What glue to use? A sticky situation.

A bad pun I know but I am asked what kind of glue I use on parts and the no secrets lab is now unlocked.

My experience has lead me through a variety of adhesives that work with some being better than others. To begin, it is good to consider what material will be bonded together. For all my brass work I prefer solder. Unless I do a poor job solder is a lifetime commitment that will withstand being played with and set on a shelf well.

Then there is styrene. Styrene is a plastic that is popular among model railroad folks, agriculture, trucks, you name it. It is a versatile material that is easy to work with and comes in a variety of styles, shapes, and scales. With the correct adhesive it will stay together a long time.

For diecast there is a handful of builders using JB Weld. I have JB Weld but only use it when I am chopping a cab and have odd joints to fill in, cracks and crevices. Read my tutorial on how I made the Haynes Custom Harvesting Freightliner ST four door service truck to see how I used JB Weld quite well.

For this blog post I will show which adhesives I have used and the pros and cons of each.

Liquid Super Glue was the first glue I began using. Works well over all but a little bit goes a long way. This glue can be a bit difficult to apply and is very runny. Too much and many parts that should not be glued together are stuck. As well as fingers, tools, and drips of the stuff on the work bench and anywhere else you don’t want it.I would often use a piece of wax paper and put a few drops on the paper then use a tooth pick if precision application was needed.

It dries pretty quick at room temperature, faster if the room is hot like a garage. Using a tiny dab to bond parts temporarily then using a bit more once everything is set works well. I keep this on hand but am using it less and less.


loctiteLoctite Gel Control is a great glue. It does not dry as quickly as the liquid but is great for parts that can set 5 minutes or so before using again. This glue stays where you want it with no fuss.I have used this glue on diecast and plastic with no trouble.

My only complaint is I could not find bigger sizes locally. At $3.50 a bottle locally it did not seem to go very far. Plus the tip can accumulate dried glue which made the tip hard to use over time. Especially if it sat very long.

When the squeeze handles would not push out any more glue I would break apart the plastic housing and use a small pliar to get the rest of the glue out which can be significant.

I tried a cousin to this glue in a larger bottle but it did not behave the same and I quit using it.

Super Glue Gel TubeThis brand of gel glue I tried a couple times and it too did not behave like the Loctite brand. Seemed to hold well enough but the more I used it the more I did not like it.The liquid worked well but I did not gravitate to the gel. It was a bit lesss viscous than the Loctite which seemed to stay in one place much better.

Drying time is reasonable.


maxi-cure-extra-thick-2oz-ca-adhesive-glue-13Maxi-Cure is my brand of choice. I was at a farm toy show in St. Louis and a couple guys told me to give this a try. It was not until I went to a Hobby Store and bought this on impulse to see what it would do. The gates of heaved opened up and angels began to sing after the first application.Not as viscous at the Loctite brand but more than acceptable. Plus this glue dries in 5-10 seconds. Faster if the room is warmer. I use it on diecast trucks and plastics with great success.

The 2 oz bottle and applicator is great as well. This bottle has lasted a month and I have half of it left. I do wipe the applicator tip off after using to keep it from plugging up and to ensure the cap goes one well and does not get glued to the tip. I paid $10 for this bottle and will be glad to pay $20 if needed.

If I had to recommend one glue this would be it.

If you are just starting out customizing or making your memories any of the glues I have evaluated will work. All but the Maxi-Cure can be purchased at your local Walmart for a few dollars and will be good starters. For advanced builders that need a good all around glue (and a lot of it) Maxi Cure is what I recommend.

Maxi Cure can be bought online at HobbyLinc.com if you happen to live far away from a hobby store like me.

If you found this post valuable, please share it with your friends. Also, if you happen to have an adhesive that works well for you, please share it.

See you in the next post.