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Cardboard is commonly used as a solid yet disposable container material. It is most often used as material for boxes, and is typically thrown away or recycled after use. However, some people choose to reuse cardboard, either for utilitarian purposes or for the creation of art. It is sometimes necessary to bond or attach pieces of cardboard together; there are a number of ways this can be done, each with their own merits and drawbacks.
Staple the cardboard together. This is not necessary unless you are assembling a large, heavy-duty cardboard box to carry a heavy load. However, if this is the case, then you may need to staple the cardboard to hold it together and ensure that it doesn't collapse at a crucial time. There are a number of speciality cardboard staplers available on the market, both handheld and mounted; these are somewhat expensive, however, and should only be purchased if there is a need to staple a large number of boxes. Otherwise, a heavy-duty staple gun should do the trick. Make sure that the backs of the staples are bent inward to help hold the box together and avoid damaging its contents.
Tape the cardboard together. This can be done with duct tape, but cardboard is typically taped together with packing tape. There are several varieties of packing tape available. Brown packing tape is the traditional tape for cardboard packages; however, clear packing tape is just as strong and doesn't obscure any marking on the box. Filament tape, also known as strapping tape, contains filaments of fibreglass for extra strength and durability, and is often used for holding heavy-duty boxes together.
Glue the cardboard together. Glue is useful in more delicate operations, such as small crafts where tape and staples are too large or unsightly to be used. The glue you choose should be based on how strong of a bond you need and whether excess glue is a problem. Wood glue is effective at bonding cardboard, although it is thick and dries to a yellowish colour. White glue is also effective at bonding cardboard and other porous materials. Craft glue is a lighter and thinner glue that is suitable for crafts and other projects involving paper or light cardboard, but it takes 24 hours to dry. Hot glue is a strong and effective adhesive for cardboard, although it often leaves behind hardened clumps of glue.
- Do not attempt to bond cardboard with an epoxy, as epoxies and other chemical bonding agents are not effective at adhering porous materials. Porous materials like wood and cardboard cannot be bonded chemically, but instead need to be physically adhered with a glue or other adherent.
- Do not attempt to operate a power stapler or a hot glue gun unless you have read the instructions or are familiar with the use of the tool. Misuse of these tools can result in accidental injury.
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