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working with Plexiglas

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  • working with Plexiglas

    Is there a trick as to removing the plastic protective film on "older" Plexiglas?
    Fresh film peels of easily.

    I guess we can include lexan in the question also.


    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: working with Plexiglas

    I never worked had to to remove the paper from older plexiglas but I wonder if a little heat (from a hair dryer) might help.

    If you use a heat gun be careful you don't get it too hot.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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    • #3
      Re: working with Plexiglas

      Maybe you can try some adhesive tape, especially the tape for packages.
      If at first you don't succeed, try reading the owners manual.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: working with Plexiglas

        What about alcohol or goof off/goo-b-gone or whatever that stuff is called?
        I love my plumber

        "My Hero"

        Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

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        • #5
          Re: working with Plexiglas

          Pull the paper at the highest possible shear angle, fold it back on itself and pull flat to the glass. The goo off may work but test it on a small area as it may cloud the glass, WD 40 would also work but use same test first. Never tried heat before but makes sense

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          • #6
            Re: working with Plexiglas

            Heat will very likely do the trick but carefully as to not damage the plastic. I don't think alcohol is strong enough but acetone will. The problem is solvents will almost certainly ruin and cloud the plastic.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: working with Plexiglas

              let me rephrase my question...

              does anyone "have experience" with correctly removing the protective film [paper type or plastic film type] from "OLD" Plexiglas or lexan?
              With "fresh" product the paper or plastic film does come off easily.

              Older product sitting around has the problem of the paper or plastic film deteriorating in such a way that it no longer "peals off". Rather, it tears off in tiny bits and takes forever to remove.

              I appreciate the suggestions from you [plural], but I'm looking for the process that works. I do not have time to "experiment" with the try this method suggestions.


              Cactus Man

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              • #8
                Re: working with Plexiglas

                Instead of fooling around with us who do not have first hand knowledge why not go to the manufacturers site and ask the question there? No doubt they have some sort of tech support line or email address you can send your question to. Maybe you have done that already but were hoping for a quicker answer from someone on this forum. Unfortunately it does not look like anyone who is willing to answer you has first-hand knowledge of your situation.

                My bet is that heat or cold is the safest method. I would stay away from using any solvents, too much chance of damaging the product.


                Some safety information on working with Plexiglas:
                The safety precautions for working with Plexiglas are clearly written on its masking paper by AtoHaas North America, Inc. A brief summary of those precautions can be helpful in choosing how much of the work you can handle in-house. The vapors produced while cutting, or sanding and polishing the edges can cause nausea, headaches, or dizziness. It can also irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Make sure the above processes are done in a well-ventilated area and wear a dust mask. If breathing troubles are experienced stop working and get some fresh air. Wash your skin thoroughly after contact with Plexiglas. Wear a full face shield while working with the Plexiglas to avoid having hot particles reaching your eyes. Should the Plexiglas irritate the eyes, flush them with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes.
                Last edited by Bob D.; 08-26-2007, 09:22 PM.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: working with Plexiglas

                  Guess you didn't want to know too bad. I tracked down the Plexiglas manufacturers web site and sent them a short note asking how to best handle this situation. I got an answer in less than 24 hours.
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: working with Plexiglas

                    Oh, almost forgot, you probbaly want me to tell you their response right?

                    Here it is:

                    There is not much you can do to remove 'old' masking. Best option would be to use a 'light' solvent such as mineral spirits, or kerosene, and soak the paper, however you must be careful in taking the paper off to not scratch the sheet.

                    We recommend, in this type case, to purchase 'fresh' material.
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: working with Plexiglas

                      Try a hair dryer or heat gun to soften and peel or roll back on itself. Do NOT use a blade or abrasive pad or chemicals. Then use WD-40 or other non-abrasive to remove adhesive residue as needed and then clean with a non-ammonia cleaner such as Sprayway or good ol soap and water.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: working with Plexiglas

                        I got another response from the nice people who make Plexiglas.

                        Here's a teaser:



                        It may be difficult to remove masking paper from Tuffak® sheet that has been exposed outdoors or has been stored for long periods of time, particularly under conditions of heat or high humidity.


                        Here's the link they provided:
                        http://www.plexiglas.com/expert/data/484

                        They've been pretty helpful I think.
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: working with Plexiglas

                          thank you Bob.

                          Cactus Man

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: working with Plexiglas

                            Plexiglas and Lexan are two different materials. Plexiglas is a polyacetate and Lexan is a polycarbonate.
                            Plexiglass is very brittle but you can melt it with acetone or heat. An old-fashioned blow torch that produced a "billow" of heat rather than a concentrated heat area like a proplane torch was great for melting the edges to be crystal clear or cleaning up surface scratches. I have seen aquariums built from plexiglas using acetone to fuse the edges together.

                            Lexan is a polycarbonate which is more flexible and tougher, however also softer. Surface flaws can be polished out with a micropolishing kit like they sell for car headlight lenses.

                            Probably the best thing to use to remove the glue and old masking is naptha. Try to get as much as you can of the paper/plastic off first as the naptha has a hard time getting through the polyethylene layer of the original masking. If you don't want to buy it as naptha, it is also known as lighter fluid and Coleman lantern fuel (and for you old timers used to be called "white gas" that was used in old outboard motors, etc). It should remove the old glue without milkying up the surface. Lacquer thinner or poly thinner will mess up plexi as it usually contains some acetone. Goo-Gone (citrus base) will also remove some of the stuff, but also has the problem getting through the original polyethylene plastic layer, so works from the edges. A "doby pad" (that nylon covered sponge sitting by the kitchen sink) and some naptha will probably get it off with a bit of work. Try not to scrub too hard as any grit or dirt will scratch the plexi.

                            Naptha is flammable and probably known to the state of California to cause all kinds of unmentionable diseases, so wear PPE when working with it. When further refined it becomes the mineral oil you use on your cutting boards as well as the paraffin some people use when canning foods. In crystalline form it as known as 'moth balls".

                            Go

                            PS. Naptha is also very good at removing masking tape residue after the sun has baked it on.
                            Practicing at practical wood working

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                            • #15
                              Re: working with Plexiglas

                              I'm surprised they did not tell you to buy some new plexiglas
                              Charlie

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