I was recently talking with a guitar repairman who has been in the business over 20 years and was surprised by the kind of jobs he would regularly use ca glue for. Headstock break repairs, acoustic guitar cracks (tops,backs,sides), and loose brace repair.
I know that most, if not all, luthiers consider ca glue to be an important tool, but was wondering how some of you feel about its use in the above mentioned types of repair. Basically, do you or would you use it for these repairs? Why or why not?
I just repaired a headstock as Rusty described. After I fixed the major cracks with HHG, I wicked CA into areas where the first glue didn't penetrate. Several applications filled residual gaps and allowed me to level the surface with a razor blade scraper.
I use it to fix a split in my right hand thumbnail. It takes a long time for me to grow that nail and I rely on it for harmonics so if it gets a split (meaning it will soon tear off) I put a tiny amount of CA on the tear.
Then after it dries I sand it and it works great!
Great to do quick fixes on nut slots.
Soo, how does that work exactly? I can't picture it at all...
It turns out that CA is a catalyst that causes nearly instant polymerization of linseed oil. Michael Dresdner told me 10-15 years ago that it was discovered by accident - somebody dribbled CA into a container of linseed oil and was amazed at the sight.
Reminds me of the old Reese's Peanut Butter Cup commercial, "Hey you got cyanoacrylate in my linseed." "You got linseed on my CA. . ."
Not being a pen turner, I envision a kind of alternating application on the lathe, akin to French polishing.
You hit the nail on the head - the friction of the polishing while turning makes one heck of a tough, thick, and shiny finish, and the oil makes the wood look really nice. I load a chunk of folded paper towel with the BLO, wipe it on while the piece is spinning, and add two drops of thin CA while it is still turning. (Needless to say, I have a face guard, nitrile gloves, and a work shirt on while doing this). I have wondered how such a finish could be used on a guitar, and the answer is probably terrible.
Oh yeah, after a few applications, sanding with 600 grit between each one, I then hit the pen with micromesh and end up with a really nice finish. One of my favorites was curly maple dyed with a blue highlighter.