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"Elmer's Glue Sticks for Paper & Card Buildings?" Topic

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16 Mar 2017 12:03 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Terrain and Scenics board
  • Crossposted to Paper Modeling board

775 hits since 15 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Mako11 Inactive Member15 Mar 2017 7:24 p.m. PST

Just curious if anyone is using Elmer's Glue Sticks for gluing paper and cardstock together, and/or to other things, like paper covered foamcore, and/or styrene and other plastics?

They've got an extra-strength version out too, which I thought I might try. Supposedly, it is acid-free, so good for long-term bonding.

I'm finding plain Elmer's White Glue (also known as PVA) isn't the best for paper, but seems to work okay with cardstock.

The issues with it though are that you need to get it thin to avoid warping, but if you do that, then it is hard to adjust the paper/card into place, since it bonds pretty strongly and almost instantly, which is a pain, when you need to slightly adjust alignment.

I suspect the stick glues may have similar issues, especially if you apply to both surfaces as well, before putting them together.

I've toyed with just using plain Scotch tape one sided too, and that works like a charm for some applications. If you're careful, you can even remove and reposition, occasionally.

I might have to try their double-sided tape as well, given how well the tape seems to work, with absolutely no warping. Good for assembling walls, etc..

Not sure how good tape is though, for a long-term hold. I can see it might separate from the paper and/or cardstock after a year or two.

Will still probably need some sort of glue for securing the roofs, and/or bases though.

Do they still make Duco-Cement?

Haven't seen it in any stores I've looked in.

That used to be the non-warping glue for bonding mat board to acrylic.

Personal logo sillypoint Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2017 8:09 p.m. PST

Warping is mainly due to moisture (water) and paper remembering that it was once a tree, nod its primary function was to draw water from the roots to….
Pva has a lot of water.
Glue with less water, less problems.
Apply glue to both surfaces…try spray adhesive….etc.

Personal logo Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2017 8:45 p.m. PST

I use elmer glue sticks on my papercraft. Sometimes you just need to slightly unwarp things with your fingers. But white glue is the devil for papercraft

boy wundyr x Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 7:03 a.m. PST

I use Aleene's Tacky Glue, the one in the goldish-brown plastic bottle available at Michael's and the like. Very little water in it, a thin coat won't cause warping. I pour a dab out, then spread it over the paper/cardstock with a toothpick.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian16 Mar 2017 7:46 a.m. PST

TackyGlue for me as well. I have buildings that are almost 20 years old and are still together

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 8:42 a.m. PST

I've used all kinds of stuff. PVA works, but use very, very little of it. Aleene's is more expensive, but invaluable where you need that tackiness. PVA works so well on paper that with Aleene's, too, you only need a tiny, tiny bit. I was using some other brand of glue stick, the kind that goes on purple so you can see it and then dries clear. That stuff worked great. I find double-sided tape a pain to work with, and use it rarely.

Contact cement is a vastly under-appreciated. It's rarely necessary, but where it is necessary it works beautifully.

My advice would be this: different adhesives do different things, you need to learn them all. But them all, play with them, use what you like and works with your materials. Ignore anyone who says their favorite is the best. There is no best.

But I like gluesticks.

TeknoMerk16 Mar 2017 8:52 a.m. PST

As mentioned before, it's all about the water content. Most PVA glues have high water content that causes cardstock models to get soggy, take a long time to dry and cause model warping.

I use UHU glue. It used to come in a "office pen" and bottle applicators, but the pen may have been discontinued in the US. However, I would recommend re-using a pen applicator (with flat head) by refilling since it's faster and cleaner than resorting to smearing blobs with a small stick.

UHU "office pen"

ordinarybass16 Mar 2017 9:06 a.m. PST

Semi-on-topic, isn't Aleene's (and other "Tacky" craft glues) mostly just PVA with a lower water content.

I like Aleenes for everything from papercraft (back when I used paper terrain) to basing miniatures.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Mar 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

I've had no luck with Elmer's Glue Sticks. frown

Who asked this joker16 Mar 2017 1:38 p.m. PST

No. Glue sticks are essentially paste. Paste is not terribly resilient over time and will breakdown. I use Elmer's School glue mostly. It has worked well with my tank card models.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 5:43 p.m. PST

I also use Elmer's white glue but I almost always glue the paper building material to matte board or foamcore.

"Scotch" tape or any other kind of sticky tape will either dry out and come unbound or turn very sticky from cold-creep of the glue over time. I would not recommend its use for holding a building together over any period of time.


Mako11 Inactive Member16 Mar 2017 7:23 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the replies, info, tips and tricks.

Yea, that's what I feared about the tape and stick glues.

I did manage to find Duco Cement though, with a little searching. I forgot the name of it for a bit.

I've used it in the past for gluing various materials together, and it works well, and doesn't seem to warp. If memory serves me correctly, it has about the consistency of styrene cement (the kind in a tube), and can be used to glue acrylic plastic together, and also mat board and other materials together, and onto one another as well.

Not sure if Walmart stocks it, since I've never seen it there, but it's listed on their website, and can be delivered to the stores for free. About $5 USD for a 1 oz. tube, which seems a bit high, but it is good stuff.

Also found it on Ace Hardware's website for about a buck less, and it looks like they stock it.

Will have to pick up a tube of it, and try it out again.

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