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Need glue for joystick repair.
July 29, 2009 1:28 AM   Subscribe

I need to glue together a plastic joystick that snapped at the base. Joystick will be moved and twisted, and supports force feedback. Most "crazy" glues don't hold up to such activity, in my experience. Brand suggestions?
posted by archagon to Shopping (23 answers total)
 
Sandpaper the joint ends, and use Araldite.
posted by ashaw at 1:32 AM on July 29, 2009


If the surface area you are gluing is only the wall or cross sectional thickness of the joystick stem, you may produce a much stronger repair, by wrapping the break in a length of cord, over a surface coating of hot glue adhesive that will set while you quickly wrap. You could also finish the repair with a piece of heat shrink tubing to reinforce the joint externally.
posted by paulsc at 1:43 AM on July 29, 2009


Two-part epoxy.

It is to superglue as superglue is to water. Even the stuff that sets in 5 minutes is stronger than the plastic you're gluing.

Likewise, as paulsc suggests, if the joystick is hollow and the walls are thin, you'll make a far stronger repair by wrapping it in something. Fiberglass tape, maybe. Fishing line could also work instead cording. Just throwing out low profile options. I wouldn't use hot glue, though. I'd do the wrap, and then slather in epoxy.

Really. Epoxy will solve this problem. As it does most others.
posted by Netzapper at 1:57 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd do the wrap, and then slather in epoxy.

Actually, I'd epoxy it once in a simple butt-joint and let it set. Then I'd wrap it in fishing line. Then I'd epoxy it again.
posted by Netzapper at 1:59 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the stuff that sets in 5 minutes is stronger than the plastic, then why would I want to wrap it? I must also reiterate that I will be twisting the joystick along the broken axis, which a wrap probably won't be able to hold.
posted by archagon at 2:02 AM on July 29, 2009


The broken bit is hollow, but the walls seem quite thick.
posted by archagon at 2:03 AM on July 29, 2009


Epoxy and fibreglass tape.
posted by primer_dimer at 2:37 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Find a metal rod that fits inside the hollow stem with a teeny bit of play. A threaded rod is perfect because it gives lots of bite for the epoxy and you can find an amazing variety of metal rod and tube sizes at a decent model train store if you can't find a bolt or nail about the right size. Then mix up a bit of 20 minute epoxy; slather it over the rod and in the hollow, insert the rod and push the pieces together. Wipe up any squeeze out for a neat job and make sure the epoxy won't run down into the body of the joystick. Some blue tack can seal up the open end of the tube if this is a concern.

I find the grey epoxy in the double syringe tubes to have the right thixotropic properties for this kind of repair. It flows well enough to make a good bond without clamping while being thick enough to not flow everywhere. A 20 minute epoxy is stronger than its 1 and 5 minute relatives. Wear a pair of nitrile disposable gloves.
posted by Mitheral at 2:49 AM on July 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I should add that I can just buy the same joystick for about $25. It's not some one-of-a-kind thing.
posted by archagon at 2:54 AM on July 29, 2009


"If the stuff that sets in 5 minutes is stronger than the plastic, then why would I want to wrap it?

Well, you broke it before, when it wasn't reinforced. If you just glue it, even with a glue that is stronger than the plastic, the strength of the joystick is still that of the plastic, only a little bit on either side of your new joint. An external wrap is one way of increasing the cross sectional area of the repair, and to spread the load along the shaft in both directions from the break. Properly done, a wrapped joint can be many times stronger than the original.

It's basically how they reinforced cannons (with piano wire wrap) to handle higher power charges in the Napoleanic wars.
posted by paulsc at 2:55 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the stuff that sets in 5 minutes is stronger than the plastic, then why would I want to wrap it? I must also reiterate that I will be twisting the joystick along the broken axis, which a wrap probably won't be able to hold.

Because the bond from the epoxy to the plastic is the weak point (unlike superglue, which just isn't very strong at all). If you epoxy it, wrap it in 3lb test fishing line (the thin stuff), and epoxy it again, you're giving the epoxy better "purchase". You're kind of making a cast, like for a broken arm. This is unnecessary if you're talking about, say, a 5mm solid rod... but, a hollow tube requires more purchase than the walls usually grant.

I assure you that the epoxy plus monofilament system will totally stand up to twisting. I've repaired many a manhandled object with a similar approach.

You could also do as Mitheral suggests and use a rod to reinforce the whole thing. Better than new. Although you might spend $10 on the rod stock at the hobby shop.
posted by Netzapper at 3:24 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


No one has suggested it yet, so I'll point you to JB cold weld. Give it 24 hrs to dry and you'll be in good shape.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:59 AM on July 29, 2009


Buy a new joystick.
posted by elle.jeezy at 4:36 AM on July 29, 2009


Call the customer support line and ask for a new one. Sometimes it works. Be nice, of course, and explain how much you love the joystick. If they send you a new one, send an email to the Consumerist so everyone knows they're a good company.
posted by cellphone at 5:30 AM on July 29, 2009


E6000 is great for plastic.
posted by mippy at 7:58 AM on July 29, 2009


Seconding Mitheral's suggestion.
posted by MrToad at 10:16 AM on July 29, 2009


I totally understand the almost primal urge to glue stuff, so I'm on your side. But it's only $25. Get a new one. If you're paranoid, get a new one, wrap it in fiberglass tape, then epoxy that.

Almost any 2 part epoxy will be crazy strong, stronger than the original plastic.
posted by chairface at 10:25 AM on July 29, 2009


2nding J.B. Weld.
posted by torquemaniac at 1:29 PM on July 29, 2009


Yeah, getting a new one is easy. But on the other hand, it's almost a 20 year old joystick, and I would like to get away from the habit of just buying new stuff whenever old stuff breaks.
posted by archagon at 2:00 PM on July 29, 2009


(Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro.)
posted by archagon at 2:02 PM on July 29, 2009


Also, how do I go about applying epoxy after wrapping the thing in monofilament? Do I just brush it on the outside? Won't it unwrap and lose tension?
posted by archagon at 2:04 PM on July 29, 2009


I would like to get away from the habit of just buying new stuff whenever old stuff breaks.

Here's another thread on how to repair broken plastic, so that the repair holds under physical stress.

I remembered Mefi's own Tube talking about making his own "cold-weld-esque" material with minerals instead of metal. I took a look through the history books and here's his comment. I don't doubt he'd be amenable to questions, if you really wanted to DIY it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:56 PM on July 29, 2009


Also, how do I go about applying epoxy after wrapping the thing in monofilament? Do I just brush it on the outside? Won't it unwrap and lose tension?

Wrap a few more turns than you need to and tape it. Then smear the epoxy on (you can't really brush it), making sure not to epoxy the tape. After it's hardened, cut off the un-epoxied turns of line.
posted by Netzapper at 3:00 PM on July 29, 2009


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