[sdiy] Gluing Broken Keys Back Together?

Adam Schabtach lists at studionebula.com
Thu Sep 23 22:16:57 CEST 2010

If Paul has had great success just using super glue, I'd do that. He's had
experience with keys in particular; I've just had experience with glue in
general. :-)

Clamps will not be necessary for super glue if the break is clean and the
parts fit together well. It might help if you can put the two parts on a
flat surface, apply the glue, then slide the parts together. You obviously
don't want to glue the parts to that surface, but if that happens it will be
a very tiny point of bonding between the key and the surface (I'm
envisioning the key placed right-side-up) and hence will break free easily
once the glue has dried. Excess glue shouldn't be much of an issue; CA glue
works best when used sparingly.

If you can't put the pieces on a flat surface, just hold them together with
your hands for the 30 seconds or so that the glue takes to set. (Read the
instructions for the recommended time.) CA glues work very quickly.

Let us know how it goes!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl [mailto:synth-diy-
> bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl] On Behalf Of mike ruberto
> Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2010 1:57 PM
> To: Paul Cunningham
> Cc: Synth DIY
> Subject: Re: [sdiy] Gluing Broken Keys Back Together?
> Ok so with a proper epoxy or superglue, a clamp, little braces and the
> help of gravity I should be able to get the key together without a
> mess. I suppose I will go over to the local Lowes and buy a few
> different advesives and then carefully test them on the part of the
> key you normally won't see to make sure it won't discolor or otherwise
> disfigure the material.
> I will give Liquid Nails a try since I remember once using it
> successfully to repair a broken glass window. Not only did the glass
> hold together but it didn't leak either!
> The pins would have been a nice idea if I had some accurate way to
> make the holes line up perfectly. That isn't going to happen with a
> hand drill though.
> What if I used a piece of double-sided tape as a fixture? I could
> place adhesive on the two ends of the key, then fit them together and
> stick them to the tape. While held in place on the tape I could place
> the support bracing on the underside with the epoxy. The tape would
> act as both a clamp and like painters tape to prevent excess glue from
> flowing onto the top surface of the key. Hmmmm....
> On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 2:53 PM, Paul Cunningham <paul at cometway.com>
> > I've honestly had great success just glueing with Liquid Nails or
> superglue. As long as the pieces pit perfectly together the bond will be
> quite strong and you shouldn't need to worry about extra reinforcement. I
> have even repaired some keys that not only broke off but shattered into
> multiple little pieces. You can barely tell the hairline cracks are there.
> Just make sure to let the glue completely cure before you play it. -pc
> >
> > On Sep 23, 2010, at 1:47 PM, "Adam Schabtach" <lists at studionebula.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Trying to drill holes and insert reinforcing rods will likely make the
> >> alignment between the broken parts worse than if you just glue them
> >> Cyanoacrylate glues (e.g. Super Glue) require the two parts to fit as
> >> precisely as possible, so you're likely to make the joint weaker if you
> do
> >> anything that messes with its alignment.
> >>
> >> I would do what someone else has suggested: super-glue the pieces at
> >> break, then laminate pieces of plastic or metal onto the back of the
> break
> >> with epoxy. There is a special formula of epoxy for plastics that might
> be
> >> helpful, but just the regular stuff will probably be fine.
> >>
> >> --Adam
> >>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl [mailto:synth-diy-
> >>> bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl] On Behalf Of Ben Lincoln
> >>> Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:08 AM
> >>> To: Synth DIY
> >>> Subject: Re: [sdiy] Gluing Broken Keys Back Together?
> >>>
> >>> I was going to suggest something along these lines as well. If there
> >>> enough volume to the keys, use a very small drill bit (e.g. 1/32")
> >>> holes into them, squeeze epoxy/superglue/etc into the holes, and embed
> >>> something like a sewing needle between the two parts to bridge the
> >>> actual break point. If there's not (or you're concerned about damaging
> >>> them even further), then reinforcing with a rectangular piece of
> >>> in a non-visible part of the key works too.
> >>>
> >>> It probably goes without saying, but if you can clamp the pieces
> >>> together while the glue is drying, so much the better.
> >>>
> >>> I'm sure it's been discussed extensively before, but it seems to me
> >>> this is one of the many areas that at-home CNC/3D-printing equipment
> >>> will make a lot easier in the next 10-20 years. Why try to piece back
> >>> together keys (or track down obscure replacements) when you can just
> >>> manufacture your own?
> >>>
> >>> Colin f wrote:
> >>>> If it's a good clean break and the two parts fit back together
> >>> use
> >>>> superglue.
> >>>> Then re-inforce the join on the back using two part epoxy, embedded a
> >>> piece
> >>>> of other material if you can fit it in.
> >>>> A good tip for using superglue - it is actually a two-part glue, the
> >>>> hardener being water.
> >>>> Put superglue on one face of the join, then breathe on the other to
> make
> >>> it
> >>>> a little moist before pressing and holding together.
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