Whether you’re making jewelry, repairing a picture frame, or fixing your bike, metal adhesives can be a great tool for joining two metal pieces together when welding or soldering isn’t an option. If you’re working on a project with small, delicate pieces or simply don’t have the space and equipment for that kind of a procedure, then metal adhesives are actually a much better option. However, gluing metal to metal isn’t quite the same thing as gluing paper, wood, or other porous materials. The dense, slick surface of metal makes it notoriously difficult to glue together, which is why welding or similar methods are so often used instead. Read below to find out the most useful tips for using metal to metal adhesives.
1. Choose the Right Adhesive for Your Project
For the average do-it-yourselfer, the two main metal adhesives that you might choose between are an epoxy or something like JB Weld. Epoxies are typically better for gluing together metal pieces that have to provide structural support for something, whereas other types of adhesives might be better suited to jewelry making or arts and crafts projects.
2. Remember to Clean Your Surface
If there’s any kind of dirt, oil, grease, or other residue on the metal surfaces that you want to join (even if it’s just rubbed off from your own fingers), then you’ll have a hard time forming a good, solid bond with the metal adhesive. Make sure to clean both surfaces thoroughly and let them dry before proceeding.
3. Get a Grip
Another way to make it easier for the metal adhesive to create a really strong bond is to give the metal pieces some texture so that they can grip onto each other. An easy way to do this is to take a rough piece of sandpaper and rub the surfaces to be glued with it until that they’re gritty and rough to the touch.
4. Always Follow Instructions
Different types of metal adhesives might come with slightly different instructions for how to use them, particularly in terms of how long you have to let the glue dry. Some super-strong types of adhesives might even need to be mixed with another element before use. Therefore, it’s always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the very letter.
5. Use Some Pressure
When you glue two pieces of metal together, you can’t just let the glue dry like you would with paper. You have to apply some pressure to make sure that the bond formed is as strong as possible. Use a clamp or vise to hold the pieces together with a firm pressure that will really force the adhesive to bond to the prepared metal surfaces. Wait as long as possible before removing the clamp, as allowing the adhesive ample time to dry is key to this entire process.