Liquid Nails for Small Projects

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by PWRR-2207, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    Hi, I have seen people in other forum sections asking questions and/or looking for pictures about attaching sub-roadbed, roadbed, and track to a layout. One of the suggestions seen often is “Liquid Nails for Small Projects” (LNSP). Curiosity got the better of me and I bought some to try on a test track. Things I discovered while making a 6 foot long 2x4 into a test track -

    LNSP has about the same odor as Contact Cement, just not as pugnacious. The instructions do warn you about ventilation but the fumes were not bad enough to make me want to open a window, get a fan or don a respirator.

    LNSP does get stringy (sometimes called 'Angel Hair') but you can spread it back down.

    I used a piece of a plastic milk jug as my ‘Putty Knife’ since the clean up instructions sounded rather involved. However, the little bit that got on my hands while adjusting the flex track came off with Ivory soap without having to resort to bi-polymer chemicals or a sand blaster.

    LNSP grabs and sets quicker than contact cement but still gives 5-10 minutes of adjustment time. The tube even recommends pulling pieces apart for 5-10 minutes to dry some if they need to stay put. That trick worked on the curve piece of test track without having to use pins or weights but the curve had a 50 inch radius. For tighter radius curves I would use pins as some pieces of track could still move around on the cork roadbed about 20 minutes later. I suspect I did not spread the LNSF thin enough in those areas and they were still in the process of curing.

    LNSP dries clear and shrinks to the edges of the material it is on. (Please see picture below for what happens when you have too much LNSP on the surfaces)


    LNSP did not react to or damage the wood, cork, plastic or metal parts of the test track. Once cured, the bonds between the dissimilar materials strongly resisted separation. I did damage the cork on one end while testing the bond but a little dab of LNSP put things right again.

    Unlike Silicon Sealants, LNSP does not repel primer and paint once fully cured.

    LNSP can be applied with a toothpick to the replacement ties under the flex track connections. In fact, “less is better” when using LNSP as it gets rubbery and tends to ball up when drying.

    The bottom line is that I would be willing to use it to lay track but stick to Carpenters/White glue and my glue gun for the rest of the sub-roadbed and roadbed. The one tactic I would change is as I told my friend – “It has to look like a ‘snail trail’ when you spread it onto the cork or it is too thick… Hmmm, you think ‘Liquid Snail Trail’ for a name would sell?”
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Thanks for the great review. Can you comment on how it might compare with latex caulking, for example?

    One note of caution though - even though you don't find the smell too strong, you might want to ventilate anyway. Carbon monoxide is entirely odourless - that doesn't mean it can't hurt you!

  3. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I've always used Liquid Nails Projects.

    Liquid Nails - ProductDetails

    Though this time around I'm thinking about trying an Acrylic Caulk + silicone. I've heard this has a good "stickyness" to it for setting your track in place with a long set time.
  4. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander


    Latex Caulking - Since I have not tried it for track laying, I did not feel right comparing them. Given that fact, as compared to using latex caulking on rain gutters/windows/sinks/tubs - latex is easier to spread on a smooth surface since it does not get stringy or ball up but I am not sure how well it would do on cork... Anyone out there try spreading it on cork?

    You can paint latex caulking once it cures but since it remains springy, paint tends to flake off over time.

    Latex caulking also needs good ventilation. (In all fairness, I used LNSP in the attic and the attic has ventilation screening around the eaves and a moisture cap over 90% of the king board plus no potentially open heat sources. If I had tried the same thing with latex caulking in the attic, I would have put the window fans in and turned them on like I do when priming or painting.)

    PS: There are warnings about LNSP having carcinogenic materials but I would really worry more about fire since the chemical analysis on the backside list over 10 things that are highly flammable themselves as well as produce highly flammable vapors.

    Bottom line, to paraphrase what the tube says in five places - Do not use in a confined area, near open flames and avoid prolonged exposure (sic - work quick, seal the tube and go do something else in another room for a little while).

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