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Porous vs non porous

Q: On my workbench I have Testors liquid cement, Testors clear parts cement, Krazy Glue and Elmer’s wood glue. For everything else I have something called Beacon 527 Multi-Use Glue, which failed to adhere a sheet of plastic brick facing to wood.
I was wondering if you had specific glue that adheres everything to everything?

-Brian O’Leary
via email

Ken: You’ve got a good assortment on your bench, Brian, but there are times when a “specialty” adhesive is called for, and that depends on what you’re gluing together.

Attaching two like materials is fairly straightforward: liquid solvent cement for plastic-to-plastic; wood glue for wood-to-wood and ACC for many types of different non-porous materials.

But when it comes to gluing porous (wood) and non-porous (plastic & metal) materials together, a good contact cement works great. One of my favorite all-purpose glues is Walther’s Goo, which is used by many model railroaders. It doesn’t smell like heavy-duty contact cement but will hold just about anything.

However, since it’s solvent-based it will melt styrofoam. For that, use caulk. Goo is sold at good model railroad hobby stores or you can order it directly at

If I need a good, strong joint, I’ll tack the pieces together with Goo and then add super glue to permanently seal the deal. Speaking of super glues, I keep a couple of different types on hand: the thicker “gap filling” kind and thinner, quicker-drying kind. Each has its place.


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