Which adhesive to use on a spirit level?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by mrsmiggins, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. mrsmiggins

    mrsmiggins Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I'm wondering what would be the most effective (read strong, durable) adhesive to fix a small spirit level vial to a wooden frame.
    A white rubber-like adhesive was originally used but the vial parted company with the glue after a few months use. I also think part of the vial surface needs to be lightly "roughened" to give a key for the glue.

    Any suggestions?

    TIA
    /Frank...
     
  2. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    I'd use epoxy and roughen the level.
     
  3. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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  4. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I would also second the recommendation for getting plastic safe adhesives.

    You can also take a look at low profile recloseable fasteners (thats what 3m calls it). It works like velcro, but without the fuzz, and they adhere flat. You can also remove and rotate the level if you put it on two surfaces.
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'd use a double stick foam tape.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I'd use a pair of tiny brass woodscrews.
     
  7. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Quakewax.
     
  8. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    The liquid in Spirit levels has a nasty habit of drying up over time. Less time sensitive, is that they can be broken in an unfortunate bump. I would suggest mounting them in a way that they can be easily replaced. I have had two metal cameras; Linhof Technikardan (4x5) and Sinar P (8x10), and two wooden cameras; both R.H. Phillips (8x10 and 7x17). The Spirit levels were mounted with two or four screws of the same material used in other parts of the camera. The Linhof is sold, but the screws were a bright metal. The Phillip’s use stainless steel. I am not sure what is on the Sinar and I am reluctant to disturb the levels. It appears to be stainless, but I am not sure.

    John Powers
     
  9. mrsmiggins

    mrsmiggins Member

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    Thanks everyone,

    I'll give the epoxy resin a go first.
    Front standard is strapped to an Empire level and the vial is level & glued, as I write.

    View attachment 57219

    /Frank...
     
  10. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I agree. Contact cement you have to get it right the first time. Epoxy takes longer to harden.
     
  11. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    THose rubber bands look like they are holding pretty well.

    3M makes a tape used to hold rubber door strips n name plates... etc on cars.. it's a gray double sided rubber based tape available at auto stores.
     
  12. twalsh341

    twalsh341 Member

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    Plaster is the original material and the only one I would consider for a repair like this, I'm a woodworker and repair tools all the time.

    The downside of the other materials suggest are eigher: won't hold well enough (foam tape), or will shrink as they dry (causing the glass vial to shatter) or would be impossible to remove and replace when the level goes out of true. If it's a level in a camera body there would be no way of repairing it aside from removing and making a replacement piece.

    Plaster is easy to remove, just make sure that is 100% plaster of paris. A small pointed stick of wood and water to moisten the dry plaster will soften it, then it can be scraped out. It takes patience, but epoxy will ruin your piece (assuming wood).
     
  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Perhaps you haven't used this product lately? It really does hold quite good if applied properly. I was surprised... and remain surprised whenever I use it for semi-permanent uses.

    ... and as Ron, or Paul, says... the double-stick product has been used for years on automotive trim. When was the last time any of us has seen flapping trim on a car?

    The "secret" is to use fresh genuine 3M product not a knock-off, apply it propery to clean/dry surfaces, and don't touch the adhesive during thte applicationprocess.
     
  14. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Don't think I've ever seen so many bad answers on a thread. You not only need a level to be level,
    but need it to stick level, and stay there. What kind of level are you specifically using (and is it even worth it - most inexpensive small levels aren't very level to begin with). Tapes and goop or
    whatever isn't going to help that factor in the least, and probably won't be dimensionally stable over time. It is even a gluable plastic? Or is it metal? How permanent or easy to remove do you want it
    to be? Do you have a high-quality different level as a reference, in case you need to bed the small
    vial into some kind of epoxy compound, to check the net result?