Gluing Steel Panels to Wood

Tapes and adhesives that can hold steel plate to wood, even if the plate is slightly sprung. July 8, 2014

I have a job where I am to apply 1/8" cold rolled steel to some cabinetry faces. These panels have a decorative finish being applied to the faces. The steel is not perfectly flat after having been laser cut. I am having concerns about adhesive technique? We tried welding fastener nuts to the back, but this has some unacceptable effects. VHB tape has been suggested, but 3M does not test or guarantee adhesion to primed wood surfaces. 3M also has a Scotch Weld contact adhesive that says it is for wood to metal. I need to spring the steel panel flat to the substrate. Does anyone know anything about this, or have any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From Contributor J:
There are a few products that you might want to check out for this application. I haven't used either of them for this but they are recommended for this application. LePage Press-Tite Contact cement (the Blue and the Gel are recommended for wood and metal). I had seen 3M Fastbond 30-NF recommended for this but their product specification page doesn't sound promising for it. If you are looking at tapes, you might consider Turner's Tape. I've used this in my shop for several things. It is a thin, two-sided tape that has very high strength and a thin mesh substrate to it. It's strong enough that wood turners use it to fasten items to faceplate for turning without fasteners.

From Contributor T:
Do yourself a favor and weld a stud on the back. You just need to get with someone who can tig weld a captive nut on the back side - there wonít be any distortion with 1/8" plate.

From the original questioner:
To all who responded, my choice after much deliberation and consideration was to use a 3M VHB tape, which worked like a champ. This was suggested by my specialty metals fabricator who is a real pro and it worked absolutely wonderfully! Itís imperative to prep properly and follow directions precisely. As to welding nuts on the back: doing so pooched the metal slightly resulting in a lot of hand grinding to flatten before the specialty finish could be applied. There was one large panel which could not have been attached in this manner, so it made it less attractive as the path of choice.