What is the best Adhesive / Glue for Jewelry Making and Repair?
The purists don’t believe in using glue when it comes to jewelry making. The purist idea can only apply to wire jewelry artist.
For other jewelry designers who use mixed media in their work, the use of glue is almost inevitable.
An example is the making of pearl stud earrings. How else can you attach an ear stud / post to your pearl?
When it comes to jewelry glue, the concern has always been to find one which is strong enough. We are not sure if there is any glue specifically made only for jewelry making but we have tried a few before finding out which one actually works the best for us.
UHU glue is NOT a strong glue. If you need a stronger adhesive where your piece might potentially carry weight, UHU glue is not a very good choice.
SUPER glue is strong enough for the job. Super glue is a clear, watery, colorless liquid, unlike UHU glue which is more in a gel form. We have used Super glue before for some work 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 will affect the finishing of bead or other components if they are accidentally tainted with this glue. Especially if its crystals, you can bet on your dollar that it will never sparkle the same way again.
Super glue is one of the many names given to cyanoacrylate, which is the scientific short name of the many powerful, fast-acting types of glue on the market. Super glue is just one brand of these types of glue, though the name has been applied to all fast-drying, instant glues. Super glue should be handled carefully because of its high toxicity.
Super glue breaks easily because it dries like glass, which in turn breaks like glass.
We have 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 we like about this tube is how it comes with a sharp tip precision applicator which works great to reach those small creaks minus the mess. Now this explains why it is also used for watch repairs.
The glue's strength is only of a moderate strength!
The BEST jewelry glue we found so far has got to be the two part epoxy glue.
Basically, the glue comes in two tubes. One is clear and the other somewhat opaque white to yellowish. One of it is the hardener and the other, the resin.
You mix the resin and the hardener together and then use it to glue.
As simple as it sounds, the glue will nevertheless fail you if you do not mix the two components properly. If done properly, you can be rest assured that you've got a very strong bond.
These are a few tips:
Before gluingIt is very important to clean the surfaces to remove grease and dirt. Many findings have a think layer of oil left over from manufacturing and crystals or stones often have oil from your fingers. Sometimes, you might also want to roughen the surfaces of metal or other 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.
MixingMake sure you squeeze out equal amount from both resin and hardener. 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. What you can do is to draw two equal circles side by side on a piece of paper and squeeze to fill up the circles.
Conjoined tubes (also available) make squeezing out equal amounts from the two tubes much easier.
One thing you might want to take note is not to squeeze out too little. Past experiences have taught us that squeezing out too little (in order to save since only gluing a piece) will not make a strong bond. Yes, even if its equal little amount from both tubes.
Mix the two parts together with a toothpick or whatever sticks 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. And just like with any glue, it sticks better when they are tacky because you risk the item slipping off when the glue 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.
CautionMake 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.
E-6000 is the jeweler's glue of choice, and our favorite. It is a one-part epoxy, meaning you don't have to mix anything to make the glue -- its' ready to use right out of the tube. This glue is perfect for attaching findings to base metal and costume jewelry pieces. Also, use E-6000 on bead strands to seal end knots and to provide a strong, flexible bond that won't become brittle or damage the bead cord. Unlike many types of glue, E6000 dries like rubber, so its seal acts like a shock absorber when a piece is dropped. E-6000 is safe for use with virtually every type of gemstone and works on wood, leather, vinyl, and canvas. Non-corrosive and self-leveling, E-6000 adheres in 5 to 10 minutes, and hardens to a clear, waterproof finish in 24 hours. This means you have about 10 minutes to position and reposition whatever you are gluing.