ADHESIVES FOR ANTIQUES

including super glue, epoxy glues, acrylic adhesives

 

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Here is a guide to adhesives – what should you use for porcelain or glass? Which are best for plastics? How about fixing items made of different materials? What if the items is lined with a sheet of another material, or is mechanical and will get heavy use, or is perfectly transparent?

Of course, you don’t have to use these adhesives for just antiques, you can use them for anything. In fact, the examples given in the instructions tend to be model trains, but it makes no difference if the item is a Bakelite ashtray, an 18th Century teacup or a the casing of a digital camera.

However, it is for you to decide on their suitability, and it is suggested that you do not use these to restore valuable works of art unless you are an experienced restorer.

Before using an adhesive on anything, here are some of the questions you should ask:

• A ‘good’ adhesive might fix the item permanently…forever. Is this what you want? A principle of museum restoration is that future generations might want to undo your work. Or maybe you are tempted to fix a laptop screen that has come loose – you may end up having to get it replaced, and the repairer won’t be able to remove it.

• Is the repair ‘critical’, e.g. the handle to a valuable teapot? Test the strength of your chosen adhesive on some scrap material before risking smashing the teapot if the glued handle breaks.

• Are you working with soft plastics or unknown materials? Test your chosen adhesive on a sample first, to see if it marks it.

As with all equipment and materials supplied by QUICKTEST, adhesives must be used in conjunction with the user’s skill and experience. Under no circumstances shall Quicktest be liable for direct or indirect loss sustained in connection with any product.


INTRODUCTION TO CYANOACRYLATE (SUPERGLUE ADHESIVE)

You may have seen claims that super glue can hold anything together and that they have best ‘holding power’ of any adhesive. Not true! They work on some items and not on others. Try it on any high-stress, movable or mechanical part - you will find it falls apart within seconds. Try it on the wrong mixtures of material, it won’t stick at all. However, some superglues do work perfectly on some materials.

EXAMPLES

Good for gluing similar types of material:
- porcelain and glass are similar
- hard plastics are similar
- all wood is similar
- soft plastics are similar

Not so good for gluing the different types of material together (materials that have different expansion rates will come apart).

Good for small items that are not going to get heavy use:
- decorative items such as ornaments and antiques that are for display rather than for use
- items that are not mechanical and are not subjected to stress

Bad for items that will get heavy use:
- anything with moving parts, from electric motors to mechanical toys to box hinges
- anything that will be heavily used, any household object that is used all the time
- for large items: simply forget about furniture and metal ware .

CURING, CLOGGING AND STORAGE

Super glue sets (cures) with moisture. There is always moisture in the air. Some materials contain moisture. Wood and natural fibres contain their own moisture (super glue sets quickly); plastics, porcelain or glass do not contain moisture but there will still be moisture in the air (super glue sets slowly); your skin is very moist (super glue sets very quickly).

Moisture in the air sets (cures) the adhesive in the nozzle, but only at the very end. If you are using the nozzle built into the bottle, un-clog it with a pin. Letting the end cure is good, it seals the remaining contents from air and moisture, do not leave the pin in as this will allow air to get in and the entire bottle will go solid. If you are using ADHESIVE TIPS, the very end of the tip (about 3mm) will clog up, simply cut that bit off, there will be plenty more of the tip to work with.

The ideal storage temperature is between 8 and 14 degrees. Room temperature is usually OK. A brand new bottle can be kept in the fridge. A bottle that has been in use can also be kept in the fridge but check that the cap is on tightly, fridges are very moist and moisture getting into a bottle will cure the adhesive quickly.

Never store it in direct sunlight or extreme heat (e.g. by a sunlit window or in a hot car).

 


ROKET HOT
ref. adsv-roket-hot
Super thin penetrating cyano adhesive

Super-thin (far ‘thinner’ than water!), penetrating, fast-setting. Use this if the break is clean and the parts fit together perfectly, the high penetration will guarantee a perfect join.
Flat surfaces are good, one spot on two small pieces of wood ‘flash over’ the two surfaces and set almost instantly. Small perfectly-fitting joins are good, a slither of porcelain will glue back into place flawlessly.

Examples

Good for any small break, from a figurine to a plastic toy to a teapot lid; absolutely perfect for chipped or smashed items where you are working with small fragments (use the ADHESIVE TIPS).
OK for glass, unless the glass is transparent, in which case use ROKET ODOURLESS instead.
OK for soft plastics / plastic foams (though not polystyrene).
Can be used on fine metal parts (e.g. small decorative items) but there are better adhesives for metals and larger items.

Technical

Brand: Deluxe
Quantity: 20g
Mixing: no mixing required.
Application: bottle has fine nozzle (sets of very fine nozzles available).
Setting time: 1 to 5 seconds
Shelf life: 1 year providing it’s kept tightly sealed, cool and dry

Instructions

Surfaces must be clean and perfectly-fitting, position the parts closely together, apply one drop, press the parts firmly together, do not move them while the adhesive sets. Remember, it will set in 1 to 5 seconds so plan how you are going to press the parts together.

 


ROKET ODOURLESS
ref. adsv-roket-odourless
Crystal clear, odourless cyano adhesive



Have you ever bought super glue in a shop, used it on glass or clear plastic, and to your horror you can see the adhesive… and now there’s no way of getting it apart. ROKET ODOURLESS is guaranteed crystal clear.
Also good if you are sensitive to super glue fumes.

ROKET ODOURLESS is slightly thicker than ROKET HOT and has a longer setting time. Use one spot (or dribble) of adhesive, press the parts firmly together, do not move them while the adhesive sets.

Examples

Clear glass or plastic (even soft plastics such as acrylics).
Safe on all plastics (whether clear or not).
Also OK for soft plastics / plastic foams (including polystyrene). This can be used as an ‘all-purpose super glue’ but for really small perfectly-fitting items you will find the deep-penetrating ROKET HOT easier.

Technical

Brand: Deluxe
Quantity: 20g
Mixing: no mixing required.
Application: bottle has fine nozzle. Sets of very fine nozzles available.
Setting time: 10 to 20 seconds
Shelf life: 1 year providing it’s kept tightly sealed, cool and dry

Instructions

Apply to one surface, hold parts together, do not move them while the adhesive is setting.


ROKET POWDER (filler)
ref.roket-powder
Filler powder, flows like water, sets with ROKET adhesive



Examples

What do you do if your near-perfect item has a chip, dent or hole which is too small to fill with putty… and you don’t have a broken part to stick back? Fill it with this fine powder (it ‘flows’ like water), touch it with one spot of ROKET HOT, the powder sets into a metal-like material.

Also good for fixing small easily-accessible mechanical parts. For instance, a small hinge on a box that is coming loose, and you can’t remove the hinge without damaging the item. ‘Flow’ ROKET POWDER around the hinge and add the super glue to set it (it will form a ridge around the hinge). Now the hinge is fixed firmly so that you can complete the job. Either replace the screws, or if there are holes that are too big for the screws to grip, use ROKET POWDER to fill the holes before re-drilling, then the screws will fit tightly. If you drill a hole in the wrong place, fill it with ROKET POWDER, set it with super glue

A finely-finished item of furniture is riddled with tiny holes caused by woodworm. Pour ROKET POWDER carefully into every single hole and set with super glue You will end up with a perfect surface.

Technical

Brand: Deluxe
Quantity: 40g
Mixing: no mixing required.
Shelf life: 10 years
Application: bottle has fine nozzle.
Setting time: this is not an adhesive, ROKET POWDER accelerates the setting times of ROKET HOT and ROKET ODOURLESS.

Instructions

Pour into gap before or after applying ROKET HOT, max depth 3mm per application, allow one minute to set between applications. Dries to a pale beige.

 


TRICKY STICK

ref.tricky-stick
Tricky stick, enables super glue to stick to difficult surfaces



Decorative items can be lined. Lined with rubber, foam, polythene, polypropylene, nylon, vinyl…and once they start peeling they are nearly impossible to stick back down, using a few spots of super glue simply doesn't work. Brush with TRICKY STICK, then apply ROKET HOT or ROKET ODOURLESS. The TRICKY STICK will make the adhesives spread out (like oil on a non-stick pan) giving a large adhesive-area and resulting in a firm bond. You can even try this with unknown materials when you find that the adhesive won’t work on its own.

Technical

Brand: Deluxe
Quantity: 50ml
Mixing: no mixing required.
Application: there is a brush built into the lid.
Setting time: this is not an adhesive, this is a surface primer for difficult plastics.
Shelf life: 3 years providing it’s kept tightly sealed, cool and dry

Instructions

Ensure surfaces are dry and clean. Brush onto the shiny surfaces and allow to dry. Apply ROKET HOT or ROKET ODOURLESS to one surface and quickly bring the two surfaces together, holding tightly until set.

 


ADHESIVE TIPS (pack of 6)
ref.adsv-roket-tips
Super-fine tips for dispensing superglue

Bottles of ROKET HOT and ROKET ODOURLESS have fine nozzles, it is usually sufficient to dispense one drop… or maybe a few drops for a ‘large’ surface area (though superglues are only intended for small items). However, if you are fixing really really tiny items, you need a really really tiny nozzle - and these long tips are very fine.

They push over the bottle nozzle, each is 65mm long with an internal tube diameter of 1mm. If 1mm is too large, it can be made smaller by stretching the tubing (you simply by pull it with your fingers). After each use, the last 3mm of tubing will be filled with superglue that is set hard. To use it again, simply cut that last 3mm off.

 


ROKET BLASTER
adsv-roket-blaster
Roket Blaster, makes superglue set faster



Hard materials such as glass, porcelain and hard plastics don’t contain the moisture needed to cure (set) superglue, they take longer to cure than ‘moist’ materials such as wood and other natural fibres. Use ROKET BLASTER to force it to cure quickly. This won’t make much difference with ROKET HOT, where the cure time is 1 to 5 seconds, but with ROKET ODOURLESS it can reduce the time from 10 seconds to 2 or 3 seconds. This really does make a difference when fixing parts that cannot be held in position easily, in ten seconds it will move!

Technical

Brand: Deluxe
Quantity: 50ml
Mixing: no mixing required.
Application: the bottle has a screw-cap and an additional spray-fitting, either spray the liquid or use a brush.
Setting time: this is not an adhesive.
Shelf life: 3 years providing it’s kept tightly sealed, cool and dry

Instructions

Either spray it on (spray-cap included) or brush it on (brush not included). If spraying, apply the superglue then spray on ROKET BLASTER. If using a brush, brush ROKET BLASTER onto one surface, apply the superglue to the other surface.

 


INTRODUCTION TO TWO-PART ADHESIVES

Some people don’t like to take the trouble to mix the different parts, but these really are the strongest, best for high-stress repairs (where the item will be used rather than left on a shelf as decoration), good for gap-filling across joints.

Advanced users can ‘coat’ damaged areas the drill, re-peg them (or re-tap) the damaged area…even cut and shape the set adhesive.

I’d recommend these, over superglue, for any large area, any mechanical item, anything that will get heavy use, any join which is ‘critical’ (e.g. the item will smash if it fails).


FUSION

ref.adsv-fusion
Toughest adhesive for heavy duty / mechanical items (gap-filling)



Mix the powder with the liquid. Over about 20 minutes it turns from a syrupy liquid to a thick gel to toffee-like… and ends up at hard as rock (tip: if you haven’t finished using it, you can extend the setting time by stirring in a little more liquid). What you end up with is a very solid tough surface, so tough that it is used in dentistry.

Not only is this suitable for plastic items, but also for metal including high-stress moving parts (‘critical high point stress joints’).

Examples

A plastic device (anything) that is so worn that it’s cracking apart. Coat it with FUSION, the result is an almost bullet-proof coating (if necessary it can be drilled, pegged, or screwed).

A watch with a broken lug (the bit that fixes to the watch casing, into which you fit the pin that holds the strap) – it had snapped off. Fixing an approximately-sized blob of FUSION was easy. Filing and drilling it to match the intact lug did take skill, but the result was a valuable watch that was now useable.

I fixed a metal light fitting with FUSION, the metal had snapped. Especially good for cast metals such as aluminium which cannot be soldered back together.

Technical

Brand: Deluxe
Quantity: 35ml bottle of liquid (adhesive) + 35cm3 tub of powder (catalyst).
Mixing: measure out the liquid (pipette supplied), measure out the powder (scoop supplied), mix it in the little plastic pot (supplied).
Application: a spatula is supplied.
Setting time: 15 to 20 minutes
Shelf Life: 5 years min.

Instructions

Measure out 2½ml of liquid with the pipette + 2½ml of powder with the scoop, mix in the little plastic pot, apply with the spatula.

 


SUPER CRYLIC

adsv-super-crylic
Strongest easy-spread adhesive for large flat areas / flexible joints


Similar to FUSION but without the rigidity; it’s runnier and bonds are tougher (better than superglue or epoxy) when gluing different types of material together (hard, soft, smooth, rough); good for anything flexible, brush it on, spread it around. Will handle joints that have to remain flexible.

NOT good for very heavy-use high-stress items, cannot be ‘built up’ across gaps, into spaces and over surfaces, use FUSION instead.

Examples


Whenever you have totally different materials: metal, wood, plastics (hard or soft).
For joints that have to remain flexible.

Technical

Brand: Deluxe
Quantity: 60g bottle of adhesive + 60g bottle of activator
Mixing: measure out equal amounts of liquid (two pipettes supplied).
Application: a spatula is supplied.
Setting time: 10 to 20 minutes
Shelf life: 1 year in cool conditions.

Instructions

Measure out equal amounts of liquid (two pipettes supplied), allow one to two minutes, allow to set without movement, you have 15 to 20mns remaining until it has set. TIP: don't mix up the caps, perhaps mark them with paint.

 


AERO T<CH
ref. adsv-aero
Aerotech heavy duty epoxy resin


Heavy duty epoxy resin, non-drip, thick (will fill gaps), workable for an hour, gels in 2-3 hours, fully sets in 24 hours, you won’t get this from an epoxy you buy in a supermarket.

For metals, wood, even carbon fibre. Good for larger items. Easy mixing (just push the double syringe). This is the best heavy duty epoxy, but it is not pretty, it’s used by engineers who need to see which parts have been glued, do not use this on antiques in any place where it could ‘spill out’ and be visible.

Technical

Brand: Deluxe
Quantity: 25ml
Mixing: push the double-plunger to dispense equal amounts from each tube.
Shelf life: 2 years
Application: just apply it with anything suitable, a paperclip for small items, a spoon handle for large items.
Setting time: gels in three to four hours, fully set in 24 hours.

Instructions
Mix thoroughly. For best results clean surfaces (e.g. with acetone) and abrade (roughen, e.g. with emery paper).


JEWELLER’S CEMENT
ref.jewcement

For cementing pastes and marcasite



Never glue gemstones, they must be fitted with claws, only a jeweller can re-make (“re-tip”) broken claws. However, pastes (and especially marcasites) are glued.

JEWELLER’S CEMENT is especially designed for jewellery, non-drip, easier to handle than a liquid, and you can remove it at a future date should the jewellery need repairing.

Technical

Brand: HMG
Quantity: 15ml
Mixing: no mixing required.
Application: use any fine point to apply, I recommend a cocktail stick or toothpick
Setting time: 24 hours

Instructions


Apply with any fine point, a small paperclip will do, I find a cocktail stick easier.

 

 


As with all equipment and materials supplied by QUICKTEST, adhesives must be used in conjunction with the user’s skill and experience. Under no circumstances shall Quicktest be liable for direct or indirect loss sustained in connection with any product.

 

 
QUICKTEST, Watford, WD18 8PH, Tel. 01923 220206, email info(at)quicktest.co.uk