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Plastic for bullseye lens

Help please

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RRMBK19/11/2016 23:00:26
152 forum posts
18 photos

Hi can anybody suggest the best material to make some working bullseye lenses for traction engine lamps please ? I hear names like lucite, acetal, perspex delrin etc but have no idea what they relate to.

Ideally I could do with 7/8" rod which I can then hopefully machine to a dome and polish in the lathe.

Many thanks


duncan webster19/11/2016 23:16:36
3697 forum posts
69 photos

Either clear polycarbonate or 'acrylic perspex'. Both available on e-bay

Hacksaw19/11/2016 23:31:17
460 forum posts
198 photos

surprise Would you believe what's sitting right next to me?laugh How freaky is that?

I think it came out of a disposable camera...? I've got some more too in the attic I think !

atlas copco 003.jpg

pgk pgk20/11/2016 08:24:27
2422 forum posts
293 photos

would something like this be suitable? **LINK**

JasonB20/11/2016 09:48:33
21965 forum posts
2531 photos
1 articles

I have used the Acrylic rod and tube that Noggin End sell to make various bits. Machines easily and will polish up to glass clear with Micro-Mesh.

The couple of lenses in the last two posts look far too domed, should really only be a slight crown more like a magnifying glass.

I assume you are not using a naked flame as the light sourcesurprise

Edited By JasonB on 20/11/2016 09:49:11

Hacksaw20/11/2016 10:11:06
460 forum posts
198 photos

Bad news RRMBK sad


Only one camera left...but lets dissect it anyway..laugh


fuji camera 001.jpg

Reaps a free AA battery !

fuji camera 002.jpg



fuji camera 003.jpg


Oh dear ,the lens is not from a camera !!

fuji camera 004.jpg


fuji camera 005.jpg

Cripes , that capacitor gives you belt ....surprise 

Sorry i don't know ,and nor does the family, where the bigger lens came from...maybe an LED torch that broke.


Edited By Hacksaw on 20/11/2016 10:14:51

Bazyle20/11/2016 10:24:48
6168 forum posts
222 photos

You might mention which country you are in to clarify what local trade names will have meaning to you. Anyone who has not heard of Perspex can't be in the UK and ditto for Lucite and the USA. Delrin and Acetal are not transparent.

Googling for 'clear plastic rod' will probably find you the locally available versions.

Russell Eberhardt20/11/2016 10:44:56
2725 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by RRMBK on 19/11/2016 23:00:26:

Hi can anybody suggest the best material to make some working bullseye lenses for traction engine lamps please ? I hear names like lucite, acetal, perspex delrin etc but have no idea what they relate to.

Lucite and Perspex are the same thing, trade names for polymethylmethacrilate (acrylic)

Delrin is a trade name for one form of acetal polymer, an engineering plastic.

Acrylic or polycarbonate rod will be best for you. Polycarbonate will give better UV protection but I doubt if you'll be leaving your engine outside all the time.


Circlip20/11/2016 10:46:04
1424 forum posts

Scan through here :- **LINK**

different size lenses.

Regards Ian.

RRMBK20/11/2016 15:56:52
152 forum posts
18 photos

Thank you everybody for such quick responses.

I have ordered up some of those from the far east as they are just so cheap. we'll see what they look like when they come, Otherwise I now know what to look for if I need to get the raw material.

Jason, Yes I am using a flame, I have the wick burners already made, and they give off quite a good light, however the front lenses will be at the end of the lens holder " trumpet" and will be a good way away from the flame with a series of air vent holes in between.

The side window / door, which is a flat "glass " as its used to light the number plate, is much closer and I suspect I will have to cut proper glass for that one.

I am UK based and point taken Bazyle, I tend to take it for granted that people will know, whereas clearly they cant !

Once again thanks so much everybody.

Sorry you got a belt Hacksaw !

Kind regards


Hacksaw20/11/2016 16:19:05
460 forum posts
198 photos

I was only joking ,I wouldn't be that daft !

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