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Best glue for drybox tops

5857 Views 17 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  kengore
Well I'm re rigging my trip boat and have decided to put some padding on my dryboxes. After much research I decided to use blue foam camp pads. I won't belabor all what I considered but in the end these $7 walmart 6' pads seemed to make more sense then the uber expensive options with marginal benefits. I Saw a guy getting off the MFS a few weeks back with these pads 3yrs on and that still looked reasonable. I was sold. Need to do 4 boxes

So (finally) my question is what glue to use assuming I'll be replacing and re glueing these pads probably ever 4-6yrs. I've used liquid nail before on a box which was a real pain to strip. Would 100% silicone be good enough? Any spray on product?

Also broke down for two engel deepblue 123 coolers. Best demeans ions for my boat /frame. Should I consider a top for those. If so what is there besides the $150 skid stuff engel sells?

Thanks, Jim

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3m makes a spray adhesive that works well. I used it on a seat that ran for years. It out lasted the blue walmart pad. Finally had to scrape any remaining pad off.
Thanks for the recommendation. So is the blue foam a reasonable way to go?

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Blue camp pad is fine. There are 2 types. The open cell and closed cell. Closed cell is lighter blue and not as strong. The navy / medium blue is what I used.
Use 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive. : Link to Amazon It is best to mask and spray. This stuff is a PITA to remove. Spray in well ventilated area.
Damn near any glue will get the job done and if it starts to peel off give'er a touchup. I used contact cement and it worked fine. I don't trust myself with a spray.
I have used the 3M Super 77 with mixed results. One dry box has foam still in place after about 3 years. The other dry box, the foam comes off every year. I'm trying the peel & stick textured mini-cell stuff from Cascade Outfitters on that dry box now. Expensive stuff though. My buddy swears by the 3M Super 77. His foam has been on his boxes forever.
The 3M 77 can be a pita to apply perfectly. If you don't do it right, such as applying the foam too soon, or not coating both contact surfaces, and it will fail.

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contact cement and done. I have used the water based type and the gnarly fumes type. I hate the smell but the gnarly one works the best. I don't even strip it all off when reapplying the new foam. I just get it smooth and sand it with an orbital on rough grit and go.

I think the foam from the pool supply places is best. You may already have the camping pads though. I like because it seems a little more dense and I get about five to six years out of it.. Good luck.
Weldwood in the red can contact cement - will stand up to highway speeds for a decade, waterproof, used by whitewater canoeists to glue all kinds of foam to all kinds of crap for decades. I'm on my 2nd can. Cleans up perfect with MEK, no residue left. Get the closed cell foam puzzle floor tiles from Lowes. Just set up my drybox this way and really like it. Super 77 sucks, is expensive and makes a mess. Weldwood fumes make me happy.
sand it

Recommend contact cement. I've had a combo of closed and open blue Wal-mart foam on my dry box and cooler for 4+ years and it is in good shape. I don't regularly sit on them though (xtra insulation on cooler). I think one key is to sand the top of each before you apply the cement. After it is applied take a rasp and round all edges.
Congrats on the 2 new Engels. Don't feel like you have to apologize to anyone for investing once and only once in quality.
Without question I've found good old fashioned Contact Cement works best. About $8 for a pint, use several coats and one can will do several boxes plus sum. The 3M spray stuff that Cascade recommended to me was not so good and we lost a pad to the wind on the drive home once. None of my contact cemented pads have come loose. But be sure to do several coats, especially on the foam side.

Don't ghetto up your sweet new coolers with foam, just put a wet towel over them for evaporative cooling - it will work better than gluing on foam.
Thanks for the helpful input. I don't think I'll do anything with my cooler tops. All my dryboxes are well used so no concern there

I do have a 1993 Rubbermaid 123Q cooler with double plywood reinforced lids that works as that did in the mid-90s available. On a recent MFS it did not compare for ice retention with the newer coolers but a 250 person can walk on it with little concern Automotive exterior Vehicle Inflatable boat Boat Auto part
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I've used either 3m 77 or 88 (special order item). If you have not glued on the blue foam, suggest you reconsider. I found the flooring foam for garage work areas is perfect. Closed cell, with a top layer that is abrasion and chemical resistant, and ridiculously cheaper than the ethafoam sold by boat outfitters. I got mine from costco, $14 for 24 sq ft.
So I notice these squares aren't big enough to cover a 38-40" box without a seam. The Blue pads are 72" so no seams. Are seams worth the advantages of the closed cell? Thanks

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On both my boxes the seam is so tight it doesn't matter. I have notice it widen on cold days, close on hot, but it's less than 1/8 of an inch max. I went to it because I had a layer of foam that got beat up, and was looking for something tougher to cover the first layer. I have a pile of the flooring stuff loose in my truck shell for a soft layer when camping, and it has been indestructable. I realized I had been sleeping on the solution for years. Now, if it goes I'm out about $2, except it just goes on and on and on. Seems to resist UV as well.
I recently made a rowing seat with multiple layers of the closed cell foam flooring pads (home depot, costco, etc)

I built up to 4 layers bonded with Weldwood contact cement and carved a tractor style seat. There are seams in several areas and they have held up as well as the surrounding material. I trimmed and butt glued the seams prior to lamination. The laminated block carves just like ethafoam for a fraction of the cost.
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