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The Leather Element: White Glue vs. Contact Cement

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Fiebing's® Leathercraft Cement: https://www.weaverleathersupply.com/catalog/item-detail/50-2124/fiebings-leathercrafters/pr_27342 Barge All Purpose Cement: https://www.weaverleathersupply.com/catalog/item-detail/50-2129/barge-all-purpose-cement/pr_8180 Chuck Dorsett from Weaver Leathercraft is back with another episode of "The Leather Element." This week's episode takes a look at leather adhesives. When is it best to use white glue? How about contact cement? Watch this video before you buy any leather adhesive — you may even learn additional leathercraft tips along the way! If you like Weaver Leathercraft's videos, be sure to subscribe and check out https://www.weaverleathersupply.com/. Thanks for your support, leathercrafters!
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Text Comments (58)
Stefanie Dünnwald (2 months ago)
Hey! I was wondering if I also can use contact cement for bringing leather on hickory wood? Does it work? Or anyother ideas? Thanks, for the hopefully coming answer. Greets, Stefanie 😉
Stefanie Dünnwald (2 months ago)
+Weaver Leathercraft thanks a lot ! 😉😊
Weaver Leathercraft (2 months ago)
Hi Stefanie, Yes, contact cement will work well to adhere leather to wood, metal, and most other surfaces. Thanks!
Thomas Olson (3 months ago)
Will the contact cement work with a patch and leather? The patch does not have adhesive.
Weaver Leathercraft (2 months ago)
Hi Thomas, Yes, it will work. Just be sure to apply cement to both the patch and the leather as directed and it should adhere perfectly.
Richard T (4 months ago)
I am looking for an easier way to use Barge.  Can Barge contact cement be kept in a squeeze bottle (like those used for ketchup or mustard) and be easier to use? If not, would it last If some were put in a small, flat plastic  container with a twist off top (like the plastic ones used for regular shoe polish)? By the way, your videos are really helpful.
Richard T (4 months ago)
I tried a hard plastic container and the barge seemed to have "melted" or deformed the bottom section. It did not leak but did get soft and lose its shape.  I am  not sure what would happen to a soft plastic squeeze bottle but I will be sure to put it in something safe.
Richard T (4 months ago)
thanks, I'll give it a try
Weaver Leathercraft (4 months ago)
I have heard of people using squeeze bottles for their glue, yes. Definitely worth a shot. The only thing to watch is to make sure the bottle closes tightly so the glue doesn’t get a chance to harden in the bottle.
Paul Wray (4 months ago)
How can you get a permanent bond, but with some allowance to move/stretch the two surfaces? (I am thinking specifically leather to cork).
Weaver Leathercraft (4 months ago)
Thank you for clarifying. We would still recommend the Smart Glue, exactly what you’re trying to do is the main purpose of this glue being flexible. You might try it with the contact cement and it may get a good bond but I don’t think it’ll be as good as if you let the surfaces dry then adhering. Worth an experiment though!
Paul Wray (4 months ago)
I meant allowance to move + stretch during gluing process, sorry. What happens if you use contact cement without waiting for the surfaces to dry? Obviously you would have to wait much longer for drying, but would you get a good bond?
Weaver Leathercraft (4 months ago)
Hi Paul, The Leather Master Smart Glue is the best glue for this purpose. It will adhere almost, if not every bit as well as Barge but is designed to remain highly flexible. http://www.weaverleathersupply.com/catalog/item-detail/43413/001/120
Dean Sorensen (6 months ago)
You saved me time, money, frustration.  Thanks!
Weaver Leathercraft (6 months ago)
Thank you, Dean! We're so glad this video was helpful!
las vegas life (6 months ago)
whoa! the best tip yet. upside down in a baggie. Chuck, you are great thanks
Matthew M (6 months ago)
Great tips.
Jonathan Tice (6 months ago)
thankyou great video.
Zachary Sia (6 months ago)
Hi, thanks for all the great videos! Just to clarify, the only benefit of using white glue then would be the ease of application (i.e. only one sided application, and no drying time)?
Weaver Leathercraft (6 months ago)
Hi Zachary, That is correct, and only use white glue if you are adhering two pieces together to sew or lace over top of it. It does not give a permanent bond like contact cement. Thanks!
Robert Ferry (7 months ago)
All that info is great, but what about the shelf time? I’ve used contact cement that I’ve had for a week to two weeks, only to have the liner just peel right off. Is the problem mine or the supplier?
Weaver Leathercraft (7 months ago)
Hi Robert, As long as the glue can is sealed properly it will stay good for quite awhile. I can't speak for your supplier however, we have not had any issues with the Barge Cement or the S-18 not holding. Hope this helps!
Mountain Fisher (7 months ago)
l would like to see a video on how to make a vest with fringe.
Weaver Leathercraft (7 months ago)
Hi Jimmie, We will pass along your suggestion! Thank you for watching!
BosephusBigelsworth (7 months ago)
Very helpful, thanks!
Funmi olaiya (8 months ago)
Oh, it was what I've been looking for. Thank you
karlhungusjr (8 months ago)
I guess I'm still confused on exactly when you would want to use white/wood glue and why. I've used Barge for a couple of years now when I sew a seem on a holster/sheath/etc.. I mean, even if it's being sewed you still want it to be permanent don't you? or is my amateur brain missing something? I just found this channel by the way and I've been loving all your content. thanks.
Weaver Leathercraft (8 months ago)
Hello, You can certainly use a contact cement when sewing but you really just need the glue to bond your pieces together to then stitch it. Your sewing and stitching will then become your permanent bond. If you are not sewing then you definitely want to use the contact cement. Hope this helps and thank you for watching!
Martyn Hutchby (9 months ago)
I want to glue some cotton as lining to leather and some paper board to leather ... will white glue (PVA) be sufficient for that?
Weaver Leathercraft (9 months ago)
Martyn, in the case of the cotton, is this a fabric or something like a ticking? The white glue should work nicely. Leather is a great medium for just about any adhesive. As long as the project isn’t in the weather (where the white glue will re-constitute) you should be fine with the cotton and the paper board! If the cotton is a little too thin and you worry about some seepage, you may want to go with a contact cement. Not totally sure here, but that’s one of my go-tos for gluing. No water issues and it will be there forever.
Silent Traveler (10 months ago)
You will be surprised.... I love you videos.
Zong Lee (11 months ago)
What is the best way to work with leather and metal, like brass filigree, glue or sew on?
Weaver Leathercraft (11 months ago)
Zong Lee, that is a good question. Leather is a perfect medium for glue, but I can’t make a good call on the metal... I can’t honestly say I have found a good adhesive for the metal side, so I may suggest sewing as opposed to glue just for long-term durability. I hope this helps. Let us know how your project comes out!
Keith Lehman (11 months ago)
Solving problem with sticking caps: I smear some Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on the threads. The cap seals tightly but never sticks.
flitdek (1 year ago)
What do I use to glue leather to wood? Thank you.
Weaver Leathercraft (1 year ago)
http://www.weaverleathersupply.com/catalog/item-detail/8179/001/229 Leather is great for glue because it is very porous.The wood, on the other hand, is not my specialty, but the top of the line is Barge Contact Cement, and I bet it would work nicely. This is what all the shoe and boot people use, and I swear by it!
John Dally (1 year ago)
Thanks for the videos, Chuck. Is it possible to get a fade between two colors of dye without using an airbrush?
Weaver Leathercraft (1 year ago)
“Varying levels of success” is right! I'm in the same boat. I’m not an air brush artist, so when I get a little more comfortable with it we’ll get a good video out there. I haven’t really looked for a video on a sunburst, but if you find something, let me know!
John Dally (1 year ago)
Thanks so much for the reply. I have an airbrush and have tried the fade with varying levels of success, thinking there must be a better way. I haven't found a video on YouTube that covers dying leather with a sunburst look, but do you know of one? Thanks again for the great videos. I have switched over to the pro dyes at your recommendation and the results are just as you said, great!
Weaver Leathercraft (1 year ago)
John, thanks for asking! A fade is tough to do without some type of air brush or spray, but I have seen someone do something close and it looked pretty good. You can buy a “fan” type paint brush from Michael's and feather one color across the other. It looked like a perfect fade right up until you got really close. Even though it wasn’t a true fade, it looked good, and the brush strokes looked like part of the design. I hope this helps!
HonestOutdoorReviews (1 year ago)
A technique I use when my lid gets stuck is I heat it with a heat gun or blow dryer for 30 seconds to a minute, then use an oven mitt to open the lid. Works every time.
iraisrose (1 year ago)
Great info on glues. Can you talk to us about needles next please?
Zachary Sia (6 months ago)
Weaver Leathercraft Man your connection to your audience is amazing! Great videos and responses!
Weaver Leathercraft (1 year ago)
A stitching video is in the works. Stay tuned!
krishnendhu chakra (1 year ago)
iraisrose well,that is an important question.I was about to ask it.
iraisrose (1 year ago)
Weaver Leather Craft Supply I do hand sewing. Don’t have a machine.
Weaver Leathercraft (1 year ago)
Great suggestion on the needles! Are you more interested in information on hand sewing or machine sewing needles?
krishnendhu chakra (1 year ago)
can we use synthetic resin adhesive on leather?
krishnendhu chakra (1 year ago)
Weaver Leather Craft Supply sure . :)
Weaver Leathercraft (1 year ago)
I haven’t used a synthetic resin, but, leather is an incredible medium for glue because of the porous nature. The only thing I would watch is the flexibility of the resin once dry. That would be the deciding factor for me. Try it and let us know how it goes! I would be anxious to hear!
bull and timber (1 year ago)
I've also heard of putting a little Vaseline around the threads, but I've never tried the upside down method...
General Aki (1 year ago)
Hello, you guys helped me out in the past so i decided to ask you another question regarding an issue i have been having with my leather, the issue i have is when i put the edge of my knife sheath on the belt sander to even out the edges for beveling, the belt sander rips out bits of leather on the edge where it should be nice and smooth for the beveling. My sander never used to do this, only two things have changed since i used the sander last, i changed one brand of contact cement to 'Synteline contact cement' and also the belt on the belt sander is now more used then before, could one of those be a contributing factor to the edge ripping while im sanding it? Any help is greatly appreciated because this is leaving my edges looking very ugly....
Matthew M (6 months ago)
Maybe your belt isn't riding true anymore? This can happen even after leaving a belt tensioned on the machine overnight. And can cause sort of uneven wear and gouging and stuff. Maybe inspect the belt for any rips or tears etc too?
General Aki (1 year ago)
Thank you so much for answering.
Weaver Leathercraft (1 year ago)
That is a tough question! The only thing I can think of is the glue is not entirely flexible and, therefore, the sander is taking out pieces of glue and the glue, in turn, takes some leather with it. That must be incredibly frustrating! This is just a guess because I really can’t tell you. The sanding belt, once worn down a bit, should give you a really nice edge, and, if there was a burr on the belt it would be long gone. I would go back to the glue you’ve used in the past and, with a test piece, try some sanding and see if that part of the process is the issue. This isn’t much of an answer, but, I hope it helps in some way.
John Ratko (1 year ago)
Sweet!
KBO Leather (1 year ago)
I use my Starfrit Mightigrip to loosen my glue can lids. Great video, Chuck!
Stoney327 (1 year ago)
Hi Chuck Great Info. I've been storing my Gallon paint cans upside down for 30 years, NEVER fails to open easily. Same goes for Varnish cans. A question on a different part of your video. When would it EVER be acceptable to use just glue ( contact or otherwise) and NOT stitch the glued item! You're the only person that I ever heard say that it's OK just to use glue in certain instances. I'm no Pro Leather worker, but I can't think of any place that just glue alone would be an adequate adhesion. Thanks. Stoney

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