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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I know that CA glue is used by pen turners as a finish and is similar to a crazy glue but not quite the same thing. So, what exactly is CA glue? Somewhere I read that to extend the life of wood threads to put CA glue on them. Why is this and are there any problems in doing so?

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CA stands for cyanoacrylate. At least for my chemically illiterate self, crazy glue is a cyanoacrylate glue, so they're the same thing. Putting thin CA on wood as a finish or just letting it soak in leaves a coating on the surface that's quite hard. I can see where people could feel that it would make threads less prone to wear. My only thought is that if you're not careful and you get too much buildup of the CA in the threads, your threads won't turn smoothly. Needless to say, if you put the CA on the threads and put the threaded parts together too soon, they won't be turning at all!!
 

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Super glue and Krazy glue are all basicly the same cyanoacrylate adhesive. The pen turners are just using glue for a finish. Lets just hope they let the glue dry before they write something. :laughing: As far as putting ca glue on threaded wood to strengthing it you have to think about what wood is. If you looked at wood under a microscope it is like a cluster of drinking straws bonded together in a sheet. If the wood was fraid and you filled the straws with ca glue and let it harden it makes the fibers more rigid. The only problem I can think of is if the wood was sealed with ca glue you wouldn't be able to stain it.
 

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As the others said CA (cyano acryllate) is the main chemical in Krazy glue, Super Glue, and many other brands.

The main difference I have observed is shelf life. I now use the Titebond CA glues because they are lasting longer in the bottle.

Several thicknesses available
Thin
Medium
Thick
Gel

Thinner will wick into smaller cracks due to capilliary action. Thicker is used for wider cracks.

When woodturners need to tap threads, we sometimes drill a hole, apply thin or medium CA glue and then tap the threads. The CA glue can help the wood to hold up better while being tapped.

CA glue is relatively expensive when you compare it to epoxy or especially yellow glue.

In some case a thinned yellow glue could work like CA for the thread strengthening - but we would have to wait a lot longer for the yellow glue to set.

CA glue sets fast, and with the spray accelerators, it can be close to instant.

Woodturners also use CA glue to "stabilize" wood which has cracks to avoid a bowl falling apart while being turned.

CA glue does deteriorate over time - as in decades so it is does not last as long as e.g., hide glue.

If you purchase CA glue, it is a good idea to have Acetone on hand. It is so easy to get CA glue where you do not want it, like the hands, or work surfaces. Acetone is the main solvent to clean up unwanted CA glue - until it has set, then you have to scrape it off.
 

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Cowboy up and do just it
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quickstep said:
CA stands for cyanoacrylate. At least for my chemically illiterate self, crazy glue is a cyanoacrylate glue, so they're the same thing. Putting thin CA on wood as a finish or just letting it soak in leaves a coating on the surface that's quite hard. I can see where people could feel that it would make threads less prone to wear. My only thought is that if you're not careful and you get too much buildup of the CA in the threads, your threads won't turn smoothly. Needless to say, if you put the CA on the threads and put the threaded parts together too soon, they won't be turning at all!!
I knew that CA glue is cyanoacrylate and I knew supper glue and crazy glue are similar to CA, but didn't know they were the same thing.

I also know that wood glue is a PVA glue as is Elmer's School glue and Bookbinding glue. They are all Types of PVA; however, wood (PVA) is hard, bookbinding PVA is quite rubbery, and Elmer's School glue (PVA) is somewhere in between. All are PVA glue but I would never use wood glue binding books or bookbinding PVA for strength glueing two boards together. Some people on the Internet claim that Elmer's school glue and bookbinding glue are the same thing and use Elmer's to bind books. I happen to know there is a difference and a book bound with Elmer's will not be as nice and will not last s long. I know this from experience and research that took me several months locating the answers.


I don't want to research this issue to that extent as i did for bookbinding. Therefore, I'm asking politely, though crazy glue is a type of CA glue, is it exactly the same thing as the glue marketed as CA glue that I would buy at a craft store for building models, or the CA glue I would buy at a medical supply store? And if they are exactly the same thing, then cool. If they are not, then what makes them different, like the rubbery or brittle dried outcomes of PVA?

I'm looking for specifics. Thanks for the info.

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Dave Paine, this is great info. Thanks

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One other note about CA glue. If you've never used it before, please try a small bit first. Many people, myself included can have allergic reactions to the fumes, sometimes pretty severe. For me, it knocks my sinuses out of whack for a day or so. Using a good quality respirator and adequate ventilation is a good idea until you know you won't be affected by it. They do make odorless CA, but I've found that you almost have to use an accelerator to get it to dry, and it costs 3 times as much as the regular stuff.

I build RC planes and have used a lot of CA, but lately have switched to Titebond, Gorilla Glue, and epoxy for 99% of my work just to eliminate the allergic reactions. CA is great, but I'll take the longer build times over a runny nose!
 
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