I’m glueing in a piece called the ball filler to bring everything up to level. Then I can lace in the steel shank. The best way I’ve found to apply the water-based contact cement is to use a squirt bottle and then spread the glue with the blade brush.
The blade brush doesn’t hold much glue so if you’re dipping glue with it, it takes LOTS of dipping. I don’t have all day so this method works better.