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Adhesive, Glue and Bonding Tips

By: Maria Nerius

  • Always check the label if you need acid free, archival glue for the project. Most glues are now acid-free, but when in doubt, read the label and packaging.
     
  • Not all adhesives dry clear! Make sure you read the label and packaging of any glue you use that you need to dry clear.
     
  • Try to match your adhesive to the project or bond best suited for the adhesive. Most adhesives list what the adhesive will bond either on the label or the packaging.
     
  • Always recap the container of liquid glues between uses. Many liquid glues dry quickly when exposed to air and will clog if not recapped.
     
  • If the bottle of glue has a tip that needs to be trimmed or cut before using, cut at an angle rather than straight across the tip. An angled tip gives you more control over the flow of glue from the bottle.
     
  • While using a bottle of glue (capped), keep the bottle tip down in a glass or on its side. This keeps the glue ready to use and keeps air bubbles out of the glue.
     
  • Need your glue to be a little tackier? Just remove the bottle top and allow to stand for 30-60 minutes. The air will remove liquid from the glue making it thicker and tackier.
     
  • Keep bottle tips clean. Wipe frequently and every so often remove the top and clean it thoroughly with warm water and soap. Allow to dry completely and place back onto bottle.
     
  • When using a tape runner, never press down hard or pull forward on the runner. Read the label instructions for using your brand of tape runner.
     
  • On a regular basis, check to make sure there is no excess adhesive in the head of your tape runner. Sometimes the adhesive clings to the inside of the tape runner and can eventually clog or make applying the tape difficult.
     
  • Most adhesives have a shelf life meaning that over time they may lose strength if not properly stored. Keep all adhesives in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Tapes and other dry adhesives should remain in original packaging and away from dust.
     
  • Only remove the paper backing from any adhesive right before you need to use it. Otherwise it may stick in the wrong spot or have dust/unwanted particles attach to it. If double paper backed, remove one side of backing and adhere, then remove second backing and adhere.
     
  • If the paper backing is difficult to remove, roll a corner or lightly score a corner. With the tip of a needle or pin, prick the corner and lift.
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