Hi, I have been wooden ship modelling on and off for about 40 yrs. Also have been building RC model airplanes for about 15 yrs. The planes are built almost exclusively with medium viscosity CA glue, except for areas that require very high strength, such as engine mounting firewalls and wing main spars where I use 30 min epoxy. I have read some posts that suggest CA glues can crystalize with age, but I still fly model planes that I built 12 or 13 yrs ago with no failures. Keep in mind that model aircraft with internal combustion engines experience significant vibration.
For ship modelling I have used a white glue called Weldbond and medium CA glue. I like Weldbond for the following reasons
- it dries to a crystal clear finish
- it is extremely strong ( perhaps doesn't have the brute strength of epoxy but comes close)
- doesn't dry to a hard brittle finish like carpenters glue, but retains some flexibility. Sort of similar to one of those plastic/nylon kitchen cutting boards.
- due to this somewhat flexible dried condition it functions very well as a gap filler. Carpenters glue requires the joined pieces to mate almost perfectly or the joint strength is severely compromised.
My process for hull planking is to coat the plank edge with Weldbond, place a small drop of medium CA glue on each bulkhead and manually hold the plank against the bulkheads and the installed plank above for about 10 seconds until the CA cures. I don't need to use pins, nails or clamps and the planking process proceeds much faster since after the CA has cured (about 10 seconds) I am ready to install the next plank. I have used this method on my last two ships (previous models used the pin technique) and have had no issues.