Saturday, 15 October 2011

Which Glue Shall I Use?

Glues suitable for making miniatures
Those of you who read my column in The Dolls' House Magazine last year will know that I hate glue. The way it oozes and squelches and slides; the way it doesn't stick when it should and does stick when it shouldn't; the way you need one glue for this job and a different glue for that job. It all gets confusing and annoying.
   For the first dolls house I built, before I knew about such things as scale and minis in general, I used a hot glue gun. Worked fine, I thought. Until about a year later when I read that you shouldn't use a hot glue gun as whatever it has stuck might come unstuck if it gets warm. I promptly moved my dolls house out of the sunny lounge, scared I'd come in one morning and find it in pieces on the floor. Ten years and a bit later, it's still standing!
   Here's a list of the glues I use for different jobs:
  • Tacky glue for fabrics, matboard, foam core, cardboard
  • Glue stick for paper
  • UHU glue for balsa, leather or anything that needs to grip quickly (but not wood)
  • Wood glue for wood
  • Superglue for metals and sometimes a few drops added to wood glue for a faster set for things such as door frames and roof tiles
  • Poly cement glue for styrene and plastic models such as my N scale houses
I haven't used a hot glue gun since that first time, although have been tempted when things slide around instead of sticking quickly.
  And I have learnt (the hard way) two important factors about using glue:
  1. Put the glue on, make sure everything is square, then walk away and let it dry. Don't keep fiddling with it!
  2. The Body Shop's Peppermint Foot Lotion dissolves the superglue that is sticking your fingers and a toothpick, three feathers and a bead together. Don't ask me how I know that one!

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