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Tite Bond Molding and Trim Wood Glue

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accooper

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A friend, John Lee, suggested I try this about a month or so ago, to make my fillets better looking. I am glad he did!

I have since built two rockets using the method he suggested. I am in the process of building a third with it.

It is really thick so you can use it on all the fins and it doesn't run!

Here is how I use it.

[1] I tack on the fins using thick CA

[2] I use regular wood glue to attach the fins on the rest of the way.

[3] After the regular wood glue dries I use the Molding and Trim glue to make the fillets. I do this to all the fins at once since this glue doesn't run.

The only real draw back I can see is that it takes a while longer to dry completely than regular wood glue. Here at my house it can take up to 3 hours to dry. I imagine that when we get into the summer months, this will be much shorter.

One thing I have noticed about this glue is that the fillet on the launch lug never seems to have air bubbles.

The one thing to remember is that this glue is not for initial bonding. That is for regular wood glue. But if you want the finest looking fillets, this stuff is great!

The next time you need to buy building supplies, give this glue a close look. I have only found it at Lowes, but other stores may carry it.

Andrew From Texas
 

JAL3

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I don't get credit for this.

I found out about it from Luke Strawwalker.

I remain in his debt for it.
 

MarkII

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It's good stuff. A little hard to sand after it cures, though. Still, it's what I've been using lately.

MarkII
 

sam_midkiff

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<snip>

The one thing to remember is that this glue is not for initial bonding. That is for regular wood glue. But if you want the finest looking fillets, this stuff is great!
I used this for regular bonding of fins on a BSA Space Exploration merit badge build of Alphas (the balsa version ones). It seemed to hold fine. Is there any empirical data, or even anecdotal data, that this isn't good enough for LPR? I would be leery of using it for MPR and HPR, simply because it is thicker, and therefore I assume the bond isn't as strong as wood glue. But wood glue is strong enough that not being as strong as it is still strong (think epoxy w/wood and paper.)

Thanks,

Sam
 

accooper

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No data that I know of. But I have been told by John who has used it a lot longer than I that you really don't want to do any bonding with it.

Andrew
 

JAL3

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No data that I know of. But I have been told by John who has used it a lot longer than I that you really don't want to do any bonding with it.

Andrew
I don't know about the advisability of using it for bonding one way or the other. I don't use it for bonding because it seems easier to use regular white or yellow. I just use this stuff for the fairing.
 

accooper

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I would go with what John says as he has been using it longer than I.

Andrew
 

luke strawwalker

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I don't get credit for this.

I found out about it from Luke Strawwalker.

I remain in his debt for it.
:blush:

Well, I got it from someone here on the boards, here or at YORF or RP...

I tried it out really quick and I found it to be about the best thing I've seen since CA... better in a lot of ways. I used to use quite a bit of CA in model railroading but with rockets, not so much. I've found it's negatives generally outweigh it's positives, for rocket use anyway...

UNLESS you're talking about using it to harden balsa, THEN I'm 110% supportive of CA.

I'm glad the CA tacking of your fins is working for you AC. I would like to make one suggestion...

Give the "double glue joint" a try and lemme know what you think. If you don't want to try it on an actual kit, glue some spare balsa 'fins' (bits of scrap) to a piece of scrap rocket tubing, or a paper towel tube. I REALLY think you'll like it!

I first read about it in G. Harry Stine's "Handbook of Model Rocketry", the "Bible" of the hobby.... back in junior high I read that thing cover to cover probably two dozen times at least. And again in high school... so much so that the school library's copy got 'lost' somewhere in my stuff and I had to pay to replace it-- when I found it a few months later I kept it, since it wasn't in print at the time... at least from vendors I could access... anyway, I absorbed everything in there, but I glossed over the 'double glue joint' and brushed it aside as 'old school nonsense'... how could putting glue on the root edge of the fin and on the tube line, letting it DRY, and then putting a second swipe of glue on them both AGAIN and THEN joining the fin to the tube POSSIBLY be stronger or FASTER than slobbering on a thick gooey layer of Elmer's carpenter's glue and propping the rocket and fin up overnight to dry, hoping it stayed straight and the glue didn't run into rivers and pools of crust like solidified liquid-hot MAG-MA... (to quote Dr. Evil :dark:)

Sounds perfectly reasonable to a kid, doesn't it??

Well, enter the older and wiser BAR, grasshopper... willing to try new things and give the benefit of the doubt. BINGO!!! DOUBLE GLUE JOINTS ROCK!!!!

Here's what you do... apply some yellow wood glue to the roots of your fins (or the roots of your scrap balsa 'fins' if you experiment with it) and using the old 'doorjamb trick' (or your angle rule) lay out your fin lines on your rocket (or scrap tube) and apply a little line of glue to the fin line. Spread it gently on both fin edge and tube line with your finger-- it doesn't take a huge amount, just a smooth thin layer on both. Prop the fins up to dry root edge up. It shouldn't take over 30 minutes or so-- the balsa tends to drink the water in from the glue rather quickly, and if you lightly sand off the glassine layer from the tube line, the paper tube will suck up the water from the glue as well, drawing the glue into the paper and balsa as it goes. Once the thin layer has pretty well dried (doesn't have to be rock-hard, just firm yet maybe still a little tacky...) Apply another thin layer to both parts on top of the existing glue layer, a THIN swipe will do; doesn't require much at all. Once you apply that, simply join the fin to the tube like you've done with CA... line it up carefully and press it together. The glue will 'grab' and lock the fin to the tube just as well as CA will-- in 10-20 seconds it'll be 'dry' and the fin will be securely locked to the tube, without the brittleness of CA and with MUCH better adhesion and penetration of the yellow glue into and BETWEEN the joined materials (paper and balsa) than you get with the surface application of yellow glue after you've tacked the fins on with CA. Let it dry 30 minutes or so (an hour or overnight if you're inclined-- it doesn't hurt only helps) and then you're ready to go directly over it with your Titebond Moulding and Trim Glue for the fillets... TMTG is thickened white glue, so it's TOTALLY compatible with the yellow glue. The yellow glue has a bit more strength for wood joints, and I always use it for fin to tube joints. Double glue joints make it just as handy to use Yellow Carpenter's glue as it is to use CA, without the drawbacks of CA becoming brittle and having low shear strength, and CA 'seals' the pores of the wood whereever it's applied, preventing the yellow glue from penetrating the wood and doing it's job.

Give it a shot-- you've got nothing to lose... I REALLY think you'll like it, or I wouldn't recommend it.

Here's another tip that makes it SUPER easy to do on your rockets-- take an old egg carton, invert it, and slash each of the egg cups with your hobby knife from the center of the tray to the outside, perpendicular to the long axis of the egg carton. (THis is a FOAM egg carton I'm speaking of- they cut like butter with a hobby knife-- the paper ones are harder). Now you have a handy-dandy holder for all your fins and the rocket tube itself as you apply the glue and set them aside to dry for a few minutes before applying the second layer of glue and sticking the fins on. Apply glue to each fin root, and stick it into the cut in the egg cup-- it will deform slightly and "Clamp" each fin root edge up nice and level so the glue can dry. The 'trough' or trench between the egg cups works like a champ to hold the body tube with the glue-applied fin end overhanging the end so the glue lines on the BT can dry for the double-glue joints.

Works like a champ! OL JR :)
 

luke strawwalker

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I don't know about the advisability of using it for bonding one way or the other. I don't use it for bonding because it seems easier to use regular white or yellow. I just use this stuff for the fairing.
It's basically thickened white glue, chemically speaking. WHite glue is best for paper/paper joints. Yellow glue is a bit stronger for wood/wood and wood/paper joints. Yellow glue is a bit stronger overall from what I've seen. That's why I use yellow glue on all balsa fin to tube joints for the initial 'load bearing' attachment.

You COULD use TMTG to attach the fins, as you could use Aileene's Tacky Glue or other such things, BUT the thicker glue cannot penetrate the wood fibers or paper fibers as well as the thinner glue can. That's just a fact, due to the viscosity among other things. TMGT tends to be a little 'soft' after it's done, probably due to the thickener. That's why it's harder to sand-- it tends to 'gum up' the paper and stuff... I've seen it with white glue as well and even yellow glue on occassion, even epoxy if it doesn't get quite enough hardener in it, isn't mixed well, or is cheap epoxy. You just have to learn to 'work with it'.

99% of the time it isn't a problem, because if you do it right, you SHOULDN'T have to sand the fillets made with TMTG because when they dry they'll be just as smooth and nice looking as when you put them on. SO why bother sanding when you can take a wet finger and smooth them to your heart's content and not have all the work sanding??

I DO think that you'd do BEST with Yellow glue for the loadbearing attachment of the fins to the tube. White glue would be number two on my choice list, and TMTG would be last... just on physical strength and characteristics...

Good luck and hope this helps! OL JR :)
 

JAL3

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:blush:

Well, I got it from someone here on the boards, here or at YORF or RP...

I tried it out really quick and I found it to be about the best thing I've seen since CA... better in a lot of ways. I used to use quite a bit of CA in model railroading but with rockets, not so much. I've found it's negatives generally outweigh it's positives, for rocket use anyway...

UNLESS you're talking about using it to harden balsa, THEN I'm 110% supportive of CA.

I'm glad the CA tacking of your fins is working for you AC. I would like to make one suggestion...

Give the "double glue joint" a try and lemme know what you think. If you don't want to try it on an actual kit, glue some spare balsa 'fins' (bits of scrap) to a piece of scrap rocket tubing, or a paper towel tube. I REALLY think you'll like it!

I first read about it in G. Harry Stine's "Handbook of Model Rocketry", the "Bible" of the hobby.... back in junior high I read that thing cover to cover probably two dozen times at least. And again in high school... so much so that the school library's copy got 'lost' somewhere in my stuff and I had to pay to replace it-- when I found it a few months later I kept it, since it wasn't in print at the time... at least from vendors I could access... anyway, I absorbed everything in there, but I glossed over the 'double glue joint' and brushed it aside as 'old school nonsense'... how could putting glue on the root edge of the fin and on the tube line, letting it DRY, and then putting a second swipe of glue on them both AGAIN and THEN joining the fin to the tube POSSIBLY be stronger or FASTER than slobbering on a thick gooey layer of Elmer's carpenter's glue and propping the rocket and fin up overnight to dry, hoping it stayed straight and the glue didn't run into rivers and pools of crust like solidified liquid-hot MAG-MA... (to quote Dr. Evil :dark:)

Sounds perfectly reasonable to a kid, doesn't it??

Well, enter the older and wiser BAR, grasshopper... willing to try new things and give the benefit of the doubt. BINGO!!! DOUBLE GLUE JOINTS ROCK!!!!

Here's what you do... apply some yellow wood glue to the roots of your fins (or the roots of your scrap balsa 'fins' if you experiment with it) and using the old 'doorjamb trick' (or your angle rule) lay out your fin lines on your rocket (or scrap tube) and apply a little line of glue to the fin line. Spread it gently on both fin edge and tube line with your finger-- it doesn't take a huge amount, just a smooth thin layer on both. Prop the fins up to dry root edge up. It shouldn't take over 30 minutes or so-- the balsa tends to drink the water in from the glue rather quickly, and if you lightly sand off the glassine layer from the tube line, the paper tube will suck up the water from the glue as well, drawing the glue into the paper and balsa as it goes. Once the thin layer has pretty well dried (doesn't have to be rock-hard, just firm yet maybe still a little tacky...) Apply another thin layer to both parts on top of the existing glue layer, a THIN swipe will do; doesn't require much at all. Once you apply that, simply join the fin to the tube like you've done with CA... line it up carefully and press it together. The glue will 'grab' and lock the fin to the tube just as well as CA will-- in 10-20 seconds it'll be 'dry' and the fin will be securely locked to the tube, without the brittleness of CA and with MUCH better adhesion and penetration of the yellow glue into and BETWEEN the joined materials (paper and balsa) than you get with the surface application of yellow glue after you've tacked the fins on with CA. Let it dry 30 minutes or so (an hour or overnight if you're inclined-- it doesn't hurt only helps) and then you're ready to go directly over it with your Titebond Moulding and Trim Glue for the fillets... TMTG is thickened white glue, so it's TOTALLY compatible with the yellow glue. The yellow glue has a bit more strength for wood joints, and I always use it for fin to tube joints. Double glue joints make it just as handy to use Yellow Carpenter's glue as it is to use CA, without the drawbacks of CA becoming brittle and having low shear strength, and CA 'seals' the pores of the wood whereever it's applied, preventing the yellow glue from penetrating the wood and doing it's job.

Give it a shot-- you've got nothing to lose... I REALLY think you'll like it, or I wouldn't recommend it.

Here's another tip that makes it SUPER easy to do on your rockets-- take an old egg carton, invert it, and slash each of the egg cups with your hobby knife from the center of the tray to the outside, perpendicular to the long axis of the egg carton. (THis is a FOAM egg carton I'm speaking of- they cut like butter with a hobby knife-- the paper ones are harder). Now you have a handy-dandy holder for all your fins and the rocket tube itself as you apply the glue and set them aside to dry for a few minutes before applying the second layer of glue and sticking the fins on. Apply glue to each fin root, and stick it into the cut in the egg cup-- it will deform slightly and "Clamp" each fin root edge up nice and level so the glue can dry. The 'trough' or trench between the egg cups works like a champ to hold the body tube with the glue-applied fin end overhanging the end so the glue lines on the BT can dry for the double-glue joints.

Works like a champ! OL JR :)
Andrew, listen to Luke and give it a try. The FORCE is with him.

I think you'll like it.

I went through a phase as a BAR where I thought CA was the answer to all of my instant gratification needs. It wasn't. It did go faster but I found fins popping off at inconvenient times like landings. Its pretty brittle.

I also had the same reaction to the double glue joint as a kid.

================

Luke,

thanks for another useful tip with the egg carton. I'm looking forward to explaining to my wife why I want her to save one for me.

"For more rockets!?" :bangpan:
 

MarkII

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I haven't experienced the brittleness that people often ascribe to CA, but then, I use it selectively and not indiscriminately. Like TMTG, it's just one of the many tools in my toolbox.

MarkII
 

accooper

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Thanks, I will be giving this technique a try.

Andrew
 

luke strawwalker

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Andrew, listen to Luke and give it a try. The FORCE is with him.

I think you'll like it.

I went through a phase as a BAR where I thought CA was the answer to all of my instant gratification needs. It wasn't. It did go faster but I found fins popping off at inconvenient times like landings. Its pretty brittle.

I also had the same reaction to the double glue joint as a kid.

================

Luke,

thanks for another useful tip with the egg carton. I'm looking forward to explaining to my wife why I want her to save one for me.

"For more rockets!?" :bangpan:
You're welcome... spread the wealth, I always say...

Hmmm... that's not the same as "economic justice" is it?? I don't think so... didn't mean it that way anyway... LOL:)

I should give credit where credit's due... I was looking at photos of a build one of my club buddies, dwmzmm (Dave) was doing and he had upturned egg cartons on the table, and I asked him "what the heck's that for??" and he explained... I gave it a try and it's the cat's pajamas... VERY handy work bench tools, and the price is right! (free-- can you tell I'm a cheapskate??) :dark:

Where he got the idea, I dunno... but it's a good-un...

Merry Everything! OL JR :) :happydeer::tree::hohoho:
 

accooper

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OK, just how much glue should you use in this method. A picture would be nice.

Andrew
 

Marlin523

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I use the "double glue joint" technic and it does work. I've always done the fillets with wood glue as well because I thought it would add to the strength of the joint. Has anyone tried using Tite Bond Molding and Trim Glue OVER a fillet of wood glue?
 

JAL3

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OK, just how much glue should you use in this method. A picture would be nice.

Andrew
Sorry I don't have pics but the key is to just barely coat the surfaces. Just apply a light skin and let it dry.
 

luke strawwalker

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OK, just how much glue should you use in this method. A picture would be nice.

Andrew

Well, the answer is "it depends"... hehehe... A lot of it depends on how big the fins are and how long the root edges are.

I basically just put a THIN line of glue down the root edge, and then 'swipe' it with my finger to smooth it out across the entire root edge evenly from side to side and end to end to get full coverage, and leave a slightly rounded 'hump' of glue along the length of the fin... not "glue dripping" heavy, just a rounded coat of glue that can soak in to the balsa root a bit before it dries.

I lightly sand the body tube along the fin lines, to de-gloss the glassine. You don't have to sand all the way through (I'd recommend you don't as it can give rise to 'the fuzzies') just a bit to give the glue 'tooth' to grab onto. Then I put a very thin line of glue down the fin line and swipe it with my finger, spreading it about 1/8 inch wide or so (wider for thick fins) and wiping off the excess... basically just a thin translucent layer over the fin line. I do all 3 or 4 lines at once and set the tube aside to dry between the egg cups of an egg crate.

Sorry I don't have any pics; I'll have to take some on the next build I do...

Later and good luck! OL JR :) :merry-christmas::hohoho::snowflake:
 

luke strawwalker

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I use the "double glue joint" technic and it does work. I've always done the fillets with wood glue as well because I thought it would add to the strength of the joint. Has anyone tried using Tite Bond Molding and Trim Glue OVER a fillet of wood glue?
You CAN do that, but it's double work...

If you've got a high-flyer that you plan on recovering by streamer that will take a lot of abuse on the fins when it lands, it's probably a worthwhile thing to do, or if the rocket has LARGE fins or something that are prone to breaking off at landing even under a chute...

For the typical 3FNC rocket, it's probably overkill and extra work...

TMTG is not quite as strong as yellow glue of course, but it DOES add some strength and resilience to the joint.

Good luck! OL JR :)
 

Boosterdude

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I've tried the TMTG on a couple of models and really just didn't like it. In my opinion it's to thick, bubbles easily, and hard to smooth into a fillet. I also found it hard to sand smooth.

So I'm sticking with my method which has proven to be strong and provide the best looking fillet. I use 5min epoxy to attach the fin, and 30min with microballons for the fillet. For most LP fins you use to very little epoxy to attach the fin, just a thin coat. Epoxy is only heavy if you pile it on.

I know arguments exist for the strongest glue for fins, but my method is way better than yellow glue. Weight is not a concern since mine normally come in under weight.
 

MarkII

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I've tried the TMTG on a couple of models and really just didn't like it. In my opinion it's to thick, bubbles easily, and hard to smooth into a fillet. I also found it hard to sand smooth.

So I'm sticking with my method which has proven to be strong and provide the best looking fillet. I use 5min epoxy to attach the fin, and 30min with microballons for the fillet. For most LP fins you use to very little epoxy to attach the fin, just a thin coat. Epoxy is only heavy if you pile it on.

I know arguments exist for the strongest glue for fins, but my method is way better than yellow glue. Weight is not a concern since mine normally come in under weight.
Different strokes for different folks. Wouldn't this hobby be a crushing bore if we all did everything exactly the same way? I know that your method works really well, because I have used it too several times. I have tried using TMTG exactly once so far, and it did work out really well. I had one small problem with it, though. I used some Tamiya tape to mask off the areas around the fillets, and although I didn't waste any time before removing it, the glue still has slight ridges right at the mask lines. I wanted to sand those down but the fillets are very hard now, and I am concerned that if I apply too much pressure I will carve up the very smooth finish that I worked hard to put on the fins. It is too soon for me to tell, but my one experience with the glue has been pretty favorable. It isn't the be-all and end-all of filleting materials, though; I doubt that any one product can ever be that.

MarkII
 

Boosterdude

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I had the same issue with paint not sticking well to the TMTG. I just didn't like the stuff at all, but like you said different strokes for different folks.


:merry-christmas:
 

o1d_dude

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I apologize right up front for resurrecting this thread from last year but I wanted to share a slightly different method I use to apply TMTG fillets on my birds.

Every thing said up to this point in the thread, double gluing, etc is spot on. From JAL3, I also learned about using a stick pin to make holes along the line where the fins will be glued. The resulting "glue rivets" seem to add a lot of strength and I believe them to be worth the effort. I always use this technique.

After the fins have been glued to the body tube and have dried, I apply the TMTG into the fillet area directly from the spout of the squeeze bottle. Rather than use my fingertips, I use the round end of a popsicle stick to sculpt the fillet to a nice smooth profile.

After the TMTG dries, I wrap a 2"x1" piece of 220 or 320 grit around the shaft of a long bladed Phillips screwdriver (shaft diameter approx 1/8") and true up the profile. The unyielding metal and Wet-or-Dry do a quick job with minimal effort. If necessary, I will add a second coat of TMTG and sculpt it with the popsicle stick. When dry, the trick with the screwdriver and Wet-or-Dry only using 400 grit this time. 95 Percent of the time, that's all I have to do.

A couple of cautions about the TMTG...it tends to glob if you don't clean out the tip of the spout regularly. Remove it from the squeeze bottle and swab it out with a Q-tip under running water. I do this after each filleting "session"...I do several birds at once. Secondly, wipe or rinse off the popsicle stick after each fillet as this stuff dries pretty quickly. I use a small disposable foam bowl with a bit of water in it and a paper towel.

The end result is very nice and I hear "Dude, that's just too PRETTY to fly!" a lot.
 

MarkII

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I have not noticed any paint adhesion problems. TMTG is just a type of wood glue; it is very similar to Gorilla Wood Glue, and may in fact be the same formulation.

MK
 

luke strawwalker

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I have not noticed any paint adhesion problems. TMTG is just a type of wood glue; it is very similar to Gorilla Wood Glue, and may in fact be the same formulation.

MK
I think it's a casein base glue with thickener-- chemically more like thickened white glue than wood glue, which is aliphatic resin.

It behaves more like white glue... remains 'softer' and more resilient when dry than wood glue tends to be.

Just sayin'... :) OL JR :)

PS... anybody wanting to see pics of double glue joints and the way I paper fins, check out the "Dr. Zooch "Ant-scale" Mercury Redstone Beta Build thread... pics of both are in there... :)
 

j.a.duke

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I think it's a casein base glue with thickener-- chemically more like thickened white glue than wood glue, which is aliphatic resin.

It behaves more like white glue... remains 'softer' and more resilient when dry than wood glue tends to be.
From the Titebond site:

Original Wood Glue: Aliphatic resin 3600 psi bond strength
Titebond White: Polyvinyl acetate 3600 psi
Molding & Trim: Thixotropic polyvinyl acetate 3000 psi

Slightly less strong, but probably OK for use in a primary bond (fin to tube).

Only their Titebond II & III formulations are "stronger" at 3750 and 4000 psi, respectively, but I suspect that it really doesn't matter as the speed of balsa is far lower.

Cheers,
Jon
 

luke strawwalker

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From the Titebond site:

Original Wood Glue: Aliphatic resin 3600 psi bond strength
Titebond White: Polyvinyl acetate 3600 psi
Molding & Trim: Thixotropic polyvinyl acetate 3000 psi

Slightly less strong, but probably OK for use in a primary bond (fin to tube).

Only their Titebond II & III formulations are "stronger" at 3750 and 4000 psi, respectively, but I suspect that it really doesn't matter as the speed of balsa is far lower.

Cheers,
Jon
Thanks! That's good to know!

I like TMTG because it dries almost perfectly clear-- I wouldn't have any problem painting the rocket first then doing small fillets... :)

Later! OL JR :O)
 

MarkII

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I must be using a different Titebond Molding And Trim Glue then - mine dries to a translucent dark brown or amber, similar in some ways to cured Titebond III (although the latter is opaque). You would never mistake it for clear. It is also quite distinctly hard after it has cured (again, similar to TB III). My Gorilla Wood Glue is much clearer when it is cured (it contains no dyes) and is slightly easier to sand.

MK
 

MarkII

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Well, I don't know what happened the first time that I used it, but now my TMTG cures absolutely clear, just like luke_strawwalker said it would. I don't know if it was said here or in another thread that I read, but using an oral syringe (the kind sold in drug stores to give medication to babies) to apply the glue works wonders! I have never had fillets go on so easily, so cleanly and so quickly. I just squeezed a perfect bead down the fin joint, gave it one swipe with my fingertip, and moved on to the next fin. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Done. :D Of course, the fact that the glue itself is the perfect consistency for applying to fillets helps a lot, too.

The syringe fits right into the top of the bottle. I just stick it in, draw up some glue and wipe off the outside of the syringe with a paper towel. When I'm done, I "inject" the remainder back into the bottle, and then draw warm water in and out of the syringe from a cup a few times to clear out the last of the glue. So easy! :)

MK
 

Trident

Retired, plenty of kits
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The syringe does sound like a good idea. I've used it straight from the bottle, and while he bead is not exactly uniform, I wipe most of it away, leaving a tiny fillet.

The stuff does dry with no gaps, bubbles, or other distortions that are so common with regular white or wood glue. I used to do a lot of these minimal fillets with epoxy, but have mostly eliminated these in favor of the Molding and Trim glue.
 
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