Monday, August 28

Glue Woes

As I've mentioned before, I'm constructing copies of Border Reivers myself. That involves gluing the tiles artwork to both sides of the board they're made from, and gluing the labels onto the box lid and tray. These are two of the most time consuming jobs. However, they're very different jobs. The tiles involves sticking large sheets (A3 and half-A3) of paper to a flat surface, while the labels are being applied to a three-dimensional object and they require bending of the paper - which then tries to bend back into it's natural, flat, shape pulling against the glue.

Initially, I used watered-down PVA glue for both the tiles and the box labels. The PVA glue is quite forgiving: it can be wiped off areas where it has ended up unintentionally; it's water-soluable and non-toxic; it doesn't dry instantly allowing you to re-position things if you don't get it perfectly positioned the first time. The disadvantages are that it takes a while to set, and the water seeps into the board of the tiles/box and can warp them a little. It was taking ages to make the tiles using PVA as I needed to apply pressure across the whole sheet until the glue had set, and anywhere I missed had to be re-glued at the cutting out stage. The labels took a while and were a bit of a faff, but it was manageable. The tiles were ridiculously slow.

So I had fourteen boxes labelled with PVA and two sets of tiles made with PVA and the tiles were taking forever. Time to try something different. Next up Display Mount. This is a spray glue, it's fast to set and very strong. It was perfect for making the tiles, no more applying pressure for ages or re-applying to fix areas where it hadn't worked - this did a perfect job straight off the bat. But it too has some disadvantages. It's posionous, and being in aerosol form you end up inhaling it. It gets everywhere in the sense that you get a fine coating of it throughout the room. It's not water-based so if you get it where you don't want it it's a bitch to get rid of. Still, since the tiles are a simple job (large flat sheet to large flat sheet) and it works.

Yesterday I tried to use the Display Mount to apply some box labels in an effort to speed up box construction. Since it dries much quicker I thought it might be good. Not so. The more complicated nature of the box labels means that you end up with a lot more glue where you don't want it, and it's very difficult to get rid of erroneously applied Display Mount. I ended up writing off a box lid. D'oh.

So what's next? I asked Dad, and despite professing to a lack of knowledge of glues he did recommend Cow Gum, a rubber adhesive, which is not water-based but can be easily removed from areas you don't want it. Sadly, it's no longer made, but something similar exists in Studio Gum. I'm going to try to get hold of some today and try it out.

In other news, I'm off to Paul's tonight for games again - hopefully I'll get some more excellent games in again.

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