Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by Shawn on Mar 17, 2008
Since this question always comes up and I even get emails about it I thought it might be worth making a thread about.

The big question is where can I find a contact cement that is not toxic?  Well you want to look for a water based adhesive.  They are often used by cabinet makers to apply veneers.  Here is one such product called Titebond Cold Press.  One nice thing I have found with the water based adhesive is that they are not as suspectable to heat (see below).

Fabri-Tac is another adhesive that  can be used which you can normally find in any craft or sewing store. Unlike a contact adhesive you need hold the pieces together for a few minutes until it bonds.  Clothespins are handy for this so you can free your hands for other things.   This adhesive is like the water based one above in that heat does not pop your seams as readily although if you take a hair dryer to a seam before it fully sets up you can normally peal it apart if you have made a mistake.

Many people use a glue gun to close their foam seams but I personally do not like it and if you use this method make sure you keep a lot of cold water and ice cubes at hand to sooth the burns on your fingers.  Also note that if you leave your puppet in a hot car the seams are going to come apart.  This can actually happen with contact cement as well.

Just for good measure let's make sure that we mention WeldWood.  This is the highly toxic contact cement that most are trying to avoid.

Well that wraps up this quick post for me but feel free to add to it your favorite name brands.  I simply listed some I could find reference to on the internet.
Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by Rcdspoon on Mar 17, 2008
Great advice as always shawn thanks for the tip...


Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by StiqPuppet Productions on Mar 18, 2008
Among the ones above here is another one........

....If you live in Canada or close enough (the border) to it we have a great non-toxic contact cement available.  It is called "Lepage, Pres-tite Green, Contact Cement, Water-based."  It works just like contact cement except without it killing you slowly.  I safely use it in my house and it has hardly any smell at all.  It is 100% solvent free, no toxic fumes, and non-flammable.

The only difference between this product and original contact cement is that it may take a few more minutes to get tacky.  I say a small sacrifice to be able to use a great and safe product.

It is found in any hardware store in the Glues section. 

I hope this gives people other options if they are able to find it.....

Good luck on your searches.

Daryl H
Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by MRHIP on Mar 18, 2008

I've been getting into puppetry more and recently saw the YouTube vid from Brazil on making foam puppets.  The adhesive they use and the manner in which they are using it made me seek out this forum.

I've used a water based contact adhesive called Ultimate marketed by a company called Crafters Pick.  It can be obtained at Hobby Lobby, Michaels and other stores in the U.S. or directly from the Crafters Pick website.  It is water based, cleans up with water, and makes a strong flexible seam in poly foam and other materials.  It has no offensive fumes  so you can work with it bare handed and without a filter mask or ventilation.  It's only draw backs are it is very thick and has a long dry time (up to 4 hours with high humidity), but these are offset by the benefits.

Back to the Brazilian puppet makers video, if anyone knows what they are using I sure would like to know.

Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by StiqPuppet Productions on Mar 18, 2008
Back to the Brazilian puppet makers video, if anyone knows what they are using I sure would like to know.

I think it is Contact Cement in a Ketchup restaurant type of bottle, they skip using a piece of foam to spread it and use the tip to spread the glue with.

Daryl H
Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by Shawn on Mar 19, 2008
Ok I dug through my collection of DVD's and CD's from the company and found reference to what they use. Well kind of at least.   The version I have was before they had them translated by a professional.  Here is an excerpt.

The famous shoemaker glues, used to decades for the collage of porous products and that should resist the humidity.

Basically the glue is the eraser Latex dissolved by a volatile solvent.

When in contact with the air, slowly the solvent evaporates, being a viscous eraser, that he/she only gives league with her same.

Several marks exist in small tubes.

All serve, bad the most reliable and sold in larger packings are Brascoplast and Amazon.

Ok that really does not make a whole lot of sense when you read it but I do pick up an several things. "shoemaker glues"  indicates that they use something like Barge or at least what in Brazil is used by shoe makers.  There is an image of both small tubes of it and large gallon containers.  I do not recognize any of the brand markings on any of them.   So I am pretty sure they do use Contact Cement it is simply the brand that is available to them in Brazil.

P.S.  I just noticed the refrence to Brascoplast.  This is the site:
The packageing in CD image looks like they use Brascoplast Pro-Line.
Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by MRHIP on Mar 19, 2008

Looks like you were right Shawn.  They're using an organic solvent based contact adhesive.  I sure would hate to be them at hand clean up time and I bet their headaches are terrible.

I'll stick to Crafter's Pick Ultimate for now and just be patient with the dry time and viscosity,


Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by Tom_McLaughlin on Nov 25, 2008
after using Barge contact cement for something like 30 years ... it isn't what it once was. I don't care for it very much anymore ... it now dries too fast and looses it's "open time" too soon ... that is, it won't stick to itself after a few minutes. Weldwood contact cement (solvent based version, the water based version is not too good for what we do) works well but is a bit soft for some of the harder foams we use like EVA foam ... my favorite contact adhesive is currently Master adhesive, a polychloroprene contact cement available at shoemakers' supply store.
Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by Na on Nov 25, 2008
If you're an Aussie or NZer, you will want to pick up a bottle of Helmar's Foam Glue, which is a non-toxic, clear drying and strong glue. It takes about 1 hour to dry, but a few hours more for a sufficiently strong seam/attachment. It can be found at Spotlight or Riot Art and Craft.
Re: Foam adheasives and glues. Posted by MsPuppet on Apr 15, 2009
OK, I took someones advice and bought the non toxic contact cement. What a waste of money, it won't glue anything. Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

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