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Best glue for paper templates?

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I have used a spray-on (pressure pak) 'temporary' fix glue from 3M and another company in the past with some success - can't remember the brand name of the other but available in art supply stores.   :)  Only issue was that sometimes the edge of the paper would lift when cutting on the saw (especially with the scroll saw) which I think was due to the offset teeth of the blades I was using.





Edited by BANYAN
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I second glue sticks. I used to use rubber cement, but it always dried out between boats and is messy to use anyway and it is expensive. Glue sticks are cheap, work very well and there's no wait time between applying the template and cutting the wood. I'd never go back to rubber cement.

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Is there a 'best'?  Maybe.  I've used -


1. 3M SprayMount (low tack) and 3M Super 77 (high tack), and Weldon Contact Cement.  All of these can be removed with spirits of naptha.  residues can be a problem

2. rub-on glue sticks, ok but only for items where I didn't worry about removal

3. Elmer's glue - water removes it but can stain

4. Shellac - a traditional adhesive that can be removed with denatured alcohol, and should not interfere with finishes

5.  hot hide glue (not Franklin!) - hot water / steam soluble and does not interfere with finishes


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On 12/29/2018 at 12:36 PM, Jaager said:

Bob,  for removing hide glue, try ethyl alcohol - the rubbing alcohol in pharmacies - not the isopropyl.

Heat and ethanol denatures the protein - changes its shape and no longer bonds.


Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol mixed with methanol (and possibly other  noxious substances) added to make it poisonous.  The proportions vary from 30-60% either way.  Pure ethyl alcohol is consumable and taxable and hence much more expensive.   


Hide glue will also denature and release with steaming water alone, but that might cause problems with warping.

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I forget what is in rubbing alcohol - ethyl - to get it past the federal tax, iso is poison all by itself  -- anyway, I was trying to unbond wood that was joined using Franklin Hide Glue.  A heat gun and 70% ethyl rubbing alcohol did the job - I was too OCD in my glue coverage and the wood was sort of thick - and it took too much heat to get deep into the bonded layer and the Maple was almost charring on the surface, so I had to find another way to do what I was after.  But - a surface bond with a paper pattern has no problem with access - and the heat and 70% ethyl not only broke the bond, the glue formed into little beads that easily rubbed off and the wood grain should not swell as much as using just water.  I did not take notes, but I seem to remember that 91% Iso was not as reactive with the glue protein.  It might do and that would solve any swelling problem.

The paint thinner ethyl alcohol is 95% with a touch of methanol, etc.   Ethanol has an attraction to water that makes it impossible to have 100% if it is exposed to water vapor in the air it is in.  I think the pharmacy alcohol is less expensive than the paint store stuff.


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20 hours ago, Jaager said:

I forget what is in rubbing alcohol - ethyl - to get it past the federal tax, iso is poison all by itself  -- anyway, I was trying to unbond wood that was joined using Franklin Hide Glue. ....


In my opinion, Franklin Hide glue is the work of the devil.  The shrinkage is very high, and the additives that keep it liquid at room temperature (possibly urea) seem to ruin it.  I never use it.  I make up Behlens Hide Glue and store it frozen in ice cube trays,  and apply it hot at 145F.   Another brand called Old Brown Glue is said to have good properties and is warmed in hot water, but I've never used it.  


The alcohols that are commonly available are methanol (1 carbon), ethanol (2 carbons) and isopropyl (3 carbons).   Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol mixed with water,  and a 70% solution is used for medical purposes because it is most effective for killing bacteria, where as weaker or stronger are not.  Ethanol is the best solvent for shellac, although both methanol and isopropyl will have some effect.


Incidentally, I've found that alcohol-based Purell hand sanitizer is excellent for removing pitch from saw blades.

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