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Gluing Techniques and Associated Information

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A little discussion about CA versus wood glue came up in my modeling club the other day.  Some one said that they heard that CA glue comes apart after ten years.  I didn't get a definitive source but has any one heard anything similar?  It would be a real pain if all my ships were to start falling apart ten years from now.

 

Heard it seen it and wished I'd never seen CA. and to get as far ten years is lucky. As it crystallises over time and those crystals are bigger than the original joint very much like rust. Also it breaks down on contact with moisture. Such as humidity. Probably because it was designed to. As its only good use is for sticking soldiers back together until they get to the MASH unit. Circa 1970’s and Vietnam. It also has an exothermic reaction so can in some extreme cases melt plastic parts then there is the fogging. Easy to get around but still there. And it runs ever where or soaks right through. Changing the colour and texture completely. And if used for rigging no matter how small an a out used it will wick. So you then have a rigging line where part is hard as steel. Or melted. IMO only use it as a temporary hold before using real glues.

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Ahoy Mates

 

When I stated using boxwood and swiss pear for planking I did some tests as to how good Titebond held it. Since it's a hardwood and the grain structure is very tight and dense,the gklue did not hold it as well as basswood that I was used to.

 

To give the glue more surface and texture to grab onto I have started using a xacto razor saw blade to scratch the surface that will be glued. I use the side of the teeth on the blade to groove the planks surface. It looks like what you see when you use a toothed trowel for laying down glue for tile work.

 

I also use this method to make wood grain on basswood before staining. The grooves add to the total surface area and roughness that the glue has to bind to for added holding power.

 

It also prevents you from pushing all of the glue from under what you are gluing together by pressing them together. With the grooves there is always some glue between the parts to hold. And it cuts down on the amount of glue coming out from under the plank.

 

It also works for CA. 

 

Try it out and let me know what you think of this way of prep for gluing planks and other parts down. And try it to simulate wood grain on basswood  and other types of wood and materials. It works on plastic also.

 

Keith 

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Titebond is my go-to wood glue.  For hard woods, such as box, cherry, costella, and similar, one should always use a mechanical join, such as a trunnel of wood or brass because even great glue joints have a tendency to fail apart after many years.  If one is not concerned with longevity, then ignore the trunnel.   You may be giving a repair job to someone in the future.  

 

CA glues are also very useful as they bond dissimilar materials, are fast setting and easy to apply.  One should have a fan to move fresh air across the work area.  I know as they are an irritant to me.  Many experts advise against using these on rigging due to the exothermic reactions, failure of the lines, and oxidation of the glue.  I think the jury is still out on this one as others have had no joint failures after 10 to 20 years.  Is the jury still deliberating?  

 

Elmers Glue All is also a favorite as it is almost as strong as Titebond, and dries clear.  Conservationists avoid this because the joints are too strong and makes future repairs very difficult.  Again, you decide what's best for you.  If, however, your are doing work for a museum, then you must follow their requirements on glue and all other materials.  If the model is for a grandchild or other family and friends, then use what you are comfortable. 

 

Epoxy glues are very useful for bonding metal to metal or to wood, plastic, glass.  

 

Solder is not a glue but it is the best method for bonding metal to metal.  Both soft and hard soldering have important roles in our modeling.  

 

For securing knots, the better materials (other than CA) include matt varnish, dull coat and similar, Dave's Flexament (used in making flies for fishing), and diluted white glue.  There must be others, such as glues for jig saw puzzles and fabric glues but I prefer the matt varnishes and Dave's.  BTW, Dave's has a strong odor, contains toxic solvents and must be used carefully.  Again, I prefer the varnish,  I think hide and fish glues could be used here, too. 

 

Hide glue is a very good glue, has been around since man and woman first figured out how to join wood and attach fletches to arrows. It is available from Amazon, Ebay and woodworking stores.  One no longer has to heat it.  Fish glue is one glue I intend to try out.  

 

Urethane glues have some very limited use for our work, never for the details or fine fittings.  Glues and cements for plastics would take another page.  

 

So, there are hundreds of glues, which makes me think we need to consult a chemical engineer but instead Wikipedia is very useful as is this forum.  I have about 30 different glues in my shop and have had to rely on others before me to understand them.  

 

I hope my ramblings will help you in your efforts to improve your model ships.

 

Keep building and above all, have fun.                       Duff in Middletown, CT

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In an earlier post someone mentioned that their CA was not bonding parts. I had this problem with a bottle of CA. It would go on the surface, but when you pressed the parts together, nothing, even though the glue was "wet" when the parts were pressed together, and "dry when I released the parts.. I bought another bottle and it worked fine. There was something wrong with that first bottle. In 25 years of using CA, this was the first time it had failed to bond.

 

I have never had the CA let go of a glued model, but I have found it to become brittle after time, and fail after a hit on the model sometimes. This was on RC ships that take a beating, and have less ribs than would be typical of a regular RC hull.

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Ahoy Mates

 

When I stated using boxwood and swiss pear for planking I did some tests as to how good Titebond held it. Since it's a hardwood and the grain structure is very tight and dense,the gklue did not hold it as well as basswood that I was used to.

 

To give the glue more surface and texture to grab onto I have started using a xacto razor saw blade to scratch the surface that will be glued. I use the side of the teeth on the blade to groove the planks surface. It looks like what you see when you use a toothed trowel for laying down glue for tile work.

 

I also use this method to make wood grain on basswood before staining. The grooves add to the total surface area and roughness that the glue has to bind to for added holding power.

 

It also prevents you from pushing all of the glue from under what you are gluing together by pressing them together. With the grooves there is always some glue between the parts to hold. And it cuts down on the amount of glue coming out from under the plank.

 

It also works for CA. 

 

Try it out and let me know what you think of this way of prep for gluing planks and other parts down. And try it to simulate wood grain on basswood  and other types of wood and materials. It works on plastic also.

 

Keith

 

Try wiping the wood with alcohol/acetone as it's usually oils that stop the sticking process at it stick even iron to its self. Just try buy an original glue pot that's still got hide glue in it you need a blow lamp and cold chisel

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Heard it seen it and wished I'd never seen CA. and to get as far ten years is lucky. As it crystallises over time and those crystals are bigger than the original joint very much like rust. Also it breaks down on contact with moisture. Such as humidity. Probably because it was designed to. As its only good use is for sticking soldiers back together until they get to the MASH unit. Circa 1970’s and Vietnam. It also has an exothermic reaction so can in some extreme cases melt plastic parts then there is the fogging. Easy to get around but still there. And it runs ever where or soaks right through. Changing the colour and texture completely. And if used for rigging no matter how small an a out used it will wick. So you then have a rigging line where part is hard as steel. Or melted. IMO only use it as a temporary hold before using real glues.

I know I've flown in the face of tradition saying this but I'm surprised so many are hitting the like button. But I hope it's doing some good as it's not the best glue for everything just the things it's meant for.

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In an earlier post someone mentioned that their CA was not bonding parts. I had this problem with a bottle of CA. It would go on the surface, but when you pressed the parts together, nothing, even though the glue was "wet" when the parts were pressed together, and "dry when I released the parts.. I bought another bottle and it worked fine. There was something wrong with that first bottle. In 25 years of using CA, this was the first time it had failed to bond.

 

I have never had the CA let go of a glued model, but I have found it to become brittle after time, and fail after a hit on the model sometimes. This was on RC ships that take a beating, and have less ribs than would be typical of a regular RC hull.

While I agree CA "can" last it is more likely to fail suddenly and in a warm heated home with the normal humidity it will fail simply because of its age. As it's designed to degrade with liquids so that it would dissolve the same as sutures as it was designed as a field dressing in the 70's being small and light but able to stick wounds together. It was never meant for sticking anything else. And if the parts have any flex in them which all do the constant heating cooling that goes on in homes flexes the joint but the glue doesn't and eventually crumbles. Often all at once as that's when it was used and it's all been degrading together and once one bit goes it cascades.

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Keith,

 

In addition to what Izzy suggested with the alcohol wipe... use a piece of 100 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface.  I'm finding that this works a charm as some of the wood I have when thickness sanded, cut, machined, etc. has a surface that just doesn't seem to like the glue until it roughened.

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Like most I use PVA for wood to wood wherever possible.

I limit CA to metal to metal or to wood.

But what does not seem to get a lot of comments here is two pack epoxy

For anything to anything I find it is the best bond.

Drawbacks are setting time, needs clamping.

And often leaves excess showing at joints, difficult to clean off.

Mixing means extra effort but if I want to be absolutely sure of a joint, especially with limited contact area it is my go to solution.

Things like : eye bolt (pins) into decks, metal parts directly to wood, Bits when directly on deck, dead eye strops to channels, cleats etc.

 

Nick

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Great tip about website Great Planes and some helpful info on CA glue.  There is also some good advice on gluing planks in the book Ship Modeling Simplified by Massini(?) using CA glue for a quick hold and wood glue for its characteristics. Recommend it highly.  It works well for me

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Here are a few steps I've tried over the past few years.  I've used both CA and PVA on the same joint, sometimes in alternating locations if there is room. If room is limited, I use CA at the end points and PVA the remaining area. I used this especially if there was a bend in the wood and it's difficult to clamp in place. The CA bonds right away and holds the piece as the PVA cures. I don't know how this will hold up over time, but so far I've not had any issues with it. 

If mating joints are not 100% clean i.e. where paint was removed or I simply want an extra tight adhesion, I use the point of my xacto knife to make a number of penetrations along the glue line where the glue can soak in. 

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What kind of CA are you using which cures immediately. I have tried to use this type of glue several times for wood/wood junctions, but have had very bad results. The glue doesn't cure at all, and has to be replaced with epoxy or PVA. I have understood that the CA works only with metal, glass, certain plastics, etc. which are not porous like wood.

If I need instant bonding with wood, I have had good results with so called contact glue, which is applied on both surfaces, let to dry, and then pressed together.

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I use a medium CA glue from the local hobby shop. I'm away from home and cannot give the brand right now. I do not get an immediate bond (unless it's my fingers... lol). I have to hold it a few seconds, maybe up to five. Adhesion is seldom a problem, especially with wood. I prefer PVA for most wood joints. It gives me more working time and I find it easier to ungluen if I make error. 

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Moxis, any good CA glue should work very predictably and all that I buy these days do. It sounds to me like you're using too much, CA is not a glue you want squeezing out because one, that squeezeout is going to rapidly get rock hard and is not fun to remove, and two the glue sets much more slowly if there's lots of it. You want an extremely thin layer with maximum surface contact.

 

Take two short pieces of planking material and put a very thin bead of medium CA glue on one, not enough that it will squeeze out. Press both of them together with fingers for 30 seconds. Now try to get them apart, good luck :)  Medium is the standard thickness used, the thin is like water and only has certain useful applications. The thick/slow you only use when you need to fill gaps.

 

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Anyone ever tried using contact cement for finish (second) planking? I tried it recently and was pleased with the results. I know it wouldn't work for many other modeling applications, but it seems more forgiving for any thin type of planking.

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Contact cement can be a poor choice.  It is messy, difficult to clean up.  I use it to adhere cloth backed 

sanding media to the Maple platten of my thickness sander.  I can get it to denature with naptha or mineral

spirits, but have yet to find a true solvent for it.   It seems to have a limited effective life.  I think it oxidizes,

becomes brittle over time, and the bond fails.   

 

I read of a technique for using PVA as a contact bonding agent.  I forget exactly how,  but it involves coating both

surfaces - a thin even layer - let it dry.  and then it is either a third thin layer on one surface,  or place the wood in position

and iron it to join.  There is potential here for a combination of instant grab and normal PVA bonding.  It would just involve

more pre planing and a longer time than most of us have the patience for.

 

Since CA is activated by water-  the reason skin bonds more quickly than wood -  it may prove unmanageable but if the wood

was slightly damp, the bond may cure more quickly.

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For 2nd planking I am trying iron on glue sheets used in the veneer industry 

It seems quick and clean 

How long it will last I dont know

I used iron on veneer for my last model and it is still ok after 2 years 

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I typically use PVA with CA for planking.  The CA provides instant clamping, and I can move on to the next plank in a minute or two.  It is well known that PVA and CA glues are very compatible.  I used WeldBond and have started using  LockTite Ultra Gel Control.  A little goes a long way!

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Nick:  Try 5 minute epoxy!  Plenty strong for modeling purposes, and sets up pretty hard in 5 minutes.  You won't pull it apart in an hour, and full cure is about 24 hours.  I use a lot of it!  This brand is easy to use, and very economical: 4.5 total ounces for $10.00 on Amazon.  Will last you years.

Img_0323.jpg

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