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The Work Room is the Creative Journal of Wendy Sue where she shares her creative journey in all things handmade. The Work Room also offers an alternative to your typical jewelry making workshops. Scroll down to the end of the page to see how you can learn to make your unique piece of artisan jewelry online.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Jewelry glue

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Work Room chat:
It was also after watching this video by Xiaxue (one of Singapore's top blogger) where she was decorating her gadgets with those crystal Hotfix using epoxy glue that I was confident of the strength of the glue. I also remembered vaguely in one of the Taiwanese tv show on the same topic also mentioned some AB glue; which is what they called it there (A as one of the tubes and B for the other). I know they were refering to epoxy glue because they mention about mixing two tubes of glue together and as far as I know only epoxy glue is being used that way.

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The purist don't believe in using glue when it comes to jewelry making. I think the purist idea can only apply to wire jewelry artist. For other jewelry artists who uses mixed media in their work, I think the use of glue is almost inevitable. An example that I can think of right now is the making of glass stud earrings. How else can you stick the flat pad post to your piece of glass?







When it comes to jewelry glue, the concern has always been to find one which is strong enough. I'm not sure if there are any glue specifically made only for jewelry making but I have tried a few before finding out which one which actually works the best for me.







UHU glue by the way, is NOT a very strong glue. So, if you need a stronger adhesive where your piece might potentially carry some weight, UHU glue is not a very good choice.

ELEPHANT glue, I heard is quite strong enough for the job. This type of glue is, I think, probably familiar only with the Malaysians because I sure am having difficulty finding a picture of the glue on the internet! LOL......

Elephant glue is a clear, watery, colourless liquid, unlike UHU glue which is more in a gel form. I've used Elephant glue before for other stuffs and have noticed that it dries up with a white cast. Therefore, you might want to be extra careful when using this type of glue because it might affect the finishings of the beads if they are accidentally tainted with this glue. Especially if it's crystals, you can bet on your dollar that it will never sparkle the same way again.

I've also tried GS Hypo Cement before.







Apparently, GS Hypo Cement has been known to be used for jewelry making but the box also states that it is used for watch repair. What I really like about this tube is how it comes with a sharp tip precisiob applicator which works great to reach those small creaks minus the mess. Now this explains why it is also used for watch repairs la. We all know how tiny the watch mechanism are.

Despite being the plus point for this tube of glue, it was also what I found to be a pain.

You see, there is a needle end on the cover which will close up the precision applicator when you capped the tube. I find it terribly annoying to cap the tube because of the precision capping. Because the hole on the precision applicator is very small and the needle tip on the cover very fine, it requires some effort to cap on.

Also, because of the way I was squeezing the tube and the narrow tip, the pressure causes the glue to be over-flowing out even before I could cap on properly and when I do managed to cap it on, the overflowed glue would remain around inside of the cap and you just have no idea what a nightmare it was when the glue dried and you trying to uncap it the next time you want to use it, which by then even the precision applicator is covered with dried up glue! I couldn't show you a picture of what I meant because I didn't bring the tube over with me.

Needless to say, it certainly wasn't my choice since I find using it to be such a pain, precision application or not. The glue's strength I find, only to be of a moderate strength. So, not something I'm in awe with.

The best jewelry glue I found so far has got to be the two part epoxy glue.



Hah! I brought mine over for the obvious reason that they work for me! =P LOL.....



Basically, the glue comes in two tubes. One clear and the other somewhat opaque white. One of it is the hardener and the other, the resin. I'm not sure which is which though. I think the clear one is the resin and the opaque one, the hardener.







Anyway, what you do is to mix the two together and then use it to glue.







As simple as it sounds, the glue will nevertheless fail you if you do not mix them properly which it has already failed on me on numerous occasion. But if done properly, you can be rest assured that you've got a strong bond.

These are a few tips to take note of. I've basically summarized them up from the information I manage to gather.

Before gluing
It is a good idea to clean the mating surfaces to remove grease and dirt. Many findings have a think layer of oil left over from manufacturing and crystals often have oil from your fingers. Sometimes, you might also want to roughen the surfaces of metal parts with a file or sand paper. If you are using sand paper, buy those with finer grains as the rougher ones might spoil your work altogether but the finer ones will work just fine. The idea here is not to prevent a sleek surface which might affect the quality of the bond.

Mixing
Make sure you squeeze out equal amount from both. This is important as unequal composite of both will definitely affect the quality of the bond. No doubt it will be futile to squeeze out the exact scientific amount from both. I normally just guesstimate but what you can perhaps do is to draw two equal circles side by side on a piece of paper and squeeze to fill up the circles.

I wonder those that they sell in conjoined tubes might make squeezing out equal amounts from the two tubes much easier?



Unfortunately, you can only get these from overseas.



One thing you might want to take note is not to squeeze out too little. Past experiences has taught me that squeezing out too little (in order to save since I'm only gluing a piece) will not make a strong bond. Yes, even if its equal little amount from both tubes.

Mix the two part together with a toothpick or whatever stick available to you to do the mixing. The first stirring will start a chemical reaction for the resin and hardener to combine. Stir them longer than necessary for the second mixing for to ensure that both are thoroughly mixed. Not mixing the glue enough can cause failure.

With 24 hour epoxy, let it sit for a while so it becomes a little tacky. With the 5 minute type of epoxy you should start working right away as it sets up quickly. The one I bought is the 5 minutes type. And just like with any glue, it sticks better when they are tacky because you risk the item slipping off when it is too wet. Let it sit for at least 24 hours to cure the glue.

Leave your mixing stick and some left over glue on the mixing sheet. If the left over dries well, is quite stiff and not tacky, you have a good glue bond. If not? You have good grounds for suspicion that it might fail you.

Caution
Make sure you work in a well ventilated room as the glue does indeed comes in a rather strong chemical smell. Also, when you store the glue, make sure not to taint one another with each other as that will affect the chemical compound and affects the effectiveness when you use them in future. Basically, the two is to be stored separately and mixed only when use.


So, there you have it.... a little something on jewelry glue.




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7 hollers:

nicola said...

Thank you so much, very helpful, just what I was looking for :-)

*dashes out to buy some araldite*

xxx

Wendy Sue said...

lols....

glad you found it helpful! :)

Anonymous said...

Where do u get it from in Singapore ? I really need it !!><

Wendy Sue said...

Hey, there! I got mine from Giant hypermarket in Malaysia. I'm not sure exactly where you can get it in S'pore but I believe you should be able to get it in any hypermarket, try their home/living/DIY section.

Philipp Blake said...

Hi, this blog is really instructive. I would like to know more about this.

Fabri-Tac
Dazzle-Tac

yongz said...

Hi wendy! Great post over there! But can I check where could I find the GS hypo cement in Singapore? I tried looking around but to no avail! Can't seem to find it! :/
Thanks if you reply! I understand that this post was really long ago... :D

Wendy Sue said...

Hi yongz,

So sorry, I havent't got the slightest clue where u can get it in Singapore. :/

But, if it's any consolation, I do know one M'sian online store that sells them and they ship internationally too. :)

http://www.beading.my/adhesive-g-s-hypo-cement-with-pinpoint-applicator-for-fine-detail-work-sold-per-1-3-ounce-tube.html#.UTPdrH1uu2c

Hope this helps!

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