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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Glue for Stainless Steel (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Regan
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I am needing a way to attach stainless steel to stainless steel. The metal is very thin....perhaps 24 gauge or so. It had been done originally with brazing, or maybe solder. I'm not sure how they did it, but there is no sign that the metal has ever been heated. Even if I knew what was used and had an expert to do the work, I would be afraid to use heat because of the risk warping and discoloration of the metal.

The metal piece that is broken is attached to the main piece by a flat section about 1/4" wide and 4" long, and on 2 sides. It is still holding together on one side, and a small section of the broken side is still stuck down. I tried to gently pry up the broken side and work some 2 part epoxy underneath. This held for a little while, but came loose.

I tried to do the same thing again, only a little better this time. I want to be sure I am doing everything as good as possible so I am allowing plenty of drying time. I have not tried it out yet, but I am afraid I may get the same results.

The piece cannot be raised very much, so it was impossible to clean, rough, or even glue it properly. I am doing the best I can with the space I have. I am fearful of breaking the remaining part loose, because I am not sure the epoxy will hold stainless anyway.

Is there a good glue (or other solution) for my problem? Maybe epoxy is the right fix, but I don;t know. If I could be sure I had something that would hold stainless steel I would break the piece off....or at least pull the entire broken side up so I could clean, rough, and glue it better.

I appreciate your help on this matter.

Thank you!

Regan
Mister Mystery
Leland Stone
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Hey Regan -

Solder would certainly be my go-to solution, and warping could be minimized by thorough, even heating; you'd need some sort of oven, which could be improvised with a plumber's heat shield or firebricks, even charcoal briquettes if need be. Mitigate discolouring by choosing a low-melt solder - ordinary plumber's solder from the hardware store will work just fine.

Like you, I'd be concerned about an epoxy joint failing, there are low-viscosity one-part epoxies that would tend to 'wick' or seep into the joint and might be worth a test on similar samples of shim stock before attempting your repair.

Lastly, you might check to see if a machine or welding shop in your area has 'spot welding' capabilities. This process was specifically designed to make permaneent bonds in thin stock while avoiding the defects mentioned above. Likely to be costly, however.

Best of luck,
Leland
ClintonMagus
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Usually, I can get good results with Liquid Nails or F26 adhesive from Leech. It is sort of thick, but it can be applied with a toothpick, if necessary.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Bill Hegbli
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That is a tough question.

There are all kinds of glues, even one called Steel. When using Epoxy, usually you have to put the glue around the parts as well. That will encase the parts and hold better. If you can't do that, then I just don't know.

Some people swear by J.B. Weld glue for gluing metal and other parts together.

Radio Shack sells a very low temp solder that can melt with only a match.
Regan
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Wow...that was fast! Some great ideas! I was not sure solder would hold stainless steel. I work with it all the time, but I have never tried it with stainless. I know it is stubborn about sticking to certain types of metal. I also did not know that spot welds could be made on something this this without leaving any marks on the other side. I would have to have some proof before I would allow anyone to much heat to this.

I had thought about J.B. Weld, but again I wasn't sure if it would work with stainless steel.

Bill, I can encase the part that needs to be glued, as long as it's fairly neat and close to the same color (or clear). The part was in fact originally encased with whatever they used. It looks like a silvery, metal weld that rubs along side and over the seam. It looks as if it is actually applied to each part with very little, or nothing underneath. It was most likely placed together and held flat while the bead of metal was applied.

Another problem might be removing the old material. An ideal fix would be something that would stick to the stainless parts and the material itself. It will fit perfectly flat, so if something could be applied on top of it just the way it is I would be happy! Of course, it would need to be fairly strong, because I would not want to build it up too much more than it is.

I found something from Masterbond Adhesives called, "Steelmaster 43HT" that might work, but I cannot find a retail place for small quantities. I'm not sure about the color either, as I have not had time to research it thoroughly yet. JB Weld might be the right color for this if it will stick.

Thanks for all your help. I already have a lot to consider!
Mister Mystery
Jim Sparx
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Methacrylate adhesives such as Plexus, Devcon, and others. A marine epoxy resin adhesive. Read the label on Gorilla glue and clamp together for 24 hrs.

Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.
billappleton
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There is a transparent two part epoxy for metal available at any hardware store.

Be sure the metal surface is clean, has a little sandpaper roughness, mix the epoxy well, clamp securely, and allow the full drying time.

This will work.
Regan
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I tried the epoxy, and it failed once. I did it again but I have not tested it yet. I am afraid it will fail again. I did not encase the parts, so it was hard to get much glue between 2 smooth, flat surfaces. I don't really want to build the metal up by encasing it too much, but it looks like that might be the only way to get a bond that is strong enough. The color of the glue will need to match the metal fairly well also.

I have been researching JB Weld, and it looks like that might be a good choice. I am going to pick up a tube and test the color on something else. I'm not sure how thick it can be applied. If it will be strong enough, the thinner the better. But I may need to build it up for strength.


Anyway, all suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. I will pick up some JB Weld soon and test it, and go from there.
Mister Mystery
jskalon
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It will be interesting to see how the JB Weld works for you. I tried it on a steel brake line and it didn't work at all.
By the way. It dries to a dark gray color. At least the tube I used.
Jack Skalon

"That's my story and I'm stickin' to it"
thegreatnippulini
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Regan, I could write a page or two that will bore you to death about surface oxides of stainless steel and how they prevent pretty much everything from sticking to it. Remember Back to the Future? The DeLoreans were never available in colors because of the all stainless chassis. No paint will stick. I don't know what you're making, but in my experience the only way to stick stainless to stainless is good ol' TIG welding. With proper sinking, the warping won't be an issue. I electropolish my stainless after welding, so temper colors are removed (the acid bath of electropolish also passivated the steel). So, Regan if need be, you could send the parts to me and I can do the job for you at a reasonable rate. PM for more details.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Regan
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I bought some J.B. Weld, but I haven't tested it or anything yet. I wanted to have it ready just in case my last epoxy job fails.

Greatnippulini, I certainly appreciate your offer, and I will keep it in mind. However, not to doubt your expertise or skill, but as I said earlier, I would be afraid to allow anyone to use any heat on it. It has some delicate parts (I'm not sure if they are stainless or not) that could really cause problems if it were to warp.

Anyway, I am hoping it doesn't break again, but I think it probably will. If my epoxy job doesn't hold up, I might try the J.B. Weld this time, and see what happens.

P.S. I'm not sure what they used to stick it together to begin with. It would have probably held up if I had not overstressed it. It was really my fault. I will be more gentle from here on out, but it may not be as strong either.

I had installed a magnet onto the surface of the stainless steel with epoxy. It stuck really well and seems to be really strong. That was before the break, so naturally I thought the epoxy might work for the repair. It might too, but after the second break I am fearing a third. I believe if I could remove the entire piece, clean it properly, rough it a little, etc, the epoxy would have a much better chance of holding up. It's juts that it is so darn difficult to get to. I won't mind encasing the seam as much with J.B. Weld (if it matches the color fairly well) so I think that will give it a little better chance to hold up too.

We'll see. Right now I will:

1. Use it until it fails.
2. Try to repair it again with J.B. Weld. (Or something better if I find it)
3. Contact The Great Nippulini.

Thanks again for all your help guys!

Regan
Mister Mystery
Michael Baker
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Interested to hear what you think of JB Weld. Lot's of people here swear by it, but I've never used it. I've had good luck sticking all sorts of things with PC7 and PC11 (marine grade). It is a 2 part epoxy paste. A little hard to apply smoothly, as it's really sticky and tends to act like gum on your shoe. When I was in Birmingham, the automatic dishwasher had a couple holes starting to rust inside the door near the hinges. I used PC7 to fill the holes and used the dishwasher for 15 more years until I moved. I was initially impressed with the store display showing a variety of materials all stuck together with the stuff. The only thing that it didn't work great on was a screw knob that was under constant torque stress. I think otherwise it would stick a good idea to a wet cat.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Regan
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Michael, I have used J.B. Weld in the past, but on an automobile, never on a magic prop. I have not tried it on stainless steel either, but they claim it will work with stainless. It's been a while since I have used it, but if I remember correctly it is slow drying and kind of thin, so it's difficult to build up. It worked well for me, and it seems to be tough as nails once it dries. The fact that it is so tough might be a problem if it doesn't stick, because it would most likely be a devil to remove.
Mister Mystery
Michael Baker
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Good luck with it! Smile
~michael baker
The Magic Company
thegreatnippulini
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Regan, don't underestimate the power of TIG welding. TIG can be dialed down to such a low amperage and used for very thin metal. One learning excersize is TIG welding two razor blades together along the cutting edges. I have done this. I have once seen a very skilled welder join two sheets of aluminum FOIL with TIG. Please try all other options, I believe the best (and only) way to truly learn is by experience. If and when all options have been used up, I will await your PM.

Good luck!
TGN
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Mike Maturen
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Regan--

I don't know Nipples...but have heard that he is the resident expert when it comes to metals.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
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mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
Regan
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Oh, I am not questioning his skill at all. Nippulini, I am sure you know your stuff. I would still be very worried to do anything to this prop. It is no longer made, and it took me over a year to find a used one. There are only a few in existence, so I would be worried just to let it out of my hands. Heck, I'd be afraid to ship it to myself! Smile

Another thing is the time factor. I am ready to ad this to my show, and hope to be performing with it very soon. Once I get it in my show I hope to be using it often....maybe not every show...but fairly regular.

Nipulini, if you see this post, please check my other post titled, "Chrome". You may be able to help me with another problem as well.

Regan
Mister Mystery
thegreatnippulini
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Yup... PM me my man!
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Regan
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Will do. I apologize for being late but I have been on the road, and I'm trying to get caught up with my messages.
Mister Mystery
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