Krazy Glue, Super Glue and other brand name glues have been around for many years now and I use most of them because they all have the same basic formula and all perform with the same high degree of "attachment". All of these glues are from the Cyanoacrylate family and commonly called "CA" glues for short. They come in a variety of consistencies from very thin and watery, all the way to a thick gel that can be applied to vertical surfaces where it won't run.

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Along with the consistency of the glue, there is another element about these "CA" glues that many people don't know about ... 

And that is that the curing time can be sped up considerably what is called an accelerator. These accelerators come in a couple of different forms, a commercial version sold in the form of a liquid and often come in small spray plastic bottle and if you don't happen to have that on hand and really need an accelerator, you can use baking soda, and I always keep a small box of Arm and Hammer on hand for this and many other small jobs. A small sprinkle of baking soda and CA glues will cure pretty much the same as the commercial version, the reason I seldom use it is that it can be a little bit gritty" and doesn't always lend it'self to some applications. The commercial version that comes as a water liquid can be applied, a "spritz" or 2 on your CA glue and will almost instantly cure and harden the glue. If the glue is spread thinly, it will cure it almost instantly, if the glue is in a glob, it will cure the outer layer, but depending on how big the glob is, the inside may take a bit longer to cure and harden.

This feature makes these glues highly useful in the workshop for many different applications and uses. One common use of these glues for woodturners is to use the glue as a finish on their woodturning project. Pen turners use CA glues to get a hard wearing, high gloss finish on their pens while in many cases also hardening the surface wood of some softer species of woods.

The only real drawback of the glues is that they have a somewhat short shelf life, so buying them in quantity is not a great idea, unless you plan to use it up fairly quickly. I am told that the shelf life of un-opened glues is about 1 year and I do know from experience that opened tubes, depending on how well they seal, shelf life is usually not more than 2 months. I always buy mine in small quantities and try to use it up before it hardens on me.  

Wood to Wood and Screw / Nail Hole Fixes
I sometimes use a very small amount of CA glue and an accelerator when I need to fasten wooden pieces together. The bond is incredibly strong, even a small amount of glue ... as you could see in the video, those 2 pieces of wood, I could not pull apart, even with a lot of effort. 

And for nail holes or screw holes, in furniture repair, door hinge repair and many other places where screw holes can get loose, CA glues work like magic.

Metal to Wood and Quick Jig Assembly
CA glues also work very well in attaching metal to wood. I use it from time to time when attaching hinges ... especially those that seem to want to move around on me, a bit of CA glue on the wood, and some accelerator on the back of the hinge and now it is firmly attached to the wood and easy to align screws and attach permanently. 

The other thing I love about CA glue is when I am making jigs and don't seem to have the correct bolt head so it won't spin in recessed wood. A bit of CA glue in the recessed hole, then some accelerator on the underside of the bolt head, pop that into the wood and now you have firm hold on the bolt head, and to make it even stronger, I use the CA glue to fill in the gaps around the bold head and "spritz" that too and now I have  a VERY frame bolt attached to my wood for jig making. 

Ca Glue Hinges

Filling Knots and Repairing Wood Breaks
I love wood that has knots. I think it adds character to most projects, but I can't leave knots that are loose, or that have big gaping holes. For smaller knots only - I use CA glues with a bit of aniline dye to make a "dark patch" over what was the knothole. (for larger know holes I find 5 minute, 2 part epoxy works better, but sometimes need to be applied in 2 or 3 thinner layers). I apply a glob of CA glue to a plastic that it will not stick to ( you will need to experiment to see which plastics you have on hand that CA will NOT stick to, sometimes old plastic motor oil containers work)  then, with a stick, apply the now colored CA glue to the knot hole, and before the glue has time to harden, I use a razor blade to scrape all the excess glue off the wood and make the patch lever with the wood. This saves tons of time later on trying to sand down hardened CA glue.

Lastly, I use CA glue to attach those little pieces of wood that seem to chip off your projects just as you about finished making them. The glue easily holds even the most unruly pieces, firmly and permanently and makes a great, invisible repair. 

Ca glue fill holes

I always have a small quantity of unopened CA glue on hand and it has saved me so many times, it has to be one of the more important "tools" in my workshop.

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Copyright Colin Knecht

Late Breaking News !!!!

The nice folks at Starbond have been in touch with me and anyone who would like to purchase any of their glues, can receive a 10% discount ... all you need to do is use the word - woodworkweb - as the discount code, when you place an order at their secure website and receive your special pricing. 

Purchase your FRESH CA Glues direct from the distributor 



Working with CA Glue Adhesives in Woodworking


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