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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fence build is going to have cast iron finials secured to PEX pickets as part of the design.

Recommendations on an adhesive to secure the finial to the PEX?

Thanks!
 

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My fence build is going to have cast iron finials secured to PEX pickets as part of the design.

Recommendations on an adhesive to secure the finial to the PEX?

Thanks!
All I can think is that if you have a hot cast iron skillet and it touches a plastic bread bag ... they are bonded for life. But bread bags are not Pex. There is a website called Glue This to That, or something like that, which might have the answers. It may require a 2 part epoxy, Pex just feels like something that is hard to glue.

A mechanical fastener would be my preference, like if there was some kind of expanding (but short) fastener you could put in the end of the pex that would be awesome. But I can't think of anything.
 

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When I attached our plastic finials to the pvc pipe we heated the pipe up to where it was soft and then we could push the finial on. This was because the finial openings were slightly smaller than the pvc. Once they were on and things cooled they were not moving.

not knowing your exact situation with your opening vs pipe size I couldn’t tell you if the heating method would work. My experience in trying to connect plastic and metal would be to use a 2 part epoxy for adhesion. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I attached our plastic finials to the pvc pipe we heated the pipe up to where it was soft and then we could push the finial on. This was because the finial openings were slightly smaller than the pvc. Once they were on and things cooled they were not moving.

not knowing your exact situation with your opening vs pipe size I couldn’t tell you if the heating method would work. My experience in trying to connect plastic and metal would be to use a 2 part epoxy for adhesion. Best of luck!
Similar here - 1/2" ID PEX with 1/2" square finial - so I heated and formed the tips of the PEX to force a round peg in a square hole. Of course, my single trial of that went much easier than any of the dozens more for the fence sections..... PEX is pretty pliable, so the top like to get caught and bend outward and if I didn't monitor the exposure to the heat gun closely, it would actually wrinkle when I pushed the finial on - a bit different behavior than when I've worked with PVC for similar assembly. The finished fit is snug and would probably stay without issue, but I wanted to pull them apart, dab some adhesive and put them back together just to be sure.

I was hoping for construction adhesive - but think I need to look at an epoxy based on what I am reading and suggestions here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All I can think is that if you have a hot cast iron skillet and it touches a plastic bread bag ... they are bonded for life. But bread bags are not Pex. There is a website called Glue This to That, or something like that, which might have the answers. It may require a 2 part epoxy, Pex just feels like something that is hard to glue.

A mechanical fastener would be my preference, like if there was some kind of expanding (but short) fastener you could put in the end of the pex that would be awesome. But I can't think of anything.
I had to heat the PEX to form it to the desired shape - which involved forcing it into the finial base. They did not "stick". It's snug - so they won't fall off. But I'd like to secure them.
 

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Not all plastics/polymers are the same when it comes to bonding and cross-linked polyethylene (like all polyethylene variants) is a low-activation energy polymer that will require a bit of surface treatment to get any adhesive to adhere to it. There's a reason so many adhesive containers are made out of PE. You'll likely have better luck if you roughen up the surface of the PEX a bit, clean the heck out of it with alcohol, and activate the surface of the PE by passing it through a flame before trying to bond to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My local HD didn't have a liquid epoxy for metal specifically. They had the "SteelStick" - but I wanted something more fluid to be able to apply to the inside sides of the final. I ended up trying JB-Weld (see picture). There were a few other similar epoxy products from Gorilla Glue and Loc-Tite, but I liked the resealable cap, so if it didn't work, I could preserve the unused product.

My Pex ends have already been heated and formed into a square using the finial as a form (heated, forced into the finial, let cool) - so they are no longer a smooth surface. They fit snug as they were 1/2" ID pex forced into a 1/2" finial - but I wanted to secure with adhesive before painting. I didn't want them slipping and showing white later.

I mixed enough epoxy to do a sample (turned out to be enough for 2) - and both appear to be secure this morning. I used the handle of a plastic knife (although could use wood sticks), spread some of the mixture on each side of the inside of the finial and then dipped/rolled the tip of the PEX into the mixture before assembly. Once assembled, I wiped off any excess and let it sit overnight.

They appear to be secure this morning -

I will comment that the assembly went easier with the epoxy than without - much easier to slide the formed PEX into the finial.

Liquid Fluid Font Gas Cylinder
 
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