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Thread: CA glue (superglue)

  1. #1

    CA glue (superglue)

    This sounds like such a dumb question, but, for the life of me, I cannot figure out superglue (CA glue).

    It seems to stay wet forever? It turns white-ish and powdery? Doesn't really seem to hold anything together very well?

    I've tried lots of different formulations (viscosities) from different manufacturers (and the "good stuff", too - Loctite, Bob Smith, etc). I've tried using it with the "accelerator".

    It just seems like every time I've used it, I've ended up thinking, "Well, this is a mess and I wish I hadn't done this". I don't think I've ever had an experience with CA glue that "worked".

    Is there a secret trick I have missed?

  2. #2
    I agree, I've never had a good experience with super glue. Anything I've ever tried it on it didn't hold very well. Yes it takes for ever to dry too.
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  3. #3
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    You can buy accelerants for CA glue that make it cure instantly. Beware that it gets really hot and can burn you when rapid cured- voice of experience. It has a great place in woodworking for filling knots and pinholes. Add glue, and while it is still wet, sand over it. The sawdust will fill in and harden in the gap, and it will match almost perfectly.

    I use it when strip building wood surfboards and you have to get a tight bend that is hard to clamp. I use CA glue with an accelerant to hold it in place. Just make sure you don’t get the CA glue on your hands while holding the part and then spray accelerant on it. It will instantly glue your hand to the piece and burn your hand while it is stuck there. Of course I would never do something that stupid (coughs), but I have a “friend” who did that once.

  4. #4
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    Just a guess, but I've had some of those problems with old, outdated glue. Hardware store CA is frequently bad in my experience, I don't know whether it is the storage conditions, too long on the shelf, or just a poor product to begin with. It's certainly not the best glue for many applications, but I use it for many things, on a daily basis when turning to fill cracks or to finish small objects like pens. I do routinely use accelerator with it.

    Starbond and Satellite City are the brands I use most often.

  5. #5
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    I don’t use it for any “large” applications. It works great when glueing in a small end grain blow out or small veneer chips and such. And as Malcolm said, great for filling small pinholes and repairing tiny cracks/splits.

    But, I really haven’t had problems when using it for quick shop jigs and such...even the big box stuff. Keep in mind, it has weak shear strength. Tough to pull apart, but not so much when hitting it sideways...if that makes sense.

  6. #6
    For me, superglue works great to glue smooth flat surfaces together. But gluing things like broken ceramics together (coffee cup handles, etc) not so much. The only thing I know of that it actually sticks to is skin .. works great as a liquid bandage.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Mueller View Post
    . . . it has weak shear strength. Tough to pull apart, but not so much when hitting it sideways...
    exactly right. It is basically liquid plastic - not a glue for joinery in woodworking. But I use it all the time for making small repairs, filling gaps & cracks or slipping in a shim. Accelerator helps keep it from running, and I mostly use the medium or thick versions. Also makes a good finish for some turned objects like pens. Just another tool.
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  8. #8
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    Super glue proves an old adage that more isn't always better.

    A big glob of super glue will not hold better than a thin coat.

    Like so many other glues, super glue shines at some jobs and really sucks for others.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
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    This thread was a bit affirming for me... I see commercials with guys hanging from their hard hats underneath a construction beam, and yet I can't fix my wife's favorite coffee mug with the same product. Using less / using more, accelerator / no-accelerator, damp the smooth surface / keep it dry, scuff it / keep it smooth, various materials... At least half a dozen different products. Hell, I've gotten it on my skin and it simply wipes right off... no mythical "forever stuck together fingers" syndrome.

    The only applications I've found limited success in are when I use a fastener with the glue as an underlying "backup"... like gluing t-track down and using screws too.

    I would love to learn how to use this glue more effectively and am open to additional pointers on this topic.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  10. #10
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    I've used it, with great success, for finishing kitchen knife handles. It buffs beautifully, goes on quickly, and is impervious to water. -Howard

  11. #11
    yea works great as a finish on wood but have you glued anything together with it?
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  12. #12
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    I once built a wooden RC boat using nothing but CA glue in 2 thicknesses.
    The thin was used first and soaked into the wood. Then the thicker blend filled in the gaps. The only place I used epoxy was the stern motor mount.

    CA between 2 smooth surfaces fails easily. There is no tooth to bond to. Glass, coins, plastic, etc.
    It has tremendous holding power for a perpendicular load, (guy hanging from his helmet) but can be broken loose by a sharp rap.

    Porous surfaces, cloth, china, etc work well because CA soaks into the structure. A thin type of CA is best. Especially if a small artists brush or toothpick is used to spread it evenly.

  13. #13
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    I use CA regularly to glue inlay (mostly dots) into fretboards, and occasionally for a fret that won't stay put by itself, but not for anything structural. I use it too when I get cracks in my fingertips in the winter, it makes them stop hurting and start to heal.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Riefer View Post
    ... I see commercials with guys hanging from their hard hats underneath a construction beam, and yet I can't fix my wife's favorite coffee mug with the same product.
    Yes I remember that commercial. What it demonstrates is that CA glue has great tensile strength (pulling apart) but if you hit that guys helmet sideways with a hammer, it would break right off (low shear strength). Sometimes frustrating fixing things like coffee mugs because it often cures faster than you can get the parts ini place. And I've gotten my fingers stuck together many times. Heck, its used in first aid as a bandage for small cuts.
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  15. #15
    --works great on smooth, flat surfaces--

    kg.jpg

    I can't find much history about this Araldite brand glue other than the billboards --
    --but I doubt they used CA glue to hold these up
    argl.jpg
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


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