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POLL: What glue have you tried, what actually works


POLL - what is the best glue to use?  

165 members have voted

  1. 1. What glues have you actually tried?

    • ABS Cement
      63
    • E6000
      137
    • CA (Cyanoacrylate aka Superglue)
      83
    • 2 part epoxy
      50
    • Hot Glue
      52
    • Other
      22
    • DevCon Plastic Welder
      21
  2. 2. What glue do you think works best for HIPS?

    • ABS Cement
      6
    • E6000
      107
    • CA (Cyanoacrylate aka Superglue)
      18
    • 2 part epoxy
      5
    • Hot Glue
      4
    • Other
      21
    • DevCon Plastic Welder
      4
  3. 3. What glue do you think works best for ABS?

    • ABS Cement
      28
    • E6000
      100
    • CA (Cyanoacrylate aka Superglue)
      18
    • 2 part epoxy
      4
    • Hot Glue
      2
    • Other
      7
    • DevCon Plastic Welder
      6


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Lots of questions and opinions about glues and what to use. Seemed about time to just get some hard numbers so that's what we're doing!

 

What do you guys think? What have you tried vs. what actually works. Your experience will prevent others from having to learn the hard way, so sound off!

 

:salute:

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- ABS Cement

- E6000

- CA (Cyanoacrylate aka Superglue)

- 2 part epoxy

- Hot Glue

 

At some point I've tried all of the above. No experience working HIPS, but with ABS it's a toss-up between ABS cement and E6000.

 

The other three are IMO not even close (CA - too brittle, 2-part epoxy - too messy, hot glue - too weak). About the only time I'd use hot glue or CA glue is for emergency repairs at a troop, so it's always good to keep some in your trooping bag, but I wouldn't use it as the primary adhesive for your build.

 

I like the ABS cement for its quick-setting time and the fact that it forms a permanent bond due to it being specially formulated to bond with ABS. Downside is that it's a lot less forgiving than E6000 - you have a limited amount of time to position the parts, and once it dries you practically need a crowbar to pull the parts apart if you discover a mistake. You also have to be careful in not getting any overspill since it dries quickly and forms a chemical bond to the plastic. It can also be expensive and difficult to source.

 

E6000, on the other hand, is inexpensive, easy to find, and very forgiving. Takes longer to set, but that also translates into plenty of time to get the parts positioned just right, and secured (clamps, magnets, tape, etc.) properly. Further, if you find out after it dries that something isn't right, it's possible to gently pry the parts apart, scrape off the E6000, and essentially start over. Overspill is also less of a concern since it can be a lot more easily removed.

 

Bottom line - I like'em both. For newbies, however, I'd definitely recommend E6000. :)

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While ABS cement makes a very strong & permanent bond, it can leave slightly visible bends in the ABS plastic from heating/melting the ABS as it forms the seal. Though not as permanent a bond, the E6000 doesn't have the same potential for melting the ABS plastic. For that reason, I voted for E6000.

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While ABS cement makes a very strong & permanent bond, it can leave slightly visible bends in the ABS plastic from heating/melting the ABS as it forms the seal. Though not as permanent a bond, the E6000 doesn't have the same potential for melting the ABS plastic. For that reason, I voted for E6000.

 

I have had the E6000 melt and bend Hips plastic. Just dont want to over use it and dont want the glue to touch the metal snap. Other than that, E6000 works really good.

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I always try to pick the adhesive that has the best properties for the job. Not all glue works well for everything (E6000 is close!)

 

Some tips:

Before gluing 2 parts, sand them lightly and clean them. Raw materials sometimes don’t bond well, if you sand both surfaces, this will give “tooth” for the adhesive to bite into. Clean off any sanding dust debris as well and clean the parts if possible. If you just ate some greasy pizza and are trying to glue armor, wash your hands first! Oil and contaminants can weaken a bond.

 

I also find it’s helpful to have a tight fit for both parts instead of “space” that you need to fill with an adhesive. Try to get a secure fit first before gluing. Also consider surface area, the more surface area that you have with full contact on both parts, the more secure the bond will be.

 

Pinning / mechanical

- I think a lot of people forget to do this. There’s often situations where you could just glue something, but a simple trick is to “pin” it.

Say I’m gluing a cube shape to a PVC pipe. I’ll drill a tiny hole in the cube, and glue in a pin. I often save the leftover pins from 1/8” rivets for this purpose. Drill the proper hole, and put a drop of Zap a gap on the end of the pin, and press it in the hole. It’s going to stay there. Now I just snip off the pin and only leave a ¼” or whatever on the end. Drill a matching hole in the PVC, apply E6000 to both surfaces. I’ll put a drop of Zap a gap in the pin, and now align both parts and clamp. The glue will hold the pieces together, and the pin will prevent it from moving.

I would use this trick for assembling resin figures all the time, and I find I can use it on various props too. Don’t always just think that you need to use glue / adhesive alone. If no one can see it, use a form of mechanical support too like screws, bolts, rivets or pins along with gluing. You’ll get a much more durable bond and it can resist repeated impacts, etc.

 

Having built lots of sculpture, models, costumes and props, here’s a few descriptions:

 

Armor (ABS / Plastic)

 

- I’ve used plastic weld for model building for a long time. It basically melts ABS and styrene type plastics to create a bond. I usually try to apply some to one surface to soften it up, then apply the other piece. Then I will brush some along the seams and clamp it.

Pretty strong bond, but it only allows for a little flex on butt joins, surface to surface is quite strong.

You can also get styrene tube glue. Most the ones for model kits are not as strong of a bond as plastic weld. I find it doesn’t “melt” the plastic as much. But you have more work time if you have smaller parts. Keep this just for styrene as it’s not as effective on other plastics.

 

- E6000 provides for a MUCH longer work time, and it allows a little “give” in joins. For non porous surfaces (plastic) sand both sides, apply E6000 in a bead on BOTH surfaces, and spread it with a pop stick. Let it tack up for a few mins (in other words, take your time to get your parts aligned. I usually have tape and clamps ready to hold parts in place) align, join then clamp. I find that the bond will hold after several hours, but best to leave it overnight / 24 hours before stressing it on areas like the shins. The only downside is the long cure time, but that gives you more time to play with.

I’ve used this for resin kits but I find that sometimes if you don’t spread it thin (on top of this, you’re spreading this on 2 surfaces) it will create a “thickness” that you might not want. This might throw the alignment out on other parts.

 

- ABS / PVC cement adhesives. I’ve been using these a lot for blasters, etc. Make sure you get the correct type for the proper plastic! ABS glue for ABS and PVC for PVC. They come in different colors and have different cure times / properties. Remember that plumbers want a fast cure time so that they can install a sink or whatever, and move on. This might be too fast of a cure time for you, so pick the type that works for you.

 

If you’re joining ABS to PVC, there’s a special version for that purpose too (since plumbers often run into this issue, trying to adapt one plastic to another. However with all of these plumbing type adhesives, you should sand both surfaces, clean them, and apply the cement quickly and evenly, and then join the parts quickly. You need to make sure that the adhesive is still “wet” in that it needs to melt both surfaces slightly to create the bond. If it’s dry to dry, it’s not going to hold.

 

2 part Epoxy

 

- Can be a strong join but I only use it for surfaces that are solid and will not see a lot of flex. I sand both surfaces and apply it to one part, then join. I don’t like mixing it and some types cure yellow. I’ve found that it can get brittle over time, and it doesn’t have much “give”.

 

Gorilla glue

 

- I’ve only used this on aluminum. It fills gaps and foams up a little. Quite strong, but the foaming can leave a bit of a mess. Decent bond. Expensive and it can dry up in the bottle.

 

Hot glue

- I love hot glue when used properly! It works best on porous surfaces like foam, fabric, wood, etc. I’ve used it in lots of different ways, from bonding, gap filling, to even casting! Yes, you can cast with it by slowly gunning it into a mold. It results in a heavy piece since the glue is so dense, but usable for small parts.

Hot glue comes in different types, there’s the standard type, and there’s a slower setting one that can be used on plastics and other surfaces, and a heavy duty one. If I need more work time, I’ll use a big hot glue gun with the slow set. If I need something quicker, I’ll use a mini gun with standard tubes.

Small hot glue guns produce less heat, and the glue ends up with a lower melting point resulting in less work time and faster cure. A bigger gun creates more heat, resulting in a higher work time. The tips are big and small too, so pick the one that suits the job!

 

Super glues

- I only ever use Zap a Gap. The other types are somewhat sketchy. Zap a gap comes in different types with different properties (slow set, plastic, thicker consistency gel, etc..) I really like their adhesives.

I have used commercial / industrial cyanoacrylite glues with accelerators before for making armatures for sculpting figures. It’s somewhat messy with spraying accelerator out of a bottle. It’s a “solid” adhesive and doesn’t have much give at all, very brittle sometimes.

I’ve used Zap a gap on a lot of resin kits and such. It’s a good bond but I personally only like using it for “static” models. It’s OK for prop / handling use if it’s a greeblie, but for strength I’ll use something else. I don’t like using “Crazy Glue” as I find it’s very brittle and can “frost” the plastic you’re working with.

I would only use Zap a gap sparingly and sometimes use it in a clever way. Say I’m gluing 2 cubes together. I’ll use E6000 in the middle, and put a drop of Zap a gap in each corner. The zap a gap will hold it in place, but the strength will come from the E-6000.

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I have only used E6000 and ABS cement. I will always prefer e6000 cause I have melted/warped ABS using ABS cement. After making that mistake I have learned how to correctly use it. It just makes me nervous to get it on surfaces of armor that I didn't intend for it to be on.

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I've only recently been introduced to E6000. I found one tube in Walmart in the craft section a few months ago but it has never been restocked. If I ever find it again I will buy several tubes.

 

Devcon plastic welder is great but be aware that after a year or two it will tend to yellow. Make sure none is visible on your armor.

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I use ABS cement for stuff on the interior like the snap tabs and the shims when assembling the arms/legs, etc. I'm using the E6000 on the outer finish strips.

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After asking questions on how to glue my armor together I was given the recomendation of E6000. It took me awhile to find it, but I did. The Walmart here had 3 peg hooks full of the glue & Im assuming it is stocked often, as all the hooks were full to copasity. Very cheap too. I paid $2.57 for the tube. :dancing-trooper:

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The E6000 seems to hold up just fine with trooping and it dries clear which is a huge plus if you put too much on and need to scrape it off. For my next suit I'll definitely use E6000 on the whole thing.

Edited by NoVATie
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Devcon plastic welder is great but be aware that after a year or two it will tend to yellow. Make sure none is visible on your armor.

 

 

True, I noticed it turning yellow on the inside spillage in my armor, luckily I taped it off good on the outside when I glued ;) But that stuff does bond nice!

 

I didn't realize how many people use E6000 for exclusively putting armor together. :) Guess it would work really well cause if you ever have to modd your armor you will be able to take it apart....I am definitely going to try this on my next set of armor :D

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I've used E6000 on all of my TK builds and have never regretted it. Although it can be a bit of a pain to work with if you're in a hurry, it has the most solid, reliable hold out of all the glues I've tried.

 

And yet, with my clone build, I deviated from this and used a mixture of Devcon Plastic Weld & CA glue and found them to work very well, too. Still, I would rather stick with E6000 when dealing with stormtrooper armor - why stop a good thing?

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E6000 all the way :)

 

I have used E6000 on:

Gloss hips TM suit, Mat hips TE2 suits, abs TM suit, all worked perfect.

 

I have used hot glue on:

Abs AP suits, and it worked perfect too, but not as strong as the E6000 for sure.

 

(the hot glue can heat up the hips/abs, and damage the suit.

But mostly, only where the suits is pulled thin...

But the gluing is mostly the assemble parts whit stripes, so no problem any way.

But it will never be as strong, for life time trooping, as the E6000)

 

I have used abs cement on my old abs FX suit, i remember it as strong as the E6000.

But way more toxic, and harder to works whit/to control/and could therefor damage the gloss surface on the suit.

And also not as flex, as the rubber a like E6000.

Edited by TD-252
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  • 1 month later...

A great substitute for E6000 is Henkel Tangit PVC-U for all of you European troops having a hard time finding E6000. You can get it in almost every DIY or hardware store and it works for ABS as well as HIPS. A little better for HIPS though IMHO, but use only very small amounts! It's powerful stuff and might melt the plastic if you use it excessively.

 

0726b4dd38c80f3ce0945262aa52001b1.jpg

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I hate E6000. It works, but man it is messy. Upside is its flexible and if you goof.. you can get it apart with out messing up your armor.

 

I like ABS cement. Drawbacks being that it does get brittle over time AND that it will in large quantities MELT your armor. Holds like nothing else however.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Devcon plastweld all the way. There is n o aspect of building trooper armor that should not be dry fitted 3-4 or 20 times before final gluing. If you are that careful, you will have as good success with a glue that sets in 24 hours or one that sets in 6 min. Just remember that with any glue, you need to mask off all gluing surfaces if you paint your armor parts prior to assembly.

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Nothing beats Plexus MA 310 or 300. It is a two part methacrylate that uses a duo-pak gun and mixing nozzles. You can also get it in a standard two part tube but that really slows down the process. Nothing bonds to plastics better. It is not cheap but it is really easy to use and the bond is as strong as the plastic. It is available at Curbell Plastics. The 50 ml cartridges cost about $15 each, the mixing nozzles about .50 each and the guns can be bought for $35-$50.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't use E6000 much until the end of my build and I forget for which bits. I know I liked it, but am not that familiar with it.

 

Anyway, I have the AP kit with the sniper plate that doesn't fit well. Does anyone (who is familiar with the AP kit and it's stubborn sniper plate) think E6000 will hold that sniper plate in place if I try to glue it on the 2 edges? I have the front part velcroed on, but the 2 'wing'like' edges need to be affixed to the shin and I am hesitant to screw or rivet. Will E6000 hold?

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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to join the discussion as this has been an issue for me...

 

I used the ABS 2771 Plastic Pipe Cement on my original set of armor. Folks warned me about it beforehand, and I was careful in using it. I never had any problems with warping, etc.

 

When modifying later on, I couldn't find any ABS cement locally and was redirected by my local Home Depot employee to LOCTITE Plastic Epoxy, which specifically works with ABS.

 

Alas, when I jumped in a swimming pool at C5, the pieces held together with the epoxy came off (and I returned the extra tubes that I had cleared off the rack). Likewise, adhesive-backed velcro strips that had not been backed with cement are coming loose now. But every piece that I've used ABS cement with holds together tight (because, if I'm not mistaken, they've been chemically joined).

 

Will the E6000 stand up to the same abuse as the ABS cement? Or will it let my armor fall apart underwater or in my luggage?

 

Copy_of_Anna_235.jpg

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