CA Glue

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Forum topic by Transition posted 06-16-2011 08:11 PM 2525 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Transition's profile


340 posts in 4003 days

06-16-2011 08:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip lathe finishing joining turning ca glue safety burn

  • I often use my bare fingers around CA and will get it on my hands. This usually isn’t a big deal, however I recently let a good deal of it build up rapidly, and got a nice little burn. The burn was small, but the heat generated by the curing CA glue was very significant and extremely painful. I believe the heat caused the burn, and not a chemical reaction with my skin. The MSDS for CA glue also warns against using cotton gloves, as apparently CA will react with cotton, although I imagine using CA with any pourous glove at least has the potential of leaving one wearing the gloves for a while!
  • CA glue vapors will burn your eyes. So wear safety glasses/goggles, and don’t stand directly over your work, especially if you are applying the glue in a manner which will lead to vaporization (e.g. applying glue to a pen rotating on a lathe). I have a fan behind me which helps blow vapors and dust away from me as I work, and this has helped.
  • Be aware that CA glue will react with Boiled Linseed Oil. I use a CA/BSL combo as a finish on pens. I recently tried to make a mixture of the two so that I would have a consistent ratio for my finish. I combined approximately .25oz of each in a little plastic sqeeze bottle. The two did not readily mix. However upon shaking the two reacted, giving off significant heat (I couldn’t hold the bottle), and the mixture quickly solidified. The reaction was not quick (~1min).

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA -

12 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4430 days

#1 posted 06-16-2011 08:21 PM

I used to work in an automotive parts manufacturer. They use CA on a lot of rubber parts and get it in pint sized bottles. I saw a guy squeeze one of those to clear a clog, about as sharp as a bowling ball, and it squirted up in the air and came down on his sweaty cotton tee shirt. Before he could rip that shirt off it was smoking violently. He got some 2nd degree burns, blisters, all over his back. That is some serious stuff, respect it.

View MrWoodworker's profile


65 posts in 4055 days

#2 posted 06-16-2011 08:53 PM

Smokies! Good thing he didn’t get a face full of it! Thanks for the words of wisdom Transition, CA is some mighty frightful stuff when it’s not used right, or the proper precautions aren’t taken. I’m amazed at how tenacious it can be, even the tiniest dribble.


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 5045 days

#3 posted 06-16-2011 09:21 PM

Whatever you do don’t drink it.It tastes terrible. And causes serious constipation next day. OUCH what a bummer. LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Richard's profile


1959 posts in 4150 days

#4 posted 06-16-2011 09:44 PM

Alister I hope that statement is not from personal experience. :)

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 4053 days

#5 posted 06-17-2011 03:00 AM

There is a product called Miter Bond.It comes with an applicator bottle and a spray can of activator.I use to use this product gluing miters on 5” crown molding for a cabinet shop I worked for, but it has a ton of uses best part you don’t really get your fingers close to the glue.

View brtech's profile


1216 posts in 4382 days

#6 posted 06-20-2011 04:06 PM

Water is an accelerator for CA. Lot of water = fast set = heat. Your body has water.

CA = Cyanoacrylate Adhesive. Cyano like Cyanide? Whatever, the fumes are an irritant.

The reaction with cotton is well known. With enough CA, the cotton can actually ignite.

Wikipedia says “The use of oil (such as boiled linseed oil) may be used to control the rate at which the CA cures”

If you work with CA, keep some acetone around. Acetone will dissolve a CA bond.

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 4131 days

#7 posted 06-21-2011 02:59 PM

To add to what brtech said, keep in mind that when police departments need to isolate fingerprints on, say, a piece of plastic, they put it into an enclosure with some CA glue, which is heated.
As the CA glue heats, some of it is released into the air, adhering to the fingerprint. But if a little heat can cause it to become airborne, then the heat from the reaction can also cause some of it to become airborne.

I used to use it a good bit when making RC Airplanes, and have glued myself to almost every model I’ve ever assembled, at some point or another. But never enough to cause a burn, ouch!

The other thing is that thin CA cures faster than thick, and therefore generates more heat. But also be aware, that even a standard epoxy generates a good amount of heat as it cures.

Lastly, you need to be careful not just when applying the CA, but also when sanding, because the sanded particulate can be just as irritating if inhaled. And your body can develop a sensitivity to it over time.

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 4053 days

#8 posted 06-30-2011 10:30 PM

I herd this glue was developed during the Vietnam for closing wounds fast.Might be just B.S.

View brtech's profile


1216 posts in 4382 days

#9 posted 06-30-2011 10:37 PM

View TheDane's profile


6056 posts in 5122 days

#10 posted 07-01-2011 12:18 AM

Alistair—It really isn’t so bad so long as you take it with shot of accelerator as a chaser!


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View TheDane's profile


6056 posts in 5122 days

#11 posted 07-01-2011 12:22 AM

Chipy—The medics in my outfit carried (and used) little bottles of ‘Eastman #910’, an early form of cyanoacrylate glue.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 4053 days

#12 posted 07-04-2011 11:08 PM

TheDane first thanks for your service in that awful war, seems kind of appropriate on this day Thanks for confirming that factoid

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