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CA glue types

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I've been using the cheap throw away tubes of CA glue for small repairs, holding timber with the masking tape trick etc. I've decided to try some of the 'proper" CA glue with accelerator.

What are you using? What would be a good place to start with this? At $22 a bottle, it's not the cheapest glue. The types I'm looking at are these - not sure what brands you'd have in the US.

https://www.cwsonline.com.au/shop/item/hot-stuff-red-label - thin consistency, drys quick 5secs

https://www.cwsonline.com.au/shop/item/super-t-yellow - syrup consistency. 10-25secs dry time

https://www.cwsonline.com.au/shop/item/special-t-green - honey consistency, 50-60secs

or the Titebond brand:

https://titebond.com.au/products/instant-bond/

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I have been using the Locktite brand, but have a lot of respect for all things Titebond.  The CWS product looks good, too.  I like how much trouble they've  taken to describe their products.  

Lately I have become very fond of DAP Rapid Fuse, which is similar to CA, but has longer open and working times and works in a greater temperature range.  @wdwerker first introduced me to it.

https://www.woodtalkonline.com/topic/29164-dap-rapid-fuse-adhesive/?do=findComment&comment=379555

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I've used a few different ca glues and they all kinda seem the same to me. Other than the obvious consistency differences. My only thought is that some of the more expensive brands seem to last longer after you open them. I think the good brands have better bottle designs which is what makes the biggest difference. The glue is probably all the same.

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I’ve had good luck with the Stick Fast brand CA glued and activator sold at Woodcraft and Rockler. I’ve had one bottle for a couple years and it hasn’t gone bad or dried up. With the thin, medium, thick, and activator I haven’t seen a need for anything else. 

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To keep CA from going bad after the bottle is opened, make sure it seals (of course), and store it in the fridge. I've never gone to a bottle more than 1 oz. because I usually forget the cold storage step.

Like Chestnut says, all the brands I try seem to perform about the same.

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27 minutes ago, JohnG said:

I’ve had good luck with the Stick Fast brand CA glued and activator sold at Woodcraft and Rockler. I’ve had one bottle for a couple years and it hasn’t gone bad or dried up. With the thin, medium, thick, and activator I haven’t seen a need for anything else. 

Yeah That's my go to brand now just because it's not terribly expensive. Not sure if it's available in Australia though.

8 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

To keep CA from going bad after the bottle is opened, make sure it seals (of course), and store it in the fridge. I've never gone to a bottle more than 1 oz. because I usually forget the cold storage step.

Like Chestnut says, all the brands I try seem to perform about the same.

Interesting never heard the cold storage part. I struggle remembering to just put the cap on.

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42 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

To keep CA from going bad after the bottle is opened, make sure it seals (of course), and store it in the fridge. I've never gone to a bottle more than 1 oz. because I usually forget the cold storage step.

Like Chestnut says, all the brands I try seem to perform about the same.

 

32 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Yeah That's my go to brand now just because it's not terribly expensive. Not sure if it's available in Australia though.

Interesting never heard the cold storage part. I struggle remembering to just put the cap on.

Good point, I forgot OP is in Australia. 

I’ve also never heard of storing CA cold. Mine stay in my unconditioned garage during the summer and often sees 90+ F. I do take all of my finished and adhesives into the house in the winter, but maybe the CA would be fine to leave out. 

I occasionally have to peel some glue off the nozzle, but that’s about it. 

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Ive had bottles of ca go hard before I even opened them sitting on the shelf to long so I just put extra bottles in my upright deep freeze I have to keep my film in. Doesnt seem to affect it any, just needs to warm up a while before trying to use it.

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4 hours ago, Gary Beasley said:

Ive had bottles of ca go hard before I even opened them sitting on the shelf to long so I just put extra bottles in my upright deep freeze I have to keep my film in. Doesnt seem to affect it any, just needs to warm up a while before trying to use it.

I'm going to have to give this a try. Thanks!

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I have been using the CWS brand (Yellow) and their accelerator for a while now and I am pretty happy, I don't see me changing for any reason at this point.  Yellow seems to be a nice consistancy to me.  I don't like the thin stuff at all. 

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Thanks for the tips. Not easy to narrow it down but I think I'll try the medium consistency to start with. 

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Medium is what I use most often. It’s good for the tape trick, gluing small chips back in place, and temporarily holding pieces in place (like when building jigs)

Thin can be VERY thin, and I’ve had it soak down into the grain before I could get the other piece into place. It’s good for flooding down into a tight crack or around a piece that is already in place.

I rarely use thick. Sometimes used for filling little voids that won’t be seen and don’t actually need to be filled. 

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31 minutes ago, JohnG said:

 

I rarely use thick. Sometimes used for filling little voids that won’t be seen and don’t actually need to be filled. 

Does the thick consistency cure like epoxy? 

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I've used thin CA to build up layer after layer (probably 10 or 12) on fretless bass fingerboards - usually made from rosewood. Once cured it is very tough and I polish it to a mirror finish.

It withstands the constant wear from steel wound strings. So "does it cure like epoxy ? "I can't say for sure but it certainly withstands wear extremely well. 

 

I don't use accelerator on fretboard finishes as it bubbles up too much creating pin prick holes but I do use accelerator for other uses (chip repair etc).

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I wouldn’t use it in place of WS for filling voids on show faces. You probably can get a nice finish from it (you certainly can with the thinner versions, and that is a popular finish for pen turning), but I’ve never really tried it. With CA glue you run the risk of the top layer drying and forming a seal over the deeper glue, which will take forever to cure. In my experience this risk is especially high when using activator after applying the glue. 

To be honest, I have mostly used the thick CA just to say I used it since I bought a bottle. Thin and Medium has covered all of my actual needs. 

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I use thin often, to soak into a void packed with sanding dust. I used to make guitar picks from wood. Flooding with thin CA forms an extremely durable finish for that application.

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Research shows there are basically two kinds of CA glue- ethyl and methyl cyanoacrylate. A chemical engineer told me the difference in thin, thick and medium is an additive to affect the viscosity but the basic formula is the same. I am an archery coach and replace the fletching on arrows. I went to a sporting goods store and the CA glue there was $5.99 for a tube. I got six tubes of gel at Staples for less. Tried HF glue but it's too thin. Keep it for other things.

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I have some bottles of"stick fast" and "kwik bond" ca glue that i purchased from a hobby store over 5 years ago. I keep them in the fridge and they are both going strong. One is a medium and the other is a thin.

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