Family Handyman Approved: Barge Cement

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Shoe repair shops love this product. So will you.

Family Handyman Approved: Barge Cement

Barge All-Purpose Rubber Cement is a professional strength adhesive that can be used on a wide range of materials, from leather to rubber to plastic to wood. Use it to glue the heel back on your favorite pair of shoes.

What is Barge Cement?

Barge Cement is used mainly by shoe repair shops. I discovered it many years ago working at the Children’s Theater as a prop artesian. We used Barge Cement on leather, rubber and vinyl, wood, metal, plastic, basically anything we wanted to permanently stick together.  It’s ideal for patching rubber boots or resole on leather shoes.

How We Tested It

I took Barge Cement into the Family Handyman workshop and ran a few applications to show how this adhesive works.

I brought along with my favorite pair of shoes to glue the rubber sole back onto the heel. I also had a pair of leather work gloves I wasn’t quite ready to let go of that needed repair. And I brought an end table from home that needed rubber pads glued on the bottom so it wouldn’t scratch my wood floors.

Performance Review

Performance

Barge Cement performed splendidly in all applications. It did exactly what I wanted to do.

Value

One 32-ounce can costs about $30. Depending on how much you use, it can last more than two years.

Reliability and durability

Many shoe repair shops rely on this product every day.

Ease of use

There’s one drawback to Barge Cement: It’s highly toxic. You’ll need adequate ventilation, eye protection, rubber gloves and a respirator when working with it.

Why You Should Buy This

If you’re a DIYer like me and you’d rather fix something than throw it away, whether it’s a favorite pair of shoes or that designer leather handbag, you’ll want Barge Cement in your arsenal of tools.

Where to Buy Barge Cement

Look for Barge Cement at your local craft store and hobby shop. You can also find it online at Amazon.

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Joe Cruz
Joe Cruz is a contributing editor for Family Handyman Magazine, creating DIY how-to & home improvement projects for both digital and print. Joe started woodworking at an early age, finding himself in carpentry jobs such as building and remodeling houses, woodworking jobs such as custom cabinetry and kitchen installation, and artisan positions involving props work for theaters and artful exhibit building for national museums. Although Joe is also a fine furniture maker, his real passions are music and woodturning, with original compositions on streaming platforms and woodturnings featured in various art shows and galleries.