Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Favourite Things Part 1

Hi Folks

I thought over the next week I would blog about some of my favourite things. But don't worry, its about simple, useful (and cheap!) things around the workshop that I use everyday and wouldn't be without.

So to the first item - Superglue.

I'm sure most of us have used superglue at one time or another (and have a bad memory of sticking your fingers to the item to be repaired!). Its cheap, easily available and dries fast.
I was interested to find it comes in different thicknesses - I'd only used the regular stuff. You can get a thick gel version (which doesn't run - useful on vertical surfaces) and a low viscosity thin version, too. The thin stuff has become a workshop favourite of mine - it has hundreds of uses. The cool thing is this - due to its watery consistency it wicks into cracks and openings. So you can sit two pieces together then wick the glue in afterwards - cool! And it also draws itself into cracks, so the next time you have a piece of timber chip or split just let some glue seep its way in and then hold the chip down for a few seconds until it sets. Perfect repair!

Over in the guitar making world repair guys use superglue for many, many things. And turners also use superglue as a finish! Is there no end of uses for this wonderful stuff?

A perfect companion to superglue is accelerator - just spray one surface with it before putting the two parts together and the glue sets almost instantly. Or you can use a drop of accelerator to set a layer of glue before adding another, allowing you to build up a repair quickly.

So - some of my applications for superglue:

As a filler - just add sawdust.
For gluing metal to wood.
Repairing splits, checks and cracks.
To glue up quick jigs.
To temporarily tack pieces together (pry them apart within 10 minutes though)
To strengthen soft areas of timber.
As a thread lock.

For me the best attribute is speed - apply the glue, hold the pieces together for a few seconds - done! And its a surprisingly strong bond, too, once it cures fully.
Just remember not to glue your fingers together - maybe an emergency tube of superglue dissolver would be a good thing to add to the list.




Aled said...

I totally agree Philly, I ALWAYS have a tube of superglue in the workshop, it's so usefull.

I've heard a story that it was first invented to stick wounds together on battlefields in the Vietnam war. Not sure if it's true, but it must have stung like hell!



Woodbloke said...

Philly - great stuff, I usually have a couple of tubes of the stuff in the 'shop.
Rarely needed though, as I make so few mistakes....hat, coat>>>already running! - Rob

Anonymous said...

Are you bored Philly ?!!!

Like Aled said, it's great for cuts too, squeeze the cut bit's of your finger (or whatever!) together and run some glue over and hold together for a few secs till dry. Lasts for ages. Best use thicker types of glue though as in this case you don't want it wicking into the cut !

Cheers, Paulm

Philly said...

Aled, Paul
Yes, I believe superglue was originally designed as a "field adhesive" to hold wounds closed. It explains why it works so well on human skin! Certain famous guitarists are known to have "reinforced" their fingertips with superglue, too.
And Paul, bored? You are joking - just so busy my brain has been taking little walks off on its own to amuse itself. Hence the idea for these blogs ;)

I know you never make mistakes. Well, ones that escape the bandsaw, anyway ;)