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Bonding wood to steel

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Baz12/01/2018 21:02:26
118 forum posts

Gentlemen, I am in need of your advice again. My New Year resolution is to finish off all half done projects this year so out from under the bench came a 5 inch gauge Marie E to the Don Young design. This loco was not one of his best designs, the valve gear has problems and this is partly why it was shelved. My problem concerns the cab, it is drawn as being a timber construction, the sides are about 8.5 inches high by 6 inches long and I am concerned that the structure will be easily broken. I intend to make a steel cab and stick the wood to the outside but I am not sure what adhesive would be best. The steel will be about 18g and the wood is probably going to be 1/8 thick spruce sheet as used for model aircraft etc as this is readily available. I have considered an impact adhesive such as Evostik or Araldite, I have used impact adhesives for Formica worktops but not for small assemblies. Can I please have your advice and recommendations.

vintagengineer12/01/2018 21:22:15
458 forum posts
6 photos

Araldite should be ok. Better still Sikaflex would be much better, this is used in the motor trade for gluing panels and glass onto cars.

Perko712/01/2018 21:34:49
192 forum posts
15 photos

Problem with most impact adhesives is that they soften under heat, which may be a problem close to the boiler and firebox. Is mechanical fixing an option (small screws or nuts and bolts?

Some construction supply companies have products used for bonding fire-rating materials to various substrates. I know Sika and Bostick both do construction adhesives with extended temperature resistance. Maybe talk to one of their reps for some further advice?

Steve Pavey12/01/2018 23:04:32
280 forum posts
32 photos

One of the Sikaflex polyurethane adhesives would certainly work, but if I was doing it I would use a good quality plywood. For the sort of sizes you mention it will be more than strong enough, a lot easier to make, and in the unlikely event it is damaged it will be a lot easier to repair than a composite steel/wood construction. I would bond it with epoxy, and when finished I would also coat it with unthickened epoxy before painting (using something like West Systems 106 or Gurit SP106).

Brian Wood13/01/2018 09:23:41
1570 forum posts
35 photos


An alternative one shot product that I have used with great success to stick bar ends to wooden blocks as holders to allow bandsawing right up to the joint has been with Gorilla glue.

It is a foaming poly-urethane formulation, both heat resistant and waterproof when set. You do need to clamp the surfaces together to stop the foaming action forcing the joint apart, I think it would be ideal for this application.

Inexpensive and widely available, it comes in handy screw cap squeezey bottles


Baz14/01/2018 16:56:25
118 forum posts

Many thanks for your replies, I shall obtain some gorilla glue and sikaflex and conduct some tests and let you all know the results.

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