Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hobby Tip: Stronger Superglue Bonding

Bonding large metal pieces together can be a challenge, especially when the bonding surface isn't shaped convenient for pinning.  One trick I just started using is to sandwich a small piece of absorbent paper in between the pieces.  Here's how you do it.

1. Get a paper towel, fast food napkin or possibly even toilet paper (basically any paper that can absorb the glue) and tear out a single ply.

2. Place a drop of super glue on one surface  and then place a small patch of the paper onto the super glue.

3. Place another drop of superglue onto the matching surface and press onto the paper.  Hold together until glue is fast.

4. Trim any paper protruding from the join.

After the glue dries you will find the glued join is extremely strong.  As an example, I glued the two body halves from this Hordes model (Skorne Titan Gladiator) together using this technique and was unable to pull the two halves apart.  I could probably separate them with a tool, but with just my fingers is was very difficult.

As an aside, this technique will add a very thin spacer in between the two pieces, but the tolerance of these pieces is typically more than enough to allow for it.


  1. I have found superglue-milliput bonds work well where there is not a good contact surface.

  2. I've been using tissue/paper towel as a way of filling the gaps between metal parts that have a hole and post type interface. Examples of hole and post would be the legs of the penitent engine or the arms on the old metal killa kans. Wrap the post with tissue, soak with CA glue, and then jam the post in the hole. Instantly fills any gaps and creates a super strong bond!

  3. Excellent tip mate, I'll give that a go next time I've got a beast of a model.

  4. This makes twice I've seen this tip now... there must be something to it.

  5. I've been told by a coworker that potters use the same sort of technique to repair ceramic that has broken, inasmuch as they dissolve paper into the glue to add fibers to it. The fibers help the bond apparently. I have been getting more and more adventurous in trying to break this guy, and he has now survived multiple two foot falls onto my desk without the arms breaking off or the body breaking in half. I'm afraid to drop him from any higher because I'll start denting the metal.