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What glue to use for melamine to melamine?

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JakeS

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Hi - I've not been following the forum for a few years as I had a bout of someone-filled-the-garage-with-junk-from-the-house-and-now-I-can't-get-to-my-bandsaw, followed by a stretch of trying to build a built-in wardrobe, followed by the birth of our first child 16 or so months ago. (And I say 'trying' with the wardrobe not because I wasn't succeeding, but because I wasn't succeeding anywhere near fast enough...!)

Anyway. Said 18-month old child has a favourite mug - the one he used to learn to drink from a proper cup with a handle. Said mug is - or was - made of melamine. It got dropped on our tiled kitchen floor a few too many times cracked apart, so we bought a replacement of the same mug... and today that also took a tumble (although it was my wife's fault this time!) and lost the handle.

It's getting a bit expensive replacing mugs and my partner is upset that she broke something he likes, so I'd like to be able to fix it... but searching the Internet to find out what glue to use for melamine is pretty much impossible thanks to Americans' habit of treating "melamine" and "melamine-faced chipboard" as interchangeable terms. I know it's not strictly woodworking, but I also know you lot were a font of useful advice last time I was here so I thought I should try, and who knows - maybe it's useful to someone building a thing as well. Anyone know what glue to use to glue back together a melamine mug that's actually made of actual melamine and will need melamine bits gluing to melamine?

The nearest answer I found on the web was someone asking about a plate who got recommended "RooGlue Clear", but the product page from the manufacturer states that it's good for gluing melamine to a porous surface, so I suspect it's not actually intended for this purpose and may be no good. I saw someone suggesting that acetone might work, but I'm wary that acetone is one of the few organic solvents most people have heard of so it may just have been a guess! I'd try MEK, since I have two mugs to play with and can arguably experiment on one of them, but my little bottle of MEK appears to have evaporated out through the screwcap in the aforementioned multi-year interlude and I don't want to buy another if I don't know I'll use it before the same thing happens again!
 

Rich C

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I'd suggest either epoxy, though it may be a little too brittle, or contact adhesive. Basically anything that will stick hard plastics should do it. Superglue would also work but it's not great with heat.
 

Trevanion

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I have no idea what will stick it, just make sure whatever you do chose (if there is anything) is food-safe.
 

JakeS

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MikeG.":1pxssv60 said:
Dunno, but this website should give you a clue.
Unfortunately I've found ThisToThat less than useful for real-world applications. It doesn't list melamine specifically, it just has a generic "plastic" entry, then gives specific advice for PVC pipes (?!) and suggests "probably epoxy I guess" for all other plastics. I know there's better options than that for at least some specific plastics!

Trevanion":1pxssv60 said:
I have no idea what will stick it, just make sure whatever you do chose (if there is anything) is food-safe.
I was kind of hoping there'd be an easy solvent option that I could pretty much trust to be safe once it had evaporated out, in the same way as - say - MEK for sticking bits of acrylic together. But yes, this is a good shout! I don't have to worry about heat as the end user is far too young for hot drinks and it's easy to keep it out of the dishwasher, but especially with the cracked one I'll look out that anything I try isn't going to leech into his milk or anything.
 

sunnybob

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At 18 months, the kid will forget its favourite in a matter of a day or two. Buy a box of cheap ones all the same. And it can have its favourite untill it gets married.
 

Rich C

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JakeS":26opee32 said:
I was kind of hoping there'd be an easy solvent option that I could pretty much trust to be safe once it had evaporated out, in the same way as - say - MEK for sticking bits of acrylic together.
Unfortunately there isn't a handy solvent for melamine due to the way it is made, great for longevity of your tableware but not great for repairs.
 

ED65

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JakeS":33qsgn5p said:
Unfortunately I've found ThisToThat less than useful for real-world applications.
Right on. It has entries that are clearly wrong, incomplete or out of date, which calls into question the validity of the whole thing.
 

JakeS

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sunnybob":3ulm38pj said:
At 18 months, the kid will forget its favourite in a matter of a day or two.
You're undoubtedly right. Unfortunately my wife is the one who broke the second one, and she's definitely capable of feeling guilty about it for longer than that!

I'll have to have a go with epoxy, I guess - at least it'll hold together a bit longer and should be safe for milk. Thanks to everyone for the advice!
 

Chrispy

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My go to for that would be a super glue, may not ne perfect but it's in the toolbox.
 

HappyHacker

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If it is the handle I would try to use a roughened metal nail as a dowel to give it more strength. I have found the long setting epoxies to be better than the quick setting ones.
 
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