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Tolex glue/ adhesive?!?!?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by xander8280, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. xander8280


    Dec 29, 2011
    In experiences whats the best adhesive/glue you've used to retolex a cabinet?
  2. I hear this stuff is what they use for building bass cabs. It might work for the re-tolexing too:
    "Loctite Pl Premium Polyurethane Adhesive"
  3. PaulNYC


    Apr 2, 2009
    New York, NY
    i got paid for a gig once.
    ^^^^ don't.

    IIRC there is a tile adhesive (perhaps clear). that's what I used.
  4. JdoubleH

    JdoubleH Cold, Daring. No flies on me. Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Columbus, GA
    Paul's right- PL would be a horrible choice. Gluing plywood to plywood- fine; Vinyl / fabric to plywood- not a chance. Look for something like carpet / flooring adhesive and use a notched trowel to spread ithe adhesive out evenly over the wood. You need something with long enough open time to get it right. Some folks use spray adhesive, but I find it dries too quickly and it is harder to reposition your material or work it into corners, etc. Go over it with a rubber flooring roller once it is in place to get it smooth and tight.
  5. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I use the same stuff from HD you use for doing laminate countertops. It has a fairly long set time and allows you to peel up and re-do if you don't get it straight the first time. 3M Super77 is also good stuff, goes much faster but doesn't give you nearly as much room for error. If you just want to stick down a couple loose edges or something rather than do a whole cab, you can use pretry much any glue or rubber cement you have laying around the house.
  6. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    You can also buy Tolex Adhesive, its a water based adhesive that allows peel off/reposition if you mess it up.

    I've also read about people using the 3M Super 77, but you need to use that outdoors as it's a spray, so there's not only fumes, but the overspray issue.

    Countertop laminate, as mentioned, seems to be the popular choice that you can find anywhere.
  7. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Weldwood contact cement. Yes, this is the stuff used to glue laminates like Formica to wood countertops. It's available at your local home-improvement warehouse store. It comes in both 'flammable' and 'non-flammable' varieties but both types give off BAD fumes so make sure you apply the stuff in a well ventilated area, like a garage with the doors open.

    You apply with a paintbrush to both surfaces (the wood and the tolex), and then let it dry. It turns into a sticky film almost like adhesive tape. Then stick down your tolex, apply the tolex very lightly at first in case you need to peel it up and re-position. Once it's in the correct position, "set" the bond by pressing the tolex to the cab with a small roller or even a block of wood.
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i use 3M Super 90. it comes out in web pattern (& it's adjustable) i find it very controllable so there's next to no overspray.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    This^^ Dap brand "Weldwood".....couldn't think of the name.

    Coat both pieces and let them dry for 10-15min. and get sticky, then apply. If you let it go too long, you can apply some more glue and it kinda rejuvenates itself and starts the process over. Easy to use and plenty of time to correct errors.

    If you stick too soon while it's still wet, the chemicals evaporating/curing will put a bunch of bubbles under the tolex. They will go away and you can roll it flat but it won't stick like it's supposed to so have a little patience and you'll have a professional looking job.........don't ask me how I know that.:D

    I use the same stuff on ratfur but apply the covering right away while it's still wet. In that case it can still get air to cure so it soaks into the carpet, wood and all and sticks good too.
  10. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    Another +1. I have used Super 77 in the past, but formica contact cement is less expensive, is easier to deal with, and bonds WAY better.
  11. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I use water based contact cement from Home Depot. DAP Weldwood or LePage Pres-tite Green. Tolex Glue is the same stuff, a water based product. These products are non toxic and clean up with water. If you try removing a test piece of tolex when this glue is used, the wood will tear up. It is plenty strong.

    The yellow, non water based contact cements offer a stronger bond but they are hazardous to use.

    Many companies used to use hide glue. It works very well and needs both heat and moisture to soften. Today there are modern equivalents that come in a bottle and are easier to use. See Old Brown Glue.
  12. rysker6


    Nov 18, 2008
    This is a good question, I had issues after I got my 8x10, it was badly scuffed on the way into my buddies basement. Can't even remember how many glues I tried when reparing it.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Are you planning on putting new tolex all over a cabinet?
    Duratex is a better DIY project
  14. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    just an FYI, super 90 bonds way better than super 77. Super 90s will never let go.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    That's what I was going to say. 3M 77 might also work.
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Personally I would skip the tolex all together and use truck bed liner.
  17. braud357

    braud357 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Gonzales, LA
    Latex-based contact cement. It will not "melt" the tolex like the regular contact cement can if applied too thickly
  18. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Whatever Johnk_10 uses...he retolexes a ton, and it looks fantastic.