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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: Dec Sun 29, 2013 2:39 am 
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Joined: Mar Sat 19, 2011 2:57 am
Posts: 70
Location: 97330
A miracle product (changed my life anyway!) is "Post-it Labeling and Cover-up Tape". Mine is in one inch rolls and comes in various colors. Sticks when you want it to and removes just like a Post-it note. This product has worked well for me on my bin drawers and small boxes. Seems to work on polyethylene but can also be taped down and yet is still removable.
Terry

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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: Feb Wed 12, 2014 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3550
Location: Harviell MO USA 63945 (12 miles S of Poplar Bluff)
The "original" Akro-Mills cabinet drawers I have are made of polystyrene*, same stuff as model car, airplane and ship kits. They crack easily, but then, they don't deform unless you abuse them. Some of my drawers are old enough that they have divider slots along both sides about 1/8" apart, so you can put in about as many dividers as is practical if you use tweezers to extract the parts. In fact, many of mine are divided into eight compartments. I have somewhere around 700-800 drawers in lots of cabinets and have had them around for anywhere from 32 to 40 years. That's a long time for plastic, in my opinion!

Labels* have always been a problem, even on polystyrene. Avery paper labels stick just fine at first, but over the years, the adhesive* dries out or is absorbed by the plastic and they fall off. The original Dymo embossed labels have never been on my "happy" list. The newer labelers made by Dymo and others that print in black on "Scotch-like" tape* work better at first, but I haven't been able to try them out for the long haul to see if the adhesive* holds up.

A Sharpie* doesn't work for me on the drawers: not enough contrast and I can't remove the writing without destroying the plastic. However, the Sharpie does work beautifully on my 250+ red Folger's "3#" coffee containers (HDPE*) which I use for all my "big" storage associated with carpentry*, electrical, cabinet work*, plumbing*, etc. And on HDPE, Sharpie writing removes easily with a rag dipped in either lacquer thinner* or acetone*.

Paper labels work best on polystyrene if the drawers remain in a temperature-controlled environment. They drop off like autumn leaves* if you have them out in a storage unit where the temps trip on past 110°F*. I don't notice any difference if I use a Highliter* on a label before writing on it for color coding purposes. As far as spraying with a clear coat*? That usually messes around with the adhesive and makes the label fall off for me. And with polystyrene drawers, there isn't a solvent* I can use that's stronger than IPA* without melting the plastic.

Even living in SE Missouri, I don't recommend making labels from cut-up strips of duct tape. Or adhesive tape.


* The marked materials contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

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Contributing editor emeritus in Poptronics magazine, R.I.P.


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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: May Thu 08, 2014 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 375
Location: Plainfield, Il. USA
Flame treating the plastic will help with adhesion.

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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: May Thu 08, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 10697
Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Chuck Schwark wrote:
I use a black, fine-point Sharpie.
Indelible, permanent, and readable from across the shop.
Chuck
Black sharpie, in fact every solvent type marker fades with UV from most shop lights. Even the Avery labels after a few years the adhesive degrades.

Only markings that have remained are those on Pliobond stuck labels made with #1 pencil, graphite can't fade.

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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: May Thu 08, 2014 9:39 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 05, 2009 2:30 am
Posts: 1434
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Pop bottles are polyester - polyethylene terephthalate.

Old cabinets with the brittle, clear, screechy bins are polystyrene. Same as CD cases, styrofoam (expanded), etc.

New ones that are flexible, milky-clear and greasy feeling are all polypropylene, as far as I know. They should be better for semiconductors than the old PS ones, I'd think... less static-y.

I wonder if the greasiness is from the mold release, and if wiping them with alcohol first might remove it and help labels adhere better.

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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: May Thu 08, 2014 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Apr Thu 21, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 2571
Location: Georgia
Your'e right about the greasy feeling plastics. Usually some lighter fluid and a clean tissue will remove much of it. Sharpie can be removed from such surfaces using alcohol.


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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: May Tue 03, 2016 8:45 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 30, 2012 9:26 pm
Posts: 1508
Location: Miami,Fl
Can anyone report a long term solution that works on polypropylene that you've found to work for the last couple of years since this thread?


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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: May Tue 03, 2016 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Apr Thu 21, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 2571
Location: Georgia
I have 5 polypropylene parts boxes I have used regularly with no deterioration of the lettering I did before this thread was started. I wiped the surface with lighter fluid to remove the greasiness from the surface and used a sharpie to mark it.

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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: Aug Mon 29, 2016 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sat 28, 2009 8:27 pm
Posts: 670
Location: Georgia
I was in a Fastenal store last week and they had a jar of Milwaukee marker pens by the checkout register and I purchased one on an impulse that Milwaukee was a trusted brand. I have used it in the shop on glass, plastics, etc. and it seems to outperform sharpies but may not be as good as my trusted "paint markers". I also used it on some poly freezer bags and it was firm after drying for a few minutes. Price was about 1.75 so it was not cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: Aug Tue 30, 2016 1:00 am 
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Joined: Jul Mon 26, 2010 8:30 pm
Posts: 19020
Location: Annapolis, MD
Coming up on 3 years since I started this thread. Labels attached as I described have not budged.

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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: Dec Wed 28, 2016 12:10 am 
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Joined: Sep Tue 27, 2016 1:55 pm
Posts: 194
Location: Jackson, MI
I use white electrical tape and use a black sharpie to write on the tape. Makes good wire markers, too.


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 Post subject: Re: labels on polyethylene parts drawers
PostPosted: Jan Wed 04, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 05, 2014 8:41 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
Had my drawers labelled for a few years now; P-Touch labels haven't moved a single bit. Not worn off nor faded. Sticks well to modern "greasy" plastic and metal alike.


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