If stuck with only one glue, make it epoxy

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Q:If I only want to have one type of glue on hand to fix things around the house, what would you choose?

A:This is tough. We have adhesives today for putting nearly anything back together or sticking things to anything else. What you are looking for is something that will bond strongly and resist water, heat and chemicals. Super Glues (Cyanoacrylate) would be a choice but I’ve never had real good luck with them.

Polyurethane glues like Gorilla Glue are waterproof and are good gap fillers, great for exterior wood projects but have a limited shelf life. White glues, like Elmer’s, are great general-purpose cements. The improved aliphatic resin adhesives like Titebond II and Titebond III are water resistant, have a longer open time and are very strong on porous surfaces. Notice, please, that I have ignored hide glues, casein and special two-part boat-building glues, as the alternatives are much better.

But if I were on a desert island with only one glue, I’d choose epoxy. These are two-part glues that can stick anything together, don’t leave an dark glue line and are waterproof, heat resistant and will stand up to most chemicals. They are a little expensive and mixing them can be a pain, but they have a long shelf life and are very strong.

Summer prep


It’s that time of year again. Here’s what you should do now for summer.

1. Move the switch on your ceiling fans so the air is blowing downward. This is the summer cooling mode.

2. Time to clean off the garage door tracks and oil the hinges and tracking wheels. Clean off winter from the door with some warm water and dish soap.

3. If you have been feeding the birds this winter, rake up sunflower seed hulls — a heavy accumulation can be detrimental to growing plants under the feeder.

4. Check your clothes dryer for lint buildup. If you didn’t clean it out last fall, it might be a good time to do it now.

5. Clean out your humidifiers and store them. Dispose of the old water carriers and buy new ones so you are ready for winter. Clean your outside air conditioner unit, you’ll need it pretty soon.

6. Clean up the outdoor grill.

If you have a question or comment, send to About the House, 18 First Ave. S.E., Rochester MN 55904. Or e-mail questions to Jerry Reising at You also may call 289-7864.

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