excess CA removal???

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2009
Reaction score
How do you guys get rid of excess CA that has run down a balsa fin? I had some that spread very quickly down a fin that is slightly raised, but it also seeped into the wood. I've tried sanding it, but when I sand it, the harder CA remains while the surrounding soft wood sands away, making the area worse!

What can I do???


Make sure when you're sanding to use a good sanding block. This will keep the sandpaper flat and you won't have to worry about sanding a groove in the wood. If you have a good, hard piece of balsa, you can use some rubber cement to glue the sandpaper right down on the balsa block.

OR...acetone will dissolve CA glue, but it will be a mess and stick up the place.

Good Luck,
You can also use a little Elmer's Fill 'n Finish to fill in any grooves in the wood after you're sanded down the CA.
Use "Uncure" it is a CA debonder.
A great method for flat sanding a small area is disposable emory boards (finger nail files)
Originally posted by OKTurbo
acetone will dissolve CA glue, but it will be a mess and stick up the place.

Just tried that, no luck. The acetone didn't dissolve the glue at all. Even after getting a good soaking, it didn't thin out the bead of glue. Unfortunately, the fin is fairly thin, and it's already attached to a rocket (the CA was being used to tack the fin to the rocket to get wood glued later), so block sanding is difficult.

if acetone won't work you may need some nitromethane and or MEk... different CA glues need different debonder formulations..some debonders are just pure acetone....some are mixtures of acetone/nitromethane and or mek

try a 60/30 nitromethane/acetone mixture or a 50/50 mixture of MEk/nitromethane..

all of this stuff is extrememly hazardous so be careful around flames and use nitrile gloves
Pardon my density here, but what is MEk? I've never heard of it, let alone used it. Where do I find it?

The stuff I'm trying to remove is Pacer Zap (that ultra-thin stuff that dries instantly and has the consistency of rubbing alcohol)

MEk is Methyl Ethyl Ketone .....its a acetone smelling solvent... USE gloves witht his stuff.... I am surprised that acetone will not dissolve the PAcer ZAP thin ca as its debonder is almost pure acetone....

do a google on any of this stuff for MSDS.... do not inhale or allow skin contact

you can get MEk in most any hardware store....

IF you are wondering how I know about this stuff I love debonders and accelerators for CA glues, but boy are they expensive.....SO I did some research into what their ingredients are... you can find the the mix ratios for most of the commercial products via MSDS sheets provided by the actual manufacturers online....

also not all CA glues are the same as I'm sure you are aware, hence acetone will suffice as a debonder for some brands, while other brands use various other solvent mixtures for their debonders

in fact some CA glues even use acetone as an accelerator....

Latest posts