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Cyanoacrylates


Janel

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Cyanoacrylate

 

My knowledge is limited, but in conversing with woodworkers who know more about wood than I do, (makes them an expert, right ;) ?), one technique has sounded appealing to me and wonder what I need to know to make some forward progress with the material.

 

Lets use this topic to reveal the "experts" among us and discuss the pros and cons of Cyanoacrylates.

 

Janel

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My first area of need-to-know is about the differences between the Cyanoacrylates available for use. I had not known that there were differences until recently. There are also accelerants to trigger chemical action.

 

I've not done the home work yet, but have learned that with a particular wood, a palm wood with dense wood columns surrounded by a matrix of soft and porous material, running with the length of the wood can be made useful with Cyanoacrylate. I have a desire to use the wood, but do not know yet what Cyanoacrylate to use and how to use it to harden the softer palm wood.

 

I have an imagination and can use it, but for sake of learning and discussion, I'll reveal my ignorance by asking. Anyone out there with knowledge of this technique?

 

Janel

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I use cyacroanalates routinely. They are mostly separated by viscousity ranging from very thin to gel like.

 

There are some knifemakers who use it as a finish. Scott Slobodian does some amazing work on his scabbards and handles.

 

It can be used to harden wood like palm wood, but you may not like working with it. You need good ventilation and it care when handling. The common name is SuperGlue and we all know stories about SuperGlue.

 

It is great for temporary bonds especially metal to metal because while it has amazing strength, it will sheer with a tap.

 

It is a really good crack filler for bond and ivories and will stop a check in its tracks.

 

I haven't fooled around much with the accelerators so can't comment on that. Water will also accelerate the hardening.

 

It can develope a rim of white powder, especially if it is thickly applied, but that dissolves with oil and can be scrubbed off.

 

You can buy it in larger bottles, but it does harden in the tube and getting fully use out of it has always been a concern. I noticed that they have all sorts of new packing for it, but don't know how effective they are.

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The water thin glues can be used to stabilize areas of punky wood quite effectively.One should proceed with caution, the water thin glues are extremely fast running and will wick into any area in an eyeblink. I've seen people glue themselves to their work, bench, own self, and tools frequently. Quite amuzing for the viewer, but unpleasant for the cursing and howling wielder of the glue bottle. It is often refered to as HOT STUFF for a good reason. It generates alot of heat as it catalyzes, adding a pit of spice to the ordeal, and yes I have glued myself to myself....frequently....I have used it to seal small woodturnings on the lathe. It polishes out beautifully and plasticizes the wood. It is more effective on open grained/porous woods. Some folks will carefully coat a carving, handle, whatever and place it in a pressure pot with remarkable results on boxwood and stone carvings. I've seen it done, but have not attempted this myself.

 

The greatest use for this stuff is for closing small, shallow cuts on the distracted carvers hands. I keep a bottle of the thin glue in my first-aid drawer next to the band-aids. The prefered method is to clean the wound, then place a drop of glue on one side of the wound, then smear it across the flap of skin of the cut. Quickly pass the wounded digit under cool water, and the water sets the glue instantly, while generating no heat. It works beautifully. Do not get it in the cut, this method is for angled slices, not for puncture wounds.

 

When using these glues, no matter the viscosity, alway test your plan of attack on scrap. Most quality glues in bulk bottles require the use of Catalyzing agents to set in a timely manner, and these "kickers" will almost always cause the glue to spall and crack if you use too much, and the smoke pouring off of an overcatalyzed glue-up is very toxic stuff. Just a little spritz will suffice. Also the Kickers tend to make the transparent glue turn opaque. Proceed with caution.

 

Derek

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I'd like to add too, though it may be obvious to some, that superglue is invaluable as an aid to inlay work. When tracing the outline of a piece to be inlaid onto the larger stock, it is hard to hold it in place while scribing. Adhering it with a VERY small dot of superglue quickly keeps it in place. Acetone dissolves it when removal is needed. This works better than, say, a water-soluble glue where water as the solvent will also raise the wood grain, which might not be wanted.

 

Also-

 

Early on in my carving hobby I did a carving where I had a mosaic of small pieces of pearl shell used to represent a moon. I used the cyanoacrylate as 'grout' and then as a coating. It polished down wonderfully, and crystal clear. I still have the piece 4 years later and there are no signs of yellowing, crazing, or any other problems.

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