Retail CA - which is best?

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Chuck Tweedy
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Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

I used to have a hobby store close by, and they had good CA. But, alas, the death of retail. :cry:

Anyhow, I will go to the Home Despot tomorrow and they appear to have 3 different brands of superglue for people to fix dishes, and try to hold their kids toys together with. It's very discouraging to me that people trust that a product is tough because it has the picture of a gorilla on it - at the same time, i gotta say that the thick black gorilla tape is awesome stuff. :)

I've got these choices:
- Gorilla Glue brand in what looks like thin and "gel"
- Locktite in a variety of gimmick-y applicator packages - pens n' what-not
- Bondini in thin and gel

Anyone know which of these is best?? Any experience with any of them?
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

David King
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by David King »

Locktite is usually a top shelf professional product and they have dozens of formulations for specialized gluing, each with a different number. You might want to read through their descriptions and see if any of them fit your needs.
I'd say if you go through lots of CA it's worth experimenting with all the brands to see which ones work best where. I had a brand of thin that I only used to harden spalted maple because it was a little slower to set so it could soak in before it kicked off. The other brands tend to react violently and foam up leaving witness lines and making a mess. That brand is long gone now.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Hi Chuck,
I use Loctite in the .7oz (20g) bottles. It is available in Walmarts around here (and probably Home Depots). It doesn't seem to discolor wood like some CAs will. I once bought some cheap chinese CA from wally-world and after a couple of weeks the wood turned bright yellow where it wicked into the end grain.
I also avoid the "special packaging" Loctite uses for some of it's CAs. The applicator type packages give you a very small amount of glue in a large plastic enclosure. Like most CAs , Loctite brand thickens up over time, so what starts out as a relatively "thin" turns into a "thick" CA, before it goes bad. Depending on how active I am I will only have 1 or 2 bottles open at any given time (thin and thickened).
When I was using a lot of CA (repairing furniture), I used the Mohawk brand. It worked well and you could buy almost 9 oz. for a little under $40. For instrument work I don't use enough to justify the cost because of shelf life limitations.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

hey guys, thanks for the quick replies.
Loctitie is what we use professionally at work. There, the number designations that you point out, David, are directly relevant because they are geared toward industrial use. I've used many a half-finished bottle in my home shop, but I don't have any now - thus the trip to buy some. These can all be had through McMaster-Carr, but are expensive for my use. As Clay points out, I use very little, so paying $27 for a full fluid ounce of a specialty adhesive is not in the cards.

OK - I'll look through the stuff at HD and see if I can find some Loctite that is: 1) not in a ridiculous package, and 2) A general purpose adhesive, good for my wood purposes.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

loctite CA.jpg
loctite CA.jpg (69.21 KiB) Viewed 6866 times
The .7 oz size is in a light blue "tapered" bottle that doesn't appear to be full.

Mario Proulx
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Mario Proulx »

The vast majority of CA that I use is simply the generic little tubes from the local hardware store...

David King
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by David King »

Starbond is a good option if you need to order it in anyway. They claim it's fresh from the factory in Japan so maximum shelf life. They have the usual thin and then an extra thin. They also have good prices on the low VOC versions. Comes in 8 oz bottles that you can decant into smaller empties and freeze until you need them.
https://www.starbond.com

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

i got exactly what Clay has pictured up there, and small pack of "Gel" in tubes.
all reasonably serviceable I'm sure.

I realize that all manufacturers do this, but ... that 0.7oz bottle of general purpose CA cost me $8 at Ace.
I'm pretty sure that the EXACT same is available - with a different label that has a bold number on it - from McMaster-Carr for $26.
I'm guessing the number on the industrial label is 401. The most general purpose thin-ish Loctite CA on M-C.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Christ Kacoyannakis
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Christ Kacoyannakis »

So, I was looking for the brand I used to buy, and found this article https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best- ... super-glue, which says, basically, it is all the same, and probably made by the same company, Permabond, and privately labeled. Wow, the Permabond brand is outrageously expensive, though.

I used to buy Bob Smith Industries, because I met a violin maker who said he uses CA glue for some specific repairs, and so he had tested a bunch of brands, and decided that Bob Smith Industries was the "best." I have no idea what his testing procedure was or what his criteria for deciding what made one brand better than the other were. However, it was hard to find this brand, and I did buy several bottles. I don't know if the bottles were old, but I kept the unopened ones in the refrigerator, and several went bad (hardened up) pretty quickly.

Now, I buy Pacer Technology Zap Adhesives. It is easier to find and about the same price. I just buy from Amazon.

One thing you can do to make it not bubble up is to spray on a light mist of accelerator, before you glue things together, and wipe it off. Then, wait a minute or so, and then glue. The CA will set pretty quick, and it will not bubble up and turn white. The thin is great for binding, because you put the binding in place first, and then wick in some thin CA.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

From Wikipedia:
"Specific cyanoacrylates include methyl 2-cyanoacrylate (MCA), ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate (ECA, commonly sold under trade names such as "Super Glue" and "Krazy Glue", or Toagosei), n-butyl cyanoacrylate (n-BCA), octyl cyanoacrylate and 2-octyl cyanoacrylate (used in medical, veterinary and first aid applications). Octyl cyanoacrylate was developed to address toxicity concerns and to reduce skin irritation and allergic response. Cyanoacrylate adhesives are sometimes known generically as instant glues, power glues or superglues. The abbreviation "CA" is commonly used for industrial grade cyanoacrylate."

Not all CAs are the same. The "generic little tubes " I bought from Walmart caused me a bit of grief! (I have bought the Loctite brand in small tubes and didn't have any problems with it.)
If I used a lot of CA I would go back to the Mohawk stuff. 9oz. for $38 would be a considerable savings compared to $78 for an equal quantity (in .7 oz pkgs) of Loctite CA. Packaging is a big part of the cost.

Alan Carruth
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Alan Carruth »

Another vote for Loctite in the blue bottle. It doesn't set up as fast as some, which is handy in many cases. It' also seems to work a bit better on acid woods, which can slow the set time of CA. I still prime woods like walnut and oak by rubbing in a little bit of baking soda on the glue surface to help kick the stuff.

Mario Proulx
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Mario Proulx »

I wouldn't recommend anything generic from WallyWorld. But at a dollar or so a piece, it's worth trying various hardware store brands. The one I'm using is a Home Hardware Stores "Home-Bond" tube. I've used LocTite and other more expensive tubes, and can find no difference.

I don't use enough CA to justify bottles. Whenever I tried, most of the bottle would go solid, typically the day I needed it. Other than inlays and string nuts, I can't think of where else I use it, other than in repairs...

What do y'all use so much CA for?

David King
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by David King »

I use it to grain-fill and generally tidy up faults on the guitar knobs I make. I also use it to coat all my birch ply jigs and templates to make their running surfaces glassy smooth. Plenty of broken dishes as well. I've used it as a finish in the past but it just too finicky to build up and buff out. It doesn't hold up under a buffer at all.
I use it a lot of places where I used to use titebond but where there's going to be a good chance of heat failure.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Funny, the reason I was looking to buy CA was because I used my last bit fixing a chalk board frame that got damaged.
So, really, my most common use of CA is for stuff around the house. But I always want to have good stuff because I am GOING to use it on a guitar sooner or later.
On guitars my most common use of CA is for binding. I like epoxy for inlay.
And repairs of course.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Randy Roberts
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Randy Roberts »

I've always used the Satellite City "Hot Stuff" CA. Just bought it direct from them in 2 ounce bottles. Still have 3 or 4 in the freezer and last ordered probably 8 years ago. Last order I spent a great deal of time talking to the owner on the phone and learned a lot from him.

CA will keep nearly forever if you keep it in the freezer and un-opened. He had just finished re-testing some of their samples from their first years, and they were perfectly fine after 40 years in the freezer. So I've never been worried about get a large number of bottles at a time.

The problem of going bad is once CA has been opened, it starts absorbing water from the air. That is what makes the water-thin gradually get thicker and slower over time.

I think Woodcraft carries the Hot Stuff if I remember right.

The problem I have with CA is mental... once I tried to picture a factory making CA, then, of course I imagined this big grain bin size tank of thin CA, maybe what, 40,000 gallons? And then imagined it rupturing.

Alan Carruth
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Alan Carruth »

Some time back I got part of a roll of teflon spaghetti. It's normally used for insulating wires in electronics, but this batch is just the right size for use as a capillary tube on a bottle of super glue. It makes it easy to get a small drop where you want it, and also helps to exclude the air and moisture that causes the stuff to kick over on the shelf. I haven't thrown any hardened CA out in years.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/product ... sion-tips/

They also sell a tip that has a long (2in?)small diameter flexible end that fits "hot stuff" CA (which they also sell).

http://www.mohawk-finishing.com/product ... glue-tips/

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Randolph Rhett
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Randolph Rhett »

The problem I have with CA is that I open a bottle, use it, close it tightly, set it aside for a month or so until next use, open it again, throw it out, open a new bottle...

So I find myself using the single use bottles and the GlueBoost Accelerator. Is the Locktite better (or Satellite City, or Glue Boost)? Maybe, but I can't keep throwing away an ounce at a time. The issue isn't how long they last unopened, it is how long they last opened. If Satellite City or Glue Boos sold them in little one use tubes, I would probably upgrade to them. Although to be fair, I've never had a problem with the little generic tubes.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

same Randolph. thin becomes thick. thick becomes trash.
However, the blue cap Loctite lid (see Clay's post up there ^^) keeps the glue fresh longer than any other package. Same needle/lid they have on the pro stuff.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Retail CA - which is best?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Hi Randolph,
Loctite also sells the small tubes. They can be recapped and reused with in a few days and still work. I glue bindings and such and use it enough to justify the .7 oz. bottles. If the generic stuff works for you without problems why not use it- it is probably cheaper. Had I not been "burned" by the off brand stuff I used I might still be using it.

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