It's not always possible to avoid using glue in jewelry making. Think about leather cord pieces which have to be glued into cord ends like this past tutorial of mine for a wire wrapped crystal necklace.

Stud earrings are also good examples. The posts have to be securely glued to withstand the repeated putting on and pulling off of the earring backs. What is challenging about stud posts is the relatively small area of the glue pads.

Glue formulations vary. Some target specific materials and purposes.  Some are designed for fast cures. Some have long shelf lives. Some are not as durable as others. Jewelry makers also prefer glues to be transparent!

So I set out to find which glues work for stud earrings. Note : This is by no means a comprehensive survey!

I used a variety of possible glue candidates - whatever we had in the house.  I didn't include anything which involves heat like glue guns. If you've used one of these, you will know those glue strings can get messy!  I also excluded two part glues like 2-part epoxy adhesives and 2 part epoxy resin. Both are good glues but require an extra step in preparation.

I have used the all-purpose Starbond Medium and Super New Glue successfully with stainless steel posts on my laser cut wood studs. Both are easy to use and cure quickly in a few minutes. If you are using a lot of glue then I suggest the Starbond Medium as it is more economical in the long run. Many a time I have reached for my Super New Glue bottle to find the remains had evaporated!

Note : Use Code BGSB15 at checkout to save 15% amount on your Starbond purchase.

Tip : Once you apply the Starbond glue, leave it overnight for a strong bond.

E6000 is another popular jewelry making glue. It works for the wood-metal combo. I like to use a fair amount for extra security - see the picture below.   I have encountered failures though usually when I am using glue towards the end of a small tube.  Big tubes though can get blocked easily so it is important to tightly recap them. The trouble with large tubes and frequent use is when the metal tube itself can get bent and worn and springs a leak. That happened to me before which meant I lost the whole tube.

What sparked this survey were these plastic posts with silicone backs.  I thought they were great for people who are metal allergic and would prefer the zero metal styles.  But when I tried Starbond Medium on these cute little bird studs, the plastic posts fell off as soon as I tried to take off the backs!

My first thought was, "Is the glue too old?"  This did not seem likely as Starbond glues have long shelf lives of up to 3 years so long as they are stored below 40 degree C. Even longer if you keep them in the fridge.  My second thought was, "Is the glue too thin?"

Only one way to find out.

As you can see below, it wasn't the age but the thickness of the glue formulation.

The next batch revealed the unsuitability of Super New Glue for the plastic-wood combination. Hypo Cement, another favorite of jewelry makers worked. The added bonus is the fine tip which reduces the messiness. E6000 worked, again so long as there was enough and that it is not the dregs of a small tube.

The common Krazy Glue is a cyanoacrylate glue just like the Starbond family of glues, but totally bombed in this test. Many jewelry makers do not use Krazy Glue because it gets brittle with time. Whereas the Starbond glues are formulated specifically for lapidary and craft people. Elmer's craft glue as well as this particular formulation of Gorilla glue also failed.

What about household glues?  This old tube of Household cement worked. But LePage Premium Construction glue failed. A partial success with LePage's No More Nails formulation. As you can see two of the glues were not transparent.

The No More Nails adhesive result surprised me as I used it to successfully glue the aluminum pieces including the heavy innukshuk charm all together when I took a class with metal artist, Barbara di Renzo of LeftAlignDesign.  This glue worked for metal-metal contact.

The Starbond Thick glue did not work to hold the large brooch pin finding to my maple leaf wood finding.  Only a generous application of E6000 (or epoxy resin) succeeded.  I did not test with Hypo Cement. The observation is : just because the Starbond Thick worked for the wood - plastic studs and wood - metal studs, doesn't mean it will work for heavier findings.

Those are all the glues I tried. There may well be other good glues out there for my purposes.

Moral of the story?  Test, test, test!

Update :  Thanks to reader Divya (see comments below), other suggestions include glues closely related to E6000 such as B6000  and E7000 which have fine nozzles and caps just like Hypo cement.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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