Glueing blue insulation foam

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Gary Pfeil, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    What adhesive do those of you who use foam use to glue it? I have used Liquid Nails "For Projects" and find it takes days to dry. And it says on the label one surface must be porous, so there's the reason. I see in the last MR an article using PL300. I may be remembering incorrectly, but I think I used this a ways back and it attacked the foam. I cut foam to form riverbanks tonight and want to glue them together to get them ready for carving tomorrow, I would like something that will set in an hour or two, or at least overnight. I appreciate any help.

  2. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

  3. Drew Toner

    Drew Toner Member

    proper glue

    Gary, when you go to your home depot, (or what ever) just read the labels. They will say that they are safe for foam insulation. I think I used the PL3000, or maybe it was the PL2000!!!

  4. billk

    billk Active Member

    Elmer's works fine. Just weight or clamp until it dries.
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I've seen product dev engineers use this stuff to mock up a new product and they use thin 3M doublestick tape. Not the foam stuff, the stuff that's like a gummy membrane sticky on both sides. Might be expensive or hard to find, I don't know.
  6. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    I personally use white glue, one thing I have been doing is making a few scores in the foam to get the glue to "bite" but that still takes overnight to dry.
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Thanks for the replies guys. Jon, I know the tape you speaak of and I'm sure it would work well, don't know where to get it offhand. And I hadn't considered using white glue, didn't think it would work. Interesting to hear it does. I went to a lumberyard at lunchtime and found the PL300, and lo and behold it is for foamboard. I hadn't seen this when I was at Home Depot (qite a while back) I had looked at all the caulk gun type adhesives there and definately hadn't seen one specifically for foamboard. Perhaps it is new or else Home Depot had it elsewhere, sometimes I find their logic questionable. At any rate, it should work well, I'll let you know!

  8. billk

    billk Active Member

    Hey Gary - If you use the Liquid Nails stuff --

    I tried it and if I was to use it again I'd get me one of those spatula/spreader dealies with the notches cut in the edge to spread the stuff around.
  9. alex_mrrkb

    alex_mrrkb Member

    I use "No more Nails" by Lepage and had very good luck with it :


    In fact, it's the only thing I use to glue blue foam (and many other things: roadbed, tracks...

    It's a paste, but can be spread very easily and becomes stiff in a few minutes (eought so that the glued parts hold together) and becomes hard in an of hour.

    I hope you can find it in your hardware store ... You may also find it on the net somewhere...

    You could also use a hot glue gun. You'll have less working tie but it works.

    Good luck !
  10. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    I use the yellow carpenters glue for just about everything. Seems to work great so far. Doesn't set IMMEDIATELY but it's still pretty quick, usually an hour or so later it'll be ready for the next step.
  11. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    Gary, just bought some the other day to glue my foam board, it is Lepage"s PL300 (foam board cement), bought it through home depot. Works great, it comes in a cauking tube, put a little on and spread it with a scrap piece of cardboard or a piece of wood, put two pieces of styrofoam board together and move just slightly and let it sit. It is a chemical reaction so does not need air to dry. Ron.
  12. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    I can vouch for this. The carpenters glue set-up time is quicker than the white glue AND you do not need to worry about its compatability with foam.

  13. Mike R

    Mike R Member

    If time not critical, I use yellow carpenters' glue.
    If real speed needed, I use glue gun hot-melt, but with a twist...I have ready a bunch of rectangular cut pieces of thin, decent quality cardboard ... [ 'shirt' cardboard or equivalent ]. I cut the foam to the approximate size needed, lay a bit of hot glue on a piece of cardboard, let it cool ever so slightly, and slap it on the foam...then put a bit more hot glue on the upper face of the cardboard, let it cool slightly and slap the next piece of foam on. This forms a very strong bond, without eating into the foam the way hot glue wants to.
    It's really easy to burn oneself, too, :( ,
    but a cold beer bottle can soothe the fingers reasonably well..:D

    regards & Compliments of the Season / Mike
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I found that carpenter's glue didn't always stick the foam, so I stuck toothpicks through it as well - at least 2 at an angle to each other.
    There's a tube I got at Michael's (the craft store) called Tacky Glue that might work -- I haven't tried it yet -- comments?
    with any new glue, try it on a scrap first. Lots of things make the foam act like the wicked witch of the west. ("i'm melllllllting!")
  15. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    I don't know guys, I have always used liquid nails on large areas, never had a problem with it setting up! On smaller pieces I use Elmers wood glue.:eek:
  16. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    Of course, I could also throw this option in: rather than use foam, try using soundboard/Celotex.

    In my opinion, it bonds with white/yellow glue better than foam and also has the same properties "sound-wise" as foam does.

    And, you do not need to worry about glue compatability or melting issues as you do with foam. Go ahead and use whatever glue you want, Celotex will not melt!!! Of course, it will absorb direct water or significant moisture in the form of high humidity and do a little expansion but for most applications it should be just fine.

    I am using foam for my model railroad club modules because of club requirements but my home layout is using Celotex.
  17. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I glued together the layers of foam using the PL300 last night, after doing other things for 3 hours I came back and found the bond was strong enough to start my shaping. What was nice was the initial tack was strong enough to continue adding pieces and handle without previous pieces moving. This is the glue to use IMHO. Thanks to all for their input.

  18. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Hi Gary, just curious is the foam going to be the finished surface or are you going to plaster over it?

    One glue I found that worked for me was Elmers spray adhesive. It's contact cement and when the two pieces of foam go together thier there, which means you can't adjust them any.

    Hmm.., this is another procedure that requires some caution. It's a good idea to use some sort of inhailation protection when using the spray adhesive. ;)

  19. acshrpe

    acshrpe Member

    We use a low watt hot glue gun. We went and looked in the craft department and it was a lot cheaper than in a hobby shop. It work great but you do need to work quickly. It also gets a little stringy especially if the kids help you. Our 13 & 9 yr old boys wanted to help and had no problem. Just the strings. They are easy to clean up tho. Good luck
  20. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi T, I bought a pail of plaster a couple years ago, haven't opened it and hope not to. It was my standard method on previous layouts, but the few scenes I've done on the present layout have used stacked and contoured foam, and I really like it. I don't do anything unique or original, I use a surform tool to contour the landform. I don't leave any area smooth. Even the flat areas get a couple passes to roughen them up. I then paint with earth latex and sprinkle on dirt and ground foam, same as most everyone. I like the foam especially for the next steps, which are planting weeds and trees. It is easy to poke holes with an awl or something similar, plant the tree and often no need for glue, as the foam tends to expand a bit and hold the tree. With plaster I used to have to drill a hole and then vacuum up the white powder. And glue the tree in. And repair the area with ground cover. When I have areas which need to be filled in (cracks around bridge abutments, etc.) instead of plaster or spackle I use sawdust. I throw some in an old spackle container, pour in the earth colored latex paint and some carpenters glue, mix well and apply. It stays soft for about 24 hours, allowing planting of weeds, etc. Once it's hard, it really hard.


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