Different varieties of CA?

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by neil_w, Mar 15, 2019 at 3:30 PM.

Help Support The Rocketry Forum by donating:

  1. Mar 15, 2019 at 3:30 PM #1

    neil_w

    neil_w

    neil_w

    Perpetually waiting for good painting weather TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    355
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    I normally use two kinds of CA: medium (usually something from Home Depot) and thin (Bob Smith Insta-Cure). I use the Insta-Cure mainly for hardening nose cones and wiping on the ends of body tubes.

    Today I found myself on the Bob Smith website kind of by accident, and holy moly there are a lot more different kinds of CA than I ever realized. Some look quite appealing, at least from their description.
    • Insta-flex: less odor and more flexible. Would it work as well for hardening nose cones? I'm can't decide if flexibility would be a plus or a minus in that application.
    • Insta-flex+: clear, rubber-toughened
    • Super-gold: foam safe! no fumes! flexible! no fogging! I probably shoulda used this to glue on the clear nose of my IRIS-T.
    • IC-2000: black, rubber-toughened ("tire glue")
    There are a few others but I'm tired of typing. And so my question is: does anyone have experience with any or all of these particular varieties, and are there some that are particularly well-suited (or not well-suited) to typical rocketry tasks? Is any of these varieties better for balsa hardening than the Insta-Cure I normally use?
     
  2. Mar 16, 2019 at 3:37 PM #2

    Gary Byrum

    Gary Byrum

    Gary Byrum

    Overstable By Design

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,268
    Likes Received:
    154
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Lincolnton NC
    OK,...I'll bite. When I started incorporating CA glues into my building, I wasn't so sure I was sold on using it. Fast drying glues never were very much good at holding things together in the long run, but sooner or later, I'd learn how to use this stuff. One time I had 3 kinds, watery, syrupy, and molasses. (light, med, heavy) The thin stuff proved harder to work with, the Med was OK I guess, and the heavy was good for spot gluing for the moment. I was learning how CA glues just weren't my bag, but I always keep the thin and some heavy around for emergencies on the field or anywhere for that matter. You've already seen what I do with thin CA these days. Mostly hardening wood nose cones, balsa parts and BT strengthening. I guess as an old schooler, I'm better at using proven methods or even some of my own, because that's how I learned to play rockets. Not all of the newer methods are all that in my opinion. CA can make for a quick assembly of your model, but is quicker always better?
    The medium goes to the launch field for quick fixes. I usually buy just any brand but I like having a tiny jar of medium. Then I go to Klingspor's for my Thin CA. Bigger bottle, not as expensive as the tiny bottles, and doesn't dry as fast. This is exceptional for the nose cones, tubes and such. I'll go through that big bottle way faster than that tiny bottle of med. The downside to me using CA is that it'll harden before I can ever use it up.
     
  3. Mar 16, 2019 at 3:51 PM #3

    neil_w

    neil_w

    neil_w

    Perpetually waiting for good painting weather TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    355
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Gee, and here I thought this was going to be the first glue thread on TRF that no one cared about. ;)

    I also use CA in very limited fashion on my builds, same as you (although I did use it for fillets on the Accur8 Ragnarok because there didn't seem to be anything else that would work). I was trying to see if there were other uses for some of these other varieties. Like, one of the standard knocks against CA is that is becomes brittle, but some of these claim to be flexible and *not* brittle. Etc.
     
  4. Mar 16, 2019 at 4:15 PM #4

    Wallace

    Wallace

    Wallace

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Messages:
    1,032
    Likes Received:
    177
    I do use it, but only for "tacking" things together. I'd never trust CA for an actual structural bond though. The big bottles only seem like a bargain until you realize they never dispense properly/clog/ and dry up. And, you're probably correct, I doubt anyone cares...
     
  5. Mar 17, 2019 at 3:21 AM #5

    Bruiser

    Bruiser

    Bruiser

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    33
    I do get a kick out of reading how people don't trust CA. I quite funny because I come from an R/C aircraft background where CA is used quite extensively on everything from the smallest micro R/C all the way to 200+ mph jet aircraft.

    In the model aircraft world thin is for nice, tight fitting joints. Medium is used for most other joints. Thick works good on plywood. Then there is the special CA for foam because regular CA will melt most foam. There are a bunch others that I have never tried.

    -Bob
     
    Mugs914 and Titan II like this.
  6. Mar 17, 2019 at 9:29 AM #6

    Space Ranger

    Space Ranger

    Space Ranger

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    5
    I mostly use the thin fast setting CA, sometimes for tacking some pieces together, sometimes for gluing motor mount rings to the outside of the mmt tube, etc. Often will soak the inside of the end of motor mount tubes, or the forward end of body tubes for heat resistance and strength. Another use is to soak the end of very pointy balsa nose cones for strength and then prime & paint. I used to use a lot of the thin CA to soak paper shrouds to strengthen them but when soaking the outside of the shroud, or the outside of balsa fin surfaces, noticed that the CA tends to leave a somewhat bumpy surface, and find it hard to sand it smooth.
     
  7. Mar 17, 2019 at 1:43 PM #7

    Gary Byrum

    Gary Byrum

    Gary Byrum

    Overstable By Design

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,268
    Likes Received:
    154
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Lincolnton NC
    I forgot to include shrouds as well. My trick to getting them smooth after a CA treatment is to do all that to it before you glue it to the rocket. In most cases, My shroud assemblies are all assembled with CR's before I treat them with CA. This keeps what I have to sand smooth, easy to handle and you can work those little bumps down nice and smooth. In fact, CA really does well at the shroud joint. Since a lot of us still use the "overlap glue tabs, I found that extra coats of CA will toughen it up enough that you can sand it 98% flat without damage and use minimum amounts of Bondo or whatever you use to hide flaws, seams and cracks with. It's got it's uses, but in rocketry, I never use it to construct a build.
     
  8. Mar 17, 2019 at 1:55 PM #8

    mcderek

    mcderek

    mcderek

    Free Flight Rocketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    19
    The IC-2000 tire glue is great in situations where there is a shock load because it's a bit more flexible and sets fast. I'm not sure where it would make sense in rocketry though. I've used it to glue carbon components together in aeromodeling- pylons to motor tubes.
     
  9. Mar 17, 2019 at 3:27 PM #9

    MALBAR 70

    MALBAR 70

    MALBAR 70

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Athol, Massachusetts
    I used the Super Gold on the wraps for the Apogee Saturn V, worked great and didn't melt or crack the styrine at all.
     
  10. Mar 18, 2019 at 12:26 AM #10

    afadeev

    afadeev

    afadeev

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    106
    I also have the following brands:
    Insta-Cure and Insta-Cure+, both from BSI and RocketryWorks brands - are they the same?
    (sourced from either erockets.com or hobbylinc.com )
    Super-gold: foam safe and fewer toxic fumes, but more expensive and harder to find. I noticed that fumes quantity is correlated with the quantity of impurities in the tubes - the higher quality the tube, the fewer fumes you get.
    Loctite CA: available at Wallgreens and most grocery stores - great when you just ran out and need some in a pinch

    Thin CA for firming up the balsa fin edges, and ends of the airframe tubes exposed to ejection charges.
    Thick CA for tacking components in place, and gluing plastics. It's easy to sand, so occasionally, I use it for non-structural fin-fillet purposes (e.g: Saturn V fin shrouds).

    I don't see the need for medium CA, anyone?

    The biggest two (2) PITAs with CA are:
    1). I always get some on my fingers, and cleanup is a @#$%.
    2). The bottle cap always get either clogged, or glued to the body of the glue tube.

    CA comparison:
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 12:33 AM
  11. Mar 18, 2019 at 1:14 AM #11

    neil_w

    neil_w

    neil_w

    Perpetually waiting for good painting weather TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    355
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    I'm pretty confident in saying that RocketryWorks is just rebranding Bob Smith. Gotta be the same stuff.

    Other than fumes, do you find it to be different in use?

    The Loctite (triangular bottle + cap?) is what I often have as well... that *is* medium. The thick stuff is like gel, I rarely come up with any uses for it.

    To me medium is good as a *glue*, thin is good as a *hardener*, and thick is good as a *filler*. The thin is a bit dangerous to work with because it flows like water and wants to go everywhere, which is usually a Bad Thing.

    However, I've recently switched to thin for hardening the edges of body tubes... now I just drizzle some directly onto a cotton swab and wipe. It seems to distribute better than the medium.
     
  12. Mar 18, 2019 at 1:18 AM #12

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

    Nom-nom-nom... TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    98
    Gender:
    Male
    I use BSI CAs on my low and lighter mid-power stuff. Thin is great for gluing motor mount rings and I use medium for balsa fins to the body tube. I've never had a fin depart the rocket without snapping the balsa, so I know the bond is good.

    Where CA doesn't bond well is with edge-glued ply, so ply fins and ply centering rings. The reason for this is that CA tends to soak into the layers, not leaving enough adhesive on the surfaces.

    I've used several different brands and all work well enough. The reason I like BSI is that it seems to have a slightly better shelf life than other brands I've tried.
     
  13. Mar 18, 2019 at 2:55 AM #13

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    OpenRocket Chuck Norris

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    11,244
    Likes Received:
    145
    Avoid the CA glue listed as 502 (found in China) for gluing things together. It's very thin, but has almost no strength/durability (can't even hold popsicle sticks together well enough to damage the wood when broken apart).
     
  14. Mar 18, 2019 at 5:34 AM #14

    burkefj

    burkefj

    burkefj

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,671
    Likes Received:
    70
    Super gold plus is the only thing i use and recommend for my rc rocket glider kits.
     
  15. Mar 18, 2019 at 6:18 AM #15

    BEC

    BEC

    BEC

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,401
    Likes Received:
    26
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Auburn, WA
    And that (Super Gold) is what I used to build my Battlecruiser.

    I use Hobby Lobby's thin and medium in other roles as discussed quite a bit above.

    Bob Smith stuff is relabeled for many vendors....I've gotten BSI with the name of several different hobby shops on it. So I would expect that's what's going on with RocketryWorks.
     
  16. Mar 18, 2019 at 2:37 PM #16

    mbeels

    mbeels

    mbeels

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2019
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Yes, that can be annoying. I've found two things that help somewhat. First, with the bottle upright (so there is no CA in the nozzle), squeeze the bottle sides to blow air through the nozzle. This clears the inside. Second, do a quick pinch-wipe on the outside of the nozzle to clean off any CA that dripped down the outside of the nozzle. Repeat the squeeze if the nozzle opening isn't clear. Doing these two things, I can get through 2 oz of medium CA without any clogging or glued on caps. Occasionally I'll scrape off hardened CA from the outside of the nozzle, it slowly builds up over time.
     

Share This Page