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Better Bond TC-20™ Copper Adhesive



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Product Description

TC-20 Copper Adhesive

BetterBond TC-20™ is a 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 many other porous surfaces. Not recommended for solid wood substrates. We have thoroughly tested and tortured dozens of copper sample panels with TC-20 and the results have been outstanding!

The importance of applying this glue correctly can not be overstated. Don't make the mistake of using a paint brush or paint roller to apply this adhesive. Our reusable glue roller is the recommended application tool.

Shelf Life: 12 Months
32 square feet per pint or approximately 256 square feet per gallon
Safety Information:
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Freeze Protection Information: Click here for details before ordering    Freeze Protection Info


  • Fast Drying - Requires only 45 minutes of clamp time
  • Permanent Bond - Full bond strength occurs in 24 hours
  • Environmentally Safe - Contains no V.O.C.'s and is 100% solvent free
  • Ready to Use - No mixing required
  • Easy Clean-Up - Cleans up with water while wet
  • Heat Resistance - Up to 150° F
  • Highly Versatile - Bonds most copper veneers to porous substrate materials such as MDF, particle board, and plywood

Always test this adhesive on scrap material to determine its suitability. Like all water-based adhesives, TC-20 will only bond to porous substrates. Surface coatings on the substrate will prevent bonding.

  1. Remove any surface contaminants and test for porosity by placing a drop of water on the substrate. The surface can be considered porous if the water drops absorb within 15 seconds. Some substrates can be made more porous by scuff sanding with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper. The minimum use temperature for the TC-20 adhesive is 65°F.
  2. Place the copper veneer face down on a smooth, clean surface. Gently scuff sand the back of the copper veneer with 80 or 120 grit sandpaper.
  3. In a well-ventilated area, thoroughly wash the back side of the copper with water or acetone using a synthetic steel wool ("Scotch-Brite") pad. Wipe the surface to remove any dust or debris.
  4. Apply the adhesive to the substrate with a glue roller. A thick coating should be avoided. Do not apply TC-20 to the copper veneer.
  5. Set the copper veneer onto the substrate while the adhesive is still wet. Work quickly so the adhesive layer does not become tacky.
  6. Clamp the surface for 45 minutes using a smooth, flat piece of plywood and plenty of weight on top. The importance of evenly distributed clamping pressure can not be overstated. A vacuum press will also work very nicely.
  7. Allow 90 minutes of curing before machining. Full bond strength takes place after 24 hours.

Please Note
TC-20 is not suitable for exterior projects, even if protected from sun and rain. Not for use with copper containing zinc or copper surfaces which have been treated with a protective or gloss-enhancing chemical or process. TC-20 will not bond to non-porous substrates.

Tips from Joe
I highly recommend testing and practicing with scrap material from the project surfaces to make sure your application and clamping technique is adequate.

Glue RollerThe importance of applying this glue correctly cannot be overstated. Don't make the mistake of using a paint brush or paint roller to apply this adhesive. A dedicated glue roller is the recommended application tool. This suggestion is not a sales tactic! The glue roller we offer is unmistakebly the right tool to apply this adhesive.

Shippping Limitation
This adhesive can not be shipped outside of the USA.

Learn more about this product by clicking here.

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 because all copper is not the same.

Do you guarantee that it will bond all copper sheeting?
Absolutely not. There are several "copper" products on the market that are not 100% copper and many coppers that have surface coatings applied. TC-20 will not bond to those copper sheet products. This glue is a legacy adhesive from a few years back when our website offered genuine copper veneer that had no coatings on the bonding side. For that, it worked incredibly well.

Can this adhesive be used to bond one copper surface to another?
No. 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.

To what substrates can I apply this adhesive?
Generally speaking, TC-20 will only bond copper veneer to porous substrates such as MDF, plywood, and particle board. It will not bond to non-porous surfaces such as steel, bronze, aluminum, plastic laminate, glass, plexigless, acrylic, high density polyethylene, or any painted surface.

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.

Is this adhesive clear when dry? If not, what color is it?
No. It dries to a white color similar to watered-down milk.

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.

What is the shelf life of this adhesive?
Twelve months.

Does TC-20 have copper particles in it?
There is no reason to put copper particles in this adhesive since it would not increase the quality of the bond.

Why do you still sell this glue if you don't sell copper veneer/sheeting?
To the best of my knowledge, there is no other adhesive that works as well as TC-20 on genuine copper sheeting. And so much effort went into developing this adhesive that it just didn't make sense to stop making it after we stopped offering copper veneer. It is a great product and serves the artist/craftsman very well when a non-VOC adhesive is needed.

Product Reviews

  1. Do you want to glue copper sheet to plywood? This is the stuff!

    Review by Gary Spykman

    We just completed making 12 copper table tops for a coffee shop - 30 gauge copper glued to 1" thick plywood. This is my second project using TC-20 Copper Adhesive. It does it's job well.

  2. Excellent Hold!!

    Review by Jason D Geiger

    This copper adhesive grabs and holds very well. I used the adhesive to apply some copper roof flashing to a custom client project. In the research and design phase, the copper adhesive held much better than contact cement. It took serious effort and tools to get even the smallest of corners to pry up. I never was able to remove the copper from the hardwood. Very pleased and would purchase again.

  3. Perfect for Fusing Brass to Panels!

    Review by Kyle Young

    Worked like a charm bonding brass sheets onto a panel for some custom doors in a vacuum bag. The glue comes insulated and heated [if freeze protect is selected on the product page] in shipping to keep it from getting too cold in transit, and the attention to detail is greatly appreciated.

  4. Works on Shaker Boxes

    Review by Bob Casey

    I searched for a few weeks until I found what I needed to put copper on a 1/4" substrate. I make Shaker oval boxes and wanted to see if copper would look good. Well it worked fine and will be used on a top when I get to it.

  5. Only Glue for Copper Veneer

    Review by James Tewell

    This glue is amazing. It's far and away the best for copper veneer. One upside is not only does it not stink, it kind of has a clean pleasant odor. Good stuff.

  6. Loving My Copper Countertops

    Review by Nancy Christel

    I used this to install copper countertops in my farm kitchen. Not finished yet, so more copper still awaits. But being very sensitive to toxic products, I was very pleased to find something I can work with. By the time I finish my project, I will have perfected the application. But even my initial countertop sections are looking fantastic.

  7. Worth It!

    Review by Tom Rutledge - TR Custom Woodcrafts

    This product works exactly as described. Directions were easy to follow. I've used it with a vacuum press and with just a 5 gallon bucket of water sitting on a piece of melamine. Both methods worked for clamping. The ability to reposition quickly after making a small mistake is much easier than other products such as contact cement. If you invest in a roll of copper, just buy this as well, its completely worth it.

  8. Great Product

    Review by Paul DuMond

    This adhesive met every expectation I had. I used it to secure 1/8" thick copper sheets to a plywood base. It was easy to work with and formed a very strong bond. I will definitely continue using TC-20 for my copper projects and will recommend to anyone I can. Also, very impressed with customer service!

  9. Excellent Product, Great Service

    Review by Neil Blumenthal, MD

    Excellent product and the service was extremely fast. Very satisfied with the product and quick delivery time. Owner Joe was extremely easy to work with. Have ordered from this site multiple times - always with perfect results.

  10. Great Stuff....Love Dealing with Companies Like This

    Review by Eric A Beneker

    Great company to work with as it helps my company grow.
    This product is excellent with regards to copper and copper off-gassing issues when trying to laminate. I love that this product ships on time all the time i need it! Thank you much!

  11. Excellent Glue

    Review by Todd Messick

    I have used this product for three projects and all have worked out great. Excellent glue for copper to wood substrate. Best suggestion I can give is, leave clamped pressure on for 24 won't be disappointed. Very good product.

    [Note from Joe: Clamping for 24 hours is very excessive. My advice is to follow the directions on the bottle and clamp for one hour but allow 24 hours for full cure after clamping]

  12. The Torture Test

    Review by Dave Keaney

    The project I have in mind for this adhesive is to make copper countertops for my kitchen remodel. I have read a number of posts on other websites where the TC-20 was used to do just that, and the reports were pretty good. The one thing they didn't address was how well the TC-20 held up in the heat of the kitchen. Sooner or later somebody would set a pot of boiling water or a hot skillet directly on the countertop, and I'd really hate to find out that it resulted in delamination.

    Since nobody else had much to say about thermal stability (and "officially" the TC-20 is only rated to 150F), I decided to do a little testing. The results of those tests show the TC-20 will probably hold up pretty well to kitchen heat abuse. A summary of the testing I did follows, and I'm well enough satisfied that I won't be looking for other adhesives for my project.

    Anyway, here's what I did. I cut some strips of copper sheet left over from a different project, cleaned up the back to bright copper with 600 grit sandpaper, then after de-greasing with acetone, I glued them to a piece of plywood with the TC-20, and allowed one edge to overhang (to provide something to grab on to with vice-grips). I kept them clamped for an hour and then let the adhesive cure for 24 hours. The plywood was cut into "coupons" so each of the strips was on it's own piece of wood.

    Then came the torture test. They were placed in my home oven at temperatures ranging from 275F to 400F for 30 minutes, then removed and allowed to cool before checking adhesion. The procedure was:

    - Set the oven temperature.
    - Allow temperature to reach its set-point.
    - Place test coupon in the oven for 30 minutes.
    - Remove test coupon and set aside to cool.
    - Return to step 1 to set the next temperature, and repeat as needed.

    The temperatures used were 275F, 300F, 325F, 350F, 375F, and 400F. Note that because it was a home oven, the temperatures would overrun the set-point by about 20F during the heating session. This happened with each test coupon, so they all briefly reached temperatures 20F higher than the set-point. I used a good remote oven thermometer to watch the actual temperatures in the oven during the test.

    After cooling, each coupon was inspected. At all temperatures, the adhesive visible around the edge of the copper sheet remained somewhat "rubbery". There was some slight darkening of the adhesive at 375 and 400F. The plywood was darkened at temperatures of 350 and above, and at 400F was quite noticeably browned.

    After cooling, I grabbed the copper sheet with vice grips, held the coupon, and pulled... And the surface veneer layer of the plywood came off with the copper. It turned out that the veneer layer of the plywood had a thin MDF layer below it, and that is what failed, for all of the coupons.

    So, my verdict is that it will hold up reasonably well to hot pots and pans set onto a copper countertops without delaminating. I would avoid putting "smoking hot" skillets onto the countertop, but you wouldn't do that to most countertop materials anyway. Now I just need to get finished with my other projects before I start the countertops!

  13. Review from Eureka, CA

    Review by Gabe Douge

    Excellent adhesive for bonding copper to wood. Easy to use and cleanup too. I highly recommend this to anyone using copper veneer.

  14. Review from Byers, CO

    Review by Heidi Tufto

    This is the ONLY product to use if you are bonding copper to a surface. Though it is a little bit difficult to find, Veneer Supplies only carries the best products....items you don't find in the big box stores. These products, especially TC-20, are far superior, give better results, and will save you both time and money. Shipping is fast and the service is excellent!

  15. Review from Pawleys Island, SC

    Review by Larry Mayfield

    I have dealt with Veneer Supplies for several years now and have had excellent results. This was the only supplier that had a copper glue that I trust.

  16. Worked Flawlessly

    Review by John Pickrell

    I was fortunate to find this website through a Google search for an adhesive to bond copper sheet to MDF. Joe's web site is very informative. After investing in more than 100 square feet of patina copper for an accent wall, I had mistakenly purchased contact cement for the project.

    Joe and Christine shipped product to me quickly and their TC-20 has worked perfectly! Trimming the copper sheet with a laminate trimmer (Bosch hand router) worked flawlessly, the TC-20 allowed no delamination.

  17. Review fom West Lafayette, Indiana

    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.

  18. Review from Rapid City, SD

    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!

  19. Way Better...

    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.

  20. Many Tests - This One Works!

    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.

  21. A Last Minute Surprise - Good Product

    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.

  22. Great Product And I'm Ordering More


    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.


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