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Re: adhesives - lids

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I have had binders tell me they kept very little water around the shop.  I
disagree - I have a wall-mounted laundry-tub in my shop with full running
water, and I use lots of it - washing my brushes, my hands, etc.  I keep a
couple of plastic gallon jars with distilled water in them, too, and, for
the inventive among you, the following.
        In certain types of physical exams one is asked to use a Fleet Enema.
These come in little 5 or 6 oz. very flexible plastic bottles with fairly
long tips with a good snap-on cap which keeps them from leaking if they tip
        All this leading up to Beth's note about tops on PVA jars and diluting the
        These little Fleet bottles filled with distilled water are ideal for
adding small amounts of it to PVA, cooked wheat-starch, methyl-cell,
whatever, and with the caps on are very safe on the workbench.
        I also keep a used aluminum pie-tin on the bench with either a very damp
sponge or old wash-cloth for a variety of the ubiquitous glue drops,
swipes, etc which appear where not wanted.
        Now, if, as one works with the PVA jar, one occasionally wipes the rim
with the cloth or sponge, AND, keeps the inside of the lid clean, there
should be no problem with getting it off again.
        A relatively dull kitchen knife with a 4" blade I use to clean off the
heavier glue that won't wipe off.
        As for PVA spoiling, it might have to do with where you live.  Here in
Lompoc, which is near the coast about 50 miles north of Santa Barbara, I
have never had PVA spoil.  Whether it's the humidity or temperature or
what, I don't know, but I've been working more or less steadily for six
years and had a gallon of it stored, and use it in containers holding about
1 1/2 pints at a time, with windows in the shop open for circulation.  So
you tell me.
        A couple of weeks ago on this list someone asked about the best
glue/pastes to use, and I cited Tom Conroy's remark that no two binders
will agree precisely on the answer.  A fine binder in Marin County uses
virtually nothing but a 1-1-1 combination of PVA, Meth, and cooked wheat
starch for everything.  Bernard Middleton and Mel Kavin said they use PVA.
If reversibility is needed preceed PVA with an applicaton of hide-glue.
        One solution to removing a round lid with force, rather than putting it in
a vice, is to use what is called a strap-wrench.  This is very simply a
piece of sturdy strapping fastened to a strong handle which is wrapped
around the lid or round object, and locked by pressing against it and the
lid with the handle itself and cranking.  One will want someone else's good
hands to hold the jar while turning, but it's worth a try if the wet-sponge
and dull knife fail you. (See attachment.)

Charles Schermerhorn

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