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T_Con743

Best Glue for Cache Containers

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I've been starting to hide some of my own caches, and some of them are homemade containers. I've been using glue but haven't found one that holds up good yet. Gorilla glue hasn't even worked though they claim to "Bond Virtually Everything". Has anyone found a glue that works well and holds up to weather? 

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22 minutes ago, T_Con743 said:

I've been starting to hide some of my own caches, and some of them are homemade containers. I've been using glue but haven't found one that holds up good yet. Gorilla glue hasn't even worked though they claim to "Bond Virtually Everything". Has anyone found a glue that works well and holds up to weather? 

 

Metal or plastic ?   Structural strength needed, or just attaching something to the container ?    Thanks.   

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Regular JB Weld is pretty good for many things but they also have a version for plastic.  Look at the symbol on the plastic container to verify.  Probably that slick food container type?  I never picture anything sticking to that.  Might be able to abrade the surface a bit to help.

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18 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Metal or plastic ?   Structural strength needed, or just attaching something to the container ?    Thanks.   

For my latest one, plastic. And I'm going to use it to attach something to the container

 

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6 minutes ago, T_Con743 said:

For my latest one, plastic. And I'm going to use it to attach something to the container

 

 

This greatly depends on what you're trying to glue, the hide style, and the location (weather, temperature, etc.).  See the many threads about this.

 

No glue bonds everything, and "glue" doesn't reliably hold to common container plastics.  For decoration only, most any craft glue, such as "Goop", might work.  If it's a fixture that needs to be durably attached, a combination of adhesive and mechanical attachment might be best.  For example, if I use JB Weld to hold a magnet to a Lock-N-Lock, I at least cover that with patch of Gorilla Tape (duct tape).  I secure most objects by drilling the container and bolting the item on, when I need to be sure they stay in place.

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3 hours ago, kunarion said:

No glue bonds everything, and "glue" doesn't reliably hold to common container plastics.  For decoration only, most any craft glue, such as "Goop", might work.  If it's a fixture that needs to be durably attached, a combination of adhesive and mechanical attachment might be best.  For example, if I use JB Weld to hold a magnet to a Lock-N-Lock, I at least cover that with patch of Gorilla Tape (duct tape).  I secure most objects by drilling the container and bolting the item on, when I need to be sure they stay in place.

+1

I've become a fan of this approach, using a mechanical attachment of some sort, with a glue/sealant to prevent leaks.

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I do a lot of craft and quickly learnt that there is no one glue. I have a big box of different kinds for different jobs and surfaces. 

 

One thing I use often on caches is sealant. Not sure if there is a more technical name. A clear-ish smelly gel that dries to a solid rubbery form. It’s flexible and waterproof and you can buy types meant for outdoors. I have a cache where a snail was attached and that remains good as new 5/6 years later. Another similar one lost most of the snail, birds I suspect, and all that remained was a snail shaped lump of sealant still attached to the container. 

 

Sometimes basic PVA glue will do the job, or the super glue stuff that comes in two tubes that you mix. The latter is not very flexible though. 

 

I don’t think we have ever relied totally on one thing though. A mixture of glue and, say, wire will often do the trick. 

 

Try out different things, leave it outside as a trial and see. 

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"One thing I use often on caches is sealant. Not sure if there is a more technical name. A clear-ish smelly gel that dries to a solid rubbery form."

 

I usually refer to that as "silicone."   Now that you say that, I picture that working pretty well.  There is a hider in my region that likes to put little toy ducks on the lid but they don't stick long.  Something that remains flexible would be a good choice.

 

"or the super glue stuff that comes in two tubes that you mix"

 

I believe the two-part types are usually, but not always, a form of epoxy.  When I hear "superglue", though, I think of cyanoacrylate type glue which is even less flexible than epoxy from my observations. 

 

JB Weld is a two-part epoxy that I used to repair part of a radiator and it held up for the rest of the life of the car.  The original is not a fast-set one like the "5 minute" types which are often clearer. 

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On 9/3/2020 at 11:08 AM, T_Con743 said:

For my latest one, plastic. And I'm going to use it to attach something to the container

 

Another vote for 2-part epoxy cement.  I used a glob of it to attach two magnets to a plastic match stick case.  Ugly color, but functional.  The cache resides on a steel beam on the underside of a bridge, so it's out of rain and snow (but not flood waters, but that's a different story).  It is subject to freeze-thaw and the full range of temperatures in western PA.

 

Joe

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On 9/5/2020 at 8:33 PM, Folkfen said:

I do a lot of craft and quickly learnt that there is no one glue. I have a big box of different kinds for different jobs and surfaces. 

 

One thing I use often on caches is sealant. Not sure if there is a more technical name. A clear-ish smelly gel that dries to a solid rubbery form. It’s flexible and waterproof and you can buy types meant for outdoors. I have a cache where a snail was attached and that remains good as new 5/6 years later. Another similar one lost most of the snail, birds I suspect, and all that remained was a snail shaped lump of sealant still attached to the container. 

 

Sometimes basic PVA glue will do the job, or the super glue stuff that comes in two tubes that you mix. The latter is not very flexible though. 

 

I don’t think we have ever relied totally on one thing though. A mixture of glue and, say, wire will often do the trick. 

 

Try out different things, leave it outside as a trial and see. 

As SamLowrey said it is "silicone". Usually used a a sealant. One (of many) uses is to hold fish tank aquarium glass together. If used correctly, it can be very strong - and flexible. There are coloured varieties. Most common is white, often as used as a bathroom sealant and some are also mould resistant. There is a similar product marketed as gap filler which is not the same as it is water soluble and is not silicone based but it is good for filling small gaps in rooms prior to painting.

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I have had excellent results with JB Weld Plastic Bonder, a 2-part epoxy made especially for plastics. But it bonds metals to plastics very well, too.

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4 hours ago, colleda said:

As SamLowrey said it is "silicone".

Also one of the few things you can buy that has any prayer of sticking to nylon - should you happen to run into that plastic for some reason.

 

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One of the bigger problems with glues that dry 'hard' is the differential in the expansion coefficient of the glue vs. the thing(s) being glued when the temperature changes.  I've about given up on any glue that doesn't have some reasonably decent elastomeric properties.  Our temperature swings here over the course of a year are just too wild.  Heck, even too wild over the course of 24 hours.  93F today for high, 37F tomorrow for high.  Welcome to Colorado.

 

 

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3M Weatherstrip Adhesive has shown success for me.

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If you're looking for some sticky tape, have a LONG look at 3M's VHB.  It's a double sided acrylic foam tape with an EXTREMELY aggressive adhesive. 

Make sure you get it from a supplier whose supply chain moves the stuff through on a regular basis.  Like eggs, freshness counts a bit.

Had an assembly job some years back that required double sided tape.  We had to explain to the assembly techs that this was a 'one shot' proposition  Get it on squarely the FIRST time, please!   You don't get a second chance with this stuff!

 

Comes in a couple of thicknesses, and all kinds of converters turn it into rolls, little squares, and other forms.

I typically have a roll of 4959 hanging around for when it's needed.  It's 3mm thick (helps with uneven surfaces).  I get the 1/2" wide rolls.

I use 4926 when I need something thinner (0.4mm) on dead flat surfaces.

 

 

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On 9/12/2020 at 3:59 PM, Bundyrumandcoke said:

If its applicable to the container, Heatshrink. 

Finding a UV version isn't always easy (also have to be careful of black tie wraps without UV protection), but I've seen it employed successfully to hold magnets to small objects.  Thin wall works best - it doesn't space the magnet far from the surface, so the magnet holds better (inverse square is a bugger - double the distance = 1/4 the strength).

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On 9/3/2020 at 10:21 AM, T_Con743 said:

I've been starting to hide some of my own caches, and some of them are homemade containers. I've been using glue but haven't found one that holds up good yet. Gorilla glue hasn't even worked though they claim to "Bond Virtually Everything". Has anyone found a glue that works well and holds up to weather? 

 

 

We use a hot glue gun. Works great!  We also check up on the caches to make sure they hold up. 

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On 9/19/2020 at 4:05 PM, HunterandSamuel said:

 

 

We use a hot glue gun. Works great!  We also check up on the caches to make sure they hold up. 

I couldn't imagine Hot Glue holding up for long, but OK... Another vote here for JB Weld 2-part epoxy.

Edited by TmdAndGG
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49 minutes ago, TmdAndGG said:

I couldn't imagine Hot Glue holding up for long, but OK... Another vote here for JB Weld 2-part epoxy.

 

There are many variables.  There are several types of hot glue for crafts, and a huge difference in quality per product, and if you can change a glue characteristic by temperature, be sure you don't have wide temperature changes where you use it.  After a while in sun and weather, hot glue turns to a yellow spongy glob that sticks to nothing.  I mainly use it to hold stuff in position while I use another glue, or to hold decorations that won't be handled roughly.  Just try a few things, watch your budget, and if, for example "hot glue" works for you, you're good.  But save that pack of glue sticks.  Next time you won't be able to find that exact same kind.

 

JB Weld has even more variables.  Usually I grab tubes that have been in a drawer for 5 years, so the chemicals have pretty much expired.  And I'm sure I never get the proportions exact.  But JB Weld also eventually fails.  It cracks, falls off, loses its seal.  There will be a log about it coming apart, you go check, and the JB Weld separated from the container in one complete mass.  But it's what I use most anyway.  If I'm gluing a plastic container, that cache is due for replacement by the time glue fails.  But when I first glued it, I couldn't budge it, it's perfect!  At first.  Bolt the item to the container, use JB Weld (or RTV silicone sealant)  to seal, and that might work for a while.  But JB Weld and RTV are both too expensive for just one little project, when they expire by the time you make another container.  Plan to make a bunch of projects at once.

 

I've tried industrial glue.  There's a type specially designed for polyethylene and other slippery plastics.  It takes about 2 weeks to cure.  It has fume warnings.  Most people probably shouldn't mess with it.  It's about like the other glue ideas for caches.

 

Anyway, as the OP noticed, "glue" doesn't hold up.  Container locations are too harsh.  It fails sooner than you expect, and the log about that happens long after everything fell apart.  AND you cannot re-glue it in the field and expect the repair to hold.  Sure, you could put it in a special spot out of the elements, and that might help.  But people are rough on caches, stronger than the glue.  It's a good idea to redesign the container, use combinations of mechanical and sealant attachments for parts that must stay together, and be ready to place the upgrade when it's time.  I do this once signs of age show, before everything completely falls apart.  Your mileage may vary. 

 

So I use JB Weld or silicone sealant (when I have a tube that hasn't cured already), in combination with various mechanical attachments.   I use "Goop" craft glue or Liquid Nails to attach decorations that don't need to be firmly attached.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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The best adhesive that I've seen for outdoor locations is 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive (with West Marine 8200 a close second).   I know of several kayak manufacturers that use it to install bulkheads in plastic kayaks. It's kind of important that a bulkhead stays sealed and doesn't allow water to pass from one side to the other. It's meant to be used above or below the waterline in a boat so a geocache container that might get wet isn't a problem.   It's considered a "permanent" adhesive but fully cured time is 24 hours.

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3 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

The best adhesive that I've seen for outdoor locations is 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive (with West Marine 8200 a close second).  

 

I was just getting ready to say the same thing! 5200 would be my "go-to" for the very rare occasion that I use a plastic container.

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On 9/21/2020 at 8:13 AM, TmdAndGG said:

I couldn't imagine Hot Glue holding up for long, but OK... Another vote here for JB Weld 2-part epoxy.

Nice in Florida, not quite as durable here in Colorado where we get MUCH wilder extremes of temperature.

RUDE example:  We had a 99 degree day a couple of weeks ago, and two days later we were all draining down our anti-backflow valves for the sprinkler systems and covering our gardens with as many tarps as we could find at Harbor Freight because we were headed below freezing.  With our wild 50-60 degree day/day and sometimes even day/night swings, the expansion coefficient starts to really play into how well an adhesive is going to work depending upon what you're sticking to what.

Edited by ecanderson
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Two-part epoxy and construction adhesive are good options.  Spend time reading labels on glues at the big box store.  They each have their strengths and weaknesses.

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Posted (edited)

Great suggestions in this thread. I'll look some of the products up, for sure. After a decade off, I have recently started hiding again. I've been using Gorilla Glue on Lock & Locks after scuffing up the plastic with sandpaper. So far so good, but they have only been out for a few months.

Edited by Lostboy1966

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