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Unless your application is critical, cheap liquid paint stripper from the hardware store (not the gel, paste, or color-changing varieties) is a fine substitute for commercial acrylic solvent cement. Comparing one MSDS to another, we see that each product is about 75 wt% dichloromethane (AKA methylene chloride), which is the “active ingredient” that softens the plastic and allows it to weld. Purpose-made acrylic solvent is a bit thinner, in my experience, and evaporates a little faster, and contains trace amounts of acrylic monomer that may result in a slightly stronger bond, but for most practical purposes I have not found these qualities to justify paying twice as much for it.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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Comments

  1. Kevin Gunn says:

    Here’s my own “secret recipe”:

    I have had tremendous success by using acetone into which I dissolve acrylic chips until I get a thin syrup (usually takes a day or two with occasional shakes to dissolve completely).  Works GREAT:  bonds quickly, strongly, and is dirt cheap to make!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Methylene Chloride is pretty toxic and should be used only in well ventilated areas and with proper personal protection. Weldon 3 (and similar products) have their place in acrylic fabrication, most typically, because it is so aggressive and fast, when I want a quick and strong joint and do not care about the joint’s appearance. There are additives that you can add to slow the reacticion down, as well as the evaporation, but Acrylite makes an Acryfix product that is Methylene Chloride free- and safer to use.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Methylene Chloride is pretty toxic and should be used only in well ventilated areas and with proper personal protection. Weldon 3 (and similar products) have their place in acrylic fabrication, most typically, because it is so aggressive and fast, when I want a quick and strong joint and do not care about the joint’s appearance. There are additives that you can add to slow the reacticion down, as well as the evaporation, but Acrylite makes an Acryfix product that is Methylene Chloride free- and safer to use.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Methylene Chloride is pretty toxic and should be used only in well ventilated areas and with proper personal protection. Weldon 3 (and similar products) have their place in acrylic fabrication, most typically, because it is so aggressive and fast, when I want a quick and strong joint and do not care about the joint’s appearance. There are additives that you can add to slow the reacticion down, as well as the evaporation, but Acrylite makes an Acryfix product that is Methylene Chloride free- and safer to use.