Large Scale Central

M.E.K. "subsititue"

Not sure if anyone cares about this but I will throw it out there in case. So I have misplaced or lost my container of M.E.K. I bought a quart of it like 10 years ago and now I have no idea what I did with it. So I went to replace it and my local ACE didn’t have M.E.K. they had some stuff that said M.E.K. substitute “works any where M.E.K. does”. . . Well it does not work as a plastic welder. So before you buy it to try it don’t, atleast not as a plastic solvent.

Devon Sinsley said:

Not sure if anyone cares about this but I will throw it out there in case. So I have misplaced or lost my container of M.E.K. I bought a quart of it like 10 years ago and now I have no idea what I did with it. So I went to replace it and my local ACE didn’t have M.E.K. they had some stuff that said M.E.K. substitute “works any where M.E.K. does”. . . Well it does not work as a plastic welder. So before you buy it to try it don’t, at least not as a plastic solvent.

Yep. Years ago (about 8) M.E.K. was removed from the shelves and replaced with the “safer” substitute stuff. Since then, M.E.K. has returned to the shelves in the big box stores when enough folks complained it didn’t work nearly as well. I believe the same thing happened with TSP.

-Dan

The glue that Plastruct sells is pretty good, also model power works well and Tamiya wicking glue works great for gluing thin cracks actually wicks into the crevice, Bill

Bill Barnwell said:

The glue that Plastruct sells is pretty good

Not sure about the other brands listed but the Plastruct stuff is M.E.K. or at least partially so, or it was 10 years ago. The only reason I switched to straight M.E.K. was I realized I was spending as much for a 1oz bottle of Plastruc as I could buy a quart of M.E.K. and get the same thing. I tried it after buying it and it worked just as good as the Plastruc stuff, maybe even better, and I figured I had a quart so it would be a life time supply. Until you loose the can.

The only real issue I have with straight M.E.K. is the container. So either save a plustruc bottle, or some similar, or some other smaller glass bottle with a lid and then get a paint brush and your off and running. That is until you break the lid on the plastuc bottle and spill the rest and then can’t find the big container.

If I were really smart I would just drill a hole in a piece of wood that I can stick my plastruc bottle in and keep me from spilling it. For every ounce I use on plastic I spill 60 oz. If I could keep from spilling it all the time I wouldn’t need so much and a bottle of plastruc would last a life time. As is I am lucky if the bottle last one project.

I use IPS Weld-On 3 Acrylic Plastic Cement as my Plastruct and MEK replacement. So far it has worked well for me for my indoor projects and I do most of the application with a brush.

Acetone will work almost as well as MEK. I have used acetone in a pinch. Chemically they are similar compounds. But real MEK is the good stuff.

I never tried substitute MEK. I did try the substitute TSP. What a waste of good money that was.

Devon Sinsley said:

Bill Barnwell said:

The glue that Plastruct sells is pretty good

Not sure about the other brands listed but the Plastruct stuff is M.E.K. or at least partially so, or it was 10 years ago. The only reason I switched to straight M.E.K. was I realized I was spending as much for a 1oz bottle of Plastruc as I could buy a quart of M.E.K. and get the same thing. I tried it after buying it and it worked just as good as the Plastruc stuff, maybe even better, and I figured I had a quart so it would be a life time supply. Until you loose the can.

The only real issue I have with straight M.E.K. is the container. So either save a plustruc bottle, or some similar, or some other smaller glass bottle with a lid and then get a paint brush and your off and running. That is until you break the lid on the plastuc bottle and spill the rest and then can’t find the big container.

Devon,

I get my MEK at the local Ace hardware store. I keep it in 1 oz. needle tip plastic bottles (really, they don’t melt). We kept MEK in plastic bottles at work too [Northrop/Grumman].

Here is a link to similar bottles on Amazon…Needle tip bottles

Our big box stores (Lowes & Home Depot) both carry MEK in quart cans. If you can’t source it in your state I could grab you one and send it UPS to you (https://www.largescalecentral.com/externals/tinymce/plugins/emoticons/img/smiley-wink.gif)

Over on MRH, Joe F has come up with a healthy substitute for MEK. I will have to search for it and post here. I haven’t tried it yet, but will when the MEK runs out.

https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/8083?page=6

I second the needle bottle.

While the use of MEK in our modeling is probably limited, it is a nasty organic solvent with adverse health effects both short and long term

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/methyl-ethyl-ketone.pdf

Just so you take care when using it

Regards

Jerry

The needle bottles can be picked up at Hobby Lobby. I used MEK at work for years. it was a carrier for automotive window primer and we used it to clean up spills or drips. The primer we applied to the glass flange on the car body was brushed on out of a measuring cup that we held in front of us. Can’t tell ya how many times I about hit the floor from the fumes gassing off from the open cup…

I like using Ambroid Pro Weld Professional plastic welder when gluing plastic together. I have used it on a couple of scratch built freight cars and it does a good job.