Industrial Adhesives

Glue Class
Lesson 6: Industrial Adhesives
Ask a Question Download

Introduction: Industrial Adhesives

This class is going to focus on working with industrial strength adhesives and it's applications. Industrial adhesives refer to glues that dry clear and flexible but form a strong permanent bond. There are lots of brands of glues that fall into this category - E6000, GemTac, HypoCement to name a few.

Another reason to work with Industrial flexible adhesives is that they form really permanent bonds with surfaces like wood, metal, glass, fiberglass, ceramics, concrete, leather, rubber, etc. Some can even bond to fabric, but make sure that it is specified in the intended uses on the glue's packaging.

We will briefly touch on the concept of using precision glue applicators before diving into a creative project that applies those skills.

Preparing Bonding Surfaces

There are lots of preventative measures to stop a glue's spread from getting out of control. Protect the parts you don't want getting glue on with masking tape or some other medium. The age-old combo of plastic wrap, painters tarp, or butchers paper held down with masking tape can go a long way.

Get precise with your masking! Use tools like tweezers, razor blades, fingernails - anything to protect your surfaces from getting glue on them.

For cleaning, I like to use blue shop towels because they are relatively lint-free to wipe down surfaces with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol before gluing. This makes sure there's no grease or oils on the surface that could disrupt the adhesion.

This is also a great time to start working with gloves, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is Key!

Example Repair

Unless a glue comes with an amazing applicator, it really isn't suitable for use straight from the tube or container. Using glue from the tube is often a huge globby mess, so opt for applicators! Glue can be applied with a q-tip, a paint brush, a turkey baster, etc. Any tool that can help you control the spread and flow of a glue is helpful.

My new favorite method for precision glue application is to use a syringe. Tips come in loads of sizes and can help you craft and build with just the right amount of glue every time.

There are great glue syringe kits available online, but they can be a little tricky to load.This video goes over how to load a syringe with adhesive.

This broken earring was fixed with industrial craft adhesive applied with a syringe.

You only ever need to apply glue to where the surfaces are going to be mated. In this instance, if I had used glue straight from the tube, I wouldn't be able to control the spread or flow of the glue, and I would have gotten too much adhesive on the earring.

Since not much glue was needed for this repair, I applied it to the edge of the bobble, as well as the line where it would nest on the earring. The syringe's tip laid out the perfect sized bead of glue.

Depending on ambient temperature and humidity wait about 2 minutes before mating surfaces, then firmly hold together for about 30 seconds - the glue will set in about 10 minutes, but allow 24-72 hours for a full cure.

You can save the applicator tip by wrestling it off the syringe with a pair of pliers and soaking it in some citrus solvent.

Storage/Clean-up Tips


When working with these kinds of adhesives, it's important to know what kind of things you need to remove the glue. When you over apply, or worse, glue something to yourself, it's important to know how you can correct these mistakes.

I opt for a citrus based solvent in place of acetone, but depending on the kind of glue you are using you may need to use solvents like mineral spirits or xylene to remove adhesive. Those chemicals are gnarly, SO ALWAYS READ THE CONTAINER before you dive into a big permanent adhesive project :)


Most adhesives cure by exposure to air or water. All of them will cure faster as the temperature goes up. Keep adhesives in cool, dry, airtight spaces when you aren't using them.

When putting away glue, make sure you have a good seal on the container. You can significantly lengthen their shelf life by squeezing out all the air in the tube and putting plastic wrap over the nozzle before you cap it.

If you're really concerned about your glue drying out, just smearing a little bit of vaseline around the threads can keep air from getting into the container.

Class Project

Ok, I'll admit it. I may be obsessed with sunglasses. Including this project in this course may have inspired me to decorate at least 10 pairs of sunglasses since figuring out this technique. Get ready to test your steady hand with some super fun plastic gem setting.

Materials Needed:

I started by masking off the areas I didn't want glue getting on, just the lenses in this case. I gave them a quick alcohol wipe to make sure there wasn't any grease or debris on the frames.

Using a prepared glue syringe and a gem setting tool I got to work.

Depending on the surface area of the gem, I would either glue the back of the gem or the surface of the glasses frame. If you take on this project, just get a feel for the glue - each industrial glue has a slightly different consistency and flow, just another reason for testing adhesives before applying. (I have heard some unfortunate stories of things being glued together that CANNOT be undone :( Worst.).

Waiting for the glue to set before moving on to the next area to work on is important. The gems start holding their place after about a minute, but you don't want to do any inversions or move it around too much. Remember, WORKWITH GRAVITY - science is your friend.

The glue takes 10 minutes to really set - if it is too cold or damp where you are trying to use glues, you can use a hair dryer on low to speed up the setting process.

After the glue has set for a full 24 hours, you can pull off any remaining masking tape or pesky glue strings quite easily with a pair of tweezers

Get creative with the types of charms you're gluing, or ditch the sunglasses altogether and glue tiny resin charms on to cell phone cases, picture frames, whatever you like!

Wasn't that a grand adventure in applicators and industrial adhesives? Remember, almost anything can be an applicator if you can safely use it to apply glue :D The syringe technique is a handy one to know, and definitely the most precise application method.

Next up, we will conquer fabric glues! Ever need to patch your pants, but the fabric is too tricky to sew? We'll learn how to repair rips and tears in fabric, and then transform a pair of shoes with some fun fabric and a flexible fabric glue.


    "id": "quiz-1",
    "question": "When should we use glue applicators?", 
            "title": "Not necessary. Most glues are suitable for use out of the container",
            "correct": false
            "title": "If we need to precisely control the spread and flow of an unwieldy adhesive",
            "correct": true
            "title": "Only if the glue is too hard to squeeze out of the tube or container.",
            "correct": false

    "correctNotice": "That's correct",
    "incorrectNotice": "That's incorrect"
    "id": "quiz-2",
    "question": "How long does it take for Industrial Craft Glue to CURE",
            "title": "10 minutes",
            "correct": false
            "title": "12 hours",
            "correct": false
            "title": "24-72 hours",
            "correct": true

], "correctNotice": "That's correct", "incorrectNotice": "That's incorrect" }


Share a photo of your finished project with the class!

Nice work! You've completed the class project