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lb0190

Gluing Techniques and Associated Information

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I'm quickly learning there are many “tricks of the trade” on the use of glue in model ship building. I thought it would be useful to have one area in the forum that details some of the more common methods and tools associated with gluing parts together, as well as proper selection, application, surface preparation, cleanup and debonding. Lessons learned is also a good topic to share, I could could write a book...  :)

 

This subject is discussed in numerous areas of the forum, but if you would like to contribute in an effort to consolidate the knowledge, please join in. Newbies such as myself would appreciate learning from you.
 

I was not sure where the best place was to post this subject (it's addressed under numerous subjects), so please move it if there is a better location.

Edited by lb0190

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Below are the basic tools and glue I'm using on building the Niagara. Warning: I'm very new at this (working on second build) so please
keep that in mind if you decide to use anything I post. I've found out the hard way, it's best to try a new technique of scrap material first.

 

I like to use dental tools to help place titebond on targeted glue surfaces. Sometimes my glue surfaces end up being my fingers and other parts I did not target, but I'm getting better with practice. I usually place a dab of glue on a piece of tape I placed on the workbench and use the tools to gather up a small amount to apply where needed.
 

I learned from someone on MWS (thank you but I do not recall who) that placing a small amount of CA on wax paper prevents the glue from drying right away and making it easier to gather a small amount to place in precise spots. I use a needle with the eye ground away (forming a fork) to pick up a small amount of CA glue at the fork. This allows tight control over where the glue is applied. If the CA builds up on the needle, a small flame will easily burn the hardened glue away.

post-277-0-12304000-1362348248.jpg

Edited by lb0190

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Thanks for the subject Larry as glue is a huge part of the process and is not really discussed much that I could find.

 

I use toothpicks and super cheap paintbrushes that I found from Hobby Lobby (30 for $2) to spread the glue and I like the forked needle approach with the CA as I tend to wear too much of it when I use it.

Wax paper is an essential for both wood glue and CA.

 

I am just at the point of planking my first model and was wondering whether most use CA or wood glue. For me, CA is great for the quick attachment of some items but the open time to readjust is non-existent. I don't get good results under those circumstances so I suppose wood glue and downtime for drying will be my choice. Rather that than butcher the assembly with CA on everything including me. :)

 

Randy

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Now I can see why I have to spend so much time cleaning up excess glue! It looks like you put just the right amount on, whereas I slap it on, for fear of not getting enough in the right place.

I try to clean it up before it hardens, but the clamps squeeze some out when they are tightened, and then make access for cleaning difficult. I assume the the white residue you get when surplus glue hardens will look bad when the varnish goes on, so I try to remove it.

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Hi Del,

 

I know what you mean regarding the glue that seeps out. When that happens (titebond), I give it a minute to slightly harden and it can be easily picked up with a dental probe. In regard to CA glue, excess glue can be sucked away by holding a napkin edge against the excess glue for a second or two.

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Hi Randy,

 

Yes the CA can be unforgiving at times (to the fingers as well as the model... :) ) I tend to use both types depending on the need. I've wondered if anyone used a brush for spreading glue. It's an approach I'll try sometime. In regard to downtime, the titebond is very tacky and dries quickly. I like it over other brands I've tried.

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Wood glue (titebond) can also be wiped with a damp, not soaking, paper towel or rag. Especially when sanding will follow the slight raise of grain from the dampness is negligible at best.

I have never tried the dental probe approach but that makes good sense too.

 

I really do like wood glue more than the CA for most applications. I once did furniture/cabinetmaking and wood glue was used 99.99% of the time with a CA glue, Hotshot by brand, we used for that rare moment of needing it fast. Plus I think titebond creates a stronger bond than CA due to absorption into the wood fibers.

 

Both have their place tho.

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To separate a joint:

For PVA - use ispropyl alcohol.  Some soak the joint, some others soak the joint and then wrap it with a bit of paper towel soaked with alcohol. 

For CA - Be cautious with this one.  Soak the joint with acetone.  Actetone is toxic.

 

For both methods, no open flames and good ventilation is required.

 

For PVA, heat also will sometimes work.  Not an open flame!!!!

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Good topic Larry. I'm fairly new to MSW also and I too was wondering which glues to use and how to apply them. I will be following this post closely. Thanks for bringing it up for discussion.  :)

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Very good topic to have in one place. Thanks for starting

 

I buy the plactic cups (found at my grocery store) that are use for condiments. Works great to put glue in for easy acess and seal with a lid to prevent drying out.  A package of 100 cost aroun $1.50 US.

 

post-63-0-12942200-1362353797.jpg

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I find another great holder for glue is the tops off of pop and water bottles.  When you get done with them just throw them.  They are easy to come by.

David B

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If anyone is interested in CA glues, the link below has a lot of information on the different types of glues and the bonding times and materials they can be used on.    Look at    -   The What and How of Adhesives   link on that page.

 

http://www.greatplanes.com/accys/gpmr6001.html

Edited by Long9Ron

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I use fish glue, a liquid variety of hide glue, for much of my modeling. It's archival, water reversible, and is effective on most materials I use.

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This thread is off to a good start. Thanks everyone for contributing. I've already picked up some good tips I plan on using.

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Sometimes I run across a part to be glued, that is very difficult to clamp in place. If possible, as an alternate to clamping and pins, I'll use CA glue on a few spots to keep the piece in place and also use titebond (PVA) on the remaining areas of the same piece. I do not let the glue mix, not knowing what the results would be.

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I use both CA and PVA.  The PVA mostly for larger areas that can be clamped.

 

For CA I use 3 different viscosities depending on the need.  I dislike the typical 'thin' grade as it can get all over the place.  My actual favorite is a 50/50 mixture of thin and medium.

 

Thin CA can actually be used over painted surfaces if you take the time to carefully pinprick the painted surface so the CA gets down to the wood.

 

To use CA on metal-to-metal, I scuff the surface of the metal parts.  Adds a lot to the strength of the joint.

 

I use the CA on the wax paper trick and apply it with a sharpened toothpick.  When the toothpick gets some buildup, I sand it back to a point using 80 grit on a sanding block.  That same block comes in handy if I get some CA on my fingertip.  I also use a very fine 'fork' which I keep soaking in a tube with acetone so it doesn't clog up.

 

Mark hit it on the head for glue 'removal'.  But who ever needs to do that :D  :D

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Hi Larry,

 

Adhesives form a vital role in almost every aspect of our hobby yet we have no tutorial or standing guide for our members to refer to.

 

You are obviously very interested in this topic and I would suggest that you do some research aimed at covering all aspects involved with this objective and to compile a good review for our Senior Officers approval who, I am sure will support and assist you. 

 

I am prepared to help you draw up a skeleton of what I think can or should be included in the work but I'm afraid that I can not be deeply involved in the actual project other than to provide my own knowledge.

 

Would you like to take this on? I am making this suggestion as a junior member of our Group and have no influence in any decision-making.

 

Richard

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Hi Richard,

 

Your suggestion would be an interesting project and I'm willing to contribute my time if the leadership is OK with the suggestion.

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Hi Larry,

 

That sounds like great news and I think that the next step would be for you to contact, say Chuck, by pm and make your proposal and ask for board approval and support. We don't want to tramp on any toes right at the start.

 

Cheers and Good Luck,

Richard

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Good topic. I usually pour my wood glue (Gorilla or Titebond) in a plastic container of hair conditioner. Glue will not stick to it, the tip is just the wide I need, and fully closes after use.

For gluing the frames to the false keel, I use wood glue in the inside area, and then run a line of hot glue on the outside. This seems to have worked pretty well in holding up these critical parts of the kit.

post-975-0-96223400-1362507462.jpg

post-975-0-64326100-1362507488.jpg

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Hi has anyone found a cure to CA allergy?

I only have to use for a couple of minutes and I suffer for the next 2 days

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Is it every CA glue, like super glue from Walmart along with the better stuff from the hobby store? It could be just one component that affects you but knowing which one may not be worth the trouble. I don't know your symptoms but I think i would just avoid it. Not a fix for the hobby but is a fix for the allergy.

 

Randy

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Any and all even the foam safe non oder types

Spent a fortune trying different types

Humidifier in the room helps but doesn't cure

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Sounds like it is the inhalant part rather than skin that causes your allergy. What about hi-end breathing protection? Like Airstream. They make self-contained breathing hoods and helmets and all kinds of things.

 

Or- skip the CA all together. I use it maybe 1% of the time but it is not essential (to me).

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Hello maltbyguy.

 

I would think just using PVA would be your best bet. It does not dry as fast, but that has it benefits. I'm very pleased with how tacky and fast drying Titebond Translucent works for me. I could not find it close to home, but Amazon carries the product. If you need to glue something other than wood, you could consider using epoxy.

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I'm with Larry Maltbyguy, the pva is my go to almost all of the time. I also really doubt that there is a 'cure' for your sensitivity to whatever is in CA so avoidance is your best bet. I'm allergic to cats and am never around them... so no problems. Why make yourself miserable or put yourself at risk when there are alternatives?

Just mho.

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A tip that technology lecturer gave me related to using thin super liquid glues to fix metal to wood. The problem is the wood tends to rapidly draw the glue away from the joint by capillary action. His answer was to dampen the joint area of the wood with water, put the super glue on the metal surface then make the joint. It has worked well for me.

 

Ian M.

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This is the first I've heard of a CA allergy.  I've noticed myself that after a day of rigging my ship, using CA in very very small amounts to stiffen lines or prevent unraveling before cutting, that I have trouble sleeping due to nasal congestion.  It goes away in about 24 hours.  My typical technique for using CA is to put a single drop on a piece of clear plastic, then use a pin to transfer a small amount to a thread end about to be trimmed.  I also dip a thread end into the CA to keep the end from unraveling.  Is it possible that even this small amount on could cause an allergic reaction?  I guess I do use my fingers to wipe off excess from the pin or thread.

 

I use diluted PVA (white Elmer's) to hold knots tight.

 

Any alternatives to using CA to prevent ends from unraveling?

 

Andy.

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Andy,

 

As a guy who has an allergy or two I can say it doesn't need to be a huge volume of an allergen to cause the body to react. My allergies are mild and it's easy to avoid cats, I like 'em but my immune system doesn't so it's controllable, but look at those people that have peanut allergies. Just the odor molecules can cause a reaction so sure, a tiny amount could do it. Wear rubber gloves, don't touch it, don't breathe it and maybe it'll be no big deal.

 

As to something else for string, in a response a few before this one, Larry (lb0190) mentioned translucent titebond. Never heard of it but I'm intrigued and am going to find some.

 

Randy

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