F I N E   H Y D R O C A L   C A S T I N G S   B Y   C.   C.   C R O W    
  P.   O.   B O X   1 4 2 7         M U K I L T E O,     W A     9 8 2 7 5     U S A    



Hydrocal is great stuff. Its one weak spot is if you drop it- it will break. Fortunately, it is possible to fix broken pieces, often without it even being noticed. At least you can give it a try.

More than one of my original pilot models have be picked up and dropped by careless people who ignore the polite signs on my vendor table: PLEASE DO NOT HANDLE THE MODELS. That's all right, I'll fix it. (geer!)

If it is a simple break maybe we can get it back together.
First, blow off any small chips or dirt that may interfere with rejoining. Then check to see if the parts will go back together. Work on a firm flat surface.

Okay, if it looks like it might work let's give it a try.

photo of Elmer's glue.  

For gluing Hydrocal I recommend and always use
Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue, the yellow stuff.

It gives a good quick bond. We only need a little. The trick is to have a good tight joint. Nice and square where two walls come together.
Or just free of obstacles as in a break.


Apply a small bead of glue along one side of the joint. Then quickly push the two sides together. Apply firm pressure. In just a moment the glue will begin to firm up as the moisture is absorbed into the plaster. For that reason we must work quickly. You don't get a second chance.

Use good fresh glue. If it is contaminated with a speck of dried glue or anything else you will not get a good clean join.

If you have used the correct amount of glue but a few tiny bubbles might ooze out. We can pick them off in a moment. Be careful, we don't want to rub excess glue into the raw plaster as it will tend to seal it. This is of little consequences if we are going to seal the castings later on anyway however if we plan to stain them it could be a major problem. Keep this in mind when assembling too.

After holding the pieces together initially we can now relax and leave them alone while the glue sets. Really, it only takes about fifteen minutes before we are able to gently handle the piece again. In a few hours the you will have a permanent bond.

If there are more than two pieces I suggest gluing them back together one by one rather than all at once. And if the piece has shattered or this repair otherwise does not work out please feel free to contact me for a replacement. More than likely I will still have the mold available. I have found that simple breaks are very easy to fix and less bother than waiting for a replacement piece to arrive.

With luck you will be able to repair the broken part and go on with your construction. Below is a link to the next clinic or you can jump back to the full list.

C. C. CROW 's