• Using CA Glue in Woodturning

    There have been some recent threads on CA glue on the Turners forum. The following is an article I did for my turning club website on CA glue after doing some research......

    CA Glue The Woodturners Friend.....

    By Wally Dickerman

    Cyanoacrylate Glue, commonly called CA glue is used by woodturners for a variety of reasons. To attach glue blocks, to fill voids and cracks, to attach collars to hollowforms, to firm up bark on natural edge bowls, as a durable finish for pens, bowls, bottle stoppers and more.

    CA glue works well to bond wet wood. Yellow and white glues do not. For that reason CA is almost universally used to attach glue blocks to bowl blanks.

    Not all CA glues are equal. I stick with the glue brands that are sold in woodworking stores rather than those sold in craft stores. CA comes in several forms. Thin, medium and thick. It comes in black and in flexible.

    According to one manufacturer, unopened CA has about a one year shelf life at room temperatures. If stored in a freezer that shelf life is doubled. I've found that opened CA has a life of 5 or 6 months. I live in a dry climate. In a very humid climate it might be less. When I buy CA I put the date on it and put it in the freezer. When I open a container I put that date on it. After about six months I toss it. I want CA to be at it's full strength when I use it.

    Shelf life of Opened CA stored at temperatures higher than 80 will be shorter.

    Do not store opened CA in a refrigerator or freezer. Moisture in the air will shorten it's life.

    Always wear glasses when using CA. The moisture in our eyes causes instant bonding.

    When filling large cracks or voids it's best to apply CA in layers using an accelerator between layers. The CA has a better chance to cure.

    The fumes from CA glue are potentially harmful to your health so it's a good idea to use it in a well ventilated area.

    Cotton and CA used together causes a chemical reaction creating heat and toxic smoke, so don't use cotton cloth or swabs to apply CA.

    CA does not adhere to glass.

    As opened CA ages, it sometimes thickens. Thin CA can be added to medium and thick CA.

    When I open a new CA container I toss the cap. I find that I get fewer plugged spouts and it doesn't seem to affect the life of the glue. Acetone is a debonder. I keep a small glass jar handy and when I get a plugged spout I put it in the jar. After I've collected a few I cover the spouts with acetone. In 24 hours the spouts are all clean. I keep some on hand to replace clogged spouts. Debonders are available and I keep a bottle on hand. When using CA I seem to usually get some on my fingers. The debonder helps to remove it.

    When using CA to fill voids and cracks it tends to stain the area around the crack, especially when using thin glue. In order to eliminate that probability, I apply some brushing lacquer to the area. It seals the wood, avoiding stain.

    Moisture is an accelerator so when CA is used on wet wood it will set up faster. I find that using the accelerator sold in spray cans is the most convenient to use.
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. max taylor's Avatar
      max taylor -
      I also coat my hands with paste wax, and when thru w`ipe it off. no sticky fingers. Max
    1. alan miller's Avatar
      alan miller -
      Wow,great article Wally.I learned a bunch.Thanks
    1. Pat Foy's Avatar
      Pat Foy -
      Best summary of CA characteristics I've read. Thanks.
      Pat
    1. Bob Bollard's Avatar
      Bob Bollard -
      The fumes are bothersome. Is it safe to use a dust extractor to suck the fumes away? Or would the fumes just be more widely dispersed thru the shop, since the filters are inside the shop?
  • Recent Polls

    Eating a raccon (Votes: 27)

    1. I have eaten raccoon (Votes: 4)

    2. I have eaten raccon and liked it (Votes: 3)

    3. I have eaten racccoon and never will again (Votes: 0)

    4. I wouldn't eat raccoon if you paid me. (Votes: 15)

    5. They're too cute to eat. (Votes: 5)

  • Recent Forum Posts

    Sam Puhalovich

    Boring Long Holes in 12x12 beams

    In 1997 I installed a security system and had to drill holes to the windows ... I bought a 1/4" drill that is 53" long ... it was about $17

    Sam Puhalovich Today, 5:52 AM Go to last post
    Wayne Lomman

    could use advice on inset door hinges

    If you make 2 drawers below, you can match the existing with no problems. Your style lends itself to the fronts being a solid panel with beading etc to

    Wayne Lomman Today, 4:40 AM Go to last post
    Kev Williams

    Glow Forge

    now you did it, you said 'glow forge'--- now their commercials are showing up on every YouTube video...





    Kev Williams Today, 2:48 AM Go to last post
    Reed Gray

    NRS burr

    Well, Stuart may have coined the phrase, but he didn't invent the tool. I took a work shop with he and his dad, maybe 15 years ago or less, and don't

    Reed Gray Today, 1:44 AM Go to last post
    Peter Christensen

    Portable saw ogee foot jig/fixture

    Not really all that hard on a blade. You’re only taking a sixteenths to maybe an eight of an inch deep cuts at most depending on the wood you’re cutting.

    Peter Christensen Today, 1:12 AM Go to last post