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Glue recommendation

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I've tried a number of different glues for my projects over the years, and I still haven't found a glue that I am happy with. They all kind of suck. My latest experience was with Gorilla super glue -- expensive at about $5 a bottle from Home Depot. I tried to glue together two small pieces of plastic. The result was a mess -- the glue just spread everywhere, didn't cure well (still felt tacky after a couple of hours), and didn't really hold the pieces together.


Can anyone recommend a glue that they really like? I mostly glue plastic together, sometimes plastic to metal, or plastic to PCB. I would prefer to avoid epoxies, as mixing the two parts together can be a hassle.

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For plastic to plastic, I really like the old Testor's model glue for a nice, rigid connection.


For general purpose use (including plastic), I ran across Loctite "Stik'n Seal", which I used for just about anything until it dried up. Strong, slightly flexible joint. Fills voids between parts well. Dries clear. Hmmm... gotta get some more of that... ;)

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The secret with glue is picking the one appropriate for your materials. When dealing with electronics, the glue of choice is almost always going to be epoxy and nothing else is going to come anywhere close.


I really fail to see what the problem is with mixing epoxy, so here are a few tips:


- Save the cardboard from cereal boxes (or any like it) and cut it into a bunch of squares. 2x2 inches to 3x3 inches is a good size. Make a bunch. Use these to mix your epoxy on. Use them once, and when done, just fold in half and toss them.


- Get a bag of bamboo skewers and/or kraft/popsicle sticks to mix+apply the epoxy. Cut bamboo skewers in half to give you one fine pointy end and three blunt ends. You almost never want the round end of a kraft stick. Cut the end flat or on a diagonal appropriate for the job. Don't waste your time with toothpicks.


- If you remember to wipe off your stick before the epoxy has cured, you can re-use it. Don't try to re-use a stick while it is tacky. You can re-use it after the epoxy has cured. In the meantime, just grab a fresh one.


- Learn to estimate the amount of epoxy you need for a job. If you need to glue multiple items, work in small batches.


- The use of a proper mixing stick makes mixing easy. Be sure to mix thoroughly, as epoxy that is not thoroughly mixed will have poor strength if it cures at all.


- If you are working on large jobs (or are just a klutz) wear disposable gloves.


- You can clean up any mess before the epoxy has cured with acetone.


- If you want to fair the surface of a joint while the epoxy is curing, dip a finger in isopropyl alcohol and smoosh the epoxy into place while your finger is still wet.


- If you want to glue onto cured epoxy, you must first roughen up the surface with sandpaper.


- There is a huge range in quality of epoxies. If you have an old tube of low quality epoxy, throw it away and get a fresh tube/bottle of a quality hobby (or better, industrial) epoxy.

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I'm a big fan of using "Extreme Power" Thick CA glue. It gives me strong joints with a decent workable drying time. When you're in a hurry, you can give is a spritz of "Zip Kicker" CA accelerator. It dries the CA glue in seconds. Zip Kicker is just a branded version of Naptha with a pump spray top.


I'm pretty sure every heli I own has a glob of CA on it somewhere.

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  • 3 months later...

Hot glue is not just quick, it is also flexible and won't rattle loose. Great for strain relief and fabrics.


Epoxy is the fallback, strong and sticks to almost anything, but inflexible. Goopy contact adhesives can be preferable where some flexibility is required.



Silicone is flexible, waterproof, food safe, heat resistant.



Super glue is brittle, not that strong, and needs to be kept in the fridge. I usually only use it where I need something quick that flows into small gaps.


Wood glue for, uh, I forget.


Mixtures of glues can be useful e.g. contact adhesive to hold items in place while epoxy cures.

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