Mixing and Using HXTAL to Laminate Glass
What makes HXTAL so great?
Many people wonder why they should use HXTAL over other epoxies or adhesives. The first and best reason is longevity. HXTAL has been around the restoration and art glass industry for about a half a century now so its track record of holding pieces together and maintaining clarity is unsurpassed in the industry. HXTAL was made to hold pieces together and keep them held together over time, temperature, weather, and exposure. It has the lowest and slowest amount of yellowing of any other adhesive on the market today and is capable of both filling cracks and replacing larger missing areas of pieces. It can bond glass, metal, stone, precious minerals, ceramics, porcelain, and wood. HXTAL can be used for water white joints and repairs on pieces and it can be tinted to match the color of your glass or porcelain.
First Steps are Important
One of the most important aspects of using HXTAL is correctly mixing it. While HXTAL is not extremely strict about its 3:1 ratio, it is important to get as close as possible in order to get the best results from your bonding. If you are working with small amounts you can work by the dropper full, but if you are mixing any quantity you really need to use a digital scale to keep close to the correct mixture ratio. HXTAL will work best at room temperature of around 68–72 degrees F and a relative humidity of around 46%.
Bubbles are the bane of working with any adhesive. If you trap a bubble in your joint then it shows up like a spotlight in your piece every time the light hits it. While you can leave HXTAL for a few hours to de-gas on its own after mixing, you can also invest in a low cost vacuum pump setup to quickly and easily de-gas your epoxy and continue working.
Cleanliness is Next to...Well, you know
If mixing is vitally important to getting good results with your HXTAL, then cleaning your glass properly ranks right up there with mixing. If you don't clean your glass well, then HXTAL is going to bond to whatever is on the surface of your glass and not to the glass itself. Our favorite cleaner is Whiting as it is inexpensive, easy to use, and does a phenomenal job of cleaning everything off the surface of your glass
Nothing beats Preparation
Adequately prepping your pieces and your work area ahead of time for bonding with HXTAL is extremely important. Once you start working with the epoxy it will be difficult to go back and re-adjust your work area. This video will give some tips on how to best use HXTAL to bond various size and shape materials and the options for keeping materials in orientation for a majority of the cure time so they do not shift during cure.
How Best to Bond
Back to our conversation regarding how bad bubbles can be in your bond joint, it's very important to be patient and careful when bonding your pieces together with HXTAL. Slow steady work can yield fantastic results. This video will demonstrate how best to joint two pieces of glass with HXTAL to form a clean bond.