Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sticky Situation - which glue to use?

So, my first foray into using glue for crafts in many, many years was a few months ago when I discovered quilling.  At that time, I got a kit from Lake City Quilling (Well, technically from Hobby Lobby) that was a good starter's kit.  It included all sorts of tools, including glue.

What glue?

I have no idea, beyond that it's an acid free crafter's glue.  And that it works wonderfully.

It's a fairly thin glue that flows easily (necessary for quilling), dries very quickly, dries clear, and has a good bonding.

I was using that for my other papercrafts, but really wanted to try some of these other glue applicators for larger surfaces.  I was also curious about the glue pens that can be both permanent and repositionable.  That just didn't make sense to me.  How can it be both?

Then, furthermore, I had the flowersoft glue to consider.

What's the best?

And something I didn't find easily online... what's the drying time?

So, I got a few and decided to do my on comparison.

These were my candidates. The Zig glue pen from EK Success, the Tombow Multi liquid, the Sakura quickie glue, and my two fine-nosed applicators both with the quilling glue in them.

Though, it turns out they apparently don't *sell* the fine tip applicator on the left any more.  Naturally it's my favorite. :p

Anyway, back to the test.

I made a mark with each of the pens, and started a timer. As you can see, both the Zig and the Sakura go down blue.  Theoretically, if you apply something when it's blue, it's a permanent bond, or wait until it dries clear and it's repositionable.  As you can also see, the Zig pen was ok to write with, the Sakura pen wrote just like I was writing with any of their other gel pens, and the Tombow was not so easy to write with.  The T is from the narrow tip, the smear from the broad tip.

Once I got the three two-way glue samples down and started the timer, I went for the quilling glue using the applicator on the left. For this applicator, the cap is a pin that is supposed to be rust proof. For me, the shape of this applicator works wonderfully, though I have had trouble with pins rusting in them even though they were supposed to be rust proof pins. Anyway, for a fine, steady line, the quilling applicator worked the best. Which you might expect since it's used in quilling.

Clock ticking (we were at 3 minutes by this point, and you can tell the quickie has already mostly dried, as have the thinner sections of the zig) I went to use the other quilling applicator....

Um. That's not how that's supposed to work.The cap is supposed to come off the needle nose, not bring the nose with it.

So, after a bit of working, we were hitting the 15 minute mark, but I still wanted to show how the applicator worked.

I finally got the needle nose back in the proper place on that applicator, then applied a line.  Which, as you can see, isn't as smooth as the other quilling applicator I liked better.  It's not even as consistent as the flow in the Tombow, but is certainly a finer line.  You can also see that after fifteen minutes, the quickie is dry, the zig is mostly dry, and the quilling glue (which is 3 minutes shorter in timing than the other samples) is almost dry at 12 minutes.  (And I can vouch for the fact that when used to press two piece of paper together, with pressure applied rather than just sitting there air drying, the quilling glue dries to a usable hold in less than a minute). The Tombow glue is pretty much nowhere near dry.  Though it's also not really usable to spread at this point, either.

By thirty minutes, you can see that the quickie is still dry, the zig has caught up and is now dry, and the Tombow is showing signs of reaching the dry state.  At least for the smeared stuff.  The T is still thinking about it.

In fact, it took almost a full hour before the Tombow finally dried to its full "repositionable" state.

So how good (or bad) are these tackies?

Well, pressing  my finger to the Quickie glue, I could lift the page up a couple of inches before it lost tack and fell off.  Zig got maybe an inch farther than that.  Quilling?  It wasn't meant to be repositionable, so didn't try.  But the Tombow?  I got a good foot off the table with no sign of losing tack, shook my finger a bit and it still held well, yet came loose cleanly when I pulled it free.

How about for actual *gluing*?  As in take a scrap piece of paper, apply glue to one corner, and fold the opposite corner to stick to the glue?  Then apply pressure...

The quilling glue dried to the point of usability in 30 seconds.  So did the Tombow, and the Zig, and the Sakura, and the flowersoft glue (which I didn't use in the drying test).  So, for what glue is actually *meant* to do?  They all glue.

But which is my favorite to use?

Hands down for just gluing, my quilling glue.  It cleans up easily, flows smoothly, and just works well all the way around.  But for anything I want repositionable?  The Tombow is my preference.  Even though it takes longer to dry, when I want something repositionable, I generally want it to stay where I put it until *I* tell it to move. And I'm not 100% convinced the other two will.

My least favorite?  The Zig.  While it's true that the only glue applicator in my bunch that you don't have to squeeze is the Sakura quickie glue pen, the Zig was the hardest on my wrist and fingers.

Hopefully, this little science experiment will help someone decide on which glue they might want to use in the future.

And maybe someday I'll add to it with some other options as well, like the elmer's glues.  That'll be the next time I decide to spend an evening watching glue dry...

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