Gluing Metal to Wood

Adhesive suggestions for attaching a stainless steel top to a plywood subtop, and other metal-to-wood situations. February 27, 2013

Any suggestions for affixing a stainless steel bar top to a plywood substrate? We tried silicone and didn't have much luck.

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From contributor R:
As long as the metal is cleaned from any oils, most PURs (like Gorilla Glue) will bond to it.

From contributor J:
Epoxy. Just be sure the surfaces are clean and scuff them up with some coarse paper.

From contributor T:
I'd recommend MDF for the substrate, or else kerf the plywood to accommodate differences in expansion between the materials.

From contributor O:
Most general contact cements will work.

From contributor A:
True poly adhesive/caulks typically have the best adhesion and toughness for bonding different materials. These are not PUR.

The best is 3M 5200. It is a marine or black white poly adhesive/caulk. It has been renowned in the marine community for over 30 years. The claim to fame is that it will hold a lead keel on a boat hull with no fasteners.

PL and Sikaflex make a similar product that is sold at Home Depot. They are both very good as well, but nothing beats 5200.

From contributor K:
Surprised nobody has mentioned good old construction adhesive. Done this quite a few times using PL400 with good results.

From contributor I:
I would like to glue copper sheet to a gluable backer (melamine on particleboard). I've gotten different opinions from suppliers. Any ideas?

From contributor O:
PL construction adhesives will glue virtually anything to anything and I have had some interesting accidental glue-ups to prove it.

From contributor U:
I have a client who wants to completely cover a lot of hollow metal door and window frames with hardwood trim to achieve a more traditional appearance. What would be the best adhesive assuming I don't want to use mechanical fasteners that would have to be countersunk and plugged?

From Jeff Pitcher, forum technical advisor:
Assuming they can clamp it, I'd suggest a reactive PUR.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor B:
Earlier we were using 3M PU adhesive grade 560 with excellent results. But, due to cost constraints, we have also tried silicone adhesives successfully. Please make sure that the SS surface is free from oils etc. Also, roughing of the surface with grinding wheel and then cleaning with thinner or other solvent will give best results.