Tales from the gluepot

I love the smell of epoxy resin in the morning. Actually that’s a lie, it’s awful. I reckon by now, a (calculates) year and one month since I began this madness, my entire house is covered in a light film of glue. I’ve lost count of the times my cuffs have dragged across a lightly hi-tacked surface to pick up a crusting of wood-based glue. When it dries it looks suspiciously crusty, as if I never have a hanky and use my sleeves instead.  I’ve also lost count of the times I’ve been out in the world with actual people instead of Radio 4 voices and have blanched at the state of my apparently-covered- in-snot-cuffs, withdrawing my arms and folding them over.

Anyway, instead of just moaning about the state of my clothes, I intend this post to be of a short review of glues that are particularly useful in my dealings with paper, cloth, metal, glass and plastic. Let us begin with the queen of all glues:

Epoxy – if glues were Hollywood actors, epoxy would be Marlon Brando: a powerful performance but oh my god is it difficult to work with. I admit, I used to have more faith in its powers on smooth surfaces and used not to sand both surfaces before I used this, but I learnt my lesson with those cufflinks. In my experience, it’s by far the best thing for glueing metals to anything, for jewellery. Absolutely the worst one to get on your hands as it just lingers for ages like a sticky slime.

Super glue: a far more brittle performance. In my experience this is not suited to bonding anything with a smooth surface that needs to flex or that gets regularly put under pressure. I use it to seal the knots on the twine I use for my garlands. It solidifies them and seals the cut ends so they don’t unravel and embarrass me.

Hi-Tack – my favourite glue! A massively sticky wood-based glue that I use for all things cloth related. I also use this for glueing the edges of books when I make them into boxes. It also seals the cut ends of ribbon and you can even use it to glue up hems.

Double-sided permanent sticky tape – I love this. I use Stix brand. When I buy a new roll it feels like I can live forever; my power to adhere things to other things reaches a god-like pinnacle! I use it to make my wallets, it really is so amazingly strong. But it’s also not cheap. I prefer to use  Sellotape double sided for light stickings.

Dimensional glaze – there is so much I don’t know about how to use this glue. It’s mysterious! What I do know is that it glues glass to paper like a mad bastard, leaving a clear, smooth finish. If you squeeze a drop out onto paper and let it dry, it forms a clear raised surface. There must be a hundred uses for this but I haven’t had time to try them out. Anyway, it’s wonderful. I’ve used it most recently to both glaze and attach bits of book paper to bookboard to make a little brooch. They become completely waterproof.

Craft mount – by far the best to use when attaching paper to paper to make something doublesided. But, a tip,  avoid the Nobbycraft permanent stuff in a pink can unless you want massive blobs of yellowy adhesive showing through and spoiling the effect. Actual Craft Mount is far superior.

Uhu (or any clear, super strong glue) – I don’t know it well enough in terms of making things but if I had a choice I’d always go with Marlon epoxy resin.

This is as far as my gluespertise goes. Also, I need to go and glue things. If you have any tips about glue, please do share them with me!

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