by Adrian Gray
The review below appeared in the Spring 2006 (issue 66) of Narrow Gauge and Industrial Review and was reviewed by Roy C Link
I am sending you a present, said Paul’s cryptic email! A couple of days later the packet landed and inside I found two plastic bags, each containing a bottle of a new type of cyanoacrylate glue, together with an explanatory sheet from Paul. The two bottles contained, respectively, Dr Mike’s original and Dr Mike’s2, a gap filling version.
The manufacturers make some pretty interesting claims for theses glues, they will not evaporate, will not clog and will not dry out and that the glue remains usable, once opened, for a minimum of eight months, as long as the bottle is kept cool and not sealed! Apparently the glue does not cure in response to moisture, unlike most other superglues, but as result of lack of oxygen.
Paul’s information sheet and the label inside the packets give an impressive list of the things the glue is claimed to bond, including ABS, Acrylic, Aluminium, Brass, Bronze, Cast Iron, Copper, Crystal, Delrin, Glass, Graphite, Leather, Luan (what’s that?), Nylon, Pewter, Porcelain, Rubber, Styrene, Steel, Woods and Resin.
As Paul remarks “sticking Delrin makes it pretty unique and of use to modellers”. I can see one immediately; fixing the final gears in High Level and Porters Cap gear boxes firmly to steel axles, for instance.
The bottles come with fancy plastic caps protecting the nozzles that has to cut open a fine hole. The caps must be thrown away; the instructions are very, very explicit in this regard, so that the temptation to recap is avoided. If the caps are replaced they will stick to the bottles and the contents will be wasted. I thought I was going to have to do some modelling to conduct this review but, instead, I’ve had a happy couple of days sticking all sorts of silly bits and pieces together. A ceramic cord pull that had adorned our bathroom light cord until it was broken was mended very swiftly using the gap filling Dr Mikes2 to cope with the lack of some minute slivers , and I used ordinary Dr Mikes to fix an ear back on to a crystal rabbit my wife treasures. Of course, I did these jobs first in order to earn myself the all important domestic endorsement for further experiments!
A redundant shaving mirror is now pocked with immovable samples, a bit of wood and a bit of rubber glove, some pencil lead, odd scraps of waste etched brass and a couple of broken drill bits. Several small “sculptures” of mismatched materials have been built as I mined the recesses of my tool and bits boxes of increasingly bizarre combinations to test the glues’ capabilities, which were exactly as they claimed on the packets. Only the presence of flux residue on some brass and oil on a steel gear caused any problems.
Only when my wife asked why I wasn’t trying the glue on a model did I finally turn to a Port Wynnstay kit. I can report Dr Mike’s bonds resin very well!
With the benefit of hindsight I wish hadn’t used the mirror, not because it had any further use but because it has been made photography impossible; all I get is glare from the reflected flash of my digital camera, an unsophisticated point-and-press intended for holiday. So I cant show you my modern art; perhaps I’ll enter it for the Turner Prize!
In view of the manufacturers claim that these glues will remain useful for up to eight months this will have to serve as the first instalment of a two part review, the second will follow……………………….
Paul Martin of EDM Models is an enthusiastic user of these new cyanoacrylate adhesives. Testing the supplied samples we can agree with him wholeheartedly. Regular “Dr Mike’s” is a very thin penetrating glue, while “Dr Mike2s” is a gap filling version. Both have a low odour and a good shelf life. Provided the instructions are followed, to use a push pin (provide) to keep the container sealed, no problems should be had with either clogging or evaporation.
The list of materials which both glues will join is impressive, even Delrin, a slippery plastic, which is often a problem, is within the compass of “Dr Mike’s”. As a test we used the standard grade, to fit a resin casting to a clear acrylic plastic sheet. Not only did the ultra thin glue give a virtually invisible join, the resulting bond was so strong that the 'only way' it could be broken was by bending the thin acrylic close to destruction. Even then, the glue gave up reluctantly. Another strong point in “Dr Mike’s” favour was that none of the “white bloom” (often present when cyanoacrylate is used) was formed. Where the fit is intimate, use the standard bottle. If there are gaps the second type is to be preferred. Highly recommended and good value, given the generous 14.2gm (1.2oz) bottles.
Not a review but some application notes from me, Paul Martin
I'm not a fan of glue, and especially not a fan of so called superglues. I will usually try to solder or screw something together before going for the glue but inevitably there comes a time when you need to stick something.
I used to stay well away from superglues as I always got covered in it and then when you wanted to use it the tube has set solid. However that was with the rubbish you buy in little tubes from the DIY shed. About two years ago Paul Dougherty of Rickety Rails in the USA gave me a bottle of Dr Mike's original and assured me I would change my mind. I have! after two years I needed some more, not because it had dried up or anything but because it had run out! It was in asking Paul for some more that i have ended up as the UK distributor for the stuff and its selling well.
My two bottles, one of each, usually sit on my bench with the tops open without any problem. I tend to apply the stuff in one of two ways:
The first method is to run the liquid on to the model directly from the bottle. this allow the glue to flow into the joint, its penetrating enough to find its way right in to the join. This method will usually apply too much glue so I have a roll of kitchen paper on the bench and you use the edge of a sheet to touch the edge of the joint. The paper towel wicks up the liquid and leaves the right amount of glue in the joint. the only thing you then have to be careful off is where you put the towel down as it now has a very sticky edge.
If you need to apply a small amount and/or into a confined space the above method wont work. For this application I squirt some on to the plastic top of a bottle or case and then use a bit of brass wire to pick up a drop and place it where its wanted.
We've made a bit of a thing about the warranty and we think this separates us from other cyanoacrylate glues. It quite simple if it sets, evaporates or becomes unusable in under 8 months from when you purchased it we will replace it.
For us to offer this warranty it does need a bit of care from you. Have a look at these points: -
Chuck the plastic top it comes with away. They are for shipping only and if you put it back on after you have opened it as it will just demonstrate the strength of the bond.
If you must seal it use the push pin supplied. I have only ever had one problem with the push pin, they stick but only lightly but we had one pin where the plastic top of the pin came off instead of pulling the pin out of the bottle. The plastic was found to be cracked. A pair of pliers pulled the pin out easily.
Keep it cool. On your bench is fine but keep it out of direct sunlight. If you want really long life out of it you can put it in the fridge if the domestic authorities allow it. Mine never makes it to the fridge.