The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Epoxy update

failed epoxy fix

Our repaired pot handle broke again. Anna only used it twice.

I guess I should've degreased the area better, or maybe it was the heat?

Part of me feels like a wood handle might work if the hole was drilled in just the right spot to allow the support screw to thread through and attach to the pot.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hi Mark and Anna,

I have generally been disappointed with glues of various types.

Breakages like you found.

I find that some groves or holes and some wire gives much better results.

Mostly I use copper wire since it is easy to work with. Or a few nuts and bolts.

Baling wire is another favorite :).

Take care.


Comment by John Sat May 24 15:58:45 2014
That screw looks removable. You might try finding one that is the same thread and roughly handle length and use it to secure a handle (wood or otherwise) with a hole drilled clear through to the end. Think of the handle as being a very, very thick washer.
Comment by Anonymous Sat May 24 17:00:16 2014

You should be able to tell by examining the failed bond.

If there are remains of expoy on both sides of the bond (on the same place), the epoxy itself has failed. This could have been because of the heat, especially if you've been using it as a frying pan. Cooking oil gets much hotter than water.

If the failure was between the epoxy and the substrate, it could be the case that the substrate was not clean enough. Or it could be that epoxy is just not the right bonding agent for it.

Despite what the manufacturers like to tell you, there is no real "universal adhesive". What adhesive you need depends on the materials you want to bond. Knowing what kind of plastic the pan handle is made of can be difficult to see, even for experts. Unless there is an identifying mark or recycling mark on it. Without that knowledge selecting the proper adhesive is not possible.

There are not many adhesives that will withstand temperatures over 100 °C, and a lot of those are (at least in Europe) only sold to professionals because they require special equipment of precautions to work with it safely.

Does the material melt when you heat it in a fire, or does it just char?

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun May 25 08:18:56 2014
Remove the bolt, and clean both broken pieces of the handle thoroughly. Scratch some grooves into both surfaces to provide a "tooth" for the adhesive, then check to be sure that both pieces fit together snugly. Find some small wood screws, and on either side of the bolt hole drill a hole through both pieces that is just slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw threads. Apply the adhesive, and run the screws into the handle, with the heads on opposite sides. Allow to dry for at least a day, then reinstall the handle. Alternatively, skip the wood screws, and put a small hose clamp around the break in the handle after cleaning, scratching, and gluing (maybe file a groove in the handle which is the width of the clamp band to prevent the clamp from slipping.
Comment by Rich Sun May 25 16:01:19 2014

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