BetterBond's TC-20™ is the ultimate high-solids, fast drying, and non-flammable adhesive for copper veneer. TC-20 creates a permanent bond to a variety of substrates including MDF, particle board, plywood, and other porous surfaces. We have thoroughly tested and tortured dozens of copper sample panels with TC-20 and the results have been outstanding!
In a well ventilated area, thoroughly wash the back side of the copper with water or acetone using a steel wool or synthetic steel wool (Scotch-Brite) pad. Apply TC-20 to the porous substrate with a glue roller or short nap paint roller. Set the copper veneer onto the substrate. If necessary, apply painter's blue tape over the edges of the copper to prevent movement. Clamp the surface for 45 minutes using a flat piece of plywood and plenty of weight on top (books, tools, wood, etc). A vacuum press will also work very nicely.
TC-20 is not suitable for exterior projects.
Allow an additional 90 minutes of curing before machining. Not for use with copper containing zinc or copper which has been treated with a protective or gloss-enhancing chemical or process.
Tip from Joe:
Don't forget a glue roller. It's worth every penny.
What else will TC-20 work with?
I've had reports that this adhesive will bond wood veneer to raw aluminum and acrylic plastics but I have not tested this out yet. If you try it, please let me know.
Will TC-20 bond thicker copper veneers?
As long as the bonding surface of the copper is free of surface contaminants, finishes, and coatings then TC-20 should bond with no problem. Always test a scrap first and then move on to the full size project.
What should I do if I just bonded some of your copper veneer to a piece of plywood and it's not sticking after 90 minutes?
This adhesive needs a full 24 hours to cure. If you "test" the panel before that time and try removing the copper, you will find the bond has not cured. It absolutely must have 24 hours before you judge the quality of the bond. I've yet to hear of a failure after the 24 hour bond time.
Does this adhesive work like contact cement?
This adhesive does not work like contact cement. The bonding and curing take place partly through an evaporative process.
Can this adhesive be used outdoors or in any type of wet environment?
TC-20 is not suitable for areas that will be exposed to water. Continuous exposure to water will cause this adhesive to soften and lose its bonding strength.
What is the vicosity of TC-20 glue?
It is a bit thinner than standard yellow woodworking glue.
Can this adhesive be used to bond one copper surface to another?
TC-20 requires one of the bonding surfaces to be porous so it will not bond copper to copper or to any other non-porous surface.
Review by Ryan Keene
I've done a lot of research and have tried contact cement to adhere copper but it doesn't compare to this. This glue is MUCH easier to work with and has great adhesion. I had problems with the corners coming up while routing the edges of the copper veneer when I used contact cement. I haven't had any such problems with this stuff. It's great. No odor, unlike contact cement. It also has a much more open working time.
Honestly, if you're paying the money for a copper veneer then this price shouldn't scare you away. Don't cut corners and ruin a project. This stuff is well worth it.
Review by Jeff Roltgen
I have used this for copper and concur with all other reviews, but have a project requiring bonding a sheet of .020 brass. Since I had some left over TC-20, I laminated a scrap of brass stock to a scrap of plywood. I tried to peel off after normal cure time, and am simply peeling the plywood apart. The wood to brass bond will not give! Appears to work just as well with brass!
Review by Randy N.
I have tried epoxy, gorilla glue, custom-made silicones just for copper, etc., and TC-20 works way better than these. I'm really glad I tried it.
Review by Scott B.
Joe asked me to write my two cents on this glue so here goes.
I work for an elevator repair company in New York. Most of our clients are up scale apartment buildings and offices. We have been installing copper veneer as trim and accents on the interior panels of each elevator cab for over 10 years. I've had my share of horror stories of delamination and repair work is not easy once the unit is installed.
Recently I tried the TC20 glue on a whim. We were using an industrial grade contact adhesive previously. I honestly didn't think a "retail" glue would work very well. I found this to be untrue. The TC20 is excellent. We ended up buying so much of this adhesive that we had to convince Joe to offer it in a gallon size, which he promptly obliged.
It's a bit expensive but you get what you pay for. Since we've began using this one, I have yet to be called back on a delamination repair.
Review by Miles Elsin
This is not much of a review. I really just wanted to mention that it does take 12 hours to fully harden. After 2 hours, I tried removing the copper sheet and found that it would lift off with some pulling. This was of course disappointing but a day later I found the bond was like epoxy. Its never coming off now. This is a great product and it's also great because it doesnt have the stink of other copper adhesives.
Review by RICHARD MURDOCK
I am an artist and I paint on copper panels that I make myself. I've tried YES! paste (horrible!), epoxies, and Gorilla glue during the construction of over 50 panels. None of the glues I tried were any better than poor and some (gorilla glue) caused random problems.
I tried your TC-20 last night and it worked perfectly, easily and quickly. It's a great product and I'm ordering more.