15 February 2020

Product review: Le-Glue

Is kragle still a sin if it is temporary? Are there situations when it is appropriate or even necessary to glue your own creation? Gary Davis has built some towering LEGO® creations in his time and we asked him to try out one of the new non-permanent glues aimed at LEGO builders.

This is not a paid-for post. As many companies do, Le-Glue contacted New Elementary and offered free samples for review. This time we accepted, out of genuine interest as to what you readers will think of it!

For many adult fans, the idea of gluing their LEGO® bricks together is quite abhorrent. But I expect we’ve all experienced our MOCs, or even LEGO sets, apparently self-destructing during handling or in transit. Is Le-Glue the solution?

What is Le-Glue?

Le-Glue is claimed to be “…a non-permanent glue that’s strong, non toxic and won’t damage your blocks. It is water releasable adhesive designed to hold your plastic building blocks together.”

Having used very permanent solvent adhesives for my several of commissioned builds, I was keen to put Le-Glue to the test.

Le-Glue comes in a flexible plastic pack with a replaceable screw cap. Straight out of the pack, the glue has a consistency of sticky toothpaste and has an opaque, off-white appearance. The Le-Glue website reveals that it consists of a solvent-free, Dextrin / Polymer resin blend. It is claimed to have no known hazardous ingredients and has anti-bacterial agents to prevent mould or fungal growth in both dry and wet state. Apparently it’s safe to eat, but I didn’t try it!


To test the glue, I selected three of the commonest plastic materials used by the LEGO Group:  Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), Polycarbonate (PC) and Polyethylene (PE). ABS is used for the majority of LEGO elements, PC is used for many of the transparent elements and PE is used for tree foliage elements, amongst other things.  I tested the bond between each material to itself, and also to each of the other materials.


The pack says to apply Le-Glue using a brush, cotton swab or just to squeeze it from the pack. I tried the latter first and it resulted in far more glue being delivered than necessary, and a lot of overspill when I pushed the bricks together. As promised, the excess glue wiped off easily with a damp cloth. After that I tried using a cotton swab, then a brush, but eventually I settled on using a toothpick for better control over glue distribution.


The glue remains opaque when set, and is clearly visible inside  transparent bricks.

The product instructions state that the glue sets within an hour and cures in 24 hours. So the first test was to assess the strength of bond after one hour. Disappointingly, I found that none of the bonds were very secure at all, and in fact I couldn’t detect much difference compared to the unglued clutch strength.


A second set of test bonds was examined after the full 24-hour period. The clutch was indeed stronger, although not significantly. The instructions say, “To loosen blocks, place in warm water and pull apart” but that certainly wasn’t necessary for any of the bond combinations—they all de-clutched with minimal effort. However, with the PE tree elements there was a noticeable difference between glued and unglued clutch pressure. When unglued, tree elements and other PE elements can detach all too easily because of the flexibility of the material and the slightly slippery surface. But with the Le-Glue in place, the clutch strength for the PE was more like normal ABS-to-ABS clutch strength.


As an additional test, I bonded a LEGO baseboard to a plywood panel, something that I occasionally do using contact adhesive. The reason for doing this is usually to combine several baseplates into one big baseplate. It’s therefore essential that the baseplates stay in place. Unfortunately Le-Glue wasn’t up to the job. The slightest upward pressure under the corner of the baseplate and the whole thing popped-off the wood, leaving a cast impression of the baseplate underside in hardened glue. No residue glue remained on the underside of the baseplate at all, implying the Le-Glue bonds better with wood than with LEGO elements.


Cleaning-up the elements was easy. A short rinse under warm water with a light scrub with an old toothbrush saw every trace of glue disappear—so much so that I had no hesitation about returning the elements back into my collection for future use.

Should you buy Le-Glue?

Le-Glue adds some strength to the usual clutch provided by LEGO elements, but not as much as I anticipated given the website’s claim that it is 12 times as strong as the normal clutch strength. Also, it is necessary to wait for the full 24-hour curing period to get the effect, which could be impractical for some situations.

Where Le-Glue performed well was with the PE elements that definitely held together better than with their unglued clutch power. That was true with all PE test combinations. I will almost certainly use Le-Glue for things like tree models, which despite having perfectly legal attachments, normally disintegrate just by looking at them too long!

The price is US$8.99 for the single pack containing 2oz (57gm) of Le-Glue. They are currently offering slight discounts for buying two or three packs. Le-Glue is sold from the USA and from the UK so other countries may have to consider the shipping cost too. It is also available on Amazon.com. Other temporary glues are available.




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Products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by Le-Glue. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not Le-Glue. All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.

5 comments:

  1. An interesting article, thanks Gary!

    The product sounds pretty much useless though...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I cannot help but notice, you put a lot of glue onto the studs and not around them where the bricks share more surface area. Was that only in the one photo or in all of them? Because that could have impacted the clutch strength. The glue still might be completely useless, I'm just wondering if it was tested correctly :P

    ReplyDelete
  3. "NO MORE MESSY BREAK-UPS"

    You know what you did, and you ought to be ashamed. Your mother and I are very disappointed in you.

    ReplyDelete
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