Long-term durability of CA and Acrylic - International Association of Penturners
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Long-term durability of CA and Acrylic

I'm wondering if anyone has noticed/received feedback from customers on the long term finish durability of alumilite acrylic pens and/or CA. I've noticed a very slight dulling on some of mine after a period of 6 months, but perhaps they just weren't as good as I thought right off the lathe.

On a related note... I've always used medium or thick CA for gluing tubes. Is there any agreement on here if epoxy is superior in the long run?
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I have pens that were made nearly 10 years ago and they still look fine.
And, some of them I use regularly. I'll admit that some wear is evident on the ones I use but that is to be expected. All have CA finish and 5-min epoxy on the tubes.
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My wife and I both are using pens that I made 13 and 10 years ago respectively. Last year, I disassembled them and re-polished them - no new CA just the old, as I wanted to polish the scratches out from the years of use. They look well and are not cloudy. I think this (longevity of CA finish) is more subjective than objective. I have been making my pens (and many others have/do also) with a thicker build up of CA (measure every pen and CA thickness buildup with calipers) than just applying a certain amount of layers of CA. Some people apply a certain amount of layers of CA which is subjective, and others apply CA for the thickness build up by measuring with calipers, which is more objective - and scientific for future engineers.

AS to gluing with the tubes, Some use thin CA, some medium, some thick. After a few blowouts, I moved on to epoxy, but epoxy can do the same. This is an issue in turning (blowout) more than longevity - because as much as we can see physically, blowouts usually reveal how much the epoxy or CA really adhered between the tubes and blank. in some cases it is a lack of adhesion (tubes were oily or wood was oily) but most cases it is the air trapped as the tubes are inserted into the blanks. This happens FAR more than one would think.

This issue of glue adhering to the tube and blank is solved by using expanding polyurethane glues. Full adhesion from end to end. Care must be taken by taping the tubes into the blanks after applying the poly glue - OR the poly glue, in its expansion can push the tubes out, rendering the blank and tube useless.

Until one has had two or three beautiful or rare blanks blow out, CA and epoxy are considered just fine. After that, . . . poly glue.
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Old 05-08-2018, 02:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Not sure there is a clear answer to how long a CA or any other finish will last. Mostly depends upon the user of the pen.

I switched to using epoxy for glue ups, like polyurethane glue too but stopped buying it due to deterioration in the bottle.
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Old 05-08-2018, 03:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leehljp View Post
My wife and I both are using pens that I made 13 and 10 years ago respectively. Last year, I disassembled them and re-polished them - no new CA just the old, as I wanted to polish the scratches out from the years of use. They look well and are not cloudy. I think this (longevity of CA finish) is more subjective than objective. I have been making my pens (and many others have/do also) with a thicker build up of CA (measure every pen and CA thickness buildup with calipers) than just applying a certain amount of layers of CA. Some people apply a certain amount of layers of CA which is subjective, and others apply CA for the thickness build up by measuring with calipers, which is more objective - and scientific for future engineers.

AS to gluing with the tubes, Some use thin CA, some medium, some thick. After a few blowouts, I moved on to epoxy, but epoxy can do the same. This is an issue in turning (blowout) more than longevity - because as much as we can see physically, blowouts usually reveal how much the epoxy or CA really adhered between the tubes and blank. in some cases it is a lack of adhesion (tubes were oily or wood was oily) but most cases it is the air trapped as the tubes are inserted into the blanks. This happens FAR more than one would think.

This issue of glue adhering to the tube and blank is solved by using expanding polyurethane glues. Full adhesion from end to end. Care must be taken by taping the tubes into the blanks after applying the poly glue - OR the poly glue, in its expansion can push the tubes out, rendering the blank and tube useless.

Until one has had two or three beautiful or rare blanks blow out, CA and epoxy are considered just fine. After that, . . . poly glue.
Thanks for such a detailed and informative answer! I typically apply 8 coats of thin CA... perhaps I need to increase that. I'm aware of the superior precision offered by calipers, but I've had pretty good edges just working with bushings. That said, perhaps I haven't turned enough to really wear the bushings down. I'll start experimenting as soon as finals wrap up...
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I am just at a year of pen turning and have already seen in my shop, triggered by feedback on IAP, a lot more variation among types of CA than I ever expected. That should be a consideration, also.


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Old 05-09-2018, 09:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Personally, my experience with acrylic stabilized pens is the finish seem indestructible. Unless you do like I did and take a bad fall on concrete and scrape the 'bleep' out of it. And, I like two-part epoxy for gluing tubes as it gives a longer working time and can be purchased in small quantities. For me, glues just do not keep long. I have thrown out much more than I ever have used.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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The CA I use the finish is soft, I have noticed several of my pieces the CA finish has issues .
Main reason I switched to epoxy or a UV finish.
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