Super Glue to the Rescue
From repairs to assembly to finishing, how to get the most from this versatile shop helper
Synopsis: Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue, popularly known as Super glue, is known for being a fast-drying adhesive that doesn’t add moisture to wood. What are the best uses for CA glue in the shop? We take a look at how woodworkers are using it. We also test a relatively new CA glue designed specifically for furniture making. Included are tips on handling the glue, using it for repairs, as a quick clamp substitute, as a wood turning finish, and finally as a furniture glue.
We’ve all been there. you chip a plate in the kitchen or break off a vital section of wood you are working on. If you want an invisible repair, the area is hard to clamp, or you don’t want to wait for the glue to set, the answer is Super glue.
Speed is the main advantage of Super glue, whose technical name is cyanoacrylate (CA) glue. A repair or a joint made with CA glue can be shaped, sanded, or finished within about five minutes. Another advantage is that CA glue doesn’t add moisture to the wood, so there is no problem with wood swelling. If you sand a joint too soon after it was made with a polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue, you can end up with a depression after the moisture has evaporated and the wood shrinks.
Fine Woodworking asked me to take a close look at this special family of glues to find out how woodworkers use it. While researching this article, I picked up great tips for its everyday uses in woodworking. I even tried a relatively new type of CA glue specifically designed for wood that is threatening to make inroads into yellow glue’s long dominance. It’s time woodworkers gave CA glue a second look.