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When the corner of my favorite wooden picture frame broke apart during a move, I pondered the ways I could fix it elegantly, preferably with a thin and quick-setting adhesive.

Wood glue would be sloppy on the finely crafted joint and slow to set. In typical carpentry, a joint can be held together to dry with a bracket or brace. Obviously I didn't want to drill holes into my frame. I imagined using clamps to hold it together, but worried the glue would squeeze out and mar the finish, and I didn't have clamps that big.

Garden variety super glue would work, but still it takes time to set and cure.

Gorilla Glue is a product I've used before. It's very strong and effective, but it foams up and is also slow to cure -- not a good fit for this project.

Finally I asked some carpenter friends of mine for suggestions and they all recommended 2P-10 from FastCap. Bingo! For my treasured frame, which was a gift from an old friend, I needed an adhesive just like this.

The quality that sets 2P-10 apart from its adhesive cousins is the very fast setting time. It takes 10 seconds to set and 30 seconds to fully cure. In fact, you had better be careful where you put it. As a reviewer wrote on expert carpenter Gary Katz's website, don't use your pencil to move the glue around and then stick the pencil behind your ear. You can imagine the consequences of that!

FastCap's 2P-10 is a two-part system. You use both an adhesive in a squeeze bottle and an activator in an aerosol can. It comes in three densities: thin for smoother surfaces like Melamine; thick for raw wood; and a gel for heavier projects. The nice thing about the gel is that it won't run easily on vertical applications.

The once-broken corner of my treasured photo frame, looking as good as new. Photo: Kathy Price-Robinson

The thin version of 2P-10 was fine for me. I squeezed a tiny amount of the adhesive onto one mitered corner of my frame, and then sprayed the activator carefully onto the other corner. I gently and painstakingly pressed the corner back together. I'd been warned that if I got careless and pressed the edges together in a sloppy manner, it would be almost impossible to separate them after a few seconds. I did a perfect job.

2P-10 shines when used for gluing together lengths of molding or mitered corners. I've heard carpenters rave about how easy the product has made attaching the small pieces of molding around window trim, called returns. Small wood trim pieces are notoriously difficult to handle as they are too small to drive a nail into. A super adhesive like this creates a bond nearly impossible to detach.

If you're using prefinished moldings (which will not be painted after you attach them together), you might be concerned about the glue showing in the gap. That's where the FastCap Colorant Kit comes in handy. You can mix various colors together to achieve the right shade, then add it to the adhesive.

FastCap's 2P-10 is not cheap, but it's worth it. A 10-oz. bottle of adhesive runs about $30 and a 12-oz. can of activator runs about $15. A kit with a smaller adhesive is $20. The color kit is $50. I know this sounds funny, but I'm actually looking forward to the next thing that breaks so I can do it all over again.


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