A small sampling of some of the more common adhesives used in customizing.

JB Weld & JB Kwik – JB Weld has been around for a long, long time now. It has proven it’s worth in numerous fields, including the automotive arena where it’s been used to seal holes in engine blocks! In the diecast customizing world it’s often used to “graft” a portion of the body of one casting together with the body of another. A great number of people also use it in place of rivets when re-assembling a car. Gray in color, it usually looks very nice after drying in a drilled-out rivet hole. It may also be used in conjunction with thin, flat brass or metal stock when filling factory hood cut-outs and such. The difference between the venerable JB Weld and it’s newer cousin, JB Kwik, is the strength and curing time. While JB Weld takes a good 24 hours to completely cure, JB Kwik sets in 4-5 minutes and cures completely in 20 minutes or less if used in a hot environment (like Texas or Arizona). Although JB Kwik usually works better for customizing projects, there are two legitimate concerns; 1) JB Kwik sets up fast… very fast. This means you will usually have to mix small amounts and concentrate on one or two projects at a time. And 2) JB Kwik is not as inherently strong as JB Weld. Since our projects are never usually stressed too much, however, this last concern is probably not too big an issue. The product[s] come in two equal sized tubes per package. One tube is the “filler” and the other is the “hardener.” They mix in equal parts, so even a bozo like myself can figure it out. Cost is usually around $3 per package. Pick some up today, or learn more about JB Weld products at their website.

EpoxiesDevcon is a leading manufacturer of quality adhesives. From clear, hard drying epoxies, to JB Weld type “metal” epoxies and fillers. Most of their products can be found at Wal-Marts, Home Depots, craft stores, etc.. I know customizers who use their clear “5-minute” epoxy to re-attach the bases of their cars. Especially the plastic bases. The clear stuff is also useful for cementing axles (or axle channels) in place on plastic bases. I admit that the clear stuff can get a little messy if not careful… it strings out sort of like hot cheese on your pizza. But once dry it is very strong and, for the most part, clear.

Super Glue – There are basically two things to remember about super glue; 1) Try to locate a super glue without the ingredient “Ethyl.” This chemical doesn’t react well with many plastics… the curing vapors often causing plastics – especially clear plastic like windshields – to whiten or cloud in appearance. “Krazy Glue” should be avoided as it contains the aforementioned “Ethyl.” And the second thing to remember, 2) super glue tends to “spread.” Or in layman’s terms, it spreads out. Sometimes drastically so. Many customizers have used a couple drops of super glue to hold their axles in place only to later discover it had spread out to the wheels and froze them in place. Be careful!

Elmer’s Glue – Good Old Elmer’s glue can be a customizer’s best friend.   It dries clear, cleans up with water and is easily removed even after gluing if an adjustment is necessary.  This product is also recommended for windshields as it does not promote “glue vapors” which cause clouding.  


NOTE: Most customizers these days are using a number of these products depending on the project or step involved.  Feel free to use whatever you are comfortable with.  By experimenting, you may find a product, or products, that are more suitable to your specific needs. The adhesives described above are but a small sampling of what’s available. Hobby shops stock an assortment of adhesives designed specifically with the hobbyist in mind. 


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