What's the surest way to repair the broken handle of my favorite mug?
May 12, 2008 8:43 AM   Subscribe

What's the surest way to repair the broken handle of my favorite mug?

While dishwashing, the handle of my favorite cup broke into three pieces. MeFi, what suggests do you have for glues, gluing techniques, or other things I should keep in mind? Or do you feel that repaired handles will never be trustworthy again?
posted by Riverine to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think you're overthinking this. Just put it back together, and drink. Will the handle be trustworthy? Yep -- people have been gluing mugs back together for ages. If it's ceramic, This to That recommends using Super Glue or Zap-a-Gap if there are gaps to fill.
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:47 AM on May 12, 2008

Gel. Super Glue Gel. It will stay put, not run. And don't get your fingers stuck together.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:56 AM on May 12, 2008

If the pieces still fit together snugly (is that a proper word?) then Super Glue should do the trick. I'm a little concerned about the structural integrity of the handle, being that it broke in to *three* pieces, so I'd recommend that you make sure to give the glue ample time to dry and slowly test-fill the mug over the sink the first time you use it.

And if Super Glue doesn't work, there's always duct tape!
posted by SamuelF at 9:08 AM on May 12, 2008

You could have it professionally repaired.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:16 AM on May 12, 2008

Ditto on the Super Glue GEL. Did a similar repair, myself, some time ago and the handle has survived. One caveat...I seem to recall hearing at, of all things, getting A Super Glue bond wet (as in immersed) can weaken it. I'm not sure if that's true, but I've made sure to hand-wash my mug since the repair.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:20 AM on May 12, 2008

I've repaired ceramic bowls and other vessels for years, and many of my repairs have lasted until today, thru dishwasher cycles and use. In the old days I used super-glue products, but today I use polyurethane glue (some marketers call it "gorilla glue"; Elmer's calls it "Ultimate"), available most hardware stores. I'm not sure if "superglue" products were polyurethane. But pol-ur. glue is fantastic. Follow instrux. And also have handy some denatured alcohol (or "mineral spirits"; at hardware stores; used in staining and cleanup). You can wipe up poly-ur glue excess w/ alcohol on a cloth, when it's still liquid. After poly-ur glue dries completely it is ugly yellow, but can be very easily cut away with a razor, or an exacto knife. Excess drip lines just pop off.
posted by yazi at 9:45 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

As above Super Glue should work as long as the break was clean and it's dirt/grease free etc... though in the long run it might not survive multiple washes in hot water/dish washer
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:49 AM on May 12, 2008

Two-part epoxy.
posted by Netzapper at 9:52 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mighty Putty?

I'm kidding. Really.
posted by InsanePenguin at 10:27 AM on May 12, 2008

Polyurethane glue and cyanoacrylate (Super/Krazy) glues are OK but I gotta go with netzapper on this one. Get some 2-part epoxy - it is the glue sold under many names, but always comes in two tubes, resin and hardener, that have to be mixed right before application. It comes in a lot of colors; clear is good, or find one that matches your pot.

Use the thinnest amount of epoxy that will cover the whole surface - don't glob it on, just a half-millimeter or so thick - press together, wipe off any excess, and let it sit for 24 hours (do one joint at a time, don't try to do both at once.)

If you do this, the repaired break will be the strongest part of the cup. It may break again but it will NEVER break at the epoxy joint.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:53 AM on May 12, 2008

Er, find a color that matches your mug, not your pot. I have used this to repair clay pots and mugs and all kinds of ceramics.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:54 AM on May 12, 2008

I've used wood glue to repair favorite mugs, including handles, and none have re-broken or proven structurally unsound.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 11:43 AM on May 12, 2008

3rd'ing epoxy. Even a clear, 5-minute epoxy will outlast a superglue join. This is just my opinion though.
posted by chairface at 11:50 AM on May 12, 2008

4thing epoxy for bombproof repairs. For really tricky repairs, epoxy + fibreglass tape (probably overkill for a mug, but great for stuff that might get roughly treated in the future).
posted by primer_dimer at 3:59 AM on May 13, 2008

Response by poster: We are going with epoxy, and gluing in each piece in turn. Thanks for all the replies.
posted by Riverine at 5:47 PM on May 15, 2008

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