BrockleyAndrew wrote:Hello Will, I've searched back through 6 pages of your posts on various threads but can't find the one I remember - I think on one thread, maybe on soldering you mentioned that many years ago you weren't so keen on soldering and experimented with glues for metal? If I've got that wrong please correct me. I was interested to hear what you did, if it worked, what went wrong and what you learned through your experience. I'm interested in the longevity of gluing experiences. I can see that glue over time might fail. Given that I'm keen on plastic chairs on wood and have read on this forum about difficulties with slide chairs and metal rail location on plastic slide chairs and the epoxy/cyano debate I wonder what your view might be on metal/plastic/wood interface. I was prompted to ask you this from the recent thread on where we are going as P4 and you were defending metal kits, and also by the mention of card and shellac, which is described as no longer used, which I'm guessing it's not, but coming from a museum background it seems to me that paper and shellac will most probably last longer than experimental plastics. I've also read many track forum topics that talk about differentials of thermal expansion for different materials. Sorry, my question is vague I know. But since we mix materials and try to keep them together..... perhaps I'm asking what glues last or do they all go brittle and fail?
I think what you are possibly remembering is this post, which was a reply to one of David B's posts and thus not in one of my own threads. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=6583&p=69941&hilit=superglue#p69941
The truth is I would now always solder if possible, however when started assembling metal kits, this would be late sixties, early seventies, I had yet to learned to solder, so I learned how to use glues first and there are always occasions when you have no other choice. I started off with 24 hour epoxy, but 5 minute epoxy and superglue appeared at about that time and I graduated through them making a number of vehicle on the way. Most of these still remain firmly stuck together so I think you can be happy about their longevity. The exception was a white metal J72 kit assembled with an early 5 minute epoxy which crystallised after a couple of years and fell apart. I think the glue manufacture has fixed that problem since.
For attaching metal to plastic I prefer Superglue. Superglues can be a bit tricky. You need to get the conditions right, surfaces CLAEN, the joint needs to be a close fit and use just enough glue and no more, but when you've got the knack they work very well. Epoxies are certainly easier to use, will work when the joint fit is far from perfect but are a bit inclined to get messy.
Your query looks track orientated, and when attaché plastic components to wood, pastic solvents are the best bet but surprisingly PVA will do for applying cosmetic half chairs.
I think shellac on card disappeared because its real use was for reinforcing/holding together fine detail cut from card. The unsuitability of card for modelling such details is the issue(Glassing bars and coach panelling come to mind) and was much easier to produce them from plastic card, even if the result was still a bit brittle and inclined to die of old age if not protected with paint. Then came etched brass which was far better than either.
Can't say I've ever been much troubled by thermal expansion driven issues, although it could explain the occasional need to reattach the gutters (plastic) to the valences (etched brass) on Knutsford East's station canopies. It is probably a good rule to stick to one material for the main body of the model and only use other materials for details. That said I have brass coaches with plastic roofs, but these are removable and so are bolted not stuck down and thus free to move slightly.
One last thing, that article in the modeller mentioned in that post I refereed to. It goes into detail on making superglue work. That was the first thing I ever had published and I have long since lost the manuscript, I would be very grateful if somebody who has the Railway modeller indexes for the period could track it down and let me know which issue and possible a copy?