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Coffee Mug - Repair Crack In Handle?
Old 04-17-2019, 05:50 PM   #1
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Coffee Mug - Repair Crack In Handle?

DW bought a mug with an image of a hummingbird on it several years ago on one of our vacations in Costa Rica (she's an avid bird/nature photographer). Today, while washing it, it slipped out of my hands and crashed into some dishes in the sink. At first, I thought I dodged a bullet as the mug looked in fine shape. But when I looked closer, I saw a hairline crack around the top of the handle.

The mug is still usable but over time the handle is sure to crack and break while she's having her tea.

I know it's just a mug, but we bought it in Costa Rica and I feel kinda bad. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a way for me to save it.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:15 PM   #2
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Care to share a pic with a close up on the crack?

While you wait for ideas, is she aware already? I'd caution against trying a fix before you tell her, in case that makes it worse. Or even if you think it's a perfectly done fix, and then it turns out not to be...yeah. Better to fess up, it was only an accident.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:18 PM   #3
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Superglue. I think the right way is to carefully break off the handle so you could get the glue in there, then tape it in place. I'd let it cure overnight. If you spray superglue accelerator to one of the mating surfaces it will cure almost instantly but then you won't be able to fiddle with the position to make it fit just right and you'd be making the cup more toxic. So if you use accelerator you should mask off parts you're not gluing and wash extra well when done.

If you don't want to break off the handle, you could try building up layers of superglue around the crack to reinforce it. You need accelerator for this. Place a drop of a thick superglue over the crack, spray with accelerator, and repeat until you're satisfied it's thick enough to reinforce the handle.

You could also use the thinnest superglue you could find and put a drop or two on the crack and hope it gets sucked in well enough. Not sure if I'd use accelerator for that method.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Care to share a pic with a close up on the crack?

While you wait for ideas, is she aware already? I'd caution against trying a fix before you tell her, in case that makes it worse. Or even if you think it's a perfectly done fix, and then it turns out not to be...yeah. Better to fess up, it was only an accident.

I fessed up right after it happened. She was very forgiving and gracious about it.

Photos attached. So the first two show a small chip and the third photo shows the hairline crack that goes the rest of the way around.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (250.5 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (290.8 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (217.1 KB, 44 views)
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:36 PM   #5
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Superglue. I think the right way is to carefully break off the handle so you could get the glue in there, then tape it in place. ...
I'd agree that breaking it is probably best, so that you can really get glue in there. Obviously carries some risk, hopefully you have fessed up first - having a questionable repair and having the handle break off with hot tea in there might get you in.... ummm, hot water (or worse)?

Another option for getting glue to enter the crack - I've used this successfully with woodworking - get a vacuum cleaner hose on the opposite side, somewhat sealed up (maybe just cupping your hand around it), and it will suck the glue into the crack.

-ERD50
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:42 PM   #6
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Worse comes to worst, we have friends who live near the place where we bought it. I'll see if they can pick up another one for us. It's not like it was a one-of-a-kind.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boho View Post
Superglue. I think the right way is to carefully break off the handle so you could get the glue in there, then tape it in place. I'd let it cure overnight. If you spray superglue accelerator to one of the mating surfaces it will cure almost instantly but then you won't be able to fiddle with the position to make it fit just right and you'd be making the cup more toxic. So if you use accelerator you should mask off parts you're not gluing and wash extra well when done.

If you don't want to break off the handle, you could try building up layers of superglue around the crack to reinforce it. You need accelerator for this. Place a drop of a thick superglue over the crack, spray with accelerator, and repeat until you're satisfied it's thick enough to reinforce the handle.

You could also use the thinnest superglue you could find and put a drop or two on the crack and hope it gets sucked in well enough. Not sure if I'd use accelerator for that method.

Thanks, Boho.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:44 PM   #8
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I'd agree that breaking it is probably best, so that you can really get glue in there. Obviously carries some risk, hopefully you have fessed up first - having a questionable repair and having the handle break off with hot tea in there might get you in.... ummm, hot water (or worse)?

Another option for getting glue to enter the crack - I've used this successfully with woodworking - get a vacuum cleaner hose on the opposite side, somewhat sealed up (maybe just cupping your hand around it), and it will suck the glue into the crack.

-ERD50

Oh, wow - the vacuum cleaner idea sounds like a good one. Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:51 PM   #9
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How about take the cup to an artistic pottery class and ask them to make a set?

Might get you brownie points for replicating the original
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:37 PM   #10
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I think I would not break it. I would apply superglue to the outside of the crack and then try as best you can to push the superglue into the crack with a toothpick or thin piece of wire. Then cross your fingers.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Vincenzo Corleone View Post
Worse comes to worst, we have friends who live near the place where we bought it. I'll see if they can pick up another one for us. It's not like it was a one-of-a-kind.
A replacement might be the easiest solution.

But if you still wish to try and repair and if you are more into the mug not breaking instead of appearance, perhaps try securing the chipped area by painting on some JB Weld. I did a similar thing for a plastic knob of a dryer which had a crack. Put the JB Weld on and let dry. that was about 2 years ago and the knob still works fine.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:47 PM   #12
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Super glue is thin like water, it should flow right into that crack. It will also get sucked up into the pores of the ceramic. I'd just apply the nozzle and feed until it dripped.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Vincenzo Corleone View Post
Worse comes to worst, we have friends who live near the place where we bought it. I'll see if they can pick up another one for us. It's not like it was a one-of-a-kind.

If you like it enough to want to hang onto it and keep using it, this is the option I would recommend. No matter how well glued the handle was, I'd be concerned about a possible future break.

Or you could always relegate the current mug to a life as a purely decorative object, and save on the cost of getting a new one.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:50 PM   #14
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If you want the thin super glue, Bob Smith Industries Super Thin is a good choice.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:50 PM   #15
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It's time for another trip to Costa Rica.

BTW, did your wife confess that she dropped the mug a few years ago and never told you about the hairline crack she noticed in it at that time?
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:07 PM   #16
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Times have changed, maybe the Costa Rica place has an online sales presence and you could buy one directly.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:09 PM   #17
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I was hoping for a picture of the hummingbird
example:
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:41 AM   #18
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Using a cracked handle coffee mug would make me nervous. If it breaks, it will most likely be at a very bad time (filled with coffee), that will make a huge mess.

Why not retire the mug to a place of honor on the shelf, among your other souvenirs?
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:59 AM   #19
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Using a cracked handle coffee mug would make me nervous. If it breaks, it will most likely be at a very bad time (filled with coffee), that will make a huge mess.

Why not retire the mug to a place of honor on the shelf, among your other souvenirs?
+1 I tried it once and that's exactly what happened.

I understand the sentimental value but I'd do some scanning online. I once broke a very expensive wine glass ($300 each!!) and I found an exact set of 4 for $25 online...they obviously didn't know what they had.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:59 AM   #20
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If you get a good enough image of the mug, then google/images might find the match for you online. Or just start looking now - chances are those lovely knick knacks most of us picked up over the years are either now available to be found, or weren't quite so exclusive to begin with.
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