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Out of my mind frustrated!!

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  • Out of my mind frustrated!!

    Right now I'm working on the speaker project doing final glue up of the side panels to complete my towers. I decided a few weeks ago I would use PL Premium for this since I wanted something that would fill small variances in the matching wood faces and there are a lot of good write ups about it here.

    The only place I could find it was out at HD in the burbs after I searched around at two different hardware stores locally. I let that frustration go, I was so excited to finally be putting the completed side on a tower that it was OK I had to drive all over today to make it happen.

    Since then all it has done is ruined me. I'm not even sure this project is possible now after using this.

    Firstly, it was so difficult to squeeze out that I had to cut larger and larger ends off the applicator tip. I had to use both hands to pull the trigger because it had what felt like a 40lb+ pull on it. It was painful how slow and awkward that was while kneeling over.

    Secondly, it is caustic. The label warns of skin, eye and severe lung problems.. or not even use it altogether if you suffer from breathing issues (like asthma). I had to buy gloves and a NIOSH aerosol/vapor respirator to use instead of my shop mask just to apply it.

    Thirdly, once there was a solid bead all the way around it was very pasty, tacky, and for all over intensive proposes obnoxious to work with. It is equally as sticky as silicone yet thicker and visually obvious where you've applied it. I spread it around as evenly as seemed reasonable with a cabinet on its side, and then I carefully placed the side panel on top of this. Even though the side panel weighs a decent 25 lbs by itself it didn't move a 1/16th down or to a side, it just stayed on top of the PL Premium.

    Fourthly, because it was so thick and not squeezing out from weight it required s%&t tons of clamping force. I have 4 straps and 6 clamps. The minute I ratcheted down the panel with straps it just started smearing and sliding out of alignment. Awful. I couldn't hold an alignment and tighten to save my life because it was so thick. I had to pull the panel off which was damn near impossible because of the tack, scrape off extra adhesive, and try again. The stuff was so unwieldy that I couldn't slide the panel around with hand pressure to where I wanted it. Even with a clamp cinched it would push another part of the wood upward or sideways just inches away. I had to abandon straps altogether and use all the clamps I had on hand. As I write this there are long portions of the tower that are probably bowed outward and there's nothing I can do about it except hope the gap is filled completely by the PL P. (maybe it will still be airtight??). I don't even know if after all work the panel is totally overhanging all the edges for final flush trim cutting because there's silver gray goop on all sides and I can't see anything (but there is tape and making paper below to protect the wood luckily).

    Fifthly, this stuff requires a 24hr clamp period to cure. Not 30 minutes, not even an hour. I have to waste a whole shop day today without clamps just to find out tomorrow that this panel probably has large gaps that can't be reached internally. I'm f#&king ****** about this.

    ...

    Here is what I would say about this...
    IF my cabinet was CNC cut and had dados on all matching surfaces so the pieces were aligned properly
    IF I had triple the amount of clamps in order to clamp every 4 inches
    IF I had a helper for an extra set of hands
    IF I had an electric dispenser so I wouldn't have to cramp my cold fingers
    And IF I had the experience, tools, patience, and love for the cabinetry...
    THEN, and only then, would I reconsider or recommend anyone using this garbage on speaker towers.

    In my opinion it is meant for where it was designed for, on studs and paneling where speed and screw's are complimented by imperfectly slopping thick industrial adhesives on to get jobs done where no one will see it and where time matters.

    I'm an amateur and it's no one's fault but mine. Still, I don't think anyone should be recommending PL Premium. At least without disclaimers or extreme qualifiers.

  • #2
    Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

    Man, sorry to hear the issues you had.

    I will admit that there is a slight learning curve with the PL, but I will almost never use anything else unless I'm laminating panels or really don't want to be careful because of a finish I am applying. But other than that, if it is above 70 out it usually drys up quick, love it's expanding properties, and a LITTLE goes a LONG way.

    To each their own! Pics of the project?
    Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p

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    • #3
      Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

      It's good for folded horns when you have internal joints that cannot leak. By your description, the PL you bought must have been old or defective. The PL I used on two projects came out very easily, and I had to back the gun off so it wouldn't keep oozing out after setting the gun down. Too bad.

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      • #4
        Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

        I used it when wood glue didn't have the holding power. It is slippery stuff to work with and thicker than wood glue. I also had some issues with panels sliding around when clamped. A finish nail fixed that quick. I still use wood glue most of the time as it is much easier to work with faster drying and easy cleanup. But the next time i build a curved cab i will be buying another tube. It holds better than anything else i've found.


        Ps. I don't remember having issues getting it to come out... sound like an old tube.

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        • #5
          Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

          Yeaaaahhhh..... that's not how PL Premium is supposed to work.

          If you cut off the tip enough to provide ~1/8 to 1/4" bead, once you've filled the nozzle itself, it'll continue to ooze out on its own if you don't plug it. If you have to squeeze the pump trigger with more than casual force, something's not right. As for its viscosity, it's not so wet that it runs, but it will droop down a surface if subjected to gravity.

          You get about 10 min to position everything while it's wet, then it starts to get tacky. You can still move things around within the first half hour, but I dunno what the quality of the joint would be like if you did. It's starting to set at that point. The higher the temp and humidity, the shorter this window gets, BTW. You absolutely should allow it to cure for 24 hours, though. Frankly, I have a hard time trusting adhesives that DON'T recommend this. I even leave epoxy alone for a good long while before putting any load on it.

          As far as clamping pressure, it shouldn't take considerable force. There's "something" between the joint surfaces once you apply (any) adhesive, and you will have to overcome that to put pressure on the joint, but that's all. PL should ooze out of the seams. You can wipe this away if you'd like, but it's hard to get it all. It ends up a little like motor oil, in that you will spread it around, and even with thorough application of paper towels, you'll still have a thin film where you've smeared it. Others wait for it to harden a bit (like expanding foam insulation), and then chisel it away. That works too, but wait too long and it'll bond to the surface, making it harder to remove. (Still possible -- but you risk damage to the surface. No biggie if you're going to sand and fill.)

          I use PLP on all my projects. I don't use wood glue. I find it quite friendly. Your experience sounds very much abnormal. You may be soured to ever try it again, and that's fair, but the expanding properties do make it very convenient when you want an air-tight seal.

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          • #6
            Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

            When you lop off the end of the tube, you have to insert a long nail or similar pointy object down the tip to puncture an internal seal. It sounds like you didn't do that at first, and when the pressure finally popped the seal on it's own, you got a mess. It took me a while to figure that one out as well, but fortunately I didn't ruin any projects. Sorry to hear about your misfortune. :(

            edit: I use a bondo spreader to remove the excess PL. Works like a charm.

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            • #7
              Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

              Having built a number of cabinets in the past using construction adhesives and MDF, and recently switching to plywood and regular ole wood glue (like titebond), I will never be subjecting myself to MDF or construction adhesive for a speaker project ever again.

              I rabbet/dado every joint for the simple fact that it forces things to go where they are supposed to go when assembly time comes. All the extra time involved with making those cuts pays for itself in reduced frustration later on.

              I know screws are generally frowned upon, but but nothing beats having a use-it-and-forget-it "clamp" every few inches when gluing up a box. Look for "finishing screws." They are available with a strong #6 shank (not a weak drywall screw), but have a small head that pulls itself below flush without fanfair. The screw "holes" could be puddied up easy enough. My horn sub is currently held together by nothing but these screws in 1-5/8" length. (it will be coming apart later to be glued up but I wanted to get a chance to test it as is first). While I did invest in enough clamps to go without screws on smaller boxes, I am tempted to use these finishing screws on future builds for the simple fact that they are so darn convenient.
              Pro/Fi Cinema Speaker project: "From the Ashes"

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              • #8
                Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

                I have to agree with the other guys.
                " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

                Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
                Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

                http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
                http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

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                • #9
                  Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

                  Like the others have said, it shouldn't have been difficult to squeeze out. I used it to build a coffin, and found it really messy, although it did work. I didn't like the way the squeeze out would kind of crack/crumble either. I prefer wood glue for mdf, only using PL for projects that will be used outdoors. For speaker cabinets I use corner clamps or biscuits to help align pieces together, then shott pin nails in the joint. They are small enough that they don't split the MDF and much less of a problem if you later hit the nail with a router bit.

                  There was a thread on here a year or so back where a member had an extensively braced cabinet assembled with PL that didn't stick. I think the consensus was sometimes you just get a bad tube:/

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                  • #10
                    Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

                    Well, having come back from anger sharks in my head earlier today I'm feeling better.

                    The irony about this whole thing is that I would have loved to have used screws but my design is based on the birch as itself and not paint or veneer (a light whitewash and poly but that's it) so there was no opportunity to use screws. With pre-drilled holes screws are like flawless little clamps exactly where you want them keeping the piece perfectly in place and with many, many pounds of focused pressure in each spot without having to do anything else AND you get to continue working on the enclosure in other ways because it's already a solid structure. Clamps are just a pain I feel. They are expensive, they are awkward, many times they shift as you tighten (without aids like dados or biscuits), they are heavy, they take up a lot of room in the work space when they are sticking out from a project, they stop you from moving your project, etc. No judements but with most of you guys using veneer anyway, why not use screws and then some sawdust/glue or Bondo to cover them over and some 120-220?*That has always my M.O. before, worked very well and no one knows the difference once finished. I just couldn't do that this time around because of the design constraints.

                    Anyhow thanks for all the advice, listening, comments, and know how guys. I can understand how this stuff could be great in the right hands, and maybe I did get a bad tube I dunno. I definitely punctured the inner seal though because I remember trying to find something that small and that long enough to get down in there to open it up. It was just thick and gray like cast steel.. I might have gotten the wrong version compared to what you guys use?

                    Before I closed down the garage earlier I stood the cabinet upright clamps and all and rapped my knuckles all over the side panel. To my surprise it was pretty dead. So I'm feeling a little better about the overall panel bond and just hopeful this stuff sealed all the matching faces so there aren't any leaks. If there are I'm really not sure what to do except maybe spend an afternoon tracing the seems with strong epoxy or something and hope it sands down okay.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

                      Sorry about the bad luck you had. It must have been an old tube.

                      Personally, I don't care to use the stuff and generally don't like to use screws unless I have to. If doing a painted finish or natural finish such as you are, it is just more time taken up. I have quite a few clamps on hand and created a specific place for them that keeps them close but out of the way. I do use a brad nailer for small projects, but still use a clamp then just for insurance. Using titebond II and clamps, I have yet to have an air leak. Dados and accurate cuts go a long way in preventing those leaks.
                      https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

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                      • #12
                        Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

                        I'm looking at the picture on your build thread of the PL laid out on the box before final assy. It looks gray to me. I remember PL as being tan. Is that color rendered correctly in that pic? Perhaps Loctite has changed it. I can't quite read that label in the previous pic.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

                          been a tanish color all the times I have used....including the tube I am holding in my hand.
                          Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p

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                          • #14
                            Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

                            If you carefully use a thin bead of gorilla glue, you will have no issues. I have used it for years. Typically, I use titebond II on all panels, and on my last in use a thin bead of gorilla. I have has no leaks as well. I am not the greatest woodworker.
                            .

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                            • #15
                              Re: Out of my mind frustrated!!

                              Just think how great your next pair of speakers will turn out, and how quick and easy the build will be.

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