Glue for aluminum to wood ?

I’d like to glue an aluminum ruler to a canoe thwart for checking some fish that I catch. Any ideas on what glue to use? Could I just clean both surfaces and then glue it on, or do I need to sand off the finish of the thwart? I’m trying to get it right the first time. Thanks for your help…Doc

I would use contact cement
The Weldwood in the red can. If you ever want it off there is a remover… It will take the wood finish too, but it will remove the glue.

If you want something less aggressive 3M Super 77 spray adhesive. its strong but if you try you will probably be able to peel the ruler off.

Use epoxy. If the wood finish (varnish, paint) is in good shape, it should be OK, but sanding down to bare wood would be better.

Another option: drill a couple holes in the ruler and use oval-head wood screws – stainless steel or bronze.

Why not score the thwart?
Just use the ruler to mark it out and build the ruler right into the the thwart itself.

You might consider a urethane glue.
I’m an epoxy fan, but what I have read on the West Epoxy site suggests that aluminum, like copper, may need special treatment for epoxy to hold. Also, urethane glue comes in a nice little bottle and does not need premixing.

Try 3M’s 5200
but be sure to to brush the aluminum with a wheel-brush drill attachment to knock down the aluminum oxide that forms the protective surface on aluminum to make sure it will stick. Do not plan on removing the ruler unless you plan to remove the thwart too.

Just use a sharpie
I like Kanoo’s idea of scoring, or marking the thwart. You could use a soldering iron to burn in the markings, or just use a permanent marker.

If you are set on gluing the ruler, I think epoxy is a good choice. I have glued aluminum to royalex with good result using JB Weld. But never as long a piece as you probably want to glue. I’d be wary that the two materials (wood and aluminum) will have different stretching properties, and different expansion properties (in response to temperature and humidity changes). Also, if you are sliding the canoe on or off a rack, isn’t the ruler going to catch? The more I think about it the more I like Kanoo’s idea.


Why a rigid ruler?

– Last Updated: Nov-12-08 11:05 PM EST –

Most any bait shop will have inexpensive and sometimes free adhesive backed waterproof paper rulers because of today's min, max, and slot size limits. Just cut to length, peel off the back paper, and stick it to the top of the thwart. It will conform to tubular, flat, or whatever thwart profile you have. I have a freebie on the aluminum thwart ahead of the stern seat on my kevlar tripper that has given me 8 years of service now. Very handy.

How about
Try a couple SS screws.

That is what I had been considering
How about a line of brass round-head brads every inch?


Bing, Bing, Bing!

– Last Updated: Nov-13-08 10:14 AM EST –

Sharpie! Fast, cheap, effective, and doesn't permanently alter the boat. A clear winner.

Thank you all
This gave me plenty of thoughts to work with. I appreciate everyone that replied. Have a great day…Doc

yah but
Sharpie is so ugggggly. Pretty wood. In fact, I think he should hire an expert wood carver to inlay an ornate ruler.

Somebody tell “Ed” that he should start selling thwarts with rulers already branded in. All he needs to do is get a branding iron outtta the back o Fine Woodworker and he’ll sell to all the canoe fishermen.

Er wait, why am I giving the idea to him? Everyone send me your thwarts and I’ll brand a ruler into for $5 + shipping.

contact cement
Epoxy, aqua seal, etc or…

Also mark off your paddle.