CEC CA glues are competitively priced and most importantly work well. A good workshop accessory to have on hand and a "must-have" for your wood finishing kit.
Cyanoacrylate glue, or CA for short, is an extremely strong and fast-setting adhesive available in several viscosities, typically thin, medium, and thick, and with setting times that vary from just one or two seconds to over a minute. Thinner glues have faster set times – thicker versions have better gap-filling abilities.
CEC Corp (Chemical Engineering Canada Corporation) has two brands of CA glue that I recently tried: Instant Wood Glue, which is specifically designed to be used with wood, and C-BOND, a general purpose adhesive.
Manufacturer: CEC Corp
Products: Instant Wood Glue (clear and black); C-BOND (3 viscosities – extra thin, thin, thick)
Made in: Overseas (Instant Wood Glue); Canada (C-BOND)
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INSTANT WOOD GLUE
Viscosity (cps): 180 – 210
Gap to fill (microns) : 10 – 50
Tensile strength (psi): 1750 – 3625
|Fixture time (seconds):||Steel||Wood (oak)||Wood (pine)|
|30 – 40||90 – 180||5 – 20|
|Viscosity (cps)||1 – 3||30 – 50||1200 – 1400|
|Gap to fill (microns)||5 – 35||10 – 60||10 – 200|
|Tensile strength (psi)||1740- 3190||1740 – 3480||2610 – 3626|
|Fixture time: steel (seconds)||10 – 20||10 – 30||20 – 50|
|Fixture time: aluminum (seconds)||2 – 10||5 – 15||10 – 30|
CA glue works on most surfaces, including wood, metal, stone, ceramic, plastic and glass. A big advantage is that it doesn’t require clamping – you simply hold parts in place until the glue sets. And it cures hard, clear and waterproof. Unlike the more traditional PVA glues, it hardens (polymerizes) when it comes into contact with moisture in the air and on the surface to which it’s applied.
The lower the viscosity (its resistance to flow) the ‘thinner’ the CA glue is. The viscosity level (centipoise or cps) for C-BOND Extra Thin is between 1 and 3 – pretty close to water, which has a cps level of 1. C-BOND Thick has a viscosity of 1,200 – 1,400 cps – similar to a thick hand lotion. In general thinner CA glue is better for filling very narrow voids or where you can flow on the glue horizontally (so it doesn’t drip). Thick CA glue is best for vertical applications or where you need a bit of extra time to position two parts together.
Compared to PVA glue the CA glues all set (harden) very quickly – typically from about 2 to 60 seconds (depending on the material being bonded, how much glue is applied and humidity levels). If the humidity level in your shop is very low (under about 40%) it will take longer for the glue to set. Full curing takes about 24 hours.
These glues are very strong. When cured, CA glues have a very high tensile strength (resistance to breaking under tension). Typical PVA glue has a tensile strength in the range of 3,600 to 4,000 psi; C-BOND Thick for example has a tensile strength of between 2,610 and 3,626 psi.
CEC’s Instant Wood Glue comes in convenient 1 ounce formats that have an anti-clog nozzle. They are two versions – clear for lighter woods and black for darker coloured woods (or where you want to add highlights to lighter coloured woods). On non-porous woods the fixture time (the time it takes the glue to set) is about 20 seconds. On porous woods it can be up to 1-1/2 minutes. I found Instant Wood Glue works very well for attaching narrow edge banding, inlays, butterfly keys and small trim pieces that are awkward to clamp.
While CEC C-BOND glues are available in 4 different size formats don’t purchase more than you can use within a 12-month period. The 1.05 or 2.11 oz sizes are probably best for most hobbyist woodworkers (shelf life is about 1 year for ‘unopened’ containers). C-BOND glue containers also have anti-clog nozzles. You want to keep these nozzles free of blockages by not touching the tip against anything – let the glue drip out. I found that the thinner C-BOND glues worked really well filling very small gaps, sealing end grain before dappling a stain or topcoat, and as a sealer mixed with sawdust to cover brad nail holes. C-BOND Thick is handy for filling wide (up to about 3/16″) cracks. It has a fixture time long enough to mix the glue with sawdust and the scrape it into the crack. I do this in thin layers, repeating until filled flush with the surface.
CEC CA glues are competitively priced and most importantly work well. A good workshop accessory to have on hand and a “must-have” for your wood finishing kit.
Carl Duguay - [email protected]
Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.