Typically, when joining one thing to another, the methods for doing that can be split into 2 broad categories; Mechanical or Chemical.
|Mechanical fixings include things like screws, nails, woodworking joints, bolts, rivets, etc.
||Chemical fixings cover things like glues and solvents, and dependent on your viewpoint might include welding and soldering too.
Often then you will find yourself having to use a mixture of Mechanical and Chemical fixings. When joining 2 pieces of identical or similar material together, your choices are greater. Both pieces respond to the method of joining in the same way… the same glue will chemically bond in a similar way to both pieces… you can drill a hole in both pieces and use the same screw to go through them both. Once you need to join 2 different materials together your choices narrow… you can’t weld steel to oak! One will melt and the other will catch fire 🤣.
- Some fixing methods span both; Gaffa Tape is basically glue, on a form (in this case, a strip of plastic and cloth).
- Sometimes you have to use 2 types; a wall anchor with epoxy resin in the hole for example or a bracket glued to one piece and bolted to the other.
This can present a challenge; how do you choose the best fixing for one material and marry it up with the best fixing for the other? Can you modify one to take the fixing from the other?
Anyone who has tried to hang a shelf in the shower will be familiar with the dilemma. Drilling through tile is a job fraught with difficulties. You need specialist tools, some experience to get the right balance of pressure to go through the tile, but not too much so you crack it. What about making it watertight? What if the holes need to be near each other? How do you keep it clean and rust-free over time? Sounds complicated (and possibly expensive) to me… and those sucker things rarely live up to the hype! Throw in the fact that some of us live in rented accommodation and rarely have landlords ‘that’ accomodating!
Sounds like a job for some kind of super fixing to me… is there such a material out there that exhibits the properties of glue, yet can be shaped to exhibit the properties of a screw or a rivet?
Yes. There is.
Its called “Sugru”. Think of it as the love child of blue-tak and superglue. One is moldable, removable, and easy to work with. The other sticks most materials to most other materials. Now combine them. In to one ‘superhero’ product…
A Superhero that sticks anything* to anything else*.
(*Disclaimer: some limitations apply… because… physics).
This is Mouldable Glue
THE WORLD’S FIRST MOULDABLE GLUE THAT SETS STRONG, BY TURNING INTO A DURABLE, FLEXIBLE SILICONE RUBBER. – sugru.com/about
I have been a massive fan of Sugru for years. It has so many uses. I have used it to repair cables, mugs, cupboards, radiators, and everything in between. I have used it to customise my laptop, a craft knife, a hard drive enclosure, a TV remote storage solution, water bottles, my desks… and many many other things (you’d get bored if I listed them all… and more bored if I showed you all the photos!). Trust me; this stuff is incredible. Have a look at sugru.com for some ideas. The story behind its inception through to a wonderful modern business in nothing short of inspiring… check that out too.
I’ll be adding some more projects in my portfolio as I convert my VW Shuttle to a camper/day-van which will make use of Sugru in what I hope to be some innovative ways. There is a 3D Printed Mounting point sitting on my desk waiting for a test fit that will be fixed to the metal bodywork using Sugru… check back for more to come!