So.. I lied. My next project wasn’t Ryuuko’s Scissor blade.
I got a commission to make “Luck and Pluck”, a sword from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, so I’ve been making that. For this project, I just some random idea to try using wood glue. Whatever muse struck me, I want to thank them, because wood glue and cardboard is fucking amazing. Like.. Dude, you don’t even know.
It’s like sweet, beautiful, sturdy music. Elmer’s Wood Glue Max, for those who are wondering. It’s like 2$ for a bottle and it works so well with my usual techniques and even allowed me to learn several new ones. My only complaint is that it takes 24 hours to fully cure.
I’m super eager to try this cardboard and wood glue technique on other props.
Is there any chance we can expect a write up or at least how wood glue works in conjunction with cardboard? I’m curious about this method.
Firstly, Wood Glue MAX is the important part.
Elmer’s sells a regular Wood Glue that just doesn’t do the trick. It dries glossy and thin, but doesn’t have the other useful properties that the “Max” version does, from what I’ve seen. You can find this stuff at Michael’s Craft stores for like $2 a bottle, but I found the same bottles at a Home Depot down the street, and they were twice as much. Fuck that noise.
So, the reason cardboard and this Wood Glue Max stuff work together so nicely is probably because cardboard, being a paper product, retains some of the properties of wood. Mostly its fibrous nature. Wood Glue is meant to seep into and latch onto all the tiny, itty bitty cracks and fibrous nooks and crannies that wood naturally has. Cardboard has a habit of soaking of liquids, like any other paper.
So, what happens is the cardboard soaks up some of the wood glue, and when it dries, all the semi-flexible, strengthening, adhesive properties of the glue mixes with the cardboard. This means stronger connections and seals between pieces, and also that you can fill in the corrugated layer of the cardboard to reinforce it even further, while also allowing you to shape and sculpt to edges too, since fully cured Wood Glue Max is fully sandable.
So, the long and short is that cardboard and wood glue max work together really nicely because it makes the cardboard stronger and sturdier, if you exploit the corrugation, and when it fully dries, it’s sandable so whatever you’re working on can end up a lot smoother and nicer looking, without obviously being cardboard.