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JB Weld: Stop That Leak, Plug That Hole, Fix Rather Than Replace
Written: Dec 10, 2008
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Inexpensive fix for plugging or fixing - stronger than Super Glue
Cons:Surfaces must be clean and rough. Requires full 24 cure time
The Bottom Line: For around $4 you can make it home, rather than call the tow truck. If you cannot fix it with JB Weld or Duct Tape it is probably broken!
Your ultimate pocket repair shop, stronger than Super Glue, bond or fills most any porous or non-porous material like gas tanks, pipes, toys, appliances, tools, tiles, or car engine blocks, and is non-toxic. What's in your tool box?
Will It Hold?
JB Weld Stik is rated to hold under forces of up to 6,000 psi (pounds per square inch), compression up to 14,000 psi, with a shear strength of up to 700 psi, and all that in temperatures of 300 degrees F. Bonding, plugging, or sealing almost any materials, it is a great emergency alternative to welding or filling the land fill with your broken stuff. Adding to that, it can be can be formed, drilled, ground, tapped, machined, filled, sanded, and painted to provide an almost invisible repair. I always thought of it as one of the true miracle products of our time.
The Complete Toolbox
Along with the usual wrenches and screwdrivers found in most tool boxes, they really should not be considered complete without a tube of Loctite and a stick of JB Weld. Look in mine and you will see well used examples of both. Just like Duct Tape, if you cannot fix it with JB Weld or Duct Tape it is probably broken!
What Is This Suff?
JB Weld Stik is a steel-reinforced epoxy putty adhesive/sealant that will stick to almost any surface - even if it will be under water or submerged in gasoline. While not recommended for applications where temperatures normally operate as high as 500 F, like exhaust manifolds and such, it should easily cover broken tiles, cracked cylinder heads, split gasoline tanks, or broken household appliances. But better still, it is non-toxic, and can be disposed of along with your other shop trash.
You Do Have to Mix It
I grew up without the benefit of a lot of extra cash, torque wrenches, shop manuals, reliable vehicles, or a lot of the time, or very much common sense. So it should go without saying that a lot of the stuff I had was either all ready worn out or at risk of being broken. As time went on I learned that a bit of JB Weld would go a long way in keeping me on the road. And then one day I happened across JB Weld Stik. Not only would it further forgiveness for the "mechanically dumb" things I did, but I would not have to mix a mess of "goo" from a couple of tubes. Salvation was coming nearer. The JB Weld I had grown up with came in two tubes. You had to "mix" both parts together, and hope that you got the mix right and overall quantity right. Many times I did not get an even mix, or ended up with too much or too little of the stuff to fix what I had just broken. JB Weld Stik comes in a pliable combination "stick" of properly measured resin and hardener so that all you have to do is cut off the total amount you will need, then "kneed" it with your fingers into a uniform "color" (without streaks or spots), and apply it wherever it is needed. It can still be shaped for up to 20 minutes, and fully cured in 24 hours. Cleaning up can be accomplished before it sets up with plain old soap and water. Not considered a hazardous waste, it can usually be burnt or dumped in the local landfill (but if you do have large quantities, it is always best to check with local authorities).
Considering the number of times JB Weld has saved me, I have learned a few tricks to making it work better. It is best not to get in a hurry. Take your time kneading it for a uniform mix, completely clean the surfaces, and allow as much time as possible for it to fully cure. When I was sealing a leaking gasoline tank on my motorcycle, I found that it worked best after the surface had been completely "cleaned" of any residual gas or oil (yes I know I brought that up before, but it is that important), "roughed" up a bit with some wet or dry paper, cleaned again, and allowed to cure for the full 24 hours before use. I would think that this would be the best advice any time the repair could be subjected to emersion in gasoline (even more so since there is so much alcohol mixed with today's pump gas), or on any painted or smooth surface. You want the epoxy to stick to the broken part, and not stick to the leftover gasoline, dirt, or dust, and that the epoxy has texture to stick to. If you do not take your time, it will leak again.
Another time I stripped the threads on an inexpensive (OK, I admit it was a cheap one) outdoor light fixture. First I drilled the old threads out of the hole, packed it with a mixture of JB Weld Stik, stuck a tooth pick in the hole, waited about an hour and a half, then slowly ran a tap into the hole (I guess you could use a screw after about 15 minutes). After letting it cure over night it held better than new. This also saved me from the embarrassment or admitting I had messed up the fixture and having to drive back to the home center.
I do believe that I could go on and on with good JB Weld experiences, but I think you get the picture. If Super Glue or Duct Tape does not fix it, better reach for the JB Weld.
There are some drawbacks to JB Weld Stik. For some reason that only a real chemist would understand, it does not seem to have to holding or sealing power that the two tube "goo" versions has. You might find that a cleaner and rougher surface is required for a tighter bond. Then there is no question in my mind that it does not need the full 24 hour cure time before you expect it to do anything other than make a mess. And once again, the full 24 hour cure time is a must any time you are sealing something that could come in direct contact with today's "pump" gasoline.
If your toolbox or one of your friend's toolboxes does not have JB Weld Stik sharing space with the wrenches and screwdrivers, you might be missing the miracle product for fixing rather than replacing. For around $4 you can have a chance of making it home, rather than calling the tow truck.
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