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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.

Before You Go:


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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  1. thank you for all the work in testing these products!
    I've used hot glue for the metal-pin back-to-wood cutout application. E6000 needs a better dispensing system, you're right, those tubes get blocked-tips, krinkles that leak, and can be a mess!

    1. You are so welcome. As you can see, I am a curious person! I admire your persistence with hot glue guns! Those glue strings really annoy me!

  2. I find find e6000 getting brittle after a time, b6000 and b7000 seem to fair better in that regard. I have not tried them with silicone though.

    1. Those are great suggestions. I noticed that b6000 and e7000 comes with fine applicators like the Hypo cement which is pricier.

  3. Great post. A group of my jewelry designer friends had a word for it. FOG - fear of Glue. They had others such words too. Test, test is right. I love GS Hypo cement for most of what I do when glue is required mostly because of the pin point applicator. Had the same problem with E6000 tube getting holes in them. Plus I recently found out Hypo cement is manufactured in my home town or Rochester, NY.
    Thanks, Pearl.
    Bev Carlson

    1. Nothing like supporting home time manufacturers! See my reply to Divya's suggestion for alternative glues which have the fine nozzle.

  4. Great post today Pearl! I've just got in my supply of stud posts and it's in the back of my head what I'm going to be applying them to.

    You would think a glue is a glue but obviously that's not true at all. All the different types of glues there are out there and some might as well be paddy water.

    I've got other things around the house in need of glueing and nothing seems to work as well.

    So what's the solution? Besides testing continuously and working with your fingers crossed?
    I'm stumped.

    I'm finishing off with the E6000 thing. A great glue but I've gone to buying it in the little packs with the dispensing nozzles that I meticulously keep clean and dry. That large tube - while more economical - is a waste of money. I continuously have to squeeze out at least a nozzle's worth of glue if not more to get to the good stuff once the thing is opened.

    Do you hear us makers of E6000? Do you hear us roar?!

    1. Try the E7000 and B6000 glues with the fine nozzles - there are pins in the cap which helps keeps the nozzles clear.

  5. There's a wealth of information here that no doubt took you many hours to research. Thank you for doing that and sharing it. Here's a tip for E6000. When you finish using it, clean the tube top by wiping it with a sheet of deli film. It comes perfectly clean and makes screwing on the cap again easy because there's no build up inside the cap with repeated use.

  6. Thank you for sharing this information with the rest of us. It is very useful.

  7. Thank you for sharing this Pearl! Helpful information for someone whose struggling using the E6000 to glue metal post to wood.


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