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I grew up using the old Testors tube glue for plastic kits. You know, the stuff in the orange tube, that stores eventually started keeping behind the counters due to glue sniffing youths. At that time, 60-70's, I also tried Testors liquid glue that came in the glass bottle with a built in little brush. I preferred the tube glue to the liquid glue as it was gap filling and seemed to make a stronger joint.

Today I came across a comment in the Creating Space book about space models, referring to liquid glues generally not available in the 50's... Also, I've heard people talk about Tenax 7 (?) liquid glue for styrene. So my question is, is Tenax 7R better than the Testors liquid glue of the 60's/70's? Sould I be using it instead of CA and/or Testors tube glue on styrene kits?

Thanks!
 

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I am partial to Ambroid ProWeld (another of the thin liquid glues). But use it in addition to, rather than in place of, the other glues.
 

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Same here. I tend to favor either Ambroid or Testors tube glue. Ambroid and Tenax are pretty much the same, I'm told.

IMO the tube glue gives the strongest, most rsilient bond. Downside is it's messy and can mar your kit details.

Ambroid is an MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) cement, which actually melts the plastic at together at contact point. Presumably, this makes them one piece and gives a strong join. In my experience, pieces glued with it have broken apart easilyunder even slight stress if the pieces are still being worked. Big plus: the stuff evaporates rapidly and leaves the plastic around the seam undmaged. it's the cleanest of the glues. MEKs work by capillary action: hold the pieces together, brush the glue along the seam, it's drawn into the seam and fuses the pieces. It can be applied from inside the kit, given access, if you need a stronger weld and don't wish to get any on the outside of the kit.

Superglues, cyano-acrylates, I leave for resin and vinyl kits, and for filling seams. They can be a nuisance to work with, and don't hold up well under stress.
 

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My personal preference is still good old Testors. It "welds" the parts together nicely, fills small gaps if you use it properly, and any marred surfaces it creates (providing you didn't spill the whole tube on your project) can be easily repaired.
 

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Never liked the tube glues. They are basically plastic saturated with a heavy solvent. The solvent continues to soften the kit plastic sometimes even years later and can cause "glue sags" (wrinkles and dimples) on the plastic surface around the join.

Ever wonder why those nacelles of the AMT Enterprise kit sagged and the saucer leaned forward years later after building it? That's right. You probably used tube glue to assemble it.

I've always used the appropriate liquid cements for joining plastic, and have never had a problem. I still have several 1967-68 issue Enterprise kits that were assembled at that time using liquid cement. Not a sagging nacelle to be found.
 

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dreamer said:
Same here. I tend to favor either Ambroid or Testors tube glue. Ambroid and Tenax are pretty much the same, I'm told.

IMO the tube glue gives the strongest, most rsilient bond. Downside is it's messy and can mar your kit details.

Ambroid is an MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) cement, which actually melts the plastic at together at contact point. Presumably, this makes them one piece and gives a strong join. In my experience, pieces glued with it have broken apart easilyunder even slight stress if the pieces are still being worked. Big plus: the stuff evaporates rapidly and leaves the plastic around the seam undmaged. it's the cleanest of the glues. MEKs work by capillary action: hold the pieces together, brush the glue along the seam, it's drawn into the seam and fuses the pieces. It can be applied from inside the kit, given access, if you need a stronger weld and don't wish to get any on the outside of the kit.

Superglues, cyano-acrylates, I leave for resin and vinyl kits, and for filling seams. They can be a nuisance to work with, and don't hold up well under stress.
Well said but thin CA will also operate by capillary action and if the parts are clean and tightly fitted I feel you get a very strong joint. If you buy generic or cheap "Superglue" with less polymer in it you'll end up with weaker bonds. CA glues are not all equal.
Testors uses the slower, weaker solvent Toluene and as stated before Ambroid and Tenax-7 use M.E.K. . Here is a tip to save you some cash. Go to Home Depot and buy a quart of straight M.E.K. . It will run you about $4 and might last you for the rest of your life! LOL
 

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Trek Ace said:
Never liked the tube glues. They are basically plastic saturated with a heavy solvent. The solvent continues to soften the kit plastic sometimes even years later and can cause "glue sags" (wrinkles and dimples) on the plastic surface around the join.
No kidding? I've never seen that happen, but then most of the kits I built long ago are long gone, so I have nothing to examine for this problem. Thanks for "the voice of experience" here, Trek Ace! I'll certainly think twice about using tube glue for larger kits! :thumbsup:
 

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glues

Over the course of 7 TOS-E's I've used Testors Liquid Cement, TENAX-7R, Loctite Epoxy gel, and now BSI industries CA insta-cure gap filling CA glue.
When dealing with the saucer section: Testors and TENAX both suck. TENAX dries to quick and Testors doesn't hold it's streangth. Loctite Epoxy is great for a super strong follow-up when used on the seam of the halves of both the upper and lower saucer.
BSI Insta-cure dries a little slower than TENAX (you have to hold the joint together for 15 seconds) yet the plastic welding properties, the gap filling properties are MUCH better than TENAX, TESTORS, and some 'Hot Stuff' CA glue I previuosly used, and it's easier to sand smooth than Loctite Epoxy. So.. I will use nothing other than BSI-Insta-cure for normal gluing of parts. -and my cat loves the taste!
 

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ALSO: BSi-Insta cure and Loctite(r) epoxy gel (ornage label) work for gluing LED's to plastic. BSi-Insta-cure's vapor can frost clear peices (not to mention bringing tears to your eyes). Loctite epoxy will make a permanent shield over your rat's nest soldering and electrical connections to protect against anything coming loose.
 

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I'm a big Tenax-R fan and use it for almost everything plastic. Otherwise. I use thin CA or Elmers White Glue and, sometimes, 2 part epoxy.

I use Tenax on long seam (like the seam around the Enterprise saucer) by gluing one section at a time. Drop in a drop of Tenax, hold it together for 5 seconds, move on the next section and repeat.

What I really like about Tenax is:
  1. It dries/bonds in 5-10 seconds - sdmittedly this can be a disadvantage with long pieces
  2. It doesn't attack the plastic and can, therefore, be used to attach canopies without crazing (use a little dropped into the seam between the canopy and hull)
  3. It can be applied with any paint brush and since it evaporates, it doesn't damage the brush
I've never used Pro-weld but from has been posted in the past, it sounds like it works the same way.

Matthew Usher has a pretty good article on glues in the current edition of FSM although he lumps Pro-weld and Tenax in with Testors Liquid when they are very different products.

Jim
 

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I would use Tenax 7R almost exclusively if it was not so hard to get hold of at home in Australia. My local hobby shop just stopped importing it despite me constantly asking for it. A good liquid cement replacement is Tamiya extra thin, but it does take a little longer to set than Tenax.

If the joint is properly prepared first, the Tenax welds the pieces together to the extent that no filler is needed.

Cheers

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If the operative ingredient in Tenax 7R is MEK, you may be able to buy the stuff by the quart at a paint store. It's bad stuff to handle or breath though, damages the liver I believe. Use with gloves and proper ventilation.
 

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Arronax said:
I use Tenax on long seam (like the seam around the Enterprise saucer) by gluing one section at a time. Drop in a drop of Tenax, hold it together for 5 seconds, move on the next section and repeat.

Jim
I tried that method and the entire rim method only once, using clothespins at every point, left overnight - but due to the imperfect saucer fit to begin with, the seam never holds after the putty and sand routine. ..maybe the Testor's putty has sometihng to attack that glue to begin with.
 

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I like Micro weld,you apply it with a brush carefully to avoid making visible mistakes, it flows,drys very strong,its fun to use and yeah,I'm a diehard Testor tube guy too,that old reliable orange tube,Its one of my favorites and their Acryl Paints too,Thanks, Guy Schlicter
 
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