ABC's of CA Glue
Issue: Issue 241
Posted Date: 1/26/2010
CA Glue: Holding It Together
Several readers wrote in response to last issue’s Q&A on the search for CA [cyanoacrylate] glue. - Editor
“I just read the article about CA, aka Super Glue. You should have explained that CA is the generic term and ‘Super Glue’ is a trademark. I've been working with the stuff for over 20 years building model airplanes and have some cautions:
“1. ALWAYS wear eye protection when opening the container. The thin CA is thinner than water and the container, when first opened , is like an adder snake, it will squirt and hit you in the eye. I know.
“2. It'll glue skin to just about anything! It can be dissolved with acetone or nitromethane.
“3. Work with it in a well-ventilated place. Some people are very sensitive to the vapors from CA.
“4. Be careful always, it is the greatest stuff when used properly.” - Jerry Kroth
“I'm writing in reference to Steve's Q & A question, ‘CA Glue: An Elusive Species?’. I've been a woodworker for many years. I have two hobbies: woodworking, and building and flying large radio-controlled model aircraft. Yes, at 70 years old, I'm still flying regularly. May I ‘spread some light’ on CA glues?
“While a type of CA (cyanoacrylate glue) is easily available under the common name Super Glue, it is a poorer grade of cyanoacrylate glue and doesn't work nearly as well as the better grades. The "industrial grade" of cyanoacrylate glue is readily available from model hobby shops and many different mail order companies supplying merchandise for the model airplane hobby. I use it all the time. It comes in several different thicknesses which make for different bonding times and applications.
“I would recommend buying small (1 ounce) bottles as it doesn't age well. The ‘thin’ (consistency of water) will ‘weep’ into very tiny cracks and set in 10 seconds or less. I have glued my fingers together and to the wood many times, so I keep a small bottle of debonder that I can spray onto those joints that need to be separated. Let me caution you that good quality CA glue will set to a rock-hard consistency that is very difficult to sand, so it should be used sparingly.” – Ron Roberts
“I, too, enjoyed Steve Rogers’s story about his quest for ‘CA Glue: An Elusive Species?’ However, I was less than impressed by the answer, considering that the answer only told where to get it. It would have been nice if, instead of plugging for a specific seller, [there was discussion of] what CA glue, which is in fact super glue, is, as well as the different grades it comes in. Looks like the cold tempture has affected common sense as well as everything else.” -Ed Miller
One of the Free Plans from a previous issue was a Shop Workstation, which apparently has a special place in this woodworker’s heart. - Editor
“Love seeing this one again. One of my all-time favorite projects, and the centerpiece of my humble workshop. Bolted a second-hand flexible arm lamp ($1 at the garage sale) and installed the Anant bench holdfast ($19.99). Wonderful. Now all I need to do is buy and install a vise, build my carving stand for it, etc. etc.” – Tom Fink
What Are You Building?
That’s the question Rob asked in his editorial last time out. We only received one answer – is everyone else too busy in the shop? – Editor
“Now 1/3 and 1/4 scale radio-controlled model aircraft: spruce, Russian ply, light ply, and wood unknown. I use all my woodworking tools, do wish for a laser cutter.” - Roger