CA glues or Cyanoacrylate glues have so many different applications and things they can do, and the way to get the best use from them is to use a CA glue with the correct consistency for the job you are doing. CA glues come in 3 basic consistencies or thicknesses, Thin - which is very similar to water, Medium which is similar to a syrup, and Thick which is like a syrup that just came from the refrigerator. All of these glues will perform well but knowing where to use them makes a big difference.
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The other thing that matters is how fast they dry, and Thin CA glues dries almost instantly, Medium takes a few minutes to dry and Thick can take several minutes to dry and a depending on where you are using these glues, they may require several hours or even overnight to harden to their strongest holding power ...
First of all, it's important to know that CA glues come in different thickness from Thin which is very much like water, to Medium which is more like a motor oil thickness and there is also Thick which is similar to a syrup. They also range in how quickly they dry from fast to slow with the thinnest being the fastest drying and the thick glue being longest drying .. but you can also speed up the drying by applying an accelerator to the glue. This makes them dry, but they still need time to harden and cure and most will achieve their maximum hardness within 24 hours.
Thin CA Glue
In woodworking, one of the most useful CA glues for woodturners is the thin glue. They often use this as a hard, high gloss finish for bowls and pens and other objects turned on a lathe. To apply the glue they other put a few drops on a clean rag or paper towel and touch it to the pen or bowel while it is turning on the lathe. This gives an instant finish that is also dry almost instantly, and they can apply multiple coats to get a very high gloss finish.
This same kind of finish can also be used on small wooden projects like boxes to achieve the same effect.
Medium Thickness CA Glue
The consistency of medium glue lends it'self to many applications. I can be used in turning, similar to the Thin version, but because it dries a bit slower, it can be used for other situations. Some woodworkers like to make their own wood filler by using glue to mix with their pulverized wood dust and medium glue can be used for this. One word of caution when mixing CA glue with wood dust. you will experience a high concentration of fumes from the action of the CA glue mixing with the sawdust so you will need excellent ventilation and/or do this outside to let those fumes dissipate. This mixture will not last long so you do need to work quickly, but it is one way of making a very quick, very hard filler. The beauty with this method is that it doesn't take overnight to harden and cure which means you can carry on with your project right away.
On occasion, I have even used ground up coffee beans to mix with the CA glue or to mix some coffee bean dust with sawdust to make a combination color filler. There are many options.
I find the thick CA glue to be one of the most useful, and with the Starbond brand who also make a Black CA glue version, this is perfect for filling cracks and knot holes and helping to stabilize the wood. That is one of the big benefits of CA glue over most wood fillers, and that is stabilizing the wood or knot. Even loose knots can have CA glue applied to them and they can become solid, long term solutions, even after a piece of furniture is finished and a knot becomes loose or falls out, CA glue can be used to repair that knot as a permanent repair.
For use in cracked boards, particularly when you have special wood or very long cracks and you don't want to waste some costly wood, CA glue in either a Black or clear solution can fix that.
Black CA Glue
I was very excited to see someone who has Black CA glue. In woodworking, this is often the perfect filler for smaller cracks and knot holes which are already dark or even black and can save an enormous amount of time by quickly filling cracks, knots and other defects and instantly curing them so that you can move on with your work and have to wait for glue to dry and cure. This is one glue I will have on hand at all times.
Starbond CA Glue Discount Details
Thanks to the nice folks at Starbond, 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.
Copyright Colin Knecht
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