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Davide 03-22-2013 08:26 AM

Best adhesive for v-cuts in foam?
I have made a pattern of v-cuts in 1/4in. closed cell foam, and intend vinyl to lay upon it. I have tried two times so far using "Performance Hi-temp adhesive" and 3M general trim adhesive. In both cases, I would slowly roll the vinyl outwards, from a center line, depressing the vinyl into the v-cuts as I went. Unfortunately, the vinyl really didn't want to stick into the cuts too deeply, and would eventually pull away.

I am of the opinion that the adhesive needs to be stronger and act more like contact cement that sticks instantly, but would like to hear what some more experienced trim folks have to say. If it is a glue issue, what would you recommend? I would prefer aerosol can, but if not possible due to my needs, I could buy the HF sprayer (How would you clean that nozzle, btw?!).


slodat 03-22-2013 08:51 AM

You need a true upholstery adhesive. I use DAP Weldwood Landau Top and Trim adhesive. I use a pressure pot. Others are just as happy using a $20 import spray gun. You can buy the adhesive from an upholstery supply house or a trim shop.

DanTwoLakes 03-22-2013 09:53 AM

The problem may be more with your technique than the glue you are using. Are you scuffing the closed cell foam with sandpaper or a Scotch Brite pad? Are you spraying the adhesive on the foam and the vinyl and letting it dry completely before mating the two parts? If you want to use an aerosol, the Performance is not bad, and 3-M Super Trim adhesive #08090 is good too, but it is expensive. BTW, 3-M 77 and 3-M 74 just do not work for automotive work.

Davide 03-22-2013 10:10 AM

Technique may be the culprit!

I sanded the surface with a 3m foam sanding block to take away the shine. Perhaps that is too aggressive compared to Scotch-Brite? I didn't scuff the v-cut interior surfaces, so that seems like a failure on my part...

I waited about 3-4 min. after spraying before attempting to bond the surfaces.

Geeze, I just wanted to blame my tools!

DanTwoLakes 03-22-2013 12:49 PM

Better too aggressive than not agressive enough. The contact adhesive has to be completely dry so that it is just the tiniest bit tacky and applied to both pieces, the vinyl and the closed cell foam or it just won't stick. If you wait too long, and the glue is too dry, all you have to do is spray it again to re-activate it. If you want to use the DAP Top and Trim adhesive, it can be applied with a brush, you don't need to spray it.

JCAR 03-22-2013 09:47 PM

I have found that it is also important to roll the material into the groove. I use dap, let it dry, then roll the material into the groove. I often use a tuck tool to push the material from the back side as I am rolling it in the groove. It seems to keep the material tighter to the surface without stretching it into the groove. I hope this makes sense!

JCAR 03-22-2013 09:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I forgot to ask how wide the cuts are, it seems especially important on wider cut outs to roll the material into the groove. The pic is of 1/4" cut outs on the door panel.

Davide 03-23-2013 05:34 PM

On attempt #2 I will make sure to scuff it a little more aggressively.

The rolling into the groove makes sense, and that is what I generally attempted to do, but by hand.

The groove is 1/4 in.

Davide 04-22-2013 07:41 PM

Thanks for all the help. Today I rebuilt the panel and used a HF spray gun with proper upholstery adhesive, and the result was 100X better!

beachbum jim 04-23-2013 12:01 PM

Heres a tip I learned with vinyl. Take an acid brush and spread the glue (DAP HHR) evenly throughout the v cut or edge of the closed cell foam. Then you can spray, roll or brush the glue on the rest of the piece. Also, a cheap screen door spline roller tool works great for working the material into the design.

Davide 04-25-2013 07:12 AM

Those are both great tips! Thanks.

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