All about glue

There are many different types of adhesives in the lab! Use the chart below to help you choose the best one for your project.

Which one to use when? Factors to consider:

  • Materials to be bonded: porous, non-porous, etc?
  • Does the project need to be archival?
  • Rigid vs flexible materials?
  • What’s the environment? Indoor / outdoor, water resistance, heat resistance?
  • Price constraints
  • Time constraints
  • Environmental issues (fumes, cleanup, etc)
  • Dry time

Good habits for a successful gluing experience:

  • Pre-sand or rough up, esp. if gluing painted surfaces
  • Clean surfaces – remove dust, grease, etc
  • Metal / plastic: clean with 99% alcohol
  • Wood / paper / fabric: remove dust with vacuum or canned air
  • Clean hands
  • Think about how you are going to do the glue-up before you start. Once the glue goes on, your working time is limited!
  • Clamp / immobilize until glue dries: rubber bands, tape, surgical tubing, physical therapy bands, quick-clamps, dead weights
  • Remove excess glue afterward using tools / solvents
  • Health & safety: ventilation, how not to glue your fingers together

Good tools to have around:

  • Clamps, clothespins, rubber bands, strong tape, etc for holding glue joints together
  • Heavy things: gym weights, bricks, cinder blocks
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloths / newspaper
  • Respirator if using spray products. USE THE RIGHT KIND.
  • Sanding blocks, sandpaper, power sander
  • Wire brush
  • Rags (old cotton T-shirts)
  • The appropriate solvent: petroleum-based, acetone, alcohol, or water
  • Scrapers, knives, razor blades
  • Cheap brushes or craft sticks for applying glue
  • Canned air for removing dust

Safety concerns?

Search the name of the adhesive online plus MSDS (for “Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet”) or talk to Fimbel staff