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Problems with CA glue

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  • Member since
    May 2021
Problems with CA glue
Posted by mightypudge on Monday, October 18, 2021 6:02 AM

Now that I've got 8 - 10 models under my belt, I can say with a high degree of confidence that my gluing skills need work. I'm not sure where I am going wrong, though. I'm using CAs of various consistencies, but the most commonly used CA is BSI Maxi-Cure (purple cap). Here are my usual steps:

  1. Scrape paint from contact points
  2. Apply small amount of CA
  3. Join parts
  4. Hold together with fingers for 20 - 30 seconds
  5. Release parts
  6. Pray

Sometimes the parts hold, sometimes not so much. Or, I move on to gluing another part and a previous glue joint comes loose. Wondering if I am doing something wrong here, or if this is just the nature of CA. 

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Monday, October 18, 2021 7:58 AM

Gels take considerably longer to set-maybe 2-3 minutes.  I keep a bottle of CA accelerator handy.   A quick spritz hardens it quickly.

Even the thin stuff takes longer than you are allowing.  Again, accelerator helps, though I dont usually mind holding it for a minute.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, October 18, 2021 8:25 AM

Apologies in advance if I'm off base here, but am I reading that you are using CA to join styrene to styrene? If so, may I ask why?

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, October 18, 2021 9:00 AM

Usually I hold the pieces together and although they don't always stick together,they usually stick to my fingers pretty good.

Seriously,someone recommended Gorilla Glue  and that has worked pretty good.

 The other CA definitely has a shorter shelf life.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, October 18, 2021 9:07 AM

Greg

Apologies in advance if I'm off base here, but am I reading that you are using CA to join styrene to styrene? If so, may I ask why?

 
Ditto
 
Get some Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, watch the linked tutorials, and your joining issues will be just a bad memory.  CA, however, does make a great filler for the little gaps that you might end up with even after following the advice in the tutorials.  I used to dread the gluing and seam filling parts of model building, but now both are easy because of what I learned from the tutorials (as well as a couple of other tutorials about using CA and a black Sharpie to eliminate seams without the putty, sand, primer, repeat process)
 
 

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, October 18, 2021 9:30 AM

The problem with using CA as a regular adhesive for models is that it has remarkable tensile or 'pull' strength -- you may remember the old TV commercials with the big construction worker dangling by his hard-hat which had been super-glued to a girder -- but its shear strength...force supplied parallel to the adhesion surface...is pretty poor. For models, this means that the 'butt' joints of model part edges glued together will yield to fairly little flex or twist...often that of just ordinary handling, during construction...and be prone to cracking back open.

As has been suggested above, a good cement...which actually chemically bonds the surfaces, rather than just holding them together...will give a better long-term result.

Just my 2 cents. Science is our friend.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, October 18, 2021 9:55 AM

Hello!

I'd like to give some advice on how to get more bang out of your thin CA...

First I agree that there is much better solution for glueing styrene to styrene than CA... Now for joining metal to plastic or metal to metal - or rubber... - CA can be hard to beat.

BUT!

1) Try to fit the parts as closely as possible so that the amount of CA between them is minimized. This way the glue dries faster and the joint is stronger.

2) Wipe both surfaces to be glued with lacquer thinner. This way you degrease the surfaces, but also the lacquer thinner tends to work as accelerator so this way the joint dries faster and is stronger.

3) as a follow up to 1), its usually a good idea to have some locating tabs, pins or a jig to hold the parts in place while the glue dries. When the parts to be glued move in relation to each other while the glue dries the joint gets brittle and isn't as strong as it could be. I guess there are some micro-cracks forming at this stage.

Hope it helps - thanks for reading and good luck with your glueing! Have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    May 2021
Posted by mightypudge on Monday, October 18, 2021 11:06 AM

Thanks, everyone.

It sounds like I have been using CA in situations where plastic cement may be a better choice. I do have Tamiya Extra Thin in the house, but have been using it mostly before painting to join parts like engine housings and axle halves. Guess I need to reconsider when and where to break out the CA.

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, October 18, 2021 11:23 AM

Yup.  I had been trying the same thing with CA when I had parts here and there that I was wanting to attach after things were painted.  I found that even after scraping the paint from both surfaces, there was just no substitute for cement.  CA sorta worked, but I couldn't rely on it, which I guess is pretty much what you experienced.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, October 18, 2021 1:05 PM

mightypudge
It sounds like I have been using CA in situations where plastic cement may be a better choice. I do have Tamiya Extra Thin in the house, but have been using it mostly before painting to join parts like engine housings and axle halves.

That's exactly what I use Tamiya thin for. For general construction...fuselage halves, wing tops to bottoms, etc....I use the kind of stuff that has 'Weld' in the title. (There are several versions out there.)

I apply with an old drafting nib; just touch to the seam and it shoots both ways, sets almost instantly, and 'holds' in as little as about 10 seconds.

Great stuff...as long as you don't breathe it.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, October 18, 2021 2:11 PM

Yeah, I recommend using styrene glues for styrene, and CA glue, or 2-part epoxy, or other adhesives, for gluing other materials to styrene or to other materials.

I don't think you need to scrape paint from mating surfaces if you use CA glue to attach them, either.  It is recommended when gluing styrene to styrene, using styrene cement.  Paint, and chrome on chromed pieces, interferes with the weld bond that styrene cement produces, when used to glue styrene pieces together.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

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