Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Perfect Adhesive In The Perfect Size: DAP Weldwood Contact Cement!

The Good: Durable bonding power, Reasonable size, Good price, Relatively easy to clean up
The Bad: Scent is irksome
The Basics: A wonderful adhesive for professional or semiprofessional use, DAP Weldwood Contact Cement is good to its work in connecting all sorts of materials to one another!

As many of my consistent readers know, I have taken up bookbinding as I work on furthering my non-reviewing career. To that end, there were several supplies I needed and a good contact cement was a principle one. For that, I picked up a quart of DAP Weldwood Contact Cement.

The metal paintcan-style container for the Contact Cement requires a paintcan canopener or flathead screwdriver to open and a brush, roller or other tool to dispense. I, personally, use foam brushes and I have discovered this works exceptionally well. My primary use for the DAP Weldwood Contact Cement was for adhering leather to bookstock cardboard and for that, the Contact Cement worked exceptionally well.

Use of DAP Weldwood Contact Cement is as simple as using any other rubber cement-type product. Start by preparing the items you want to stick together; they should be clear of all dust, dirt and debris. After opening the can, which will expose the user to a potent, sour scent (like rubber cement, but about a thousand times stronger), brush the Contact Cement onto the surfaces you want stuck together and press the items you want adhered to one another together and keep pressure on them for at least fifteen minutes.

DAP Weldwood Contact Cement is a thick, gooey substance that looks unfortunately like the worst, heaviest mucous one could imagine. It spreads fairly smoothly, but if one has too much on a brush or roller, it will form blobs which one might need to smooth out before they squeeze together the items they are adhering. With even brushstrokes, DAP Weldwood applies evenly and has the consistency of molasses.

Because the Contact Cement is petroleum-based, tools and brushes that get Weldwood Contact Cement on them must be cleaned using mineral spirits or paint thinner. So long as tools are cleaned within half an hour of use, I found no problems with getting this product off tools. When one is done using, the container ought to be resealed by firmly pounding the lid on with a rubber mallet. This prevents the fumes from spreading and the product from drying out.

DAP Weldwood Contact Cement dries sufficiently within fifteen minutes to allow me to take items stuck together with the Contact Cement to go onto the next step in the manufacturing process. While Weldwood promises to work on all sorts of surfaces from wood, leather, glass and metal to fiberglass and cork, the bulk of my experience has been with leather to cardboard and in a year, I have never had a book I have made come apart, nor have any of my clients (most of whom are artists who buy sketchbooks, so the covers get a workout!).

Later, I used some of the Contact Cement to reattach a floppy sole to my sneaker and the Contact Cement worked wonderfully, until the temperatures dropped. For some reason, that allowed my shoe to come undone again.

Even so, this is an amazing adhesive for professional use.


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© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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