Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bonding it Together - Day 20 of 31 Days of Organizing

Glues and Stain need to be stored too, so I'm talking about it to/day.

Glue is another one of those supplies we need that don't so much need organized as just stored until we need it.
I have a love/hate relationship with glue and glue bottles.  Years ago when I first started in miniatures and was traveling to miniature group meetings, it was a big deal to me to have a traveling toolbox.  I wanted my toolbox to allow me to store my tacky glue bottle upside down.  If you didn't, the glue took forever to come out.  
I wasn't so much concerned with the glue coming out at the wrong time, although that happened to me once in a hot car on the inside of a project.  Totally ruined the project as it was a room in a bag and the glue was laying on the top.  The heat caused the lid to pop right off and the glued poured in.  Back in those days there were only a regular size and large size bottle of tacky.  There were no glue pens or little trial bottles, at least not in the stores I had access to.  
Today my solution to the glue bottle is indeed smaller bottles.  These bottles actually fit in my small divided boxes in my toolbox.  And even if the lid popped off the glue would be contained in the divider section.  Not that I travel much anymore.  
The bottle in the back in the left is a glue pen.  These come in three different sizes.  I still like to keep them tip side down.  I use a square plastic box that is about 1" x 1" by 2" long to hold this upside down when I take it out of the toolbox.

Other things related to bonding minis are clamps.  I like to use small wood clothespins. But I also have some metal ones.  Then I use straight pins to hold glued items in place particularly foam core board items.  Sometimes I even leave the pins in.  Another option for this is wood toothpicks.  I insert those in foam - for bases.  And I do leave them in as it holds the foam together.  I just snip off the tips so it is flush with the foam.
Toothpicks are also good for spreading glue.  Other tools I have for that are in the long middle section.  Double-balled styluses - those can be used for dotting paint, or glue. Also I have a metal tool like an ice pick but not a big handle I use it for dotting on glue as well, much easier clean up.
That white thing in the middle section is a bone folder.  I don't know why it is called a folder as isn't folded.  Guess it is because it helps to get a nice crease when folding things.  But I have used it as a glue spreader/smoother for wallpaper.  Both for the inside with the glue and outside on the paper itself.  However the glue gets wiped away if using on the outside of the paper when using it like a squeege. An alternative is to use an old credit card.  I keep those around for this.
That yellow handle tool is a palette knife sort.  I use if for spreading glues or other wet media like spackle or celluclay.

Another aspect of glue is that I have tried different types.  I loved Ultimate especially for the ability to reposition while still wet.  Tacky is not helpful in this. But the Ultimate had issues, I couldn't get the glue to come out. Having the bottle turned upside down didn't matter.  It just seemed to congeal and not work.  After a couple of different bottles, I gave up on that type and switched back to tacky.  
Another solution was to use tip bottles.  A small bottle that required filling from a larger bottle and you add a metal tip to it.  I had some small serving glasses and I stored the bottle tip end down in a wet sponge.
I used these for a really long time.  But often I left it too long, the sponge dried up and the glue in tip dried up too.  I had to clean it out every time I tried to use it. I tried the metal pins and that didn't help. Basically the issue was due to too much in between time working on miniatures.  Sometimes it happens that we go through a dry spell of wanting to do miniatures.  Perfectly ok, except the glue dried and had to be dealt with.  My solution to this issue - using the glue pen.  I love these.  I have refilled these.  Only problem is that I broke the tip that helps to stop the glue from drying up. I have had to resort to ordering these from Amazon when my local hobby store stopped carrying them. That's a smaller one in the back section of the divided box. Also a back up pack can be seen in the side of the drawer (top of pic) in the pic just below.

I do collect other glues - I say collect because I use tacky so much of the time is seems like a collection more than a supply.  I keep the unused glue bottles and stain all in a drawer for whenever I need it.  This is just a corralling them into the same place sort of solution and it works for me.  
This drawer also includes large bottles of paint and my odd collection of various other liquid media, like snow-tex, and two part epoxy resin used for making water.
I do periodically go through my glues to see which ones are still usable.  In this case, I throw away any that can't be used.  
This drawer is in a 3 drawer cart.  The top drawer contains other media that are bulky; like big bag of celluclay, plaster cloth and clean up supplies.  Sort of a misc type drawer but related to the type of projects I do with the other supplies in the drawers.
The bottom drawer has my spray paint cans, spray adhesive and glue guns.  
I don't recommend spray adhesive as a general rule.  I haven't used it a long time - might even be dried up. For one it has potential to turn yellow and secondly it is just messy, and has to be sprayed outside also.
I don't use the glue gun much for minis.  I used it a long time ago to add shingles to a 1:12 scale house.  Then later on I learned that glue gun glue doesn't hold up long term in humidity.  Well up to that point I didn't have issues with humidity in my house, but at some point I did.  Fortunately it didn't affect that house, but I did remove the shingles and re-glue using wood glue.  
Today I do use the glue gun to add feet to the bottom of projects so they don't scratch furniture.  To do this, I apply the glue to the bottom of the project and then press against glass.  Once cool I carefully slide a flat knife (like the palette knife above) under to get it off the glass. 

Come back tomorrow for another organizing idea during my 31 days of organizing.

Happy Miniature Organizing!


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