C/A Advicec

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Jan 11, 2019
Morristown, NJ
Hi Folks, I hope I’m in the right spot, but I have some questions about working with C/A.
FYI, I just received my 3M respirator after reading some threads about effects on one’s health here. IF there are answers to some of my questions feel free to direct me to same.
  1. Does CA get old in it’s original container where it’s not usable?
  2. Does the THIN thicken over time?
  3. What ‘common’ stores have some type of CA that is usable for pen making? I just used up my thin container.
  4. What speed does one use when applying CA to a wood pen blank?
  5. How much sanding is possible when trying to smooth about 8-10 coats of thin?
  6. What do most us as an applicator for a spinning blank?
  7. When coating 2 parts of a pen at one time on a mandrel, what does one separate them with so there’s no chipping from glue overflow?
  8. Is it true that the ‘quick dry spray’ for CA causes it to be more brittle and not actually dry thru and thru?
thank you all!
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Nov 29, 2020
Silverdale, WA
1. YES but depends on the brand. You basically get what you pay for from what I have seen.
2. Thin CA will thicken over time. Each time you apply, it will pull moisture into the bottle. It depends on temp and humidity.
3. Any hobby store will carry thin, medium and Thick CA. I buy mine online to save the trip to the store.
4. Depends on the project. For pens, I apply my first coats by hand while slowly spinning the headstock manually.
5. Possible? I normally sand until I get an even surface. It will depend on the thickness and number of coats you apply.
6. I use my finger. Once you have a bunch built up on your finger, it is easy to just peel it off like a scab. Otherwise, a folded paper towel with a piece of blue painters tape works well.
7. I don't normally have that problem. I put a piece of blue painters tape over my center bushing (if I'm using one).
8. I don't use accelerator on finishes. I only use accelerator for bonding. I have had it cause cloudy spots before so I stopped using it.


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Feb 6, 2005
Tunica, MS,
Christopher did an exceptional job at answering the questions without being excessively wordy like some of us 🙄 are!😁

Your # 7 is what perplexed me a number of years ago and made me stop using bushings during the finishing process, and using only one blank at a time. The snapping of the bushings causes the CA to lift up off the ends of oily wood such as most ebonies and makes it look a little cloudy as a result. Before that, I would score the CA at the blank/bushing line with an Xacto knife, but I still had problems with separating on occasion. I have not had the problem since going to one at a time using TBC - Turning Between Centers.

#6 I have used Nitrile gloves on my hand to spread the CA, but be prepared to have to unwrap the glove and turn the messed up glue off! 😁
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Jun 21, 2009
Williamsburg, VA
Do not use pipe cleaners. Last week I used one for the first time. It started smoking and the next thing I knew it was giving off a horrible fume that sent me running outside for fresh air' I threw the pipe cleaners away. P.


May 2, 2017
Northwest IN
7-NEVER store CA next to your eye drops. (actually met a guy at my retina surgeon’s office who did that...and did THAT! Apparently painful, but treatable)
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