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Thread: Best Glue for wood

  1. #1
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    Best Glue for wood

    For wooden aircraft construction what is the best glue to use? I've heared the T-88 from Systems' 3 is one of the better ones, but are there some that are better, or easier to work with?

    --Paul
    Future Pietenpol Aircamper builder.

    www.geocities.com/rc_eflyer --Pics of my radio controlled version

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    T-88 is the Epoxy most everyone I know uses. One newer alternative to epoxy I know of people using is ExcelOne. Roger at Ragwing uses it exclusively.

    Rick Holland

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    Registered User Johnny luvs Biplanes's Avatar
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    Does T88 need specific drying temperatures and does it need clamping together under pressure?
    Do ya thing in a 2 wing

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    Super Moderator orion's Avatar
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    Just FYI - T88 is an epoxy threfore it dosn't "dry". It cures. The setup is a function of the chemical reaction between the epoxy and its catalyst. Most epoxies do require a minimum temperature for optimum cure and generally it is recommended that you cure at at least 65 deg. F. Room temperature (or above 70 deg.) is better.

    I've cured materials as low as about 50 deg. F. and the results were OK although full cures at that temperature should not be expected for quite a while.

    Also, keep in mind that the short term cure usually specified in the documentation is not the actual full cure. Unless heat cured in an oven, most epoxies can take as much as a couple of months to reach a fully cured state, even if the documentation says several hours. Basically what this means is that you shouldn't put the parts into actual flight service for quite a while. Fortunately, given the average build times, this is not generally a problem.

    And yes, epoxies, as most bonding agents and glues, do require clamping for optimum properties. The clamping pressure also assures you that you have a minimal chance of air or moisture entrapment.

    T88 is a good system. Personally though, I prefer Hysol EA9430 or EA9412. They're more difficult to work with but deliver the highest structural properties I've seen.

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    Folks I have talked to here in Colorado use T88 in their garage with the temp as low as 40 degrees (they keep the T88 in the house until using it of course). It just takes longer to cure.

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    I use epoxy two ways, building a glass and foam airplanes and in my woodworking hobby.

    In woodworking i only use epoxy where pot life is needed, puting a chair together with 18 joints at once takes some time and the long pot life of epoxy is a real life saver, except when it fails!

    I use the west system in my woodworking shop for measuring convience, the cheep ratio pumps they sell are really nice, versus the $200 ratio pump we have at the plane factory, in woodworking i only go through a gallon or so a year.

    i put a table together with the west system, brushed the mortices and the tennons put the table together and later some of the joints came apart, the joints were a nice "piston" fit, they were not overly tight or loose. I also put together quite a few 3" thick maple and cherry butcher blocks and again the glue failed.

    The factory told me that it was because the wood was not sanded, jointer/thickness marks on the boards of the butcher blocks caused compression and stopped the glue from penetrating, well thet wasn't the case with the table, no jounter marks anywhere!

    So now when i am forced to use epoxy on wood because of the pot life requirement i brush on one coat and let it soak in and then i mix in a little micro fibers and brush on another coat, have't had one fail since. unless it is softwood cored plywood and then i just brush in two coats.

    enjoy the build

    dust
    maker of foam, fiberglass and wood dust and shavings, one day a plane will pop out

  7. #7
    org
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    I too use West System. I've found if you first coat the parts and allow the epoxy to penetrate, it's extremely strong. I've used it to laminate ash and spruce and to skin wings and tail surfaces. I've also used T88 and APCO Structural adhesive and find the West to work as well as either, plus being easier to meter for mixing.

    A little colloidal silica will thicken it a bit if necessary.

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    dust,

    As you know, I've been replacing the original windows in my house with new ones. I've found most of the sills have dry rot to some extent. It would be impossible to replace the sills without a major tearout of the window, trim, and frame. I was wondering if there was some kind of filler or product that one can saturate the wood and get a durable, water resistance surface again.

    Then I thought... what about using micro? Can I mix the MGS epoxy with micro and rebuild my sills? I can fill in the rotted/missing areas witha dry mixture and otherewise coat the reast of the wood with a wet mixture.

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    HMMMMMMMMM, i don't know. There are boat repair products made just to stabilize dry rot, is it that hard to sawzall the sill out?

    how about a layer of that light weight glass and pray for no rain

    enjoy the build

    dust
    maker of foam, fiberglass and wood dust and shavings, one day a plane will pop out

  10. #10
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    BTW, this does count as plane building, he has to get it done in order to start.

    enjoy the build

    dust
    maker of foam, fiberglass and wood dust and shavings, one day a plane will pop out

  11. #11
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    The sills have been covered up by aluminum flashing by the previous owner. The flashing let rain water seep underneath and soak the flashing. It probably had been doing this for more than 20 years. I''l take a couple of pictures and show you later.

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    Org said
    A little colloidal silica will thicken it a bit if necessary


    I think thats called cabosil

    I prefer cotton microfibers(known as flox) as they are structurally very strong. In woodworking i don't mix them in like i do in foam/glass plane building

    enjoy the build

    dust
    maker of foam, fiberglass and wood dust and shavings, one day a plane will pop out

  13. #13
    org
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    Dust, I agree on the flox being strong, but I only want to thicken it enough to keep the resin from running off sloping surfaces or possibly wicking away from the joint. (I've already applied unthickened resin and allowed it to soak into the wood). I don't want anything that will actually take up space in the joint. (usually:-)

    By thickening the West just a bit, it will make a filleted joint from the resin that squeezes out.

    You're correct, colloidal silica and cabosil are the same. Just depends on who packaged it.

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    Thats exactly the way i use the flox, just like you descibed using the cabosil

    It's only because of the multiple falures i had, so i am very very whatever and the flox being in thier very thinly hasn't failed me yet.

    you know how it is

    enjoy the build

    dust
    maker of foam, fiberglass and wood dust and shavings, one day a plane will pop out

  15. #15
    Site Developer Jman's Avatar
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    Well, since I've decided to build a Pietenpol as my first project, I thought I would revive this threat in the hopes that I can make an informed decision as to which glue to use.

    I just assumed I would use T-88 from the get go until I read a report from a builder who tested T-88 glue joints after being subjected to heat. He placed the glued joints in the oven and first heated them to 150F. These joints tested fine and broke at the wood and not the joint. He then took another set and heated them to 180F. These broke at the joint about 50% of the time and the glue itself became somewhat malleable when pressed with a fingernail. I can see a dark colored fabric covered wing getting up to around 180F on a hot summer day out on the tarmac and so this worries me a little. It's being used everywhere and I can't imagine it's a big problem, but if I could find a glue had better thermal properties I would feel a little safer.

    Another glue I've heard of is Gorilla Glue. I don't know much about it but some folks seem to think itís good for aircraft building.

    Aerolite I've heard has been banned in Australia, whatever that means.

    What I hope to find is a glue that costs 38 cents per gallon, is stronger than steel, sands beautifully, and can withstand re-entry type temperatures. . Anyone know of such a thing?

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