Today’s post comes from Wessew
I’m going to write about glue. All Trailbabooners know about glue. Some of you are/were teachers and may even have made your own glue using flour and water. I recall being taught the recipe in first grade to finish paper-mâché projects. At the time, it seemed rather messy so I have my doubts that process is popular today. The history of glue goes back thousands of years. Affixing one item to another was a challenge to be met by tool makers and construction laborers. Tar, eggs, starch all found their way into everyday use. For most folks their experience with glue is limited to the basics: Elmers and Super Glue. And typically their knowledge of glues is also basic: “Glue is glue”. Well, that is not true. Indeed, it can be quite confusing to go to the glue aisle of a Lowe’s or Home Depot and be confronted with a dozens of varieties of glue. As reading the fine print seems a lost “art”, I surmise that many failures arise from the assumption that all glues are pretty much the same.
In my floor covering trade, there are hundreds of different glues. Each has specific qualities and recommended usages. But the basic guideline for use is: Read the label. Well, back in the early 70’s, we were doing a project at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The material was delivered to the job site along with buckets of glue. It was cork tile. From Portugal. With instructions in Portuguese. There was no discernible contact information in the material so as Portuguese is not a common language in North Dakota, the University did put me on to a Spanish translator. As these languages are related, I hoped for the best in getting a fairly good idea as to how to use the glue. I missed a step in translation. The glue had to be used over a porous subfloor ie wood or properly prepared concrete. Our concrete was polished meaning it was now a non-porous subfloor. We came in the next day and found the tile we had laid expanded about 1/32 of an inch in each piece causing a peaking effect. The glue had no where to go except into the cork itself. I panicked. Then I remembered a little physics and what could shrink material: Cold. We obtained dry ice and moved the chunks around the floor for hours. It worked!
We still get material from foreign countries but most often it comes with instructions in multiple languages… including English.
Have you ever had a problem with translation?