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Oct 11, 2010, 12:06 AM
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ziomatrixacs's Avatar

CA vs super glue

I am wondering what is the difference between quality superglue and hobby CA glue other than the 1000000% price increase. Is it the purity of the cyanoacrylate or what? I am talking about the stuff that is $2-3 for a small bottle in most stores, not the $1 for four tube bargain bin super glue.

I am trying to glue my FPV easy star together and I am having a hard time finding the right glue. Usually I would use hot glue, gorilla glue (I have both white and brown) and epoxy on the tail. Hot glue would add alot of weight on the fuse, Gorilla glue and epoxy will stick but comes off pretty easily. I am currently doing test to see if these are true or not. Normally I wouldn't sweat it but since I'll have about $800-1000 in equipment cramed in, I would hate for it to fall apart in flight! At this point my conclusion is, so what its a $10 bottle of glue for a $1k plane. I just want to know if there is a real difference or if it is just marketing. I hear alot of guys will just run a seam of tape to hold the fuse together but I want this one to look nice, not a toy with tape, wires and hot glue strings hanging off it.
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Oct 11, 2010, 12:16 AM
KE your cub.
Curare's Avatar
first off, purity is a big thing, and viscosity (I use thin ca mostly, which super gloo aint!) and also the "super glues" tend to not like going off in my opinion. I hate them with a vengeance for that.

you gets what you pays for with glues imo.
Oct 11, 2010, 12:56 AM
Registered Abuser
ziomatrixacs's Avatar
True, I could never bring myself to buy another bottle of zap after i had two $10 ones freeze up completely. I now know to store it in the fridge in a ziplock bag now..
Oct 11, 2010, 01:04 AM
KE your cub.
Curare's Avatar
yeah, good call there, and the other secret is buy little and often.

Think about it this way: YES there's economy in buying the big bottles but unless you build like a crazy person, you'll ineviably throw it out before it's all used up, i.e. gone hard in the bottle, or something. Now where's that ecomony gone? You've thrown it the bin, that's where!

The same goes for Polyurethane glues. little and often, and ziplock bags with silica gel for storage.
Oct 11, 2010, 01:24 AM
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ziomatrixacs's Avatar
I just went ahead and placed an order for the glue. It feels weird buying glue online. I got some green and pink zap 1/2oz bottles and a bottle of mercury gap filling type for my hinges. Horizon won't sell me activator for it. Might have to use the baking soda/water trick or the one with a little ammonia. I just don't want my plane smelling like pee and glue!
Oct 11, 2010, 02:39 AM
KE your cub.
Curare's Avatar
there's an easy way around that. Use aphiatic or white glue.

I've knocked out 2m sailplanes in 6 days using white glue.
Oct 11, 2010, 10:27 AM
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ziomatrixacs's Avatar
The way I did my aileron hinges was by using the dubro pin hinge and intending on gluing them on top instead of inside of in a slit. I didnt have a straight line to go off and a few other things which is why I did that instead. I have built many, many models but never tried the hinges on top so I want to use a stronger glue there. I also need the rudder/elevator removable so I had to make a few mods there too that require strong glue.

I let the test pieces of foam sit over night, came out like this..
Plain higher quality super glue broke on the glue joint pretty easily
The white gorilla glue peeled off the foam and left a lot of popped holes so re glueing it would suck.
Brown gorilla glue gave up a good fight and made the foam in the area start to tear before giving up. I'd say brown would be good but its so ugly if you don't keep it from expanding out of the joint.
Oct 11, 2010, 09:04 PM
KE your cub.
Curare's Avatar
you're using foam safe CA i assume?

Wow,I've never had a good run with that stuff. It seems to cure well on anything but foam!
Oct 12, 2010, 01:42 AM
Registered Abuser
ziomatrixacs's Avatar
Negative, I am using standard super glue. I also bought normal CA. Multiplex foam is weird. I used normal super glue and it did not melt. I also used normal rattle can krylon (not H20) in flat white and florescent orange and it did not dissolve.
Oct 12, 2010, 03:49 PM
Will fly for food
With the small tubes in the hardware store, you are paying for packaging and advertising.

When did you ever see a TV ad for a hobby CA?

I would actually say, most hobby CAs are higher quality than the hardware store type.
Oct 12, 2010, 06:38 PM
Registered User
43851E's Avatar
For what it's worth, Wally World carries a "Locktite" brand of CA in a bottle for $3.40 something. You get 0.14 Oz (4 gm), but the bottle dispenser is one of the best I've ever used. The sides squeeze and open up a neck valve. After using up about 6 of them, never a problem...yet, and they travel well. Mercury CA has a guarantee of "no clog", but the spout keeps coming out of the bottle when you attempt to remove the cap, so I'm using the Locktite brand currently. The "red" is fast cure, the "green" is 15 sec cure.

History, I believe it was at the now closed Eastman-Kodak Lab in Palo Alto, CA where a chemist went to lunch after placing a beaker in his glass shelved chemical storage cabinet, story was that when he returned, he pulled the whole glass shelve out grasping the beaker. A cross section analyses was performed on the Pyrex beaker & glass shelve interface & it was discovered that the glass & Pyrex molecules has become welded together, chemically. Thus "CA" was discovered. Was then marketed to the US Army for re-attachment of eyeball tendons in the field of combat. It's initial use was medical.
Oct 12, 2010, 07:52 PM
AMA 7224
Leadchucker's Avatar
I've been building exclusively with Satellite City's Hot Stuff CA for over 35 years and it's not let me down yet. Take it as a recommendation if you want...or not.
Latest blog entry: Mo' Toys
Oct 13, 2010, 03:34 PM
Will fly for food
If you have some of the original production Mercury, there was a problem with bottles. I saw them at a show, complained, and they gave me new bottles (full) to replace them. And didn't want the old ones back.

The newer ones do not do that.
Oct 25, 2010, 08:24 AM
atlav8r's Avatar
Originally Posted by 43851E
Mercury CA has a guarantee of "no clog", but the spout keeps coming out of the bottle when you attempt to remove the cap,
Mercury is happy that there is now a high quality USA made CA available. The Mercury plant is the only factory who actually manufactures CA in the United stares and we are excited to be changing the CA industry. I am however unhappy to learn of the experience you have had with our bottle and assure you that this is a rare situation that we want to fix and avoid in the future.

From your note I gather that you are using the 10 gram bottle? This bottle design is unique among the Mercury products as it is very small. As you have seen our Pin N Cap bottle top is very unique. However, unlike our popular one ounce and two ounce bottles where the bottle neck and application channel are actually molded together where it can not separate, the 10 gram bottle has a pressed in nozzle.

A while back we learned that a few of our 10 gram size bottles got out of the plant after the machine that presses the 10 gram nozzle into the bottle was not calibrated properly and over pressed the nozzle into the bottle causing a lip of plastic to form that can hold the nozzle into the top of the cap when you remove the top. As our plant is a ISO 9001 - 2000 certified company and as each bottle is serialized this issue was fixed quickly and a notice sent to the dealers where these bottles were delivered. It sounds like you could of received some of these bottles or that the nozzle on your bottle could of accumulated CA on the outside of the nozzle after use and caused the nozzle to pull out. The Pin N Cap top is designed to keep the bottle nozzle and application channel clear but if glue is allowed to build up on the outside of the nozzle it can cause trouble if not wiped off after use.

I don’t think this was the case with your 10G bottles but when using CA or allowing the glue to run down the side of the nozzle or with the nozzle touching any sub-straight during use it can pick up contaminates thus causing the glue to set quicker as the contaminate will contain moisture (moisture is what causes CA to set up). If you fail to wipe the nozzle after allowing it to touch other material it will cause a build up on the nozzle (our tips will prevent this).

This buildup will not allow the nozzle to clog as our cap will prevent this with the built in pin. Our pin n cap by the way “never touches” the plastic nozzle as by design there is a 200,000th clearance to prevent contamination. With other vendors CA contamination can happen when you use a pin to unclog their bottles as the pin will scratch the inside of the nozzle allowing contaminates to take hold and continue the cycle. More on our cap design can be found on our website.

With all of this said I have forwarded your note to our production department as well as to our engineering team to investigate further. Mercury is the only company with an unlimited unconditional replacement warranty and I would like to replace your bottle with a new bottle of 1 oz so you can see the difference in the bottles and continue to enjoy our high quality products. If you could Email me directly, let me know the Serial # off of the back of your bottle, where you received it as well as what flavor you would like me to replace it with along with your address I will get it right out to you.

Again we apologize for the trouble you have had, Mercury takes it's products and application devices seriously and I assure you we will research and find out how to improve the 10 gram bottle nozzle!

Thanks again

Cliff Whitney
Founder /
Oct 25, 2010, 10:14 AM
Registered User
Ward Hagaman's Avatar
Thanks for the explanation Cliff....I had a similar experience with the tip coming off. Now that I know that it was due to the calibration of the assembly machine I'll try again.

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