Whether building or repairing, you may wish to glue aluminum together tightly with watertight glue. Unlike wood, aluminum and other metals are nonporous; many glues will simply not bond well with metals. However most epoxies will, especially if you take time to prepare the aluminum before applying the glue.
This glue, once mixed, will bond nearly anything together. Remember to take precautions and clean up drips immediately; keep rubbing alcohol, acetone and a clean rag on hand.
Things You'll Need
- Newspaper or drop cloth
- Rubber gloves
- Eye protection
- Liquid dish soap
- Scouring pad, sandpaper (60 grit) or wire brush
- Watertight epoxy glue
- Masking tape or painter's tape
Spread a drop cloth or newspaper over your work table to protect it. Put on safety gear--goggles and gloves. Open a window in your work room for ventilation, or do this job outside in open air.
Wet a sponge in warm water. Apply soap to the sponge and scrub the aluminum pieces thoroughly. You should clean all oil and dirt from the aluminum so that nothing interferes with the glue bond.
Rub aluminum with a wire brush, 60-grit sandpaper or abrasive pad. You’re simply roughing up the surface a bit more so glue sticks better. This step shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for small parts.
Rinse the aluminum and dry. Mix the epoxy (it comes in two parts that must be mixed together) and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then, place a bead of epoxy glue on both pieces of aluminum then brush them with a small paint brush to smooth the epoxy. Press the pieces of aluminum together.
Wrap masking tape around the pieces to hold them. Unlike some glues, you don’t need to clamp it tightly, but the tape will prevent slippage. Wait until the epoxy has cured before doing any other work on the aluminum pieces. Read manufacturer's directions for details on how long it takes to bond.
Tips & Warnings
- You can use a vise instead of tape to hold the pieces together, but do not clamp it tightly; and make sure you don’t squeeze out the epoxy.
- This glue can be very strong-smelling and fumes may be flammable.