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It’s a glued up world.  Really!  There are tons of different types of adhesives on the market today, and I have personally used quite a few.  Epoxy resins and wood glues alike grace the shelves of your local home center, but the first line defense for me has always been good old-fashioned super glue.  The “super” in super glue comes from the ability of a 1-square-inch bond of the stuff to hold more than a ton.  (I kid you not.)  It’ll also glue your little brother’s fingers together in one heck of a hurry.  Read on past the jump for a lot more about a little topic.  (It’s worth it.)

The real power in super glue comes from cyanoacrylate, which is an acrylic resin that bonds almost instantly.  The trigger for the bonding process are the hydroxyl ions in found in water.  This is pretty handy since almost any object you might want to glue together will have at least trace amounts of water on its surface.  The only bummer used to be that metal was difficult to glue up if it was cleaned, but slight changes in the formula has since defeated this issue.

I’ve been a fan of super glue ever since my Dad glued up a broken toy as a child. Instantly captivated by the miracle healing power’s I proceeded to use it whenever and wherever possible — from other broken toys to gluing up my fathers prize pocket knife – which thankfully is still holding together after 18 years.  Super glue gets a bad rap on occasion for not being the “right way” to get a job done, but I am of the opinion that if it gets the project done and meets all functional requirements to the project — all is fair.

In last week’s podacst Chuck eluded to my “other” use for super glue:  I’ve found it to be a fantastic way to close up cuts instead of troublesome band-aids or stitches in some cases.  Now let me first say that I (or anyone else really) can’t recommend that you do this.  I just happen to have done it a few dozen times with success.  In my defense, though, researchers have found that by changing the type of alcohol in super glue, from ethyl alcohol to butyl the compound becomes non toxic to tissue and Johnson and Johnson now has a “laceration glue” on the market that’ll serve the same purpose without removing five years of your life.  Just remember: I thought of it first.

You can find all manner of variations and types of instant bond glue almost anywhere now.  Just read the label to make sure it’ll work for your particular project and there will most likey be a glue that can help you, priced around $3 and up.  The stuff pictured above is Krazy Glue brand, which is what I happened to have in the shop at the moment.

One last piece of advice: a little goes a long way.  Don’t over glue it. 

Krazy Glue Products [Krazy Glue]


12 Responses to Why I Love Super Glue, by Sean

  1. Myself says:

    The Krazy Glue container pictured is the best I’ve found, and it’s because there’s a little desiccant pellet in the tip of the overpack tube. As you mentioned, water cures the glue, so the less moisture it’s exposed to during storage, the better. I had one of these go through the laundry, and the glue was still usable after all that! You’re likely to actually have this tube until it’s empty, rather than throwing out half-full tubes that hardened prematurely like with other packaging styles. Highly recommended.

  2. Ken says:

    Krazy glue also repairs dentures.Great for glueing a broken tooth back in dentures.

  3. Gene says:

    Unfortunately, you didn’t think of it first! 😉 Cyanoacrylate was used to glue wounds and stop bleeding back in 1966 in Vietnam. The link in my name is to the Wikipedia article on cyanoacrylate, which was discovered by Harry Coover at Eastman Kodak during World War II when searching for a way to make synthetic gun-sights.

    I am a HUGE fan of krazy glue, and I keep a tube of it in my tackle box.

  4. Sean O'Hara says:

    Ha! I knew it was legit gluing myself back together. Chuck has to stop giving me guff now 😉

  5. Dick says:

    Yup, I’m also a long-time fan of cyanoacrylate for patching up people damage. While I could never officially condone this sort of thing, here’s my handy guide to how one might theoretically use the schtuff.

    0) What kind of damage did you do? Super glue works best on nice clean cuts – razor and glass cuts are ideal. Jagged tears, punctures, crushes, rips, etc. are generally poor choices. If it’s really deep, consider patching it temporarily while you get yourself to the ER. Oh, and it’s great for forehead/scalp injuries… stops the bleeding that nothing else will.

    1) Clean the wound. Thoroughly. We’re talking deep down inside the fissure you ripped in your leg with that broken full-length mirror (or something). You have to avoid sealing up any dirt or bacteria in it.

    2) Match the two sides of the wound up, trying to get them perfectly aligned. Trust me, you’ll heal better.

    3) Apply glue, trying to keep it all on the outside (skin) and not the inside (bloody mess). Make sure to hold the wound closed until the glue has dried.

    4) Don’t pick at it. Easier said than done. If you can restrain yourself, the glue falls off on its own after about the right time (2-3+ days).

    I’d personally recommend the purple variety with the brush applicator. You can see where you’ve covered, and the brush ensures even goo while keeping you from gluing your one good hand to an open wound.

  6. david says:

    Also, it makes a really good finish for wood projects, especially if they’re done with a lathe. It provides a hard, durable surface that isn’t as temperamental as polyurethane, and dries a LOT quicker.

  7. Jason says:

    Random Cyanoacrylate (CA) thoughts:

    0) They make a CA based skin glue. It’s called Dermabond. It’s sterile and approved for use as a suture.

    1) Acetone is the solvent of choice for CA glue. In a pinch you can use nail polish remover (if it contains acetone).

    2) CA fumes can be used to enhance latent fingerprints on objects.

    3) I find that the Krazy brand of CA glue is the thinnest available. They make various thicknesses of CA glue and you can find the full viscosity spectrum at most hobby shops.

    4) They also make an accelerator for CA glue. You spritz it on and the glue sets immediately. One side effect is that it can cause a sort of foaming action.

    5) As the article states, CA glue requires water to set. I’ve had good luck with spraying a mist of water on objects that otherwise wouldn’t contain water (metal, etc).

  8. PR says:

    I hate Super Glue.
    Something allways goes wrong.

    Last time I got some on eye glasses. Nothing could clean them up,
    not even nail polisher.

    And for get this part of wasting half a tube. How about 95% of each tube. I found that each tube can be used only once. A few month later when needed again it’s solid.

  9. Elsa says:

    is it really safe to use for something that will go in the mouth?
    i broke my retainer and desperately don’t want to have to pay $900 to have it repaired…
    can i use Krazy Glue? i have some at home but it isn’t toxic?

  10. Betsy Rogers,R.N. says:

    I have just super glued my Lab’s wound…pad of foot…staples failed…hope I did the right thing…only applied the glue to edges of wound…not inside…injury is 2 weeks old and staples keep coming out…Has anybody out there ever done this????Betsy

  11. Doug says:

    Another emergency blood-stopper that has a sterilizing effect on the wound: Cayanne pepper. It works well, I’ve used it, even when I bit my tongue and the bleeding didn’t stop untill I applied a bit of Cayanne. There is a momentary sting that goes away quickly.

  12. Sean O'Hara says:

    Betsy, while this isn’t recomended (by anyone) I have used it on myself many times and suffered no ill effects.

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