Wednesday, 22 February 2012

One step forward ... and two steps back ... but it will be worth it in the end

I began work on laminating Plasticard to create the hulls of my 'Monopoly'-inspired battleships ... but I have run into a bit of a problem.

The problem is not the actual lamination process; it is the fumes given off by the liquid polystyrene cement that I am using. Even with the window open (which is not very nice at this time of year), the smell of the glue has begun to pervade the upper floor of the house (my toy/wargames room is on the top floor of our three-story home) ... and my wife has objected. This leaves me with a dilemma; do I continue the laminating process – which will upset and annoy my wife – or do I use an alternative method.

After giving this matter considerable thought, I have decided that I will try to find an alternative method of gluing the layers of Plasticard together. In the meantime I am going to go back to using basswood and PVA glue to create my prototype model. I know that this is going to be somewhat challenging as it will present me with some construction problems ... but the extra effort will be worth it if it keeps my wife happy!

14 comments:

  1. Agreed - do NOT annoy the missus. Can the offending bits be left outside somewhere? If not in a shed then undercover perhaps?

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  2. Pat G,

    I agree. Annoying one's wife is NOT a good idea!

    At present I do not have anywhere outside the house where I can put the 'offending' items ... and until I do I will have to avoid using the liquid polystyrene cement indoors for all but the smallest jobs.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Priorities Bob! This is why I had to give up spray primers and varnishes. Do you have a strong extractor fan for the window?

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  4. By all means, Keep the Wife Happy.

    If necessary wait a few months until you can do it outdoors. You certainly have other projects that you can work on in the meantime.


    -- Jeff

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  5. Ross Mac,

    I also gave up on spray primers and varnish for the same reason.

    My toy/wargames room only has conventional windows and no extractor fan so I will have to find an alternative place to use the liquid polystyrene cement in future.

    In the meantime I will try to build my prototype from basswood.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Bluebear Jeff,

    Wise words, indeed!

    I will try to build my prototype from basswood ... and then make a decision about what to do next.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. I'm telling you, find the non-toxic version of liquid polystyrene glue. I know in the US Testors sells a version of it in a similar tube to the 'toxic" kind and it works just as well in my experience. It's not totally without fumes or smells, but might be worth a try?

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  8. Fitz-Badger,

    I have tried finding a non-toxic version in the UK ... but so far I have been unable to find a stockist.

    I will continue my searches ... but in the meantime I am experimenting with basswood and fast-curing wood glue ... and the results are encouraging.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. My solution to the problem of glue smells, paint splashes, dripping varnish, little metal flakes and everything else associated with being a wargamer/modeller was to take them out of the house.

    Mind you I had to build a seventeen foot by ten foot hut to keep everything in. I lost a quarter of my back garden to its footprint but then that is 170 square feet of less grass to cut.

    More details on my blog soon.

    Jim

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  10. Ah. Sorry, Bob. I was thinking it would be an easy thing to find as i would think non-toxic would be something companies would want to promote (if for no other reason than to avoid lawsuits).
    Like the switch to lead-free pewter that many miniatures companies made some time ago.
    I also forget that just because Testors brand of modeling supplies is so common in the US (found pretty much anywhere you can buy plastic models, including drugstores, hobby shops, arts and crafts supplies stores, etc.), doesn't mean something like that holds true for other places.

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  11. Jim Duncan,

    It is a solution that I have thought long and hard (and spent some considerable time investigating) about ... but I live on the side of a hill and my garden has a 1:10 slope. Whatever I built would have to have foundations or a concrete platform on which to sit ... and that would cost almost as much to build as a shed or Summerhouse would cost to buy and put on top of it.

    Perhaps one day … if we ever move to somewhere on the flat … it might be the solution I opt for.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Fitz-Badger,

    I suspect that product liability in general is something that Europe has yet to see as a 'problem' ... hence the 'lack' of drive to provide a non-toxic liquid polystyrene glue/cement for modellers.

    I have managed to trak down a supplier in the UK who claims to stock the Testors non-toxic liquid polystyrene glue/cement, and I hope to order some to test it. It is not cheap, as it has to be imported, but it will be worth using if it avoids the problem of unpleasant fumes.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    All the best,

    Bob

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