Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by HazeAI, on 2006-09-12 20:58:00

Good, cheap foam glue available in bulk?

I find myself needing to glue a lot of styrofoam to other styrofoam and to plywood as well in my current project. And a lot of glue, my set is 14 x 17 feet in total, 4 inches deep styrofoam in a few areas. I'm finding the little tubes of styrofoam glue at hardware stores and craft stores are no longer cutting it. Anyone know of a good type of adhesive for this, preferably available in bulk, like in buckets. Links to stores online are extra awesome, but if you could point me to a type of store, or a specific adhesive I could find somewhere around me that is awesome too. Thanks for any advice.

Posted by Anthony M., on 2006-09-12 21:58:30

My suggestion is use Gorilla Glue. It is a very strong adhesive that works to hold down almost everything. I believe it is something that really should be considered. Also the largest size it comes in is 36 fl oz, and the price for one 36 oz container is around $ 30. If you have any more questions you could probably look to their site. Here is a link. Anthony 2006 AMM Film Productions

Posted by nymrhod, on 2006-09-13 13:40:34

Everyone's right suggesting normal wood glue! ( Greetings! I have just this minute joined and am already wondering whether I'll get to leave before's 7 o'clock London time! ) Two considerations though: firstly it needs to be a reasonably good white wood glue ( cheap PVA, which is called 'school glue' sometimes here, may not dry properly between the sandwich ); secondly you need to coat on both sides and wait a if you were using a contact adhesive. It's best to experiment before committing to important things! The third...of my two..considerations is that wood glue will only work here if your joins are fairly snug, well-fitting ie wood glue is not gap-filling! For this a standard 'polyfilla' mixed with PVA might serve better. Either way you will have to wait longer for things to dry!...but no-one should waste money on special styrofoam glue unless you intend to stick it to PVC or styrene! Incidentally...I assume by 'styrofoam' you mean the blue stuff ( sometimes pink, green or white for different densities ) and not the white 'expanded polystyrene'? Or am I showing my ignorance of the American language? Smiley! all the best, David Neat

Posted by Strider, on 2006-09-12 22:26:04

I bought some "styrofoam glue" one time from Woodland Scenics (expensive specialty products, often simple stuff repackaged in their own containers) and I swear all it was was Elmer's Glue-all! You can get that pretty cheap, and I think they sell it in large quantities. But you could probably use something like wallpaper paste which should be even cheaper.

Posted by DaveHettmer, on 2006-09-13 08:01:55

There are glues which work fairly well that can be used in caulking guns available at your local hardware store. Another trick is to use the expanding foam used to seal gaps in your house, though you need to set weights on that to keep the expansion from separating the pieces. Dor lightweight roofs on buildings in theater sets we've glued insulating foam sheets (the blue and pink stuff) on their edges to create larger sheets (like 12'x8' from three 4'x8' sheets) and it ends up being pretty sturdy. The roof on this house was made that way:

Posted by willem, on 2006-09-13 08:40:24

haha, why all the fuzz? I glue my foam pieces to board, cardboard, wood, more foam,... with normal 4$ for 750 g wood glue, and it works just great.

Posted by exit_44, on 2006-09-13 08:56:27

styrofoam can often be glued with wood glue - here at my side of the lake you get small buckets of wood glue and the same buckets also as styrofoam-glue - maybe its even the same content. J.

Posted by jamesride101, on 2006-09-13 10:39:56

Also... Water based contact cement also works well but takes long to dry(but its cheap and comes in small or large containers). For light weight applications rubber cement also works. Sometimes I also use spray77 glue as contact cement and it works wonders (you have to be generous with it though and let it dry).

Posted by HazeAI, on 2006-09-13 16:25:13

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. For the record, I believe the material I'm using is polystyrene. Its the same kind of stuff that foam ice chests are made out of, just in big, rectangular pieces. I'm going to go out tonight and get a bunch of wood glue and try it out, the pieces all fit together pretty snugly, no gaps, so hopefully it will work. Thanks a lot!

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-09-14 04:08:05

I keep hearing of this mythical blue stuff, but all I ever see is different densities of white polystyrene foam. I get big slabs of it cut to order from the factory for big stuff. Never seen pink or green stuff here in Oz either. I agree, wood glue is ok if it fits together well. When I have big gaps I use the expanding polyurethane to fill and stick it together, then carve back the excess.

Posted by nymrhod, on 2006-09-14 12:48:46

Alas, my lungs probably bear testimony to the fact that this 'blue stuff' is not a myth! I've probably been filling them with it for years! It's basically the same as the coarse-celled 'white stuff' except that whereas that is properly termed 'expanded polystyrene' this blue type is 'extruded polystyrene'. It's foamed differently, which makes the cells much finer..too small to see. If you can imagine a material with the fine grain of MDF ( medium density fibreboard ) but with the lightness and easy carvability of expanded polystyrene...then you have it! It is superb for carving, slicing, rasping and sanding into shape...allowing much more detail than the course and crumbly polystyrene. A light coat of filler or even just acrylic primer will seal it well before painting. It's one of those materials that was never meant for us! ( I'm a sculptor/modelmaker/lecturer..trained in theatre design ) but which we've adopted as our own! At least, here in England we have. I would be very surprised if you can't find it down-under because it's a fairly universal building material...for insulation. So, if you can't find it in architectural or hobby model-shops you should find it in builders' suppliers. People here know it either as 'styrofoam' or sometimes 'Roofmate', and it is sold most commonly in 25mm ( 1" ) thick sheets, although one can also find large blocks. It's blue simply because it has a dye in it, to distinguish it from the white stuff...and to differentiate between various densities ( hence the pink and green I referred to ). It's worth trying! I hope you come across it. David N.

Posted by jamesride101, on 2006-09-14 12:40:21

Nick, Mythical blue stuff? what do people use to insulate their homes with in Oz?. That stuff is everywere here in Canada. And I don't think it's because we have special requirements for the strong winters 'cause I grew up in Greece and the blue/pink foam was everywere as well. I hope you get to work with it, at some point, it's great for carving.

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-09-14 20:42:30

We insulate ceilings with fibreglass batts and/or aluminium foil sheeting. Any hardware or builders supply store has that fibreglass stuff, its fluffy, yellow or pink, and about 6 inches thick. The possum in my roof apparently finds it very comfortable to sleep on. The blue stuff sounds like it has the fine cel structure of rigid urethane foam. I'll ask around, but they don't promote it to the general public here. Yes, most the materials I've used in propsmaking and set design over the years are not really meant for us!

Posted by nymrhod, on 2006-09-15 05:39:50

Dear Nick...and everyone else. So good to find a forum visited regularly by so many dedicated people who know what they're talking about!! I know we're going off on a separate tangent here but... Just to advise...the foam I'm talking about is not polyurethane. It's polystyrene just like the white packaging foam, but made differently. If you look for rigid polyurethane foam you'll find different things. This fine-celled blue foam ( and all the other colours available, I think ) is made by Dow Chemicals. Whether anyone else makes it, I'm not sure..and neither am I sure where they're based, although they're probably worldwide. I remember a link...on this forum a very helpful survey of foams which explained their properties and uses. I must find it again, but I remember that the main part of the URL was 'barrule' or similar...this probably rings a bell? Incidentally, I've been following some of the forums with interest for some time, and I list it as an essential resource for my students, at various colleges. Your collective work..and the contributions of people.. are really making a difference! Thankyou for that! By the way...I had a fibreglass bat hanging in my loft for years. It frightened other bats ( and the occasional migrant possum ) but it didn't keep out the cold much! David N

Posted by jamesride101, on 2006-09-15 15:39:36

here's a link with a pic of the blue foam. polyurethane foam is as mentioned above very different and porous. This stuff is not porous at all(water will beed on it).

Posted by Nick H, on 2006-09-16 00:15:20

The 3" stuff looks like it might be of use. Usually I get white stuff a foot or 2 thick, a 1" sheet is just used as packing to protect it. Yes, I understood it was styrene. Now that I see it, I may have seen some once in my molding and casting supplier's showroom. They would have imported it for modelmaking, and sold it in tiny amounts at many times the original price.

Posted by nymrhod, on 2006-09-17 07:00:33

Thanks 'jamesride' ..that link is useful, especially as a price comparison! Here's one you and all..might be interested in, the 'foams' page at 4D Modelshop ( one of the biggest retailers of modelmaking materials here in London ) While you're there...on that is...if you go to 'Education' then 'Short courses' you'll find out a bit about me and the reason why I'm interested in the knowledge exchange provided here. The other reason...I've been commissioned to write an inter-disciplinary book on modelmaking, based on the course, which will be published by The Crowood Press sometime late next year. I feel this could be a great opportunity for a lot of 'give-and-get' don't you think?