1. We will be in Read Only mode (no new threads, replies, registration) starting at 9:00 EDT for a number of hours as we migrate the forums to upgraded software.

hot glue, epoxy, super glue dead bug/manhattan style

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tracecom, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    What type of glue do you use for attaching components and islands to a copper base with dead bug and manhattan style construction and why?

    Would using DS board for the islands and soldering the bottom of the islands to the ground plane reduce capacitance?

    All experience-based input is appreciated.

  2. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    It might help me if you described "Manhattan" style, and it might help other people if you described "dead bug" style. Meanwhile, what is "DS" board?

    On the other hand, you might have used those terms to weed out people that really don't know the answers.
  3. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
    Both are contruction techniques which do not use an etched PCB, but often a piece of un-etched PCB. "Dead bug" refers to placing components like IC's and transistors upside down on the PCB with their legs in the air like a...well you know. Manhattan style refers to creating little squares of copper clad PCB and glueing them to the main board to be used as soldering points; the results look something like the topography of Manhattan.

    Often the top copper layer of the main board is used as circuit ground and all ground connections are soldered directly to it. I was being lazy and used DS to mean double sided board.

    And to be perfectly honest, I have never done any of this, but want to try. I knew that AAC members would know the best methods.
  4. Audioguru


    Dec 20, 2007
    I have never made a Manhattan Style" circuit but if I do, I would use Super Glue because it dries instantly.
  5. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
  6. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
  7. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    Super glue. Be aware that it dries quite quickly.

    Make sure that you drop the pad in the right place otherwise you have little time available to correct it.
  8. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    I've done things similar to Manhattan dead bugs, but with today's surface mount parts I still stick to a 0.1" grid, get adapters for the chips, and use #30AWG wire for interconnections. Here's a fuzzy picture from a recent small project:

  9. thatoneguy


    Feb 19, 2009
    Here's my experience with adhesives, from everything from circuits to R/C Aircraft to cars and boats:

    Hot glue - Only used for strain relief on wires that will be flexed, or to reduce vibration of an item, such as heatsink supported only by device leads.

    Epoxy - With fiberglass only, making or modifying enclosures. Joining dissimilar materials. Fastest epoxy still needs 1hr for full strength, typically 24hrs.

    Super Glue aka CA aka Cyanoacrylates - Essentially all other small scale non-conductive attachment. I also strongly recommend "Zip Kicker" or similar, I've heard Hydrogen Peroxide works as a kicker in a pinch.

    Gorilla Glue - Run Away. It expands and doesn't stick as good as other options.

    Wood Glue/PVA - Great for some non-electronic apps.

    For CA, I always get the ½oz. or larger containers from hobby shops in medium or thick formulations. The little foil or plastic tubes from hardware stores don't contain enough, and there isn't a way to put a precision nozzle on it. Store epoxy and CA in refrigerator with your solder paste.

    I don't like "thin" CA due to a mishap, a small amount slighly dried in tip, and when bottle was gently squeezed to apply some, a tiny bit of pressure built up, and the glue bounced off surface into face. It's thinner than water!
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  10. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Hot glue melts below 100C so bad for high power stuff.
  11. thatoneguy


    Feb 19, 2009
    The high temp sticks (400 ºF melt) stand up very well, unless the heatsink is going to get over 300 ºF. The "low temp" craft glue seems to only like bonding porous stuff, and will sag/deform if left in a car at summertime heat.