Cosplay is like solving a big puzzle with lots of moving parts. Every character and design element presents a series of challenges, and sometimes the best solution isn’t the quickest or easiest one. While plenty of adhesives are as easy to use as peel and stick or apply and go, sometimes you can get an even better bond when you mix up something stronger. If you’ve never used a 2-part epoxy glue for cosplay before, you might be surprised just how powerful it can be for some of the trickiest adhesion applications.
2-part epoxy glues, like JB Weld or 5-minute epoxy, can tackle some of the toughest cosplay material challenges you come across. In this post, we’ll explain why using 2-part epoxy glue for cosplay can be a great solution and discuss the pros and cons of this powerful adhesive.
Best Uses for 2-Part Epoxy Glue in Cosplay
While it may not be the most popular of all cosplay adhesives, you’ve probably seen 2-part epoxy glues in other hobby contexts before. These epoxies come in two parts that must be packaged in two separate tubes or containers. On one side, you have the resin component, and on the other side, you have a hardener. When these two parts are mixed together in equal quantities, they form powerful chemical bonds that can be used to adhere almost any material you might be working with.
One of the most popular uses of 2-part epoxy for cosplay is to bond 3D printed filament pieces together after printing. If you’re working with a 3D printer, and especially if the item you’re printing is large enough that you have to print it in several different pieces, you might have a hard time finding other adhesives that can stick to the finished filament. You can also use 2-part epoxies in combination with other adhesives in order to reinforce the seams of your 3D printed pieces. For instance, you can use hot glue or super glue to hold your pieces together temporarily while you apply a thick layer of 2-part epoxy to the seam for a more permanent hold.
2-part epoxy glues are also ideal for gluing metal pieces together or for bonding metal pieces to other materials, such as 3D print material, thermoplastic, and more. Metal can be especially tricky to glue, but the strength of 2-part epoxies is usually more than enough to bond to metal rods, poles, tubes, and any other metal parts you might be using as the base or decoration on your cosplay or prop. The prop builders and cosplay makers at Punished Props Academy depend on 2-part epoxy glues to hold the metal elements of their various props in place.
While these applications are some of the most extreme situations that require the rigid strength and quick curing time of 2-part epoxies, this adhesive will also work on a wide variety of other cosplay materials like plastics, wood, ceramics, tile, glass, fiberglass, and even foam. However, while 2-part epoxies will work on these materials, sometimes the level of strength you’ll get isn’t totally necessary. If contact cement or hot glue will do the trick, there’s not always a need to spring for the 2-part epoxy when dealing with lighter materials that are easier to glue.
2-Part Epoxy Glue Benefits
There are a few reasons why a 2-part epoxy glue could make a great addition to your next cosplay or prop. Here are a few of the benefits of working with this adhesive:
- 2-part epoxy glues offer one of the strongest, most permanent bonds out of any adhesive you could use.
- They also work on almost any material and can even bond two difficult materials together, like 3D print filament and metal.
- When mixed together, the two components form a thick gel with a honey-like texture and feel, making it easy to spread on in heavy layers or added reinforcement.
- 2-part epoxy glues are widely versatile in terms of applications. You can use it for almost anything.
- All 2-part epoxy glues cure relatively quickly, and depending on which product you buy, you can choose from 5-15 minute cures to fit your needs. In some cases, adding heat can speed up the cure even more.
- 2-part epoxies have a rigid texture when cured and will not reactivate or pull apart.
2-Part Epoxy Glue Challenges
On the other hand, there are also some challenges associated with working with such an intense glue. Here are a few things you should be aware of before you get started with 2-part epoxies.
- While 2-part epoxy glues are incredibly strong and permanent, sometimes this can be to a fault. If you don’t position your pieces correctly, for example, you will not be able to pull them apart or readjust shortly after applying the adhesive.
- If you happen to get messy while using 2-part epoxy glue, it can ruin clothes, carpet, or practically anything else it touches. You’ll just need to work with caution to avoid getting your adhesive on anything accidentally.
- 2-part epoxy will need to be mixed using disposable supplies. Because the glue can’t be removed, most cosplayers go through a lot of paper plates and popsicle sticks while mixing and applying the glue.
- Because of the short cure time, you’ll always be working under a time constraint with 2-part epoxy. You have to be ready to apply the glue as soon as you mix the two parts in order to get it onto your piece before it cures.
- When working with large quantities of 2-part epoxy glue, you should wear a mask and work in a well-ventilated area.
A Bond You Can Depend On
Every adhesive has different features that can make it right or wrong for your current project. While some glues and adhesives are quick and easy to use right from the bottle, 2-part epoxy glues take a little more effort and care to apply. However, especially when it comes to advanced materials like 3D printing and metal, the strength of the bond you can get from 2-part epoxy glues is practically unmatched. When you think about it that way, the final result can ultimately be worth those trade offs. Choosing the right adhesive can be difficult if you don’t know what glues are compatible with what materials, but if you’re looking for superior strength and versatility, 2-part epoxy can be a great option.