Roger Bisby thinks he knows why, historically, we had so little faith in adhesives and why it has now changed.
During my many years in the building industry, there has been a long and steady improvement in adhesives but I don’t think I am alone in thinking that for much of that time the promises and claims made by manufacturers have far exceeded the reality. We had so-called super glues which boldly claimed, “One Drop holds a Ton”, they even showed an elephant being miraculously suspended on a rope but neglected to say how many drops they used for that stunt. The disappointment was compounded when you tried to do something as simple as sticking the sole back on your shoe, none of them could ever do that and I know because I tried them all. And who can forget the bloke sitting on a chair which was supposedly stuck to the wall or the man hanging over the shark-infested tank? Such stunts are an insult to our intelligence and not surprisingly most tradesmen I know have retained a healthy scepticism about such claims. In that sense, it has achieved the exact opposite of what it set out to do.
You may use an adhesive to gun a nice line on the back of a skirting board but in the past, you would still drive in a few screws just for good measure, after all, what harm can it do? Well, as an emergency plumber, I can tell you exactly what harm it can do. There is a very compelling case for not drilling into walls and floors if you can possibly avoid it, especially with the advent of underfloor heating. One screw in the wrong place can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage and set the completion date back by weeks. With that in mind, there is no doubt that the demand for an adhesive such as HB42, has been there for a very long time. What might seem surprising is that when it arrived on the scene, it kind of crept up on us rather than arriving with a big fanfare, but, when you think about it this was both shrewd and logical. There was nothing to be gained from a high-profile advertising campaign showing it sticking bricks to glass, metal to wood and any number of other seemingly unbelievable stunts, we have been there and got the T-shirt.
We now live in a different age and it is one of early adopters and influencers. The approach Hilton Banks used was to put HB42 into the hands of credible tradesmen and let them see for themselves just how effective it is. Some of the results are truly awesome, none more so than the ability to stick things underwater. Even seeing this at first hand still left me wondering what the trick was but having gone on to use it to seal a leaking shower tray in a student hostel where the shower remained in use, I am persuaded that it works. Perhaps one of my favourite and most regular jobs is sticking shower screen profiles to tiles. There was a time I would have used some screws but if there is nothing but tile and board that it is not a great way of fixing. Having tried to remove such a profile a few days later when we needed to change a faulty bath it put up such a fight that we ended up using a Fein multi-tool blade running down the entire length. From that day on my confidence in this product increased ten-fold.
They say that HB42 is the answer to everything (Hitchhiker Guide) and I have since done any number of sticking and sealing jobs but, so far, I haven’t tried sticking the sole of a shoe. It is perhaps ironic that when they finally came up with the right product, I also started buying better shoes. No doubt I will find more challenges but, in the meantime, let us know what you consider to be the ultimate test and tell us what you have done successfully with this product. The best suggestion wins a pack of Eco- Foil tubes and an applicator gun.
Find out more at www.hb42.co.uk