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If you have ever spent hours stepping on tiny plastic bricks or praying that your masterpiece won’t collapse, then welcome to the world of LEGOs. A cozy little space where you can find both children and adults getting lost in their creations.
To this day, I have yet to find a better way to spend a Saturday night with my 5-year-old, 8-year-old, and 12-year-old than with an Everest-sized mountain of the tiny, colorful bricks.
To say that LEGOs possess the power to cast an unbreakable spell of creativity and developing a borderline unhealthy obsession with your creations would be an understatement.
Trust me…I used to be young and cool, and now I religiously bid on rare LEGO sets on eBay like it’s my job.
Now, let’s get down to business. Picture this: you just spent 87 painstaking, precious hours constructing an architecturally flawless replica of the Eiffel Tower, only to realize that each interaction with this masterpiece carries with it an alarming and impending sense of doom.
To glue, or not to glue?
I personally don’t like gluing together Lego sets as it means those pieces can’t be used separately ever again. However, gluing a Lego set together does mean that you won’t accidentally destroy the set or lose any pieces ever again.
Let’s not forget that this question generates turmoil potent enough to tear apart the very fabric of the LEGO community. Let’s dive headfirst into these treacherous and controversial waters.
Advantages of Gluing LEGOs
Gluing LEGOs together gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t be personally victimized by gravity. Your creations will be sturdier and stronger, capable of weathering incidents like sibling attacks or nosy dogs.
I remember a time when my 5-year-old tried to recreate the fateful scene of King Kong at the top of the Empire State Building with the LEGO masterpiece I painstakingly built. Well, if you glue your LEGOs together, you’ll never know my pain.
If you believe in the artistic integrity of your LEGO creations, then glue is your answer. Your art is eternal when your plastic bricks are bonded like Romeo and Juliet in a Shakespearean tale.
Let’s not forget the nightmare I lived when my gem-of-all-gems vintage 2000s Star Wars set was struck by the Dark Side of my housecleaning. A little glue could have saved my Millennium Falcon from a fate worse than death.
Prevention of lost pieces
If your life’s mission is to keep every single piece of your LEGO set together, glue can be your superhero. No more searching the house for that one tiny, life-altering piece that mysteriously vanished into the abyss.
Your LEGO sets will maintain their integrity, and you can avoid the mad scramble that ensues when you realize the Death Star just isn’t the same without that one minuscule piece.
Disadvantages of Gluing LEGOs
Loss of reusability
Ah, the sweet sensation of ripping apart your creations, only to build them back up in a bigger, better, more chaotic storyline of superheroes and Victorian-era heroines. Gluing LEGOs together prevents the freedom of repurposing and building, making your bricks permanent prisoners of their prescribed fate.
The heart-wrenching tragedy that comes when you realize your life’s work of building Hogwarts cannot, in fact, be repurposed into a sprawling city. You’re doomed to keep Hogwarts in one gravity-defying piece because of a little too much glue.
B. Reduction of re-sale value
The sweet, sweet profit you could’ve made when Chonkykins the cat stepped on your expensive and collectible Statue of Liberty set goes out the window as soon as you add glue into the mix.
Bye, bye rare set. Hello, cat with a grudge.
A pristine, untouched LEGO set is like a diamond, whereas a glued set is more like a cubic zirconia — plastic imitations just won’t cut it for collectors.
Potential damage to bricks
The blemishes and marks left behind by adhesives can turn your pristine LEGO bricks into something resembling a disaster zone. Perfectly good plastic is ruined, and you’re left crying over the spilled milk of your LEGO mistakes.
Should the day come when you decide to break free from the oppressive hand of adhesive tyranny, be warned that separating glued bricks can create cracks and breaks in your pieces. It’s like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, but with more plastic instead of bronze.
Major Types of Glues for LEGOs
For those who relish in the glory of structurally sound LEGO creations, plastic cement is like the holy grail of adhesion. Strong, steadfast, and designed for plastic. Need I say more?
Embrace chaos, because once you glue with plastic cement, there is no turning back. Eternal bonding, however, means never-weeping LEGO masterpieces.
Super Glue is like the mysterious, bad-boy your parents warned you about – it comes in multiple forms but always leaves a lasting impression.
When it comes to instant (or near-instant) gratification and long-lasting bonds, Super Glue is where it’s at. Approach with caution, as one wrong move with this sticky magician and you might find yourself accidentally glued to your LEGO set.
Acrylic solvent cement
For those on the hunt for invisible bonding, there’s a match made in heaven – Acrylic solvent cement. Gluing without the aesthetics of imperfect glue lines? Sign me up.
It may be watery, but don’t let the consistency fool you. It’s like the magical potion that glues without you ever knowing it was there.
Alternatives to Gluing LEGOs
The commitment-phobes of the LEGO world, rejoice! LEGO Tape allows your creations to remain removable and adjustable, all without the mess and hassle of adhesives.
Save your rare bricks from the damage that adhesives can wreak havoc upon with LEGO Tape. They’ll still love you.
Double-sided Mounting Squares can hold bricks together
If you’re seeking a non-invasive method to keep your bricks together, consider double-sided mounting squares. These little wonders provide a temporary hold without causing any lasting damage.
No mess, no fuss – applying and removing these mounting squares is a breeze, unlike stubborn glue residue.
Customize and adjust your LEGO creations with ease by utilizing brick clips. These handy attachments ensure your build remains sturdy and stable, all without the need for a drop of glue.
Brick clips offer the freedom to adapt and alter your creations to your heart’s content. Swap out pieces, make adjustments, and evolve your build without the permanence of glue.
Tips for Gluing LEGOs
To ensure a solid bond, be sure to clean and dry your LEGO bricks before gluing. Grease, dirt, and moisture can weaken the adhesive, resulting in a less-than-stellar connection.
Choose the right glue based on factors such as bond strength, drying time, and finish. Some glues may leave residue or discoloration, so test the glue on an inconspicuous area first.
When applying glue to your LEGO bricks, less is often more. A thin, even layer of adhesive should be sufficient to create a strong bond.
To keep your creation looking pristine, be mindful of glue placement. Keep adhesive away from visible edges and ensure it does not ooze out from between bricks.
Drying and curing times
Patience is key when gluing LEGOs. Give the glue ample time to set and cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Rushing this process may result in an unstable connection.
While your LEGO creation dries, ensure it is properly supported to prevent shifting or collapse. Bricks may need additional support based on their weight and complexity.
Removing Glue from LEGOs
Solvents and Removal Methods
To remove glue residue from LEGO bricks, try using solvents like Goo Gone, acetone, or rubbing alcohol. These can help break down the adhesive and make it easier to remove.
When applying solvents, use Q-tips or toothpicks for precision. This keeps the solvent concentrated on the affected area and reduces the risk of damaging the surrounding bricks.
Potential risks and safety precautions
Be aware that solvents may cause damage or discoloration to LEGO bricks. Always test a small, inconspicuous area first and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for usage.
When working with solvents, ensure you are in a well-ventilated area and wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, to protect yourself from fumes and potential skin or eye irritation.
Gluing LEGOs for Competitive Building
Rules and regulations
Before entering a LEGO building competition, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations regarding adhesives. Some competitions may allow gluing, while others may prohibit it or restrict its usage.
Adhere to any restrictions on adhesive types or modifications outlined in the competition rules. Failure to abide by the guidelines could result in disqualification or a lower score.
Strategies for success
If gluing is allowed in the competition, use adhesives strategically for maximum strength and stability in your creation.
Always follow the competition guidelines and recommendations for optimal performance. This includes adhering to size limits, themes, and building materials.
Ethical considerations of gluing LEGOs
While glued LEGO sets may have a longer lifespan, they lack the reusability of non-glued creations. The inability to repurpose glued sets could result in an increase in waste generation and a larger environmental impact.
Glued LEGO creations that are damaged or no longer desired may contribute to landfill waste, where they will take a long time to decompose.
Educational and developmental aspects
Part of the beauty of LEGOs lies in their ability to stimulate creativity and promote adaptability. Gluing bricks together reduces these opportunities for growth and exploration.
Allowing children to build, break down, and rebuild LEGO creations helps develop problem-solving skills, spatial awareness, and patience. Gluing LEGOs together can stagnate this learning process.
The decision to glue LEGOs together ultimately lies in your personal preferences and intentions. If your focus is on display or preserving rare sets, gluing may be beneficial, but those seeking reusability and adaptability should consider alternatives.
As you ponder this great and pressing question, be true to yourself and prioritize your own creative vision. In the end, it’s all about what brings you joy in the world of LEGO building.
Whether you choose to glue your LEGOs or seek alternative methods, remember that the heart of the hobby is in creativity and innovation. Experiment, explore, and above all, have fun with your LEGOs.
Never forget that LEGOs are about the journey, the storylines, and the everlasting memories created – glued or not. So, whatever you decide, embrace the spirit of creativity and adaptability that has made LEGOs an enduring and cherished pastime.