Sometimes screwing, bolting, welding or soldering just isn’t the right way to join two metal pieces together and you may decide to use glue instead.
But what types of glue are suitable for this sort of job and what preparations and precautions are needed?
Three main types of metal glue
Metal glues fall into three main categories; cyanoacrylate, which will last about a month once opened, polyurethane glue suitable for use both indoors and out and epoxy, which is sold both in premixed and unmixed formats.
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Each type of metal to metal glue is better in different circumstance, so before buying a glue think about what it’s being used for. Does the glue need to be water or heatproof, for example? Are you using the glue indoors or outdoors and how long do you want the joint to last?
Preparations and precautions
Once you’ve selected the right glue for your job you should start to think about how the surfaces and the area you’re working in need to be prepared.
Any form of DIY in the home can be dangerous if you’re not properly prepared, don’t have the right tools or skills, or try to rush the job, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) offers some handy hint and tips to help you stay safe.
Before you apply any glue, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions as these will alert you to any safety precautions you should take and also let you know what to do if the glue gets onto skin, in your eyes or is ingested. For example, the instructions might advise wearing gloves or a face mask.
Once you’re prepared you can get started on the metal itself. To form a solid bond the surfaces of the metal need to be thoroughly cleaned. Remove any corrosion or rust using a light sanding paper or steel wool. Then wash the metal to remove excess dust from sanding and also any grease or oil residue and allow to dry completely. Now you’re ready to apply the adhesive. If you’ve bought a two-step epoxy resin you might need to mix it first, while other glues can be applied directly to the surfaces to be joined. Finally, leave to set, or cure.