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Super glue -- chemical name of which is cyanoacrylate, also popularly known as crazy glue -- is amazing.
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First sold as an adhesive by Loctite in the 1960s, it's an adhesive that can stick together a wide range of materials – from plastics to wood, glass and porcelain, metal and fabric, and even human skin (no, super glue did not start out as a way to close wounds, although it was used for this purpose during the Vietnam war in the 1970s).
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It's great stuff, but most people use it wrong. They apply a big splosh of glue to the joint, slam the two bits together, splurge a bit more glue over any cracks that might be present, and then wonder why the joint fails.
You can get better results by following a few simple tips and tricks.
I don't find that it matters. I've bought the pricy stuff, and I've bought the cheap stuff, and the main difference I see is in the packaging -- the cheap stuff comes in metal tubes, the more expensive in packages that make it easier to apply the adhesive.
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One thing to look for is the viscosity (how runny the superglue is). Most of the stuff you buy is quite runny, but for certain applications, such as applying it at awkward angles, a gel or "high-viscosity" version might be easier to use.
Super glue isn't the only adhesive out there, and while it's a very versatile adhesive, some jobs are better suited to other kinds of adhesives.
There's a lot of interesting information on the container. Read it!
Most of this is common sense stuff, but it's amazing how often I come across failed repair attempts because people have not followed the instructions.
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Here are the basics:
Keeps children and pets away when working with superglue.
It's also a good idea to wear nitrile gloves and eye protection just in case a tube bursts (it's happened to me a few times) because if you get super glue onto skin, it's very hard to remove.
Here's what I do:
Bring the two parts you want to repair together to test the fit before applying the adhesive.
If the break has left a crack that doesn't close properly, then make sure you have some baking soda handy – I'll tell you how to use this in a bit.
It's definitely not a case of "the bigger the blob, the better the job."
You only need a small amount.
A miniscule amount.
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In fact, add too much and the joint will fail.
To aid in this, I like to use disposable micro-applicator tips that allow me to get the smallest amount of adhesive possible.
If there's still a crack after you apply the adhesive and bring the two parts together, sprinkle some baking soda on the crack to fill it up.
For bigger cracks, you can apply a tiny bit more adhesive if needed to hold the baking soda together.
The baking soda creates a matrix for the adhesive to stick to, bridging any gaps or imperfections.
You can buy activator sprays that will cure super glue almost instantly. This is handy for situations where you can't hold or clamp the two pieces together.
Forget about all the "instant" or "sets in seconds" stuff and give the glue a few minutes to set. If you mess with the joint before it has set properly, you've basically ruined it and you should start from the beginning.