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Old 25 July 2009, 11:47   #1
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Cannot find Methyl Ethyl Ketone

Hi,

Nobody in Canada's national capital seems to stock MEK for prepping my Zodiac for a patch! I have read that Acetone can be used, except that it is not as effective. Is this true?

As a side note, Home Depot carries a purple PVC primer in its plumbing section, however it has a few extra ingredients including:

purple dye (for the inspectors
acetone
methyl ethyl ketone
Cyclohexanone
Tetrahydrofuran

Could I use this? Replies from experts would be appreciated give that this patch is going on my $2000 high-pressure air floor, and I don't want to destroy it.

Thanks,

Vince
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Old 25 July 2009, 16:28   #2
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Home Depot up there doesn't carry MEK? It is usually available in the paint section near the acetone, paint thinner and mineral spirits. Dang, Even found it in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at their Home Depot. Acetone does not soften up the PVC material as much as the MEK does. It also flashes off really fast. If all else fails it is a substitute, but I don't use acetone. Good luck.
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Old 25 July 2009, 18:57   #3
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There shoudn't be an issue just using acetone (or even nail polish remover).. Yes, you are trying to soften the fabric, but most importantly you're removing dirt and oil from the surface, which acetone will do. The MEK really helps with older fabrics. Fabrics less than 10 years old will not be a problem unless they have had their whole life in the sun.
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Old 25 July 2009, 19:47   #4
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MEK opens up the PVC structure to let the glue into it - two coats a few minutes apart just prior to applying the adhesive. Put it on with a clean brush - nothing to do with cleaning the surface, use a detergent for that. If you use the dry method of gluing, you'll need it to wipe over the surface just before bringing the glued surfaces together.

I wouldn't put nail polish remover near it. Suppose it varies with brand but usually contains other stuff nice to fingernails.

Nothing to do with your question of where to find it, I know.
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Old 25 July 2009, 19:54   #5
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I could not find MEK anywhere in Toronto as well. So I ended up ordering it via NRS with my other items, including Stabond adhesive (I'm impressed with the results of it).
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Old 25 July 2009, 20:27   #6
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I had a little trouble finding it also. Eventually found out that most fiberglassing places have heaps of the stuff!
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Old 25 July 2009, 21:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelson View Post
Home Depot up there doesn't carry MEK? It is usually available in the paint section near the acetone, paint thinner and mineral spirits. Dang, Even found it in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at their Home Depot. Acetone does not soften up the PVC material as much as the MEK does. It also flashes off really fast. If all else fails it is a substitute, but I don't use acetone. Good luck.
In the US, it is easy to find. I called Rona, Home Depot, and Canadian Tire, and none of them have it here. I'll try a fiberglass place as suggested.
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Old 26 July 2009, 11:48   #8
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If MEK isn't available locally then NRS is really a good suggestion. I buy my glue (Sta Bond) from them because their stock is always fresh. The local marine supply places tend to have cans near the end their shelf life. The hassle of cleaning and regluing a failed repair makes it worthwhile to get the right solvent. I just glued a section of floor to my tubes and I wiped down my PVC with acetone while cleaning. It does soften the PVC, but does not even feel like the surface after the three timed MEK wipes. The MEK prep is worthwhile.http://kayak.nrsweb.com/display.php?p=Q&ts=custom&w=mek

I do have a trick I use to keep repairs open wide while gluing. It is important to avoid having too much glue deposited in the edges of a repair. Keeps the glue from setting up like the rest of the open surface area. I run a stitch through the material and pull up or hang weights down with the threads. After all of the glue prep steps are complete I cut and remove the thread, then position and press the repair into place. Very handy as opposed to wedges and such which interfere with gluing all the repair surface. Just thought I'd throw this in here. Hope your work goes well and lasts a long time!
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