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Repair acetal handrails

By Cody Grivno Group Technical Editor | January 14, 2021

Fix breaks with Loctite’s plastics bonding system

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Athearn HO scale National Railways of Mexico Alco RS-3 diesel locomotive with Loctite plastics bonding system activator and glue

Most recent ready-to-run locomotives use acetal (sometimes called ‘slippery’ or ‘engineering’) plastic handrails. These handrails feature a scale profile and fine detail, but they’re also prone to snapping. Traditional liquid plastic cement and cyanoacrylate adhesive will not bond acetal plastic, but Loctite’s plastics bonding system will.

Athearn HO scale National Railways of Mexico Alco RS-3 diesel locomotive with Loctite plastics bonding system activator and glue
1. Acetal plastic handrails are common on today’s ready-to-run locomotives. If they break, you can repair them with Loctite’s plastics bonding system.

1. This two-part system makes it easy to fix broken handrails in less than two minutes. It is available at most hardware stores and home supply centers. The pack contains an activator/primer and glue. Here’s how it works.

 

Applying Loctite plastics bonding system activator to broken handrail on HO scale Alco RS-3 diesel locomotive
2. Loctite’s plastics bonding system consists of an activator/primer and glue. Once the handrails are clean and dry, apply the activator to both sides of the break and let it dry.

The handrails need to be clean and dry before making the repair. Once they are, apply the activator/primer to both sides of the break, and let it dry for 1 minute, 2.

Applying Loctite plastics bonding system super glue to broken handrail on HO scale Alco RS-3 diesel locomotive
3. Next, apply the glue to one side of the break. A superfine (white) Microbrush or a toothpick makes for a handy glue applicator.

Then sparingly apply the glue to one side of the break, 3.

Holding glue joint on handrails with index fingers
4. Hold the joint for 30 seconds, being careful to keep the glue off your skin.

A toothpick or a superfine (white) Microbrush works well in applying the glue [Superfine Microbrushes (no. 84061) can be purchased from the Kalmbach Hobby Store website, KalmbachHobbyStore.com. – Ed.] Hold the joint together for 30 seconds, being careful not to get the glue on your fingers, 4.

According to the manufacturer’s instructions, if you bond your fingers, apply cooking oil to the area and gently roll your fingers back and forth until they separate.

 

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