Finish on PVC pipe/conduit

I'm machining some small enclosures using PVC electrical conduit (off white
color). The electrical condut just happens to have the needed ID/OD. I'm
using acetone to remove the manufacturers ink labelling which is marked down
the pipe, but the finish still looks like water pipe/conduit. I'm making
them in batches of 20 or so.
Painting or dying is not really an option, I could spin them in the lathe
and take a light cut along the length but I'd like to avoid this if I can. I
thought about wiping over with solvent to soften and smooth the top surface
but this may leave "wipe" marks on the surface.
I tried to source clean PVC pipe without marking etc but I could not find
anything.
Does anyone have any other ideas on a quick simple way to finish the
external surface nicely?
TIA
Reply to
Den
Loading thread data ...
What's wrong with paint?
Reply to
Doug Miller
I recently saw them making plastic screwdriver handles on "How its Made". After machining, they just dipped (submerged) the parts in "solvent" to make the parts shiny. This provided the micro-melting needed to blend machining marks, I guess.
Pete Stanaitis ---------------------
Den wrote:
Reply to
spaco
Small enough that you could toss them in a vibratory cleaner? Just load it with grit and let it prep the surface prior to the machine work.
Or buy a few cans of the Fusion paint. It works very well on un-prepped plastic.
Reply to
Steve W.
Possibly a light sand-blasting??? Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling
Use a strip of scotch brite and spin it in the lathe
Den wrote:
Reply to
MK1
If you call the pipe manufacturer and order in sufficient quantities to make a special order economical to run, they'll make darned near anything you want. Exact ID and OD specified (or even square or rectangular) if you'll pay for a set of special extrusion dies, exact color and type material you want, plasticizers for added flexibility, markings or no markings, etc.
If it's being produced as water pipe or electrical conduit for retail sale that pipe HAS to have the required markings on it by law. They might be able to turn off the label printer and run you a special batch, but that's about all they can change easily.
Dip or spray with the right solvent. No touch, ergo no brush marks.
But be careful on solvent selection - on some plastics (acrylics are most sensitive) certain mis-matching petroleum solvents will cause the surface to craze over time with a network of deep cracks, that can even lead to mechanical failure.
-->--
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
I dont think its available - I've looked. It's only 20mm OD x 16mm ID. I imagine the furniture stuff is bigger than this - having said that I've looked for and not been able to locate any furniture tube locally (in Australia). Maybe I need to look harder! Thanks.
Reply to
Den
Hi Doug, it's very price sensitive, the time for painting would have quite an impact.
Reply to
Den
Thanks Pete - this solvent smoothing is something I need to look further into. Thanks.
Reply to
Den
Yeah - tried that, not really a good finish. It gives a good finish on machined standard gray PVC rod but doesn's work too well on the tube I'm using. I dont know, it may have something to do with UV stabilisers or something in the plastic tube.
Reply to
Den
Thanks Bruce. My volume is so small that I'm not sure they'd even answer the phone if I called. :) The tubing is less than $10 a length off the shelf, the low cost is what makes it attractive.
The solvent polishing is looking more attractive - especially if I don't wipe it. Maybe MEK may be worth trying, its used with PVC so shouldn't have any negative long term effects.
Reply to
Den
On Mon, 07 Apr 2008 20:45:42 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm, spaco quickly quoth:
Right, so just take your 20' sections of pvc pipe up your 48' ladder and dip them in a solvent-filled 21' pipe and hang from your 55' high shop trusses while they dry. Piece of cake, duck soup, spaco.
I'd suggest spraying with lacquer or shellac, both of which are extremely thin and quick drying, but'll gloss things up in a hurry.
-- Save the whales! Trade them for valuable prizes.
Reply to
Larry Jaques

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.