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What glue to use?

Adhesives are becoming every more important in fastening things together. They are often stronger than mechanical fasteners like screws, nails, bolts, or rivets. The problem is in choosing the right adhesive for the job at hand. Karl Chwe found that construction adhesive has been the best shoe repair he’s found. He discusses the options in Construction Adhesive at CoolTools.

“If you want to bond two rigid things that mate perfectly, use Super Glue. If you want to bond two rigid things that don’t mate perfectly, use epoxy. For wood, use carpenter’s glue. For pretty much every other material, porous or non-porous, flexible or not, construction cement works great, at least so far.”

It seems that this is another field where the resources are rich but the documentation is poor. Making intelligent choices and understanding the trade-offs seems to require an empirical education. There must be a dictionary, use guide, and encyclopedia out there somewhere – maybe Amazon will have a kindle version on promotion soon. I guess one of the problems is that the field is advancing rapidly. That makes field documentation go out of date rather quickly.

So, it’s browsing construction and craft forums and then spending some time at the hardware store examining options …

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