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Author Topic: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay  (Read 10557 times)

ejralph

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PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« on: April 28, 2011, 08:58:53 AM »
I have been asked this question twice, just in the last week alone.

I can't remember if we have covered the subject much already, but never hurts to do it twice I guess!


Often you will want to glue baked polymer clay to non-pourous things  - gluing a barette to it's metal clip maybe? Or gluing a bail onto the back of a pendant. Maybe gluing a magnet onto the back of clay to make fridge magnets.

Usually the best glue to use is a two-part epoxy glue, such as araldite. It remains somewhat flexible after setting, which can provide a little cushioning should the join take any bumps and knocks.  I prefer to use the slower setting versions over the "5 mins" types as I think they do a better job.

For smaller jobs - maybe gluing in eye-pins to small charms etc - I like to use a cynoacrylate glue like Superglue.  This glue is a little more brittle, so don't use it for joins that will be subject to any pulling or torquing, but for simple things its great.

In both cases, its a good idea to scratch up the areas to be glued with something abrasive like coarse sandpaper. Do this to both the metal side and the clay side. It will give the glue a "key" - or in otherwords lots of little nooks and crannies on the surfaces to grip on to.

After abrading the surfaces, make sure they are clean, dry and dust / grease free. I wipe the over with a bit of meths (rubbing alcohol).

Then just be sure to allow the glue a genuine chance of setting. If the pack says leave overnight for full cure, then leave it overnight and be patient ;-)

To glue porous materials to polymer clay (say, gluing a clay panel on the front of a paper journal or greetings card) you can use stuff like double sided tape. I find a better overall result using general PVA white crafting glue (or wood glue - they are the same)

PVA also helps as a bonding agent if you are applying unbaked clay to porous or non-porous surfaces I have found. Like covering glass jars, sheet metal, or wooden frames with clay etc. Again if you can scratch up and provide a key for the glue on the hard surface, all the better

For attaching baked clay to baked clay - the epoxy glue will usually be best. Although you can also use a liquid clay as a bonding agent between the pieces, baking the project again to cure the liquid clay. Just remember it has no adhesive qualities in itself, so the peices will slide apart unless you hold them mechanically together whilst the liquid clay bakes.

Well that is about it for my working knowledge of gluing polymer clay. Hopefully everyone else will also chime in with their own observations and experiences on the subject too!

Emma



Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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shelleym

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Re: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 09:22:36 AM »
I'm like you, prefer a two part epoxy that is slow drying. The one I used to use I'm having difficulty getting hold of. I know you said you use araldite - but which sort do you use? I am after a slow setting clear two part epoxy, and I didn't think araldite did one. Any you can recommend? I really want it to be clear.

Shelley

ejralph

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Re: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 09:44:08 AM »
Mine is just called Araldite Precision - sets in 90 mins, comes in a pack with a blue tube and a white tube. Seems clear enough to me when I am using it. But I tend to use it quite sparingly when fitting on findings, so don't tend to have the glue very visible on the finished item. It could set sky-blue-pink for all I know  ;D

Will have to check on the clarity next time I glue a finding that has holes, like brooch or barette fittings, although that isn't something I do that often now I am not writing as much.

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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shelleym

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Re: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 10:04:13 AM »
The one I had been using was exceedingly clear - when mixing the two parts, you had to keep mixing a while cos you really couldn't see the difference between them if they were properly mixed or not. I really want a clear one, just incase it shows - like brooch fittings, but also for dobbing a small drop of glue on the end for hatpins - that does show, but so long as you make it look neat, it's fine, but it needs to be clear. May have to hunt it out and give it a go. I'm fast running out of the glue I have got left.

Shelley

ejralph

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Re: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 10:16:51 AM »
Ok, you lost me on the whole hatpin thing. Que?

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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shelleym

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Re: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 10:32:01 AM »
Hatpins - put beads on pin, put a drop of glue under crimp bead after last bead to stop them falling off, crimp bead and add tiny extra drop of glue at end of crimp. Wait for glue to dry - Voila!

Tried with superglue, but if you fiddle and twist the bead/crimp at the end it often loosens. Epoxy is MUCH better. Plus I hate working with superglue if I can help it.

Shelley

ejralph

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Re: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 11:59:58 AM »
Can you not just hide the glue with a crimp cover? Would probably look a lot neater?

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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krielj

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Re: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 03:37:17 PM »
I use araldite as well and have had no problems. When I first started I used super glue as I thought it would literally stick anything, but don't be fooled as it doesnt! I used super glue to glue an end bead onto a memory wire bracelet which then pinged off in the middle of a crowded restaurant, closely followed by the rest of the beads, as I was showing it off to some friends! A great start to my jewellery making business!

shelleym

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Re: PB - Gluing Polymer Clay
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 04:02:03 PM »
I'm fairly anal and worry that the tiny bit under the crimp bead wont be enough. I've actually just found out about something else I might be able to use instead - so now I'm on the hunt for a differerent fitting that will do the job. If it's just for poly clay then the araldite sounds like it would do the job.

Shelley