Science Technology
Using Liquid Paint Stripper as Acrylic Cement

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.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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