Ok, I'll admit when I'm wrong

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At least, to you lot... Just don't tell my wife.

Background: I learned finishing using an hvlp gun and automotive urethane from working on custom drums I used to build. One key lesson from years of spraying was- never, ever, rush a finish

When I picked up pen turning I took that to heart. I've used CA since I started but avoided accelerator religiously. Think I saw a few folks that had problems with it or something. My finishing schedule has always been to wait 30-40 minutes between coats. Which as you can imagine meant it took a long long time to finish a pen.

Yesterday I did my first pen using accelerator. Feeling a little foolish for all that time wasted over the years! I might actually enjoy turning wood pens again now.

I still admittedly say that using a paper towel to apply CA is silly and I will stick to my nitrile finger cot thank you very much :)
 
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edstreet

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No longer confused....
I have always said using paper towels is silly and wrong. After all paper towels is designed to ABSORB and not to apply. You end up with more waste than not. The nitrile gloves is good. As is anything PFTEE, Plastic bags the parts comes in etc. also waiting 40 minutes in a dusty shop is a 100% sure way to add inclusions into the finish ;)


I wrote this article on CA to help educate the public. https://www.claypenblanks.com/what-is-polymer-clay/ca-finishing-101.html
 
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I have always said using paper towels is silly and wrong. After all paper towels is designed to ABSORB and not to apply. You end up with more waste than not. The nitrile gloves is good. As is anything PFTEE, Plastic bags the parts comes in etc. also waiting 40 minutes in a dusty shop is a 100% sure way to add inclusions into the finish ;)


I wrote this article on CA to help educate the public. https://www.claypenblanks.com/what-is-polymer-clay/ca-finishing-101.html
Exactly my thinking with using paper towels, etc. I have to imagine it takes more coats since the material absorbs it and, as your tutorial points out, you're generating heat too. I keep a bag of finger cots around so I haven't tried using the plastic bags. I've definitely heard of them being used though.

And dust?? What dust? *cough*
 

eharri446

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I like the thin craft foam that you can get in a 12 X 14 inch sheet for just over a dollar.

I cut it into 1 inch strips and then cut the strip into 6 or 7 inch long pieces. When to much CA builds up on the end of the strip I just cut it off and move up about an inch. No grooves left behind like I had when I used paper towels.

Also, some of the paper towels I used started to smoke while applying CA. Not sure if that was a potential issue or not. However, I stopped using that brand.
 

edstreet

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It is an issue. Note in my article I caved smoking towels and why. It’s PH. Alkaline in the towels act as accelerator causing rapid polymerization.

One thing I would urge everyone to do is try odorless CA. It’s a slow polymerization and allow you time to wipe off excess, read 20 seconds.
 

Chief TomaToe

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I like the thin craft foam that you can get in a 12 X 14 inch sheet for just over a dollar.

I cut it into 1 inch strips and then cut the strip into 6 or 7 inch long pieces. When to much CA builds up on the end of the strip I just cut it off and move up about an inch. No grooves left behind like I had when I used paper towels.

Also, some of the paper towels I used started to smoke while applying CA. Not sure if that was a potential issue or not. However, I stopped using that brand.
I have been toying with the possibility of moving to this type of foam to apply my CA. However, I like the paper towels to catch the excess CA when I apply the thin variety for my base coats. Does this foam do a good job of preventing you from flinging the CA everywhere, or are you applying it with a different method (i.e. lathe off)?
 
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Flinging CA? I can tell you when applied with a gloved finger at 500 rpms, there is no flinging. Seriously, give it a shot, I doubt you got back to using strange applicators :)
 

Woodchipper

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I use paper towels. I can understand what others are saying about using finger cots, gloves, foam, etc. When I finish with a towel, I toss it on the floor and let it cool. I have plunged them in a can of water after use. To get rid of the fumes, I keep the hose to my Shop Vac on the lathe and turn the SV on. I tried accelerator but didn't get good results. I use my phone's stop watch to time about a minute between coats of thin CA. I bought some medium CA yesterday at WC to try what others have said- two coats of thin and then apply coats of medium.
 

edstreet

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As I have stated numerous times facts are facts and not subjected to opinions. If a fact shows method A uses more CA than method B then method A is better than method B if you are discussing amount of CA needed.
 

greenacres2

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I switched from paper towels to little component bags, and apply at about 350 rpm with no splash. I didn't do well with accelerators either, but when I switched to Mercury Flex Mike (mecompco) suggested that it is formulated to work best with their accelerator between coats. Sure enough--it's a beautiful thing!!

Tim--wood is nice and usually my preferred medium, and turn all you want...just don't stop making your blanks!!
earl
 
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The component bag is really brilliant from a business standpoint too. You've already bought the bag with the kit so save yourself a few pennies. I'll have to give it a shot and see if it works as well as the nitrile finger cots. No worries Early, DiamondCast will be around a while. I've got that minisplit heat pump in the shop to pay for after all!
 

edstreet

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A good and proper accelerator, not acetone based, is imperative for a great finish. Heptane, Naphtha etc makes great accelerators that will not damage the CA. Remember acetone dissolves CA and eats plastic and metal alike. Yet it’s used as an accelerator. Also acetone is very harsh in the polymerization cycle.
 

ramaroodle

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A good and proper accelerator, not acetone based, is imperative for a great finish. Heptane, Naphtha etc makes great accelerators that will not damage the CA. Remember acetone dissolves CA and eats plastic and metal alike. Yet it’s used as an accelerator. Also acetone is very harsh in the polymerization cycle.
I know this is an older thread but just ran across the idea of using naphtha as an accelerator. Would I use the big box product and apply with a little spray bottle?
 
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Sylvanite

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I know this is an older thread but just ran across the idea of using naphtha as an accelerator.
CA glue is acidic and polymerizes with the addition of a mild base (pretty much anything with an -OH ion).

If you look at the MSDS for factory accelerator, you'll see that in addition to the naphtha, heptane, hexane, butane, or acetone, they contain (typically around 1%) an amine such as n, n-dimethyl-p-toluidine. That's the ingredient that promotes the polymerization. The other 99% is just a carrier.

You can try using straight naphtha, but don't be surprised if it doesn't work well.

I hope that helps,
Eric
 

ramaroodle

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I know this is an older thread but just ran across the idea of using naphtha as an accelerator.
CA glue is acidic and polymerizes with the addition of a mild base (pretty much anything with an -OH ion).

If you look at the MSDS for factory accelerator, you'll see that in addition to the naphtha, heptane, hexane, butane, or acetone, they contain (typically around 1%) an amine such as n, n-dimethyl-p-toluidine. That's the ingredient that promotes the polymerization. The other 99% is just a carrier.

You can try using straight naphtha, but don't be surprised if it doesn't work well.

I hope that helps,
Eric
So, something branded as "accelerator" is a better choice?
 

magpens

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Andy,

I am interested in the possibility of using an alternative to the factory accelerators, if only because the alternative is potentially a lot cheaper.

For that reason, I am following this thread. . I hope you will post any conclusions you come to as the result of your experimentation.

One thing I am wary of is what I have experienced myself, namely that the accelerator recommended for one brand of CA does not always work satisfactorily for a different brand of CA. . Among other concerns, I am puzzled by why that should be the case.

Another thing I am wary of, and concerned about, is playing around with all those nasty chemicals. . I am not a chemist but I am quite sure that acetone, naphtha, and the other things mentioned are potentially quite harmful.
 

ramaroodle

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Andy,
One thing I am wary of is what I have experienced myself, namely that the accelerator recommended for one brand of CA does not always work satisfactorily for a different brand of CA. . Among other concerns, I am puzzled by why that should be the case.
Could have something to do with what Sylvanite said about variations in the chemical composition of the adhesive. I would imagine that accelerator designed to be used in conjunction with naptha as the carrier would be different based on the makeup of the adhesive. Like someone mentioned, a look at the MSD sheets might yield a clue.

I ordered some Mercury Flex today so at the very least, between that, my Glu Boost, and Stick Fast and their designated accelerants I've got enough variation to really screw it up.

I'll let you know but since they all seem to work for various people I could just be confusing the issue.

However,
all that being said, I've already tried using Stick Fast accelerator on a glu boost finish when I ran out of the proprietary stuff with no ill effects. Like I said, GB may become my go to deep hole repair glue.
 
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