I am making a Christmas present for my grandmother which involves making all the names in our family tree in a Scrabble-style wall hanging. There will be 4 generations involved, so the final project will be rather huge, a total of 55 names. I have the Scrabble tiles and layout planned, but I'm not sure the best kind of glue to use, and the best kind of backing to use that will reinforce it, be easy to cut out, and give a place to put mounting hardware so it can be hung sturdily. They are standard Scrabble tiles, with the finish already applied, and I'm not willing to sand the finish off. The tiles will all be glued to each other, and the entire project glued to a backing that I can cut to the exact size and shape, and then mount hardware on for hanging. I've toyed with the idea of epoxy, hot glue, super glue, Gorilla glue. For the backing I'm thinking some really thin form of cork or plywood to give the whole project stability. I'm just hesitant to get started, find out that I'm using all the wrong stuff, and have to start all over with Christmas right around the corner. Any advice would be helpful.
What a great idea for a gift. This community is always comming up with new ideas for great projects and yours is another. I recommend using Gorilla glue because it's as tough as...a Gorilla.
I've done many projects with many types of adhesives and have found Gorilla glue to be one of the strongest.
The only thing to watch out for is using too much will give you bubbles and glue material leaking out from the sides. This glue expands a little so a drop will do.
If you feel like sharing, why not post some; before, during, and after photos to inspire us all,
Because Scabble tiles are plastic and plastics can be difficult to glue, I might suggest testing a few pieces before moving on to the full project.
For a the board I might suggest 1/4" hardboard (e.g, Masonite). It's inexpensive, easy to cut, and takes paint well.
I glued a Mexican Peso coin to my coffee table (metal to wood) and it worked great...but be very aware that this glue expands about 4 times its size once it is dried.
The coin stuck firmly...but it looked pretty unprofessional once it was completely dried....lesson learned. The pea sized drop I applied turned into about a half-dollar size when it dried.
Like Adam444 states, you can use a thin 1/4" material for your base. I'd personally recommend to use Luan since it is very thin, very affordable, and easy to work with.
Almost all polyurethane (what Gorilla Glue is) and epoxy based adhesives will work for bonding plastic to wood...just be extremely careful in your application and placement.
Experiment with one or two pieces of Scrabble so you can see for yourself how effectively the glue will work. Applying pressure onto the pieces will assist in bonding.
I hope your project turns out awesome and be sure to post images here, we would love to see your finished work!
I used the originally Gorilla glue once and only once when it first came out on a woodworking project. Because it "foams" it just made a mess and despite what anyone might say about gap filling properties, the foam has absolutely no structural strength. And, of course, because you can't get the stuff off your fingers you need to wear gloves.
At least for wood, I'll stick with my long time favorite - Titebond.