Jump to content

Expoxy Substitute?

Recommended Posts

I'm posting this here mainly because it has to do with the metal parts I glue to my build. Everyone seems to say epoxy is the best choice for metal to wood. I won't argue with that.


What I really dislike is going to the trouble of mixing up the 2 parts for what is often times just a few pieces. Most of what is mixed is either thrown out or dries too quickly in the mixing cup.


I'd love to find something in a tube or bottle that could be squirted or applied with a toothpick. Am I dreaming?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some brands of epoxy come in a syringe type dispenser, which automatically squirts the right amount of both components. (You still have to mix, though)

I agree that using epoxy brings a big waste of material, but to me it is well worth it.

If drying too quick is a problem, look for 30 min epoxy instead of the more common 5 min.


I am not aware of other glues as strong as epoxy that come in a single component use, but I'd love to know.


Hope this helps.

Edited by Ulises Victoria
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a full size assembly I just used an epoxy to bond steel to wood. 

I have tried the syringe applicator in the past and I had a tendency to push one end more than the other so I had to express more than I needed to equalize the two components.  But that waste was of no consequence because  I use it so infrequently that most of it tried in the applicator before I used it all.


This time I used J-B Weld original - it comes as two   1 oz tubes and is < $5.00 US.

It has about a 5 hr set time so you have a while to play with it.  It takes 24 hrs to cure.  Then it can be filled, sanded, tapped, drilled.

It is ugly (dark grey)  and messy   and goes where you don't want it if you are not careful.  Wear gloves and mask any surface where it is not wanted.

It is cheap enough that mixing too much is not an issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I use this type of epoxy from any of the craft stores.  I put a tiny drop of each on a piece of aluminum foil and mix with a toothpick.  Then I apply it to the part with the toothpick and mount the part.  I leave the mixed epoxy on my bench and when it is set I know the part I attached is finished.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generally speaking I've always regarded epoxy as what you reach for when you need not a couple drops, but a couple tablespoons of adhesive.  Good quality CA, used correctly, should be just as strong....but would get expensive if needed in quantity (as a loose generalization CA is 4x the price of Epoxy on a per volume basis).


Worth noting though that CA does give off fumes which some are sensitive to...or get sensitive to over time.  I used to be able to use it without ill effect but now if I glue one part with regular CA I will be stuffed up for days.  Now I have to buy the odorless CA which works just as well...but costs even more. :)

Edited by Sunsanvil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my case, or my opinion if you wish, I try to avoid CA as much as possible. For clean wood to clean wood nothing beats Titebond or Elmer's wood glue. I don't really care about the longer drying times because I feel I get a much stronger bond. For wood to metal nothing beats epoxy. Again I don't care about the waste since, as before, I feel I get the best bond.

I don't have it with me at the moment but I will look for it: There is now evidence that CA degrades over time.


Just my 2 cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ulises - I wouldn't argue with anything you said. I use TiteBond Mould & Trim which is thicker and has a lot of tack. Usually 30 seconds of holding in place is enough. I used that on my hull planking and most planks didn't even need clamping. And it doesn't run at all.


As far as epoxy, I wasn't griping so much about the waste - it's cheap enough. But for metal to wood I usually make the part then glue, make the part then glue,...... Having something ready made in a tube is a convenience. With epoxy, it is usually dried out by the time I am ready to glue the second part. Probably just poor planning on my part. I suppose I should make all the parts and then spend one session gluing them.  I also did pick up some 30 minute epoxy. Haven't tried it yet but it is supposed to stay usable longer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suggest that you look at offerings by companies selling marine repair supplies. Two that come to mind are Jamestown Distributors and West Marine, not to be conused with West System epoxy which can be bought from West Marine and many local marinas. The marine epoxy companies are constantly coming up with new formulations and easier to use systems so these sources are worth a look.


Having said this the marine epoxy systems are expensive relative to the hardware store variety. A pint of West System, it's associated hardener and metering pumps might cost $50 but it will last for years and is very versatile as the basic resin can be mixed with a variety catalysts and thickened with several different thickeners. I consider it to be a workshop supply to be kept "in stock." West System also sells a small batch mixing set that comes with a calibrated scale that allows the stuff to be mixed by drops. I have the scale but have not had a chance to use it.


For cheap and dirty epoxy I prefer the stuff that comes in tubes to the double syringe type. I keep a stack of old business cards on my workbench ( you need to either get promoted or fired often) and a box of tooth picks. A drop of epoxy and a drop of catalyst on a business card mixed with a toothpick makes a quick small batch.


Roger Pellett

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose I should make all the parts and then spend one session gluing them. 

That's exactly what I'd do :)



I also did pick up some 30 minute epoxy. Haven't tried it yet but it is supposed to stay usable longer.

I have some of this stuff. Bought it for the moment when I had to glue all the gunport metal frames to the builkheads and wanted some long time to be able to glue as many as I could with one batch of glue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my primary hobbies is building and flying scale RC aircraft models. Epoxy is a go-to adhesive where the most strength and durability is required. Very often, only small amounts are needed. A drop of each part, A & B are mixed on a plastic coffee can lid or similar plastic surface. It is not necessary to be extremely precise and I do it by eye. No mixing cups, no scale, etc. Works like a charm.


As long as epoxy is kept in a controlled temp/environment and out of sunlight, mine has lasted years without incident. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Capt'n Bob said it well in his post above.


Although I use the two parts (in bottles like he shows) from another source, these epoxies are mostly the same.

I also simply squeeze a few drops of the resin and the same amount of hardener right next to it onto a piece of scrap plywood. Then, with a round toothpick I mix the two quickly and use the same or a new toothpick to apply it to the surfaces to be bonded.


The big advantage of epoxy is that it is 'gap filling', so the two surfaces don't have to be in exact contact, which is something that is very important with CA glues. With epoxy there is a 'cure time'. This is not to be confused with 'pot life'. The 'five minutes' on the label refers to the time you have before the resin kicks over and the end of the pot life. A full cure can take a few hours or a day. 


I also have another epoxy that mixes in a ratio of 5 to 1 (resin to hardener). It's pot life is 30 minutes or more which makes it great for large parts that require careful alignment and clamping. The cure time, however, is a day or more.


One place where I insist on using epoxy is installing eye bolts. I have tried CA but you need the gap filling feature to really get a strong bond and not have the bolt pull out. There are lots more examples.

Edited by Modeler12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...