Which glue to use?

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Ed.
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    Matt Sims


    Firstly, I hope this is in the right place… (“Finishing” seemed the best?)

    I’ve just built a small lidded box out of oak, as a wedding gift.
    I have a small (1″ x 3″) engraved brass plaque that I’m going to fit to the lid.
    I’ll make a suitable recess into which it will be glued…

    What would be the best adhesive in this instance, brass onto oak?

    I’m thinking that “araldite” would work well, but I’m open to other easy alternatives.

    Thanks in advance,




    Hello Matt,

    You’re right, Araldite Epoxy or Evo-Stik would do it. Any of those stringy, solvent-based glues will bond with wood. You could use hot-melt Glue Sticks, dabs of Super-Glue, or Silicone. Paul uses silicone to stick his metal Sharpening Plates to their wooden base.

    I’d go with silicone. You can ‘float’ your plaque on half-a-dozen beads of silicone and bed-it-down flush and square, as you would in fitting a bathroom tile. You can add thicker dollops in places if you need to compensate for variations in the level of your recess, you can’t build-up glue in the same way. If it dries too proud or too shallow, you can pop it off and try again. More difficult with epoxy.

    You might need to roughen the rear of the brass a little, to form a good ‘keying surface’ for glue. Silicone probably won’t need that.

    If you’re going to polish the brass, and intend to coat it with a lacquer/shellac/varnish to keep its shine, that will help to hold it in place as well as the adhesive beneath.


    Elasticity seems attractive for joining two dissimilar materials, but silicone could cause big finishing problems. I’d be nervous.


    Hi Ed. What’s the ‘finishing problems’? Do you mean lacquer/shellac etc. could creep beneath and dissolve Silicone? Or perhaps Silicone would allow it to ‘wobble’, spoiling a smooth finish?

    Larry Geib

    Go to a hobby shop and ask for “SERVO tape”

    It’s a tenacious double face tape with a gel or foam core that is used to fasten model airplane servos and electronics to balsa and plastic. If you get the real stuff, make sure you position it right the first time. You don’t get a second chance.
    Make sure both surfaces are dry and grease free. You’ll be dead before it unsticks.
    And it will fill small gaps. The folks who make sports trophies use a similar tape to stick their plaques to marble and wood bases.


    Just make sure you allow for thickness.
    Several brands, the stickiest seem to be black.

    ( not to be confused with the foam core double faced tape found in box stores. SERVO tape is WAY STICKIER)

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Larry Geib.
    Matt Sims

    Thank folks…

    The plaque is already finished, and has a protective sheet on, to be pulled off when all is done.

    I’ll go with the araldite, as I already have some. I just wanted confirmation that it would be suitable for the two surfaces really. I’d already decided on the “roughing up” for keying purposes.





    @alan141 even tiny amounts of silicone can cause fish eyes in a finish. Maybe this is mostly a lacquer issue, but since I occasionally use a little bit of aerosol can lacquer, and because I don’t want to deal with a complete strip of a bad finish, I just avoid silicone in the shop. Any time someone says, “Use X,” the first thing I check is if there is silicone. If not, the next step is usually to look at the MSDS to see if I’m willing and able to work with the stuff. Finally, I’ll google for people’s experience with the stuff.

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