chloride replacements (as well as other sources for the latter) on the MRH site a few months back. Like all threads, it wanders a bit, but the proponent’s descriptions for the replacements is on this page:


I haven’t used either replacement, so can’t personally comment. 

Matt Goodman
Columbus, Ohio

Sent from my mobile

On Aug 20, 2019, at 11:07 AM, Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:

I bought a quart of MEK at Menards about two years ago, but I haven't look for it since as a quart goes a long way. Tenax is methylene chloride, and I found an online chemical supply company that will sell 500 ml bottles of methylene chloride.

https://www.carolina.com/catalog/detail.jsp?prodId=875970&s_cid=ppc_ms_products&scid=scbplp875970&sc_intid=875970&msclkid=4278d12ae0331a02f9698c76e90512b2&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=SC%20Shopping&utm_term=4577541784564665&utm_content=All%20Products

The web site suggests ethyl acetate as a green substitute, but I have no experience with ethyl acetate as a styrene cement. You might also look for MEK at a full service paint store.

Nelson Moyer
Iowa City, IA

-----Original Message-----
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Denny Anspach
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 8:55 AM
To: RealSteamEraFreightCarList <RealSTMFC@groups.io>; Passenger Car List <passengercarlist@groups.io>
Subject: [RealSTMFC] MEK Substitute and current plastic cements

I am on the very edge of using up the last drops of my Tenax and Ambroid liquid plastic cements, and I was jolted this morning when my reliable ACE Hardware store informed me that they can no longer carry my otherwise usual MEK (and this is IOWA, not California). I do have some Testors  (2-3 years old), but at least the bottle that I have seems to take forever or…. not at all to set up.

ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be, and I am loathe to buy a quart of something that may not at all work.  What are other listers’ experiences these days?

Excuse the cross-listing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA







Drew M.
 

Hi Denny,
   I have used the Ace MEK substitute. It works just as well as MEK but evaporates just a bit slower. Any joint made is just as strong. The only difference I noticed is the smell - MEK substitute is a bit more of a bitter smell.

Regards,
Drew Marshall in Philly, PA

Modeling the pre-Depression years.

Sent from TypeApp

On Aug 20, 2019, at 09:55, Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:
I am on the very edge of using up the last drops of my Tenax and Ambroid liquid plastic cements, and I was jolted this morning when my reliable ACE Hardware store informed me that they can no longer carry my otherwise usual MEK (and this is IOWA, not California). I do have some Testors  (2-3 years old), but at least the bottle that I have seems to take forever or…. not at all to set up. 

ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be, and I am loathe to buy a quart of something that may not at all work. What are other listers’ experiences these days?

Excuse the cross-listing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA




Gene Deimling
 

I have been using Tamiya Extra Thin Cement with excellent results. It is widely available in the US even in California. It works on styrene but not ABS.
Gene Deimling

Curt Fortenberry
 


Have you tried Tamiya thin?  It's my go to cement anymore.  I have MEK as well. 

Curt Fortenberry

Jim Betz
 

Denny,
  You might try a boat shop (such as West Marine), a plastics shop (such as
Tap Plastics), or a paint shop (especially one that supplies paint to 
commercial painters doing car/boat restorations).  Ace or other "retail
shops" are unlikely to want to bother with MEK (too few sales to justify
having it on the shelves/dealing with the 'special' shipping).

  MEK can no longer be mailed and shipping it in small quantities is
essentially unrealistically expensive.  California state regulations are
more restrictive on all hazardous products than just about anywhere
in the country ... but you might find it in Iowa ("Eye-Oh-Way") if you
look somewhere other than an Ace.
  Handling/using MEK is not to be taken lightly and proper
ventilation is not just recommended it is required. 

  Personally, I'm still working thru my stock of Tenax and am
unlikely to ever consider MEK. 

    - Jim B. (who found MEK listed as in stock in a West Marine in Burlington, Wa.)

Tony Thompson
 

      We have discussed on this list before, the issues around changing environmental regulations. Most of things we THINK are banned, aren't. But there is a lot more paperwork for handling some of it, and chain stores understandably don't want to be bothered. Lead sheet is one, though roofer's stores still sell it freely in California. It is pretty hard to find some solvents in California today, including MEK, but professional painter's supply houses have it, along with places like boat shops or plastics stores. Or at least they did two years ago, when I checked around to see.
       Most of these rules have arisen because of misuse of these materials, and probably rightly so. But it can be inconvenient for hobbyists, who generally use pretty small amounts of these materials.

Tony Thompson



Scott H. Haycock
 

In My area, You can get it from Sherwin-Williams Paint stores.

Scott Haycock
Modeling Tarheel country in the Land of Enchantment

On August 20, 2019 at 7:55 AM Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:


I am on the very edge of using up the last drops of my Tenax and Ambroid liquid plastic cements, and I was jolted this morning when my reliable ACE Hardware store informed me that they can no longer carry my otherwise usual MEK (and this is IOWA, not California). I do have some Testors (2-3 years old), but at least the bottle that I have seems to take forever or…. not at all to set up.

ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be, and I am loathe to buy a quart of something that may not at all work. What are other listers’ experiences these days?

Excuse the cross-listing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA



Gary Ray
 

What are you wanting to know from a chemist?  I’m currently visiting my daughter who has a degree in organic chemistry.

Gary Ray

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jon Miller
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:14 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] MEK Substitute and current plastic cements

 

On 8/20/2019 7:01 AM, Pierre Oliver wrote:

MEK is used by the pint for plexiglas joinery 

    I've never had any luck using MEK to join Plexiglas.  I use a acrylics cement from TAP plastic.  The can says Dichloromethane contains;

Methylene chloride
Trichloroethylene
Methyl Methacrylate Monomer

    Anyone know a chemist?:-D

 

-- 
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax  Chief/Zephyr systems, 
SPROG, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Virus-free. www.avast.com

Donald B. Valentine
 

Jon Miller wrote:

 I've never had any luck using MEK to join Plexiglas.  I use a acrylics cement from TAP plastic.  The can says Dichloromethane contains; Methylene chloride
Trichloroethylene
Methyl Methacrylate Monomer
    Anyone know a chemist?:


    Yes, as a matter of fact. Noted New Haven modeler Bill Aldrich has a doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry and a second one in Metallurgy. Since we speak three or four tims a week I will ask him.

Cordially, Don Valentine



Tim O'Connor
 

Denny

Tenax is dichloromethane (aka methylene chloride). I bought a QUART on Amazon.

MEK is methylethylketone, or 2-butanone. I have a quart of that too. :-)

Tim O'

===========================

On 8/20/2019 9:55 AM, Denny Anspach wrote:
I am on the very edge of using up the last drops of my Tenax and Ambroid liquid plastic cements, and I was jolted this morning when my reliable ACE Hardware store informed me that they can no longer carry my otherwise usual MEK (and this is IOWA, not California). I do have some Testors (2-3 years old), but at least the bottle that I have seems to take forever or…. not at all to set up.

ACE does carry MEK Substitute (clearly so identified), but I have no idea what it is or what it might be, and I am loathe to buy a quart of something that may not at all work. What are other listers’ experiences these days?

Excuse the cross-listing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA
--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*

Bill Welch
 
Edited

I use Tamiya Extra Thin when I want quicker results than Testers. otherwise Testers for it slowness, as when I am harvesting and gluing down rivets/bolt heads. I have one of the older squat Testers bottles that I refill while the Tamiya bottle is also squat and thus less prone to getting tipped.

There has been a shortage of the Tamiya product so I bought two bottle at the C'ville RPM and illegally secured one each in my sneakers in my suitcase. Bag was searched but the Tamiya made it through. The Tamiya brush is nice and small and telescopes to reach the bottom when necessary.

Bill Welch

Donald B. Valentine
 

    OK folks, Bill Aldrich, whom as I mentioned has a doctorate Inorgamic Chemistry, kicked this cement business
around for about 45 minutes. For small plastic parts/pieces and such Bill uses ACC for almost everything. For other
things he uses acetone and keeps it in a bottle with a cork or rubber stopper to seal it tightly and not lose it from
evaporation. Pierre may not like this but Bill does NOT recommend MEK for plexiglass stating that it creates a weak
joint at best on all but very small pieces. He also uses ACC when joining sheet material and notes that cements
that actually dissolve sheet material to join them cause a warpage problem that may not show up for a year or more.
This is because even if the sheets being joined are of the same material all too often each sheet with cure at a different
rate. Since there is shrinkage involved in the curing a different rate in each sheet will cause warping. Thus he uses the
ACC for sheets as well as all small parts. He did note that MEK or trichloroethylene can be used but doesn't particularly
recommend them.

    Ambroid has been mentioned in several posts in this thread. Is it no longer available? Last I knew some ten years ago
a fellow in his mid-30's had purchased the line and moved it to Springfield, VT. I met him at some show or meet and he
was offering the standard old Ambroid cement in a tube and several new varieties in bottles. Is none of this available now?
Tenax has also been mentioned. In my experience it was never more than worthless. I was never able to join anything with
it and gave up with thje first bottle.

Hope this informaiton is helpful, Don Valentine

Denny Anspach
 

After a determined try with seven paint suppliers in this region, this was my result: Five had in hand or would only order MEK substitute. One had MEK in gallons @$49.00. One (Menard’s) had a deep shelf of MEK quarts @$9.50. The 20 miles drive to secure the latter was leavened completely by a nearby stunningly-delicious(!) supper of lengua, onions and cilantro (in Iowa, no less!).

I thank all of those who have divulged the chemical formulations. This kind of information will almost certainly be more and more useful for many in this hobby.

I am a big fan of Tamiya products, and I am surely going to try their thin cement. I have a can of their new-to-me semi-gloss clear coating that I am looking to for the many finishes that demand something more than dead flat, but not anywhere near a reflective gloss.

Denny


Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA

Andy Carlson
 

Don, I can surmise that your chemist friend has never built styrene single sheathed patterns, at least not with ACC.

Years ago Al Armitage recommended MEK for styrene fabrication for multiple reasons. Not lost on me was his mentioning MEK is 100% evaporative--that is, every bit of MEK we use will dissipate away to nothingness. You may wonder why this is important; and it is to prevent sometime reactions of residual solvent with RTV mold material. The gentleman who mentored me on mold making and casting started out with model pattern making using Testors liquid cement and many of his early molds had problems curing completely. This was prevented with the switch to MEK.

I have evolved beyond being struck with warpage years ago. Laminating 0.005" styrene plates to a thicker styrene substrate caused lots of warping. That has been solved with a glueing technique I have shared with this group a few times over the years.

Regards to everyone!
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

On Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 6:09:33 AM PDT, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io <riverman_vt@...> wrote:


    OK folks, Bill Aldrich, whom as I mentioned has a doctorate Inorgamic Chemistry, kicked this cement business
around for about 45 minutes. For small plastic parts/pieces and such Bill uses ACC for almost everything. For other
things he uses acetone and keeps it in a bottle with a cork or rubber stopper to seal it tightly and not lose it from
evaporation.......He also uses ACC when joining sheet material and notes that cements
that actually dissolve sheet material to join them cause a warpage problem that may not show up for a year or more.
This is because even if the sheets being joined are of the same material all too often each sheet with cure at a different
rate. Since there is shrinkage involved in the curing a different rate in each sheet will cause warping. Thus he uses the
ACC for sheets as well as all small parts. He did note that MEK or trichloroethylene can be used but doesn't particularly
recommend them.


Hope this information is helpful, Don Valentine