How to glue anything to anything

Date:5 September 2017 Tags:, , ,

There are a lot of glues out there. And sealants and epoxies and putties that bond. It can get overwhelming, not to mention ineffective. But not if you know what you’re doing. For those who do know what they’re doing and those who don’t, here’s a top-not guide that shows you how to glue anything:

Wood -> Glass
Use: Silicone sealant

Wood swells and shrinks as the temperature and humidity change. Glass, not so much. This puts a lot of stress on the bond, so choose a sealant that is elastomeric (flexible) instead of rigid.

Masonry -> Masonry
Use: Polyurethane hardscape adhesive

Masonry surfaces are often friable (prone to scaling). Get something that penetrates and holds on.

Porcelain -> Porcelain
Use: Superglue

Be sure you have a smooth surface, and that broken pieces are perfectly mated. Most superglues have low viscosity and won’t fill gaps.

Metal -> Wood
Use: Contact cement

Clean the metal first. Otherwise, any dust or oxidation will come off – along with the glue you just applied. If possible, sand or file the surface to rough it up and give the adhesive somewhere
to grip. As with wood to glass, you’ll want a product with a
little flexibility.

Vinyl -> Wood
Use: Liquid Nails
Use: Perfect Glue

Bonds to anything. Really.

Wood -> Wood (dry)
Use: Wood glue

Wood glue is fine, mostly because of its price. But since nearly half of wood glue is water, you’re left with a lot of gaps in the bond once the glue dries. Those gaps are weaknesses. When you need a very strong bond, use a polyurethane-based adhesive.

Wood -> Wood (wet)
Use: Gorilla Glue

Wood glues aren’t durable in water. So if you’re building something that will be out in the rain, get a product that’s stronger.

Use: PVC primer and cement

The primer breaks down the PVC’s smooth surface so the cement has something to grip.

Plastic -> Plastic
Use: PVC primer and cement

Just like PVC, plastic benefits from a solvent to dissolve a layer and expose the cellular structure. If your plastic is clear and you don’t want to see the repairs, try Gorilla Super Glue.

Fabric -> Cardboard
Use: Spray adhesive

Not the strongest adhesive, but fabric doesn’t weigh that much. Plus, the spray makes it easy to cover large areas.

Pipe Cleaners -> Anything
Use: Hot glue

Bostik just isn’t going to work for some art projects, especially anything that won’t stay in place without your holding it there for three hours. Hot glue cools quickly, providing nearly immediate grab.

Laminate -> Substrate
Use: Contact cement

Bonding plastic laminate to plywood or particleboard substrate is actually not that tough if you use contact cement. You can even find low-odour varieties today that are a pleasure to work with.

Steel -> Steel
Use: J-B Weld SteelStik

Weld it, if you can. There’s no stronger metal connection. But for quick repairs, first degrease and remove any rust from the surface and use a metal-containing epoxy like Pratley’s Steel Bond.

About the glue sculpture pictured:

We commissioned this sculpture from Lynne Chan, who adhered as many materials as she could find: vinyl, wood, tile, plastic, leather, and even an old Styrofoam head. It took two days to build and dry.

Glue anything sculpture

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