.... in other words...GLUE!!
What’s your favorite? What works best for you in certain situations?
There are lots of explanations/tutorials about various glues on the web and this is not intended to be another, but one of the things I find lacking in those descriptions is personal experiences. We’ll focus on adhesive miniaturists are most likely to use.
Ya know, just because something is supposed to work in a certain way doesn’t mean it will. :-/
We have all heard of PVA glue (polyvinyl acetate). Here’s some helpful info from the site This to That: I’ve add my comments in Red.
PVA (Polyvinyl acetates) are probably the most common adhesive on the market. They come in a variety of formulas, all ever so slightly different, and specific to what they are designed to glue. Here are some tips for using polyvinyl acetates.
§ All PVAs are designed to work on porous materials only. This means they won’t work very well when gluing plastic to plastic or plastic to wood, for example. It might seem to hold initially but the bond is not permanent. Of course, if you don’t want the bond to be permanent, that’s another story. I use PVA to glue plastic window panes to the frames of the windows because it dries clear, doesn’t damage the plastic and I can remove them easily if I want. It holds enough to keep them in place because there is very little stress put on that bond. So it suits my purpose….
§ PVAs are water based, and clean up with warm soapy water.
§ PVA is only toxic to ingest, it does not emit any harmful fumes, and is not hazardous to touch
§ PVA sets best in good air circulation, at room temperature.
§ PVAs need pressure to adhere. Only slight pressure is usually necessary, depending on what is being glued. I use the little non-toothed clamps made specifically for electronics on paper or card. I have some clamps for wood or I use tape. When I use my gluing jig, the pressure from the magnets seems to be enough.
§ Most PVAs are not water proof. The yellow PVAs have a higher moisture resistance than the white ones, but neither are completely water proof. If I want a wood join to be as strong as the wood itself, I always use a yellow “carpenter’s” glue. White glue works but not nearly as well in my experience. Also, the yellow PVA is not flexible when dry; it forms a nice, hard bond. Keeps the legs from wiggling on the table…
§ Never allow your PVAs to freeze. This breaks down the polymers and your glue will be rendered useless! Found this out the hard way….
§ Yellow PVAs have a shorter shelf life than white PVAs.
§ Be wary of overpriced PVAs that claim to be for a specific use. There is very little difference from one PVA to the other and nothing that should increase the cost. Except that I find Elmer’s, while it dries clear initially, tends to yellow over time and is not very flexible. Alene’s and Sobo both dry clear. I personally prefer the flexibility of Sobo when I am looking for that particular trait. Weld Bond (sometimes referred to as “Wellbond”) is also a PVA glue but, according to its manufacturer, the polymer is “catalyzed”, changing its molecular structure and, apparently, making it stronger. Allegedly, it can glue some non-porous materials such as stone, glass and concrete but it requires clamping for up to 4 hours and 24 hours to cure. I cannot think of an application for miniaturists except for perhaps large dollhouses…even then, I’d think wood glue adequate.
§ Although PVA is not gap filler, in some cases you can add sawdust to it to increase its gap filling ability. I’ve never done this, nor have I felt the need…
Another use of PVA glue is as a sizing. Meaning it helps paint to adhere to surfaces. I got this suggestion from Nikki Rowe of Witch and Wizard miniatures when I was trying to get acrylic paint to adhere to Fimo polymer clay. I had all but given up when she made this suggestion. I coated the item with thinned white PVA, let it dry and then painted. The paint went on smoothly with no streaking and peeling or flaking. I re-baked the item and the paint seems to be permanently attachedJ.
CA = cyanoacrylate
CA glues, better known as “Super” glues. These glues hold fast, some almost immediately, bind many non-porous things together and come in several viscosities. Zap-a-Gap is well known to miniaturists but there are others which work in a similar fashion. They are sometimes used in conjunction with PVA glues as the bond formed can be brittle, such as in miniature flower or plant construction. The CA glue makes the initial bond while the PVA makes the more permanent one. There are accelerators for CA glues but I don’t use them as I have a bad respiratory reaction to them in aerosol form.
Here is very interesting article by a model maker.
E6000 Industrial Strength.
This glue was suggested to me by a local jewelry artist and is probably my all-time favorite glue for non-porous materials. It is a clear, multi-purpose adhesive, of medium viscosity with a self-leveling formula. It adheres to more surfaces than virtually any other glue I’ve worked with. Because it does not dry instantly, you have 3-5 minutes to make adjustments before the glue begins to set. It takes 24 -72 hours to fully cure. I use it, along with a CA gel (and the Sinbad glue) for all my jewelry-like doo-dads such as the telescopes, scales, orreries, etc. It does have fumes that might bother some people but no worse that CA glues or their accelerators.
Is there a unique application you’ve discovered for an adhesive? Does anyone have experience with epoxy glues? What about glues for plastics? Any questions about the glues discussed or additions you can make? Let’s hear from YOU!
Added: Here a few links for Quick Grab. And Here also.
Added: Here a few links for Quick Grab. And Here also.