View Full Version : Glue for GWS floats?

06-05-2006, 08:57 AM
I know that the GWS kit calls for epoxy to join the plastic bottom section to the foam uppers, but I was wondering, in light of the many mentions in various threads,of leaks when done this way, if Probond Poly-u would be a better choice, due to it's expansion while curing, to fill any gaps. Has anyone tried it? Results?

Bill G
06-06-2006, 10:09 PM
If you use epoxy like I did, don't use 5 minute, as you need working time. I put the epoxy on the floats, and them put the plastic hulls on them. Use masking tape along the entire seam, where the foam float bodies join to the plastic hulls, which is necessary to eliminate gaps. Afterward, use another smear over the seam, to eliminate pinholes.

If I had to do it again, I would probably use foam safe CA. The Eflite thick foam safe CA, which I just started using recently, would be good for this, as it is thick, and won't harden fast, until the plastic hulls are in place, and then sprayed with activator. It doesn't, however, bond to smooth plastics as well as other CA glues do. I would scuff the area of the glue seam on the smooth plastic hulls with fine sandpaper.

If it's not scale, its ugly

Jim Casey
06-07-2006, 02:25 AM
Polyurethane is good. Strong, light, sticks to everything, expads and fills gaps as it cures, waterproof, strong, and light. Also, it is light.

Bill G
06-07-2006, 06:56 AM
I'm not sure that would be easy to use for assembling these floats. The parts are not exactly precision tolerance fit. Still, for 10 bucks, they're good for the money.

06-07-2006, 01:54 PM
I used 30 minute epoxy.then filled in any gaps with "Lite Patch Spackling" by AllPro. Fine sandpapered any irregularities and sprayed with Clear Krylon Polyurethane. Submersion testing showed no air bubbles (completely sealed).
Very happy with this procedure and will repeat it again on another set of these neat floats I have for my Sky Arrow.
Great price and design, awesome looking, can't go wrong.
Take your time, it's worth it!!!

06-09-2006, 07:12 AM
Thanks for the replies, gents. I have the plastic trimmed, ready for glue, but haven't had the time this week to actually get to it. I think I'll try the Poly-U on the first set, and if it works OK, I'll do my 2nd set that way, too. If it makes a big mess, I'll go back to epoxy for the 2nd set. Either way, I'll report the outcome here, probably after the weekend. I love flying off water, and will mount 1 set on my GWS Tiger Moth, and the other on an old Multiplex Pico Cub, for lazy splash 'n' goes.

06-15-2006, 12:25 AM
Wondering how your attempt was.
I'm ready to assemble my second set, this time for a Hacker Sky Arrow. I expiremented with "Gorilla Glue" on some foam spare pieces and DID NOT like the way it swells up. Perhaps more experienced users of this product will vouch for it but I found it too unpredictable. :mad:
I will go back to using 30 minute epoxy, as I did on the first set.
Certainly is much easier to use and bonds really well (if the inside of the hull edge, where it overlaps the foam, is scratched with a #11 exacto blade, to get a getter gripping surface).
These floats are awesome and work very well on the Stolp Starlet as you see in the avitar. BTW, I attached a 1" square water rudder to the air rudder, via a rod that extends down to slightly below the water level.
A larger size water rudder makes for difficult taxing.

Hope this helps!

Jim Casey
06-15-2006, 01:51 AM
Like everything else, one develops techniques with experience. The swelling of gorilla glue is what makes it desirable....it fills gaps in what have been reported to be potentially leaky floats.

Wipe down the joint with solvent before the glue swells to clean any excess away.

Polyurethane is pretty easily sanded after it cures..the foam sands like styrofoam. A dremel tool makes this easy with a little caution.

Still it is light and strong and stickier(bonds to slippery stuff better) than epoxy.

06-15-2006, 09:03 AM
Don & Jim:
I have glued the first set of floats with the poly-u, but haven't got around to finishing the seam yet. I'll use a dremel to clean up the slight ridge I left on the plastic part, and the few small bits of glue that oozed out of the seam. I used lots of low tack masking tape to hold everything in place while the glue set, and the joint looks pretty nice. I'll test for leaks before finishing them. Very busy with work right now (construction boom in my area!), and 2 fly-ins this weekend, so might not get them done till next week. Looks good so far.

08-26-2006, 10:03 PM
I used hot glue from the Dollar Store


08-26-2006, 11:38 PM
I think the perfect glue for these floats is perfect glue #1 made by Liquid Nails. The glue is water proof and dries clear and flexable. What is so good about it is that it works like contact cement. I put a thin layer of glue on the foam part and then put on the bottom plastic piece working it so it made good contact with the glue. Then as suggested in the instructions I pulled them apart and let the glue dry for 2 to 5 minutes. When I put the parts back together the plastic bottom held tightly to the foam. After curing I went back and put on a thin layer of the glue to make sure it sealed. The glue is sort of like a silicone sealant so it seals very well.