August 14, 2007

The Tale of Three Adhesives...

Been getting some work done over the last few days. I finally got around to getting all of the details off of the skins and all of the tiny tabs off. The skins are now ready to bond, so I did some tests with three different adhesives to see which one works the best.

First, I tried silicone bought at the hardware store. It is a little messy, and it is a challenge to get out of the tube. In general though, it provides great control and strength as long as I have patience to let it cure. Next was JB weld. It mixes well, but is quite messy and takes a bit of work to clean from the seams. Even after it sets up, I had to go back and clean it up more. Despite these downfalls, there is something nice about it that makes me like the product as a whole. Last was 3M Supper 77 spray adhesive. It seems to have a strong bond, and goes on cleanly. The only downside is the lack of precision placement: I had to mask any parts I didn't want the adhesive on. It sets up very quickly, so make sure you know exactly what you want to glue.

I think when I bond the large sections together tomorrow I will use a bit of JB weld in key parts of the skins where clean up will be easiest. Then, I will spray Supper 77 on the outer skins and attach the the two pieces together. I have some rags and lots of clamps ready to hold the sections together and prevent gaps.

In the end, the best adhesive is the one that works best for you. Many times, the best one will depend on your comfort with it for a specific application.