Gluing issues

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Framer

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Franklin Georgia
I'm starting to wonder if I have wrong ca glue for gluing tubes into blanks. I've made about 10 pens so far. I'm pretty sure that I am putting plenty of glue on roughed up blank but have too many failures. I use stick fast medium which seems to have good finish qualities but not doing to good on the gluing part. I do not have any activator. I also usually wait about 10 minutes before continuing with pen but some of failures had several hours of curing time.
I'm ready to try some other glue. I hope that it is something simple I'm not doing or something I am Doing but I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have the fail
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Chasper

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Messages
1,919
Location
Indiana
Get some accelerator. Without accelerator CA can sometimes go for days without setting up.
 

philipff

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2009
Messages
356
Location
Williamsburg, VA
I'm starting to wonder if I have wrong ca glue for gluing tubes into blanks. I've made about 10 pens so far. I'm pretty sure that I am putting plenty of glue on roughed up blank but have too many failures. I use stick fast medium which seems to have good finish qualities but not doing to good on the gluing part. I do not have any activator. I also usually wait about 10 minutes before continuing with pen but some of failures had several hours of curing time.
I'm ready to try some other glue. I hope that it is something simple I'm not doing or something I am Doing but I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have the fail
I WILL SAY IT AGAIN FOR THE UMPTEENth TIME; USE gorilla glue! If you dunk the blank in water after drilling, it rinses out the hole and reduces the glue curing time to about an hour. Zero failures in HUNDREDS of pens! P.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EdM

JimB

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
4,500
Location
West Henrietta, NY, USA.
If using CA you should be using thick not medium so you get better gap filling. The entire tube needs to be covered and slightly spin it when inserting to spread the glue. Also rough up the tube with sandpaper. Glue today and turn tomorrow to ensure it has set up.

If you look at one of your failures you will probably see places where there isn’t any glue on the tube.

Epoxy is another good option.
 

tomtedesco

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
1,697
Location
Centennial, CO
I use Gorilla two part epoxy with good results. It comes in a twin tube set up and both the "A" and "B" part come out together with one push of the plunger so no guessing on amount of each to use.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,276
Location
NJ, USA.
I WILL SAY IT AGAIN FOR THE UMPTEENth TIME; USE gorilla glue! If you dunk the blank in water after drilling, it rinses out the hole and reduces the glue curing time to about an hour. Zero failures in HUNDREDS of pens! P.
Sorry no need to SHOUT. Just because you use a glue that is messy and it may work for you it is not the only product that works. So calm down. Besides dunking the blank in water is one of the weirdest ideas I have heard. You now added water back to a blank that you work hard to get to be as close to zero moisture content. As we all get more and more into the hobby we develop our own methods of building a pen. The materials we use and the procedures we use to finish and also the methods we use to make the pens is developed over time and probably with many trials and errors. There are many ways to make these fine writing instruments as many find out reading the many threads on this great site.

There have been many threads on the poor performance of StickFast CA glue but I will leave that alone because I have no first hand knowledge. But I will mention things I do know and they are indisputable. You have done a few things correct with the roughing of the tube. This helps give tooth for the glue to adhere to. You will notice the hole is larger than the tube when drilled and at times the gap can be great. This can be corrected over time if you have a complete set of drill bits. The bit suggested in the instruction sheet maybe a bit off and you can get to a better size on your own. When gluing in a tube it is a good idea to put glue in the blank hole as well as on the tube thus making sure it is well coated. Need to seal the ends to keep glue from entering. I like to use Playdo for this. Other methods are used too. You do not want to spray accelerator anywhere near this operation before you get the tube in or you will not have time and it will get stuck half way. Some people insert the tube and then hit it with accelorator on both ends after. This may not cure the glue in the center even though they think so. Med CA and thick CA take longer periods of time to dry and cure. You are asking for failure if you do not wait at least 24 hours. Not all CA glues react the same. They are not all equal.

With that said I do not like CA as an adhesive in this case because it dries brittle and hard. I believe the adhesive should be flexible and thus I prefer 2 part epoxies. This also supplies you with gap filling properties that can help. Without going into the ins and outs of epoxies I will say that long term epoxies are stronger than the 5 minute versions and that is true. But for a tube either should do fine because there is no true shear strength needed. No matter what adhesive you use heat is always your enemy in all aspects of pen turning so let the blank cool down from drilling before you insert the tube and do not overheat when turning. More failures are caused from heat than any other factor when making a pen. Oh by the way there are some that use Gorilla glue as their go to adhesive. Things to watch for is it does foam and is activated with moisture so a dab of water is a good idea in the blank. Also you need to watch for creeping because as that glue foams it can push the tube out. People use various methods such as rubber bands to keep the tube in. what I do not like about that is the tube probably is not centered in the blank as it creeps to one end or other. Also need to keep that stuff as well as any other adhesive out of the inside of the tube. Just makes cleaning up easier. Good luck and keep experimenting. You will find your method and materials that work well for you. Many threads on this stuff here so may want to do some searching of past threads.
 
Last edited:

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
7,986
Location
Medina, Ohio
I WILL SAY IT AGAIN FOR THE UMPTEENth TIME; USE gorilla glue! If you dunk the blank in water after drilling, it rinses out the hole and reduces the glue curing time to about an hour. Zero failures in HUNDREDS of pens! P.
philipff - You do realize you are indicating a past suggestion to someone who joined IAP 6 days ago.

I prefer 2 part epoxy and wait overnight.
 

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
7,986
Location
Medina, Ohio
Framer: When convenient, check out this IAP Forum: Finishing. This thread is not in the best forum for your topic - however, the suggestions noted above are excellent and should give you a head start.
 

1shootist

Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
72
Location
Ennis/Waxahachie Texas
I have only been making pens since last year so very much remains for myself to absorb and learn. I did begin with using stickfast medium aswell and experienced pretty much the same results as you, though I did have and used activator / accelerator and it did not improve the results in my opinion as I still had tubes coming unstuck from blanks. I tried the gorilla glue that is activated somewhat with moisture and for myself found it to require more time for setup and more time for clean up than other glues. I tried Locite G02 and a few other glues but had mixed results with them too, I eventually ended up where I am now and that is with 2 part epoxy and have had zero tube issues since. I've used stickfast 2 part 5 minute epoxy , jb weld 2 part 5 min epoxy , locite 2 part epoxy and another name brand that I can't recollect at the moment and they all performed perfectly. At this time I'm using jb weld 2 part and will probably continue to doso as I can buy it at home depot which is convenient for me but if I had to buy another brand I wouldn't hesitate. Even though the epoxy is 5 minute I still allow what I'm working on to sit overnight at least 8 hours.
I also still use the stickfast medium though only for ca finishing which I think it does a great job of.
 

Curly

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
3,362
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
Farmer welcome to the site of many passionate people that happen to turn pens. :) As you can see there are three main families of glues you can play with. Try a couple three of each type and see what makes you happy.

In time your turning skill will improve to the point of virtually never having a blank failure. With the right tools and practiced hand you can turn a drilled blank to final size without a tube in it if the wood is sound and put the tube in after. Not something people do very often but possible. ;)
 

Dehn0045

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
949
Location
Houston, Texas
I usually go with gorilla (urethane) glue. One issue to watch out for is the foaming can cause the tube to move around a little while curing, so try to get the glue evenly coated and set on a flat surface for curing. I don't mind the foaming and it cleans out pretty easy with a utility knife. Two part epoxy is also a good choice IMO, I use it every once in a while. I avoid CA for gluing tubes, when I did use it I went with BSI medium. My process was to apply the CA, push the tube all the way through while spinning, then reapply CA and push back in. I felt that this gave me a good even coating of glue. No failures that I am aware of...
 

ebill

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
20
Location
magnolia tx
- I'm in the 2 part epoxy camp and leaving it set overnight. BarrelBond to be specific. Never had a failure to date on a tube in either wood or other blanks <Trustone, acrylic, resin, yadda>

- ebill
 

wouldentu2?

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
634
Location
Oak Creek WI
It is likely your hole is too big. It should be not so tight it needs to be pushed in there, or so sloppy you see it move around. Think of the Three Pen Turning Bears.
 

Framer

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Franklin Georgia
I want to thank everyone for their input. I'm going to try 2part epoxy for a bit. I felt a lot more confident when I put it in a blank last night than I felt with CA. I will try CA again but will try different brand and save stick fast for finishing which it seem to do pretty well
 

Framer

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Franklin Georgia
It is likely your hole is too big. It should be not so tight it needs to be pushed in there, or so sloppy you see it move around. Think of the Three Pen Turning Bears.
I wasn't happy with fit when using woodriver drill bit. A little loose. I purchased a set from Taylor toolworks that seemed a little more snug. I drill on my lathe using Jacobs Chuck and pen jaws from nova. I have a rikon 70-220vsr that seems to be pretty well put together.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
142
I use Gorilla Glue (polyurethane glue) for gluing the tubes into most pens. I like it because the foaming action fills gaps, it dries tight and hard, but also has a firm rubbery feel to it. It is hard to explain. It is that flexible feel that appeals to me. I think it helps the pens withstand dropping and wood movement better, but that's a personal opinion only. It is messy, but no worse than working with epoxy. I bought the smallest bottle of original Gorilla glue I could find at the local big box store. It doesn't take much. Pay attention: Gorilla brand also makes other types of glue including wood glue, CA glue, and more. You want the original Gorilla glue or any other brand of polyurethane glue.

To apply, first take a wet Q-tip and moisten the inside of the drill hole from both ends. Hold the tube with a gloved hand and apply the glue to the tube in a circle at the front and then a spiral down the tube. Twirl the blank with one hand and twirl the tube with the gloved hand, pulling the tube in and out while twisting both parts, to coat the tube all over. Push the tube in with the gloved finger and wipe off the excess glue with a sideways swipe of the finger. Place the blank on its side on wax paper (or a Rockler silicon mat) for the glue to cure overnight. The glue will foam out onto the wax paper, and that's okay. Done correctly, the tube shouldn't move. (Some people use a rubber band as insurance to hold the tube in place. I never did, and never had a problem.) The dried, foamed glue is easy to cut off with a chisel or clean out if needed. You can also use Play-Doh or dental wax to plug your tubes before gluing.

I use epoxy for translucent blanks where you may see the tube, like some acrylics.

I use Flexible CA glue if I must turn a pen immediately, without time for the glue to cure overnight. I spray each end of the blank with activator to hasten the curing process, and possibly improve the hold.
 
Top Bottom