Discovering The Best Glue

One of the most common questions I see on fused glass sites is, “What is the best glue to use for glass?” Everyone seems to have their own favorite. I have used several different glues depending on the application. For me, I am particularly interested in a glass to metal bond.

I have been creating glass garden art for many years. As of today, my very first prototype piece still stands in my garden. It has weathered temperatures from the single digits to triple digits. It has survived torrential rain, blistering sun and hail. However, I do take it inside for hurricanes. Obviously, a glass projectile would not be a good thing in a hurricane.  Over the years, only one piece has ever failed, and that was totally my fault! I did exactly what I tell my customers not to do. I held the glass when I pushed the stake into the ground instead of holding the stake.

So you say… great!  Stick with that. I am embarrassed to admit I don’t remember what it was. My recollection is that it was a GE Silicone type adhesive. I do remember it smelled bad and dried in the tube quickly.  I have used several other silicone and marine glues since then. All seemed to work just fine and I eventually settled on Amazing Goop Max II for it’s UV resistant properties.

Glue Test Inspiration

A few weeks ago I ran out of my favorite glue. The only marine glue available at my local hardware store was DAP Marine Sealant. I assumed all marine glues were the same. At about the same time, I saw a video by Jamaison Schuler evaluating several glues. (If you are a new glass fuser, you should definitely check out his channel on YouTube. He is very generous with sharing information and taking us along on his glass journey sharing the lessons learned.) After watching Jamaison’s video, I was inspired to do my own tests. It was something I have wanted to do for a long time.

Admittedly, my test was not quite as detailed as his. He had a special tool to see how much force he could put on the join before it came apart. I just tried to twist and pull my pieces apart with as much might as I could muster. If it didn’t fall apart, it was a winner in my book! Also important to me were the application instructions. Sometimes (okay, well really most of the time), I am not patient enough to do the “apply wait 2 minutes”, “join and clamp”, “rough up surface”, etc. I just want to put the glue on and put it together. Done! So, that is exactly what I did in my test.

Glues I Tried

  • Gorilla Max Strength
  • Amazing Goop Marine
  • Amazing Goop II Max
  • E6800 Industrial Glue
  • DAP Marine Sealant RTV Silicone

The Highlights

Some smelled bad. A few were very runny. After the glue dried, some cleaned up easier than others. I read the spec sheets and directions on each glue and was surprised by what I learned. The most surprising was that the DAP Marine Sealant spec sheet said, “Not recommended for use on or near brass, copper or copper alloys, zinc, iron, galvanized metals or other surfaces prone to attack by weak acids.” That’s a problem for me. Threw that one in the trash immediately!

The Glue Winner

I second Jamaison’s vote for Gorilla Max Strength. A close second though was the Goop Max II.

The differences between the two.

  • Goop didn’t smell quite as bad as Gorilla Glue
  • Goop was easier to clean up after it dried. It stayed softer and I could use an Exacto knife to cut off the excess. Gorilla Glue dried harder and was hard to cut.
  • Gorilla Glue seemed to form a quicker bond. Or at least enough of a bond that I didn’t worry about the stake sliding off the glass.
Glue Test

Another key difference was the application instructions. As I mentioned, I am impatient. I applied the glue to the metal and then placed the glass on top. The Gorilla Max Strength said apply to one surface and wait 10 to 30 minutes. I did not. Amazing Goop Max II said to rough up smooth surfaces, apply to both surfaces and wait 2 minutes before putting the two surfaces together. I did not. Even though I did not follow the directions verbatim, both of these glues had exceptional hold. After 72 hours, I cut not pry the glass off of the metal. All of the other glues failed.

My Conclusion

Based on my testing, I am going to go with Gorilla Max Strength. Mostly because if I am doing several stakes, I can apply the glue to all of the stakes and then go back and apply the glass. It does not say it is UV resistant but does say you can use it outdoors. Amazing Goop which is UV resistant is a good alternative especially if I want the ability to clean up after the glue cures.

I am glad I finally did the test and encourage you to do some testing as well. Let me know if you find any other glues that work exceptionally well. You can find my garden glass art here: Garden Art.

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