Intro: Stick Together: How to Properly Use Super 77 Spray Adhesive
Sticking things together can be a pain sometimes, especially if you are using inferior adhesives. If your goal is to do precision gluing, than this product may not be for you (You should be looking at high end super glues, or some brush on adhesives). However, if you want to cover large areas with a product that does not fail you, and can be used on a number of materials, than Super 77 is the answer!
The beautiful thing about Super 77 is that it is relatively cheap ($5-$10 depending on your area) and can be found almost anywhere. It can adhere most products, such as paper, fabric, films, plastics, wood and foam.
This multipurpose spray adhesive is a great, fix all product, that generally is cheaper and better that many specialty adhesives for things like photo mounting! When properly used Super 77 normally does not distort or bleed into your material, which is one of the main reasons I choose this product over other adhesives. That being said, always test the product on a scrap piece to make sure it will work for you!
Step 1: DISTANCE DISTANCE DISTANCE!
One of the key things to using Super 77 spray adhesive is distance. This distance i am referring to is the distance from the spray cap of the can to you material. 3M advises that this distance should be between 6-8 inches. An obvious happy medium is 7 inches. This is really more of a guideline than anything however. You don't ever want to get closer than 6 inches, because it will accumulate too much adhesive on your project, which will ruin it, but you can spray from a farther away distance. There are times that I spray from a 10 to even 15 inch distance. This help spray out a very light adhesive layer that can result in a much cleaner (and slightly less strong) adhesion.
Another good point to make is to not build up the adhesive layer on your material. Spray adhesive works very similarly to spray paint. If you spray to much, it will not dry properly, and it will do weird things. One light pass over you material should do it, if you need, another pass will be OK! The goal is for the sprayed area to have an even, light spray layer, and to not have any sort of buildup or irregular texture.
Step 2: Something Smells Funny...
It is always a good idea to spray in a WELL ventilated area. For my purposes, I prefer to use a spray booth, where i am unaffected by weather such as uncontrollable winds or rain. Luckily, I have access to a large spray booth at TechShop in San Jose. I can use this spray space without being disturbed, so I can get the best possible result.
Another thing you can do is to spray outdoors. If the weather is nice, this can be a viable option. In the photo of the outside scene, I have demonstrated what you want to avoid with accumulating too much spray on your material.
As a note, it is always good to use protection! However, some of us like to live on the wild side, and if it is a quick job, you should be fine. Of course, what I am referring to are gloves and a respirator. In terms of gloves, iif the spray gets on you, it wont kill you with, but getting adhesive on your hands can be a pain. My own general rule is that if i am spraying for more than 2 minutes, i put on gloves because it i will make cleanup (of my own hands) easier. Now, to address respiration. When i have one or two quick sprays to do, I normally just hold my breath when I am spraying. However, whenever i am doing multiple sprays for an extended period of time, I use a respirator. A simple dust filter should suffice.
*As a note, some people can be allergic to the chemicals in Super 77. It is always best to use this, and really any other chemical heavy product in an area where human exposure is minimal
Step 3: Some People Like It Tacky!
Super 77 only works if it is tacky! Once you spray, you need to let the adhesive sit. This allows for the stick particles to expand, to cure a little, so you will have optimal stickiness. If you try to stick things together before they are tacky, there will be no adhesion. The glue will feel like an oily ooze. The can directions recommend waiting 30 seconds before sticking things together. My personal number for this is 17 seconds. A good trick to use is to test the tackiness with your finger. Tap an edge or inconspicuous area to see if it is tacky. The paper that i was testing on stuck with me just enough to rise off the table slightly.
That is it! Now you just stick your pieces together, and let them adhere. It is advisable to put some weight on things, but you don't have to clamp it together. It a few minutes, the piece will be moveable.