All About Glues

Martha Stewart Living, February 2000

Since Elmer's white glue first hit the market in 1947, the number of adhesives available has grown almost too large to count. But choosing the best one for a particular job is easy when you understand how glues work and how to use them.

Often, more than one type of glue can be used for a project. To select the best one, consider its setting time, ease of use, and special characteristics. Other things to consider are how a glue ages and its toxicity. Rubber cement, for example, yellows papers and photographs over time, even though its suppleness makes it good for things that move, like pop-up cards; your task will dictate whether you can trade some flexibility for the stability of an acid-free glue stick, which won't discolor. Toxicity is always a concern, especially around children; safety levels range widely, from epoxies that must be kept away from skin to pastes that are not harmful even if ingested.

Our glossary of essential glues and specialty glues will help you choose the right one for the job.

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