Monday, December 12, 2011

Black Egg Crate Diffusers for Aquariums and Lighting

Check out this panel of black Egg Crate plastic sheet.

Made from black styrene, it has cell structures of about 1/2" x 1/2" and is 3/8" thick. People use it for a variety of applications:

  • Lighting panels in the drop-ceiling lights
  • Filters in Aquariums
  • Ice catchers in Soda Dispensers

Black Egg Crate Diffusers
Black EggCrate Diffuser panels

(it's a little bit difficult to cut, so use a sharp fine blade on your table saw)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thin Delrin acetal plastic sheet

This is an example of DELRIN acetal plastic sheet in various colors and thicknesses. You normally do not see acetal sheet or rod in anything but a natural white or colored black.

The Red is .030" thick and comes 24" wide
The Green is .025" thick and comes 12" wide
The Yellow is 0.020" thick and comes 12" wide

Great for Shim Stock, wear strips - even guitar picks!

I guess if you can think up a new application, a new color can be made as well.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oldest Plastic Company in the USA? 100 years in 2014

I wonder sometimes if the ancestral beginnings of our plastics company, that being aka Ridout Plastics Company Inc, are more deeply rooted than any others. 

Ridout Plastics is a contender.... founded in 1914 as the Rench Company, and the first plastic we sold was little plastic numbers and letters that were used on grocery store shelves AND Customer Call Numbers - 1 through 50 made from .030 white vinyl. DO you remember those? That would be late teens or early 1920's most likely.

My grandfather, one of San Diego's original grocers, did business with the Rench Company. In fact, my father remembers the store - with the earliest memories from the late 20's. (My grandfather came here in 1910). 

 The little bottle to the right is from my first job in 1968 - filling methylene dichloride into bottles - acrylic solvent glue. Yuck. Note the (714) area code for downtown San Diego.

We started selling Plexiglas acrylic sheet sometime after it was invented - best I can tell. The makers of Plexiglas didn't log who sold their product until about 1970. The earliest "proven" transaction was some clear and colored acrylic sheets used in a Buck Knife handle from the early 40's. See email below...

When my dad bought the company in 1967, we were still selling the Call Numbers and shelving numbers.... and Buck Knives is STILL a customer today OVER 70 YEARS after their first purchase!

Here's where this all started:
Subject: Buck Knives

I am the historian at Buck Knives and was hoping that you would be able to help me with a project I am working on. In the 1990's you supplied us with some plastic "spacers" that we used on a special knife for members of our Buck Collectors Club. I believe you dealt with Billy Bates on this, and a few subsequent projects.

I had heard someone make the comment that Ridout is the same company that our founder Hoyt Buck bought Lucite from back in the mid to late 1940's. I know this might be a stretch but do you have anyone at your company now that might be able to verify that statement? I am trying to piece together Buck's early history with very little information. Chuck Buck helps but his memory is fading.

Is there someone at your company that I might be able to ask some historical questions?
Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Joe Houser
Director of consumer Relations
Buck Collectors Club Administrator

To which we answered:

Ridout Plastics was the only plastics company in San Diego until around 1971 – so it’s not a stretch to say we sold you Lucite in the 40’s. That’s actually the oldest transaction anyone can document! Back then, we were located in Hillcrest on 4th avenue near Robinson.
Looking forward to 2014 - 100 years of selling plastics? Holy Smoke!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cool Plexiglas amber color shelf unit

This shelf unit looks like it's floating on the wall. The design hides the mounting hardware and still allows the light to come through and cast shadows on the wall below.

Very nice.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Plexiglass sheets seal in a porch

My plastics company sells a lot of plexiglass sheets for closing in or sealing in front porch areas. About this time of year, it is popular. If done well, the front porch can be used all winter long, and then the panels can be removed for the summertime.

This owner did a fantastic job of framing and mounting the plexiglas sheet.