How to Select the Proper Glue for the Task How to Select the Proper Glue for the Task

Ever since the first patent for glue was issued in the 1700s, glue has been used on a wide variety of products. In fact, a wide variety of glues exists on the market today. Knowing exactly which glue to use for which task is essential to getting the job done correctly. In fact, using the correct glue can help you avoid having to repeat the task.

Fortunately, each type of glue comes with instructions, an ingredient list, a set of cautionary statements if applicable, and a list of the products for which the glue works best. A list of the common uses of various types of glue is provided below. Included are the types of glue that work best for specific tasks along with drying or setting times and application procedures. Refer to the labels on glue products for a more specific and detailed set of instructions, uses, and ingredients.

General Indoor Use

Most indoor purpose glues work well with products made from paper, ceramics, and wood. This type of glue is usually made from polyvinyl acetate. It sets in approximately 8 hours and is cured in 24 hours. To use this type of glue, apply a thin coat of the glue to both of the surfaces in question. Apply a clamp or pressure of some type to the items for approximately 4 hours to help maintain the proper alignment of the two surfaces. This glue cleans up easily with water and soap since it is water soluble.

Light Repair Tasks

Occasionally, our decorative items, including glassware, ceramics, and plastics, encounter a minor misfortune and require some minimal bonding. Glue composed of cellulose is excellent for this type of task. It sets to more than half the strength in 2 hours and almost full strength in 2 days. Apply two coats to both surfaces that are to be bonded. This will provide the extra strength that is needed for a task like this. On the downside, this glue is water resistant and will require acetone for any clean up.

Strong Bonding Tasks

For the strongest bonding tasks, use epoxy glue. Many indoor and outdoor products work well with this type of glue, including wood, metal, glass, and plastic. Depending on the surface area, this glue can set in 5 minutes or it may take 10 hours. It cures in 3 to 48 hours from the time applied. This type of glue is a bit trickier than most. You will need to wear protective gloves, use a disposable applicator, and work quickly. Mix the two ingredients and apply to the surface immediately. Any spills need to be cleaned up while they are wet, using acetone. This glue is extremely rigid, waterproof, and strong.

Instant Bonding Tasks

On occasion, we encounter something that needs immediate fixing. If the item is nonporous such as plastic, metal, or rubber, super glue can be used for bonding. This glue sets in 10 to 30 seconds, so it is essential to move quickly when using it. It cures in a half hour or up to 12 hours depending on the surface area. You should wear gloves when using this glue. Apply only a drop or two to the surface, and press the areas together for approximately 30 seconds. Clean up, if necessary, must be accomplished with acetone. Super glue is strong and water resistant.

Outdoor or Indoor Use

Primarily used for wood products, resorcinol glue works well for outdoor and indoor products including patio furniture, small watercraft, etc. This glue sets in approximately 10 hours, depending on the temperature. Above 72 degrees, the glue will set faster. Apply to both surface areas and clamp well for approximately 16 hours. This glue can be cleaned up with water if clean up is done while the glue is still wet. This type of glue is exceptionally strong, rigid, and waterproof.

Wood Products

Plastic laminates and wood veneers require a special type of bonding product- contact cement. Contact cement sets almost instantly and it will cure in mere minutes. Apply the contact cement to both surfaces. Allow the cement to dry. Place both surfaces together. Press the surfaces completely and thoroughly together. A roller or heavy block can be used for this.

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