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I bought an incense holder in Bali made of some kind of light cement-like material which unfortunately broke in our luggage: it's in the shape of a hand, and the pinky finger broke from the top knuckle.

It seems simple enough to repair with glue, but I don't know what type of glue to use for this. It's for indoor use and doesn't bear any load, so obviously does not need to be anything extreme (which is why Googling for an answer to this has not helped - I've mostly found resources about outdoor statues and the like).

Here is a photo: enter image description here

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The porosity of the material as it appears in the photo would have one aiming for an adhesive with some viscosity. You could have a solid and clean bond with a gel-type super glue. I've recently repaired a similarly irregular break of a less porous substance with Loctite brand gel. It does not seep too deeply into the material, but enough to get a "grip." Any brand of similar gel super glues would work.

Alternatively, a reasonably thick epoxy would accomplish a good bond. Having a break of this nature where the opposing surfaces mate nearly exactly allows for greater surface area, meaning better bond.

I reference the epoxy and gel super glues because I've had good luck in the last few days with both types.

Another option is the "goop" type product line, but it's too thick, in my opinion and might not bond into the porous surface as well. Somewhat unsightly at the edges, too.

The super glue option will give less obvious joins, and the epoxy falls in the middle.

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I recommend using standard gorilla glue, the kind that uses water to activate. This foams up a little and works to give good grip between two porous surfaces. You would only need a small amount as the glue foam could leak out and it can be a pain to clean up residue after it has dried. I can't remember exactly off the top of my head but I believe the instructions say you can wipe it off with a damp cloth before it dries.

I would test it out on other items first so you know what kind of leaking and foaming to expect before you try it on your piece. It also looks like you have incense ash on the hand, make sure the areas you want to join are completely free of dust. It looks like you have a good clean break there, it should go back together without too much hassle but if there are any gaps where chips of stone were lost the foaming glue should fill them in.

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  • Most of the basic GG's are exanding glues. In order for this to work you would need to make sure that the digit is held in position for a pleasing fit. – Matt Feb 27 '17 at 23:38
  • I only have exp with the polyurethane glue and the wood glue, but good to know that I should double check their other glues if I'm using them for future projects. - Thanks! Also good point on holding the digit in place, which really should be the case for any glue aehlke chooses until the piece sets in position. – GameSparks_Clare Feb 28 '17 at 10:57

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