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Author Topic: Adhesive for Tolex?  (Read 24282 times)

Catalyst77

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Adhesive for Tolex?
« on: October 15, 2008, 04:42:03 PM »
Does anyone know what adhesive i need to use to glue Tolex to plywood?

I tried some mulitpurpose spray glue (where you spray both sides wait a few minutes then stick them together)

But as soon as I glued it down bubbles kept appearing, no matter how many times i either buffed them out or resprayed the offending area.


Many thanks in advance
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jpfamps

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 09:18:56 PM »
Applying Tolex to get a professional finish takes a little practice.

Contact adhesive, either spray or liquid, can be used for applying Tolex. You have to be careful of the fumes though. Do this in a well ventilated room or outside. I like contact adhesive for doing round corners because the solvent in the glue makes the Tolex slightly stretchy, it sticks straight away; however as you have experienced if you get it wrong you have to start again.....

Small air bubbles can be removed by pricking with a pin.

I have used PVA successfully. PVA is water based and dries quite slowly, so you have more opportunity to adjust the Tolex. Coat the wood and the Tolex with PVA (using a roller is best) and wait for it to go tacky. This process can be sped up with a hot air gun. The Tolex can then be applied. I use a cork sanding block to flatten the Tolex. Using PVA around corners is harder as it doesn't stick as well as contact adhesive and may need clamping or stapling (staples can be removed once the glue has set).

The last couple of times I did this I used PVA on the large flat surfaces and contact adhesive around the corners/ edges.

The pros I've spoken to use a hot melt glue spreader to coat the Tolex. This probably gives the user a bit more leeway in applying the Tolex when compare with contact adhesive, but it still goes off fairly quickly.

I have to admit this is not a job I enjoy doing essentially due to a combination of lack of experience (hence it takes me ages to do it if I want a decent result), lack of suitable space to do this in (workshop is small and really only suitable for electrical work), and lack of the correct tools to do the job.

I would certainly appreciate any advice from those on the forum with more experience.

martinw

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 10:02:35 AM »
I have a fair amount of experience in covering, so I can offer a few tips.
Firstly, IMO, forget PVA. yes it works and allows some "jiggle" time, but the downside is bubbles are more likely, and jiggle time also translates to "peel off again" time. It can be done, with much practise and using a heat gun, but I reckon the time taken to acquire the technique doesn't justify it.

I use contact adhesive, both spray-on and brush-on, where appropriate. IMPORTANT: Wear a mask of the correct type. You need one that protects against organic vapours, with the proper filters, and they are reasonably cheaply available. (I think mine was about 15, a small price to pay for your health). Being in a ventilated area is NOT enough, as the fumes will build up far quicker than they can disperse, in the area local to your fizzog. The mask allows you to concentrate better on the job, as well as obvious health benefits.

You can use the water based contact stuff, but like most other green products, it's not as effective.
Not all spray on contact adhesives are created equal; I tried a couple before I found one that went on right, and doesn't turn into spiders webs before it gets to the vinyl.

I use brush-on stuff for around the edges where you need more control over the application, and spray-on to cover larger areas. With the spray-on stuff, I put on 4-6 light coats on the vinyl, and 2 or 3 on the wood. Tack time is a lot less on sprayed glue.....you need a good 5 mins with the brushed stuff.

Use a good flat surface and use some kind of roller or smooth scr@per to press the cloth on, and that's it really.

The bit I can't describe are the 101 small bits of skill that make up doing the job!  :) I'm afraid it is one of those jobs where you need to be the kind of person who can do things with their hands!    :wink: The cutting and trimming especially you'll either be able to do or not. Practise helps, so use some offcuts on bits of scr@p. Use a very sharp knife, and cut, don't saw.

If you're getting bubbles, you're either not putting enough glue on, not applying the material tight and flat enough, or not smoothing the material into place well enough.
Enjoy!
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sjwebb90

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2008, 01:49:54 PM »
I would agree with the previous correspondent, use Impact Adhesive.

I use the Evo stick Impact 528 Adhesive in the green tin.
http://www.thesitebox.com/Store/Product.aspx?ProductId=120439&src=google-base

Cheers
SJ
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cheesesalad

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2009, 09:48:57 PM »
am in the uk so you may need to adjust the store reference to your locale. i found half a tub of wickes own brand carpet glue in the shed. i spread it with a un-notched spreader (nectar card) and went over the bits that dried quick as the wood was untreated, then rolled the tolex over it. got perfect result. for the corners it stayed manouverible for about 10 mins. did not pre-treat the tolex and there was no bubbles or air pockets. this may be the perfect product to stick tolex to bare wood.  the vco was medium so it can be used indoors with the windows open.

HTH AMPS

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2009, 12:12:03 PM »
I've used Evo-stick too, worked fine.  I'm watched Jeff at Matamp do tolexing and he used white PVA glue and a heat gun to get the corners to stick.  A plastic wallpaper thingie (technical term) was used to get the bubbles out of the flat surfaces.

jpfamps

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2009, 01:08:22 PM »
I've used a cork sanding block for bubble removal, which also works well.

WezV

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 03:52:30 PM »
i just tried doing one with PVA becausei have loads of it here.  it went alright but i do need to correct the corners.  Its only my second time working with tolex so i am reasonably happy.  Most happy with my cutting which was 95% perfect

now i just need to get around to ordering that speaker!!

Catalyst77

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 03:53:27 PM »
Well i finished the speaker a few months back now.  Its not perfect but i'm very happy with it.

PVA glue works really well, I found that the sprey glue was aweful and just kept bubbling up.  I used a wet towel/flanel to get rid of any of the bubbles and some contact adhesive to get the tricky end/corner bits sorted.
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FELINEGUITARS

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Re: Adhesive for Tolex?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 03:57:30 PM »
I would agree with the previous correspondent, use Impact Adhesive.

I use the Evo stick Impact 528 Adhesive in the green tin.
http://www.thesitebox.com/Store/Product.aspx?ProductId=120439&src=google-base

Cheers
SJ

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FELINEGUITARS

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