Barrel insert glue

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harik.raif

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Apr 10, 2021
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Austin Tx
Hi, it seems whenever I try to insert the brass tube into a drilled blank the glue seizes up right away. I barely get the full length into the barrel. I went to Woodcraft and purchased some medium thickness CA (satellite city) and figured that would do the trick, but i had the same experience. I slide the tube in, just trying to get it all the way in, and by the time it gets 95% of the way it seems like the glue has set and it's not going in anymore. I've seen in videos people just sliding the tube in and out and twisting it to make sure they are getting great contact. I can't even get mine in. To be clear, of course, the tube slides in and out of the barrel with out glue just fine.
Any tips?
Thanks,
Raif
 
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KenB259

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Hi, it seems whenever I try to insert the brass tube into a drilled blank the glue seizes up right away. I barely get the full length into the barrel. I went to Woodcraft and purchased some medium thickness CA (satellite city) and figured that would do the trick, but i had the same experience. I slide the tube in, just trying to get it all the way in, and by the time it gets 95% of the way it seems like the glue has set and it's not going in anymore. I've seen in videos people just sliding the tube in and out and twisting it to make sure they are getting great contact. I can't even get mine in. To be clear, of course, the tube slides in and out of the barrel with out glue just fine.
Any tips?
Thanks,
Raif
I 2nd Mal, 5 minute epoxy is the way to go.
 

qquake

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Feb 8, 2004
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Northern California
I third Mal and Ken. I NEVER use CA for tubes, ONLY two-part epoxy. Plus with two-part epoxy, you can color it with acrylic paint if necessary.
 

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Jans husband

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May 4, 2020
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Doncaster England
Raif,

I sometimes have the same problems with wood blanks, and I assume that is because the CA soaks into the wood and forms a bond very quickly.
On Acrylic blanks I do not have the same problem, because the glue does not soak in.
At least, that is what I assume, and will stand corrected, if necessary, as your post develops.

Mike
 

wouldentu2?

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Jan 27, 2011
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Oak Creek WI
I use CA, Epoxy or Polyurethane all at different times with excellent results.

When using CA put some inside the tube and on the tube and with one quick movement insert the tube and push it down on the table. It takes 0.0003 seconds to insert it. šŸ˜‰
 

harik.raif

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Apr 10, 2021
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Austin Tx
Well, there in lies the problem. User error. I will move to 5 min epoxy, although I do hate epoxy. At least with ca it dries on your skin, horrible as that is. With epoxy, it's just permanent sticky.
 

howsitwork

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Jul 9, 2016
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Thirsk
I made a tapered insert tool from HDPE and use that to push the tube home. Nothing sticks to it and when the glue Ca or whatever is dry it just peels,off the HDPE but I do use epoxy slow setting and,leave overnight in a warm place to thoroughly cure.
 

walshjp17

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Jul 29, 2012
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Weddington, NC
Sometimes the act of drilling heats up the inside of the blank to a point where moisture cold be released. Attempting to insert the tube with CA right after drilling could cause the seizures you are seeing as CA goes off/sets with moisture. Don't feel bad, this happens to practically everyone who turns pens at one time or another.

See the above comments re:epoxy vs CA. Epoxy is your friend when it comes to glueing in tubes. Use CA for repairs and finishes.
 

KenB259

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Well, there in lies the problem. User error. I will move to 5 min epoxy, although I do hate epoxy. At least with ca it dries on your skin, horrible as that is. With epoxy, it's just permanent sticky.
I wear latex gloves and any epoxy that gets on something cleans right off with DNA.
 

leehljp

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Another problem crops up down the road for some: Blanks suddenly catch while turning on the lathe and a blowout occurs. Sometimes only the ends blow off. In the vast majority of cases, people report: it was obvious that there was little to no contact with the glue to the blank at that spot. Epoxy does better overall, but it still has "spots" of no contact in it. When it comes to delicate blanks, particularly delicately/expenisve segmented ones,- use expanding polyurethane (Gorilla) glue. (Not the Non-Expanding clear Gorilla.) MUCH better coverage with Poly glue.
 

harik.raif

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Austin Tx
Leehjp Yes, this is the driving factor. I mean if I get it all turned and the tube comes out no biggie, but I'm getting chip out, a lot, and I'm thinking that maybe if the wood were at least pretending to be glued to the tube I'd have better luck. Thanks for the tip on the gorilla glue. I think I actually have a bottle of that. I hope it's the right kind.
As per sticky epoxy. Yes gloves. I use them. And then I go and check on it and grab something that I've dripped epoxy all over and it's curses. Good to know about DNA ( i presume denatured alcohol ), I knew/know there's some kind of solvent for it but hadn't bothered to figure it out. I just wipe it on my pants and curse :)
Thanks,
R
 

JohnU

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Jan 31, 2008
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Ottawa, Illinois
I also use 5 min epoxy. I swirl it inside the hole from the middle of the hole to the end on each side and then roll the tip of the brass tube in epoxy and insert. Thereā€™s excess epoxy that comes out of the hole on the back side but it doesnā€™t leave any dry spots inside the hole to blow out. I also blow the excess epoxy out of the tube with a quick breath and use a round skewer stick to remove the extra Epoxy from inside the end of the brass tube that I didnā€™t blow out. It all takes about 10 -15 seconds. After it dries I scrape the inside with an open pair of scissors to clean the dried epoxy away. Never had a problem.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
I have always been in the epoxy use crowd but I prefer 24 hour System3 T88 epoxy. Yes it takes longer to cure but I never turn a pen the same day I insert tubes. Never been in that much of a hurry. 2 things, as mentioned CA will soak into wood quicker and thus starve a joint. Plus it dries brittle. To me wood needs to expand and contract no matter how small of movement so epoxy will remain flexible and will give that small amount and not cause cracking. At least these are my findings over the years.
 

henry1164

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Jan 3, 2020
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Webster, NY
Another alternative is Clear Gorilla Glue. I've used it for the last year (about 150 pens) on wood and acrylics. No issues. This Gorilla formula does not require any moisture/wetting. Just apply the glue and properly insert/swirl/push-pull/jiggle/hokey-pokey, etc. to ensure complete coating. As with JT's comment, I leave the curing time to at least overnight if not longer. Never be in a hurry to turn a pen.
 

leehljp

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Leehjp Yes, this is the driving factor. I mean if I get it all turned and the tube comes out no biggie, but I'm getting chip out, a lot, and I'm thinking that maybe if the wood were at least pretending to be glued to the tube I'd have better luck. Thanks for the tip on the gorilla glue. I think I actually have a bottle of that. I hope it's the right kind.
As per sticky epoxy. Yes gloves. I use them. And then I go and check on it and grab something that I've dripped epoxy all over and it's curses. Good to know about DNA ( i presume denatured alcohol ), I knew/know there's some kind of solvent for it but hadn't bothered to figure it out. I just wipe it on my pants and curse :)
Thanks,
R

Try the Epoxy first. Expanding poly glue is bar far the best at preventing blowouts, but it is the most difficult to handle - not a huge difficulty but its characteristics require some preparedness:
1: it takes a minimum of 12 hours for curing; or overnight to 24 hours is better.
2. WEAR GLOVES.
3. It sticks to just about EVERYTHING and does not come off easily.
4. Expanding glue "CAN" force the tube OUT of the blank by 1/8 to 1/4 inch as it expands. Solution: ALWAYS tape the ends of the blank with the tube inside the blank. This will prevent it from being pushed out. This doesn't happen often, but always be prepared.
5. Put some plumber putty, kids putty, or something similar INSIDE the tubes to keep the expanding poly glue from getting inside the tube.
6. Repeat # 3: It sticks to just about EVERYTHING and does not come off easily. It LOVES fingers and it loves things that don't want anything to do with foam glue - especially coffee cups and tools.

IF there has been a blowout with the use of Poly glue, I haven't read it. If it has been, it is extremely rare.

For delicate and expensive blanks, I do the above; for most non-segmented blanks I will use epoxy - 5 minute epoxy when I am doing one at a time; or 15 to 30 minute epoxy if doing 5 or 6 blanks.

By the way, the above mention of Clear Gorilla glue - it is different from Epoxy, and it works similar to Epoxy in the same situations, but the Clear is NOT the expanding POLYurethane glue type. The Expanding Poly is the only one to make 100% contact, if the tube is 100% coated, or the inside of the blank is 100% coated.
 
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Bryguy

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Jun 9, 2013
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New Hampshire
I use brown Gorilla glue, the kind that needs water to cure. I sand and wet the tubes. I put a line of glue on a piece of cardboard and roll the tube in it, then insert the tube while twisting the tube to ensure coverage. I let it dry overnight. Using this method I've never had a failure.
 

keithbyrd

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Sep 2, 2011
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Mount Wolf, PA
In about 15 years of making pens I think I have used 5 min epoxy once. Won't be critical of it because I don't remember the details of that experience - just that I didn't care for it. I use thick CA. I think I have had maybe 3-4 in this period stick on me going not the tube. After drilling I use a round rasp to clean out the rilled hole of any fibers etc and ensure the tube falls all the way through the hole with no pressure. I apply thick CA liberally and insert in the end of the tube and spin around, take it out, put another small amount of CA near the end of the tube and insert from the other end - the end I match to the center of the pen on two piece pens. Then spray a bit of accelerator on the ends to keep the tube from slipping.
I have had a few blowouts but I don't believe they were caused by lack of glue - more from me being to anxious/agressive.
 

philipff

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Jun 21, 2009
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Williamsburg, VA
Dark Gorilla glue for me! Some 15 years without a failure is testimony from me. I only do one or two pens each day so massive production is not a priority for me. P
 

Pen Zen

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Jun 18, 2017
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North Richland Hills, TX
I use epoxy but opt for the 15 minute version. It gives me a little more working time in case I'm gluing up several blanks at the same time. And since I always let my blanks and tubes cure at least overnight it doesn't cause any additional delay before I can turn them.
 
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