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Using Glue

Martha Stewart Living, February 2000

Choosing glue is fairly simple; using it can be a bit more complicated. As obvious as it seems, you'll have the most success if you follow the manufacturer's instructions; directions about preparation, clamping, or drying time should be followed to the letter. Drying time is what people tend to scrimp on, even though it is the most critical part of the gluing process.

Glue Applicators: Many glues come with applicators, but the tools shown here can be far more effective.

1. Glue brushes help spread adhesive over large surfaces.

2. Coffee stirrers or craft sticks are good disposable tools for applying dabs of glue.

3. Fine tips attach to generic containers for delicate work.

4. Squeegees made from scrap material spread glue thinly and evenly.

5. A brayer applies glue quickly while removing bubbles and wrinkles.

6. A bellows provides better control than most glue containers.

7. Glue-filled syringes fit into tiny holes and cracks.

Spreading Glue: Excess glue makes a mess of any material and creates a weaker adhesive bond. The best tool for spreading glue thinly is a squeegee, which you can make by cutting scrap cardboard, wood, or plastic to size. Place a dollop of glue at one end of your material, and spread it in even bands with the edge of the squeegee. Work quickly, as a thin layer of glue dries rapidly.

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