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CA Glue incident


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Hi All,

I thought I'd relate the tale of a recent unpleasant incident I had with a bottle of CA Glue (superglue), as a precautionary for all.

My preferred method of using this stuff is to put a couple of drops into a beer bottle cap (cheap, disposable and saved for the purpose), and then use whichever applicator is applicable with the drops in the cap.

I was unscrewing the cap off of a 20 gm bottle of CA in order to decant the required couple of drops. I was holding the bottle at an angle in my left hand and as the cap came loose from the nozzle it was followed by a jet of glue into my right hand hand, running down the bottle in my left hand, and rapidly spilling off onto my work mat, table, and then on to the floor. My initial reaction (after an expletive or three) was to grab some paper towel I keep handy and start mopping up. 

It soaked up the glue OK, but I then discovered it was sticking to my hands, and to make matters worse as the towel was compressed it started to get hot - very hot - to the extent of "Ouch! That's beginning to hurt". A quick sprint to the kitchen sink, plunge hands under the cold water and that was that problem sorted, although hands are still covered in CA and paper towel.

I used some acetone (nail polish remover stolen from my daughter) to get hands, working mat and table clean, unfortunately the carpet now has a permanent hard spot about an inch in diameter.

What caused this? I think this is what happened. The last time I had used the CA the weather was hot and dry - high pressure. A couple of days later we were heading for wind and rain (it is the UK) with the pressure dropping. My workstation was by a window and the little sun we had was shining on the CA bottle, warming it up and increasing the internal pressure. As I released the cap, the internal high pressure took over and out came the contents.

I now unscrew the cap slowly and in the vertical position so any pressure differential is sorted out before the CA get anywhere near the nozzle.

So, please be careful with glues, solvents etc. Useful things, but they can sneak up and bite you.



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I really like CA and use it a lot.  I agree though it can be troublesome.  A similar problem I have is switching between an old bottle and a new one.  I try to get out every last drop before getting a new bottle and very often I'm squeezing the bottle very hard by the time its done.  I then switch to a new bottle with the same habit of squeezing hard and of coarse glue goes every where.  Be careful with CA.

One more note on CA.  If you end of glueing your fingers to your model and don't want to break the model getting them off I have found that instead of pulling try twisting.  As you twist the glued area it comes apart and creates a smaller and smaller serface until pulling them apart is easy and doesnt break things.  

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  • 8 months later...

CA reacts aggressively with water. If you ever get it in your eyes remember... it'll sting but... you won't go blind! The CA will crystallize on contact with your tear film and local tissues while possibly encapsulating your eyelashes rendering your eye closed. Don't fret! It'll hurt like heck because the hard CA chunk stuck between your lids will rub on your cornea and scratch it a bit. The optometrist or ophthalmologist will use topical anesthetic for temporary pain relief while they cut the lashes to access the eyeball. They will remove the hardened chunk of CA that has contoured to the shape of your eye and palpebral fissure. Then they will instill antibiotic drops and a bandage soft contact lens. In the morning the contact gets removed and you will be as good as new! Except for truncated eyelashes, that is!  My advice is don't get CA in your eyes. Personally, I rarely use the stuff... it makes my nose 'run' (allergic to it). How do I know all of this (and then some)? I am an eye care provider!

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Nice tools from 'normal' hobby suppliers are all you need! A scissors, tweezers, sandpaper, X-acto knife, Uber skiver, cake of bees wax, etc. are the store bought items I use. The rest of my tools are are specialty 'home made' items. They are basically a piece of razor blade, paint brush or a wire hook on the end of a long stick... stuff like that specially made for reaching into bottles.

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