Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-15-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
tlsmit1's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Saint Louis , MO
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 106
Working with Lexan

The front window of my '62 Tradewind leaks like a sieve. (Shocking, I know.)

I've removed the window and replaced the gasket. The glazing strips were all gunked in with some previous silicone hack job, and so I was also planning to re-seat the glass in its frame. Anyway, I broke the glass while attempting to chisel it out. This was probably for the best, as it seemed to be un-tempered plate glass. One flying pebble on the highway, and wham-o.

Since it's the front window, I figure I'll throw authenticity under the bus and replace it with Lexan. I can buy it from my Home Depot, but I've never worked with it before. Do I score it and crack it, like I do with the cheap plastic sheets that they sell? Or do I cut it with a table saw?

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
tlsmit1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 12:01 AM   #2
1 Rivet Member
 
bsshrink's Avatar
 
1969 27' Overlander
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11
I cut my front (side) window from Lexan with a Skil jigsaw set at low speed. The 1969 Airstream was the first triptych front window pattern & the side windows were bowed to fit the front section curve, so I had to curve & cram to get it in the channel.
Best advice: buy as many sheets of Lexan as they have & take the unused ones back later. I broke 5 under the curving stress B4 one popped into place. Probably not as important with the '62. Lexan is much thinner than Corning glass so be prepared to fill the channel with something.
__________________

__________________
"if only stupid hurt"
Jeff Miller
KCMO
69 Overbudget
03 Silverado 1500HD
bsshrink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 06:13 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
2013 20' Flying Cloud
Cream Ridge , New Jersey
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 124
Lexan can be worked with woodworking tools. Don't let the cutting tools heat up as the Lexan will soften and become gummy. A little heat from a heat gun will help you form the bend.
__________________
Joe Palmieri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 06:13 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,941
Because it is much more ductile, you need to cut it, as it will not crack. It is sensitive to solvents so do not use any on it. It also yellows and loses some transmittance with time. I have had one large Lexan window for 22 years in my 63, Many thicknesses are available, as well as tints. Plain double thickness window glass works well for smaller windows in early 60's Airstreams. I have broken two of them in 22 years. No big deal. I would go with glass for the front window and install a rock guard.
__________________
dwightdi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 06:22 AM   #5
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,300
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
I would go with glass for the front window and install a rock guard.
If you go with a glass front window, don't get tempered glass. Get laminated glass.

Tempered glass is what they use for automotive side windows, and it shatters into a bajillion tiny pieces when broken. Laminated glass is what they use for automotive windshields. If it's hit, there's a good chance it will just chip or crack instead of breaking (and can often be repaired in place by companies like Safelite Auto Glass). And if it does happen to break, the plastic laminated into the glass will hold everything together instead of leaving you with a great gaping hole where your window used to be.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 06:39 AM   #6
3 Rivet Member
 
tlsmit1's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Saint Louis , MO
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Palmieri View Post
A little heat from a heat gun will help you form the bend.
No bend, fortunately. The front window of my 62 is just a 20 x 41 inch rectangle.

It seemed to have been filled with standard, untempered plate glass which is likely why it broke so easily when I tried to mess with it.

At some point I might get a piece of laminated glass for the window. At the moment, though, I want / need to get the trailer back into towable condition pretty quickly, which is why I'm going with Lexan.

(On Friday I have to tow it about 20 miles to a state police barracks. Once they inspect it, I can finally trade its salvage title for a real title and--whee!--get a license plate and go camping!)
__________________
tlsmit1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 08:42 AM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
Morgan guy's Avatar
 
2007 27' Classic FB
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 287
When I cut lexan or other plastics, I reverse my saw blade. That helps eliminate chipping. You have to cut slowly because you are sort of melting the edge of the plastic as you cut it.
__________________
Morgan guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 09:03 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
mimiandrews's Avatar

 
1966 22' Safari
Weatherford , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,425
If you have a table saw (or access to one), Lexan can be cut fairly easily using a plywood blade (lots of small teeth), slow blade speed, and slow feed rate. The trick is to keep the saw teeth from snagging and to keep the temperature rise from friction to a minimum.
__________________
mimiandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
You can cool your saw with water but not solvents. I have seen edges of Lexan crack after cutting if it gets too hot. Fine teeth and slow and cool with water if you can.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Lumatic's Avatar

 
1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,642
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
I use use a jigsaw with a fine tooth blade.

Being pretty flexible a front window will bend with wind pressure. Do you have a rock guard?

You can get UV resistant Lexan to cut down on yellowing.

Glass is also more scratch resistant.
__________________
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
 
tlsmit1's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Saint Louis , MO
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 106
My only hesitation with a rock guard is visibility. Right now, when towing, I can see straight through the trailer and get a pretty good look at traffic behind me. I'd like to keep that ability if I can.
__________________
tlsmit1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
mandolindave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,115
Images: 4
I used a jig saw on plexiglass with good results

A person working the gate at a festival, placed a sticker on my sunglasses. I used water to get the sticker off. I was afraid to use anything to remove the adhesive. Is alcohol a no no? ( no...not to drink, to get the goo off) Sorry for hijacking
__________________
mandolindave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 11:41 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Lexan and all polycarbonates really really hate ammonia! It creates that surface haze you see on old headlights. Keep the Windex away from your Lexan windows.

Most stickers will come off of most surfaces with plain old vegetable oil, WD-40 or "friction picking" (put duct tape over sticker, rub to warm for 30 seconds, pull from one edge, and encourage the sticker to surrender by using a fingernail on the edge of the sticker. Some stickers come apart leaving only a tiny layer of paper and the adhesive. A second application of duct tape will generally get this layer off.)

I'm not sure about the solvents that Lexan can't tolerate, but I'd lay odds that Lacquer Thinner is one. Finger nail polish remover would definitely do a number on it. Plain old rubbing alcohol might be OK, but I'd rinse thoroughly afterwards.


BTW - The big box stores charge way way too much for all kinds of plastic sheeting. Find a place that makes store fixtures, high end bath fixtures, etc. They'll often sell you "scrap" sheets that are leftovers for really reasonable prices.

Paula
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #14
3 Rivet Member
 
tlsmit1's Avatar
 
1962 24' Tradewind
Saint Louis , MO
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
BTW - The big box stores charge way way too much for all kinds of plastic sheeting. Find a place that makes store fixtures, high end bath fixtures, etc. They'll often sell you "scrap" sheets that are leftovers for really reasonable prices.
That's a useful idea; thanks.
__________________

__________________
tlsmit1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.