View Full Version : bending brushed aluminum and gluing wood to brushed aluminum

Don Morris
12-23-2013, 9:30 PM
I posted this on the Metalworking Forum too, but wasn't sure it belonged there. This summer we bought a 2' by 4' brushed aluminum piece of art work. Not a cheap piece of art. We finally got around to hanging it in our 2nd floor renovated bathroom. We thought the aluminum could tolerate a little humidity from showers, etc. There were no restrictions on where to hang it. After one week, it de-bonded from the wood frame backing, fell to the floor, face down (thankfully, no damage to the art work), but bent one small corners edge. Thankfully, there's no art work on the small edge that is bent. We're trying to get in touch with the gallery where we bought it, but they're closed during the winter season. In the meantime, I thought I'd get some ideas from you guys and gals about how to go about straightening out that bent edge. Who bends brushed aluminum: metal shops...HVAC pros? And if I can get it bent back to the original shape, what about re-gluing? I went to the "This to That.com" site and checked out wood to metal. All of the glue, whatever it was, stuck to the wood and only a couple gloobs stuck to the aluminum here and there. Any glueing recommendations based on experience with brushed aluminum would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Andrew Joiner
12-23-2013, 10:10 PM
Does the aluminum overlap the back of the frame by an inch or more? If so contact cement would work well. I use solvent base. You must have clean flat matting surfaces so scrape or sand of the old glue.

To flatten it,gently squeeze it in a vise with smooth jaw faces or clamp it between 2 blocks of wood.

I've laminated a lot of aluminum to plywood. It's a lot like working with plastic laminate.

Don Morris
12-24-2013, 3:46 AM
That's what the "This to that" said: "LePages Press-tite Contact cement". Just have to get that small corner bent back to shape. The art side is of some white birch trees. We thought it was very attractive on the brushed aluminum background. The artist had sold several other works like this at the gallery, so she was at least experienced in this medium. Thanks for taking the time to give your input.

Keith Outten
12-24-2013, 4:36 AM

Shoe Goo is the adhesive I use. If it will hold shoe soles it will hold just about anything. Over the last few years I haven't found anything it won't hold together, I have been using it for the last couple of days joining wood frame Christmas ornaments to acrylic mirror.

Jamie Buxton
12-24-2013, 11:34 AM
Silicone caulk is another adhesive which bonds well to both wood and metal.

Another possibility might be wood. If the frame is built like most picture frames, the metal sits in a rabbet in the back of the wood. So.. you put the metal in the frame, and capture it with pieces of wood you fasten to the frame. There's no adhesive on the metal at all. The capturing molding can be fastened to the frame with screws or small nails.

Keith Outten
12-24-2013, 1:35 PM

The picture above looks like the aluminum is glued to the front face of the wooden frame so its not a traditional picture frame.
Note there is a difference between silicone caulk and silicone adhesive. Silicone adhesive is good stuff, very similar to Shoe Goo.

Shawn Pixley
12-24-2013, 1:45 PM
As others have noted, silicone adhesive. If it were mine, I'd reframe it to either capture the aluminum in a channel or stopped rabbet or float it out from the backing.

To flatten, slowly straighten in wood padded vise jaws or clamps.

Rich Lester
12-24-2013, 2:01 PM
One thing others have not mentioned here, the frame appears to be unfinished wood. Any of the suggested adhesives may fail when attached to it due to the expansion and contraction of the wood as it takes on the humidity and then drys back out. My suggestion would be to seal the wood with a moisture resistive finish before re-bonding the art work to the frame.

Don Morris
12-24-2013, 2:23 PM
The wood does not appear to be finished. Good point. And will do that. Will also tell the artist about that feature of wood when we finally connect.

Mel Fulks
12-24-2013, 3:23 PM
Keith, Super Glue brand Fix All adhesive seems to be the same stuff . And around here can be bought a dollar store. The retailers here have figured out that the many goos all work the same and decided they don't want to dedicate so much space to displaying goo.