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Working with Cyanoacrylate Glues

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
This thread is posted so that people can add to it.

I keep one tube each of thin and gel type cyano-acrylate (super glue) cement in the freezer. This allows longer working time.

My application tools are simple wire loops, drafting pens, modified large sewing needles, and small knitting needles. I rarely use the accelerator spray (I have Zap Kicker) as it smells of bug spray. To control spreading, I use petroleum jelly (Vaseline brand is what is in my workshop but you can grab the Kentucky (use the postal acronym to get this joke) Jelly from the bedroom if you have it to spare :woohoo:) and cellophane tape of various thicknesses.

I use the lids from coffee cans to place the puddle of cement. Flex when the glue is dry to remove and re-use the lid.

When using the glues to fill gaps, pin holes, scratches, etc, I mark both sides of the gap or scratch (whatever needs filling), with a permanent marker. I apply the glue, the accelerator (this is done with a tool similar to the wore loop described) and then sand. When the only remaining ink marks are from within the gap or scratch (whatever needs filling), the item is filled and sanded flush.

See here:

The left side has had the old transmission hatch filled and the new grafted one is in the middle of the sanding process.


When filling larger gaps, such as those in the suspension beams and the hole on the bottom of this hull tub, I used a piece of cellophane tape pulled taut across the gap.

Cyano-Acrylate glues do not stick to the adhesive side of the cellophane tape (I used packing tape in this instance but office cellophane tape works as well). I placed glue along the edges of the cellophane to plastic joints and placed the rough cut plastic plug in the large gaps. Allow to dry thoroughly (overnight in this case). Do NOT use an accelerator as I have found these to cause pitting and uneven drying.

Smaller gaps, like those seen towards the front of the hull above caused when I removed some molded on access plates, can be filled with just CA on the tautly placed cellophane tape. No plastic slugs were used here.

Remove the cellophane and be amazed that the tape's adhesive has not stuck to the glue. The dried Cyano-Acrylate (CA) is shiny and does need some sanding to remove the gloss and ensure it is all flush but this is far easier than with putty and no fear of shrinkage.

I have used both cellophane strips and petroleum jelly to control spreading. When making a fillet on aircraft models (yes, I build those) I have used cellophane stacked to the desired thickness and applied the CA in very thin layers until I achieved the thickness I was after.

A little sanding to even things out, remove the cellophane and VOILA! A fillet that is proud of the surface.

I have been unsuccessful in using CA to make round head rivets on flat disks punched with my trusty Waldron sets. They never dry to the same size and it is obvious.

I hope these tips help.

Let's see what you do...

Regards,
 

moon puppy

Administrator
Staff member
I like this.

For applying I have a sewing needle chucked up in a pin vise, I grind down the head of the needle till the eye is just about opened, more like an elongated V shape. You can dip the needle in the CA and when you touch it to a joint the capillary action draws the CA out and into the joint. To clean I hit it with the micro torch..some habits are hard to die...

These other suggestions are great, now I have to fix the fridge that gave up the ghost last month.
 

jknaus

Moderator
I have a jar full of beer caps. They work well as a one time use container for the crazy glue, then get turfed. I also have the sowing needles and have recently tried a drafting pencil for thin glues. Works very well and by adjusting the size of the gap you can very the amount of glue dispensed. I also use tooth picks for the thick glue.
James
 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
Beer caps, I have heard of this before! However, I do not drink beer, only the hard stuff like vodka and Puerto Rican Rum. So, grabbing a bottle and finishing it off so as to use the cap as a container can end up with me gluing everything but two mating plastic pieces! The sad part is that I'll awake after everything is rock solid! Don't ask how I know this...

Regards,
 

jknaus

Moderator
sharkmouth wrote:
Beer caps, I have heard of this before! However, I do not drink beer, only the hard stuff like vodka and Puerto Rican Rum. So, grabbing a bottle and finishing it off so as to use the cap as a container can end up with me gluing everything but two mating plastic pieces! The sad part is that I'll awake after everything is rock solid! Don't ask how I know this...

Regards,
If you have friends who drink beer then there is your supply. My kids when they remember supply me as I seldom drink anymore. As an alternative if there is a wine and beer making store you can buy something like 100 unused caps for a couple of bucks.
James
 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
the glue in the freezer is only slightly thicker and allows longer working time. it also increases the shelf life (I found a forgotten tube which worked after I let it thaw - yes, this one was frozen solid). I place the tubes in the freezer door so it is not as cold with all the use the freezer gets.

Regards,
 

Viper_MP

Member
The best CA glue I've found thus far for working with photo-etch is IC-Gel from Insta-cure. Its a VERY think gel CA that is great for PE. Not only does it ONLY go where you put it, but it seems to bond PE to PE very quickly, without the use of accelerator. I used it on my Marder III build with the Griffon Super Detail set. Without it, I would never have finished that build.
 

Ozzie Jo

Member
I finally got around to buying a tube of the IC gel and the above post pushed me in that direction after procrastinating for months due to the cost of it.
Best purchase I have made in regards to photo etch and is worlds apart from others I have tried. Like liquid nails for PE :cheer:
 

wds

Active member
It is my understanding that CA sets up due to moisture. My storage solution is to use an airtight jar with some desiccant. (Those little sacks of silica gel that see to come with every piece of consumer electronics). The silica gel can be recharged (de-moisturized) periodically by exposing it to a good heat source (I put it on a cookie sheet in the oven for a few minutes). Heed the warning on the bag! :eek:hmy: “But it looks soooo yummy!” :laugh:


 

sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
At my Cuban M4A3E8 build, a question on my technique was asked and I suppose it is pertinent enough to post the response here as well:

I don't quite understand the relationship of the red marker to the super glue.
Hi Christian,

The markers I use (all different colors and rotated after each session) are to gage my sanding or filing work. There isn't a direct relationship to the cyano-acrylate cement other than the cement dries clear to a plastic like hardness after approximately one hour.

The best way to explain it would be to consider the filled in periscope mount as seen below:


So the marker remains in the filled areas and indicate any high points which require additional sanding. The seam between the new and old turret has remnants of two sessions (red and blue) showing. The third one (black) does not show as my sanding completely removed it indicating that there were no low points, pits, or seams left.



As stated, I prefer cyano-acrylate to other mediums because it dries clear, reaches a plastic hardness in about an hour, then dries rock solid when fully cured.

Regards and hope this helps explain my process,
 

jknaus

Moderator
Okay I just tried this for the first time. Had to remove some vents from a Bf 109F and used tape over the holes. Then filled from the back with CA glue. Worked awesome. Thanks Saul. Excellent tip.
James
 
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