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Use the "ASK NOW" button (right) to submit your own question. We'll answer your question and possibly use it in our next Ask The Glue Pros ad, as well as, post it here on this page. Following are questions asked by users of BSI glues.

I'm doing powder inlays (copper and turquoise) in wood with your thin CA. Is there a better CA that is easier to sand – this stuff is tough. – D. Z., Fairview Hts, IL

If you wait more than an hour to sand the Insta-Cure or Super-Gold thin CA after its initial cure, it is difficult to sand. We try to sand the CA within 5-15 minutes after applying it, starting with 80-120 grit sandpaper, then switching to finer grits. It's important to use a hard backed sanding block so that the areas with a higher level are worked down first. The hard block also allows a smooth feathering of the edges of the CA into the material without the CA. Using Insta-Flex flexible thin CA will give you a surface that is easier to sand. This works very good on harder woods, but our tests on balsa wood show that the resulting surface is easier to dent. The cured regular thin CA withstood the same impact force with no affect on the finish.

I have just purchased a laser cut model aircraft kit which is going to weigh approx 10 lbs. Because all the edges of ply have been slightly burnt by the laser torch, what adhesive would you advise to use throughout its construction? – O. Sivertsen, Southsea, England

Since the fit of the parts is usually very tight on laser cut kits, applying our Insta-Cure super thin to the joints after the parts are assembled is what works best. We would recommend getting either our extra fine extender tips or capillary tubing for more precise application of the CA. In areas of the structure that may experience extra stress, we like to apply either our Insta-Cure+ or Maxi-Cure to form fillets in the corners of the joints, then spray them with Insta-Set. This provides an increase in the mechanical strength of the joint.

I use BSI’s Slow-Cure epoxy for setting inlays in ebony on musical instruments. I’ve done this many times with good success; however, on my last ones the epoxy never fully hardened and still feels tacky. What could I have done wrong? – W. Talley, West Chester, PA

Improper mixing of the two parts could be the problem, but 98% of the time your situation is caused by the epoxy curing in an environment below 70°F. It must be above this temperature for the entire 8 hour cure time of the Slow-Cure for the epoxy to have maximum strength. BSI’s Quik-Cure is less sensitive to temperature since it creates a significant amount of its own heat when curing. Finish-Cure, however, must be kept at above 75°F during curing for it to have the properties that modelers are looking for.

What is the best way to store CA glue? Should I keep open bottles in my freezer? – R. Pierce, Anderson, IN

Exposure to heat and moisture are the two main factors in decreasing the shelf life of CA. If kept at normal room temperature (74°F) and humidity levels, BSI’s regular CAs will have a shelf life of over two years. Unopened bottles can be stored in a freezer, but this offers little or no advantage over storage in a refrigerator. CA bottles can be stored in a sealed container inside the refrigerator to isolate them from moisture. Adding a desiccant (silica gel) to the container can extend the life of the CA to over four years. Opened bottles that are frequently used should not be put into into the fridge since condensation can occur inside the bottle. Accelerator should never be stored with CA.

I mixed half of the contents of each bottle of your 30 minute epoxy in a small dish and after less than ten minutes it became very hot and solidified. Why did this happen? – V. Bolborici Toronto, Canada

When the two components of epoxy are mixed together, they create an exothermic reaction. If the resulting heat is not allowed to dissipate it can cause the cure time of the epoxy to accelerate drastically. This will happen when larger quantities (more than an ounce) are mixed in a cup. The container traps the heat, which speeds the cure, which creates more heat, etc, etc. If the mixture is stirred every minute, it will allow some of this heat to be released. Pouring the epoxy onto a flat surface also allows the heat to disperse and is the best way to get the full working time of the epoxy.

I sometimes have a love/ hate relationship with your CA tops. They allow me to apply the CA in fine amounts, but sometimes they clog. Do you have a secret for keeping the nozzle clear? – B. Frank, Phoenix, AZ

The first important step is to make a clean cut with a razor blade or hobby knife when you first cut off the tip of the nozzle. When you are done using the bottle, sit it down hard and then squeeze the bottle. Wipe the nozzle clean of any excess CA, then squeeze the bottle again to verify you can hear air blowing through it. If you look straight down at the tip (not while squeezing it!) you should see a black dot. That means the nozzle is clear and you can put the colored cap back on. If a buildup of CA occurs at the tip, many times you can clear it just by using your fingernails to remove the cured CA.

What do you recommend mixing into epoxy to make it thinner? Also, can I add a color to it? – B. Hadley, Portland, OR

Heating epoxy will make it thinner, but this also lowers your working time. BSI’s Finish-Cure is thin enough naturally to be brushed on. 91%-99% isopropyl alcohol and denatured alcohol are the best solvent to add to epoxy for thinning and are available at most drug and home stores. Usually adding no more than 10% is enough to sufficiently lower the viscosity of the epoxy. Do not use rubbing alcohol. While it can be used for the cleanup of uncured epoxy, it contains 30% water and has an adverse affect on the curing process. Acetone can be used but is more likely to change the cured properties of the epoxy. Acrylic paint can be used to color epoxy, but some paint stores have tubes of concentrated tints in paste form for acrylic/latex paints that come in many colors. These work best for coloring epoxy.

Is it possible to use your Super-Gold+ on ELAPOR® foam used by Multiplex? – W. de Vries, Holland

BSI’s Super-Gold+, along with all our epoxies, is compatible with all foams. With ELAPOR® and other EPP and EPO foams, however, it is not necessary to use foam safe CA. BSI’s Insta-Cure+ gap filling CA is used by many modelers for these foams with great results. For maximum durability, tests have shown that BSI’s Insta-Flex+ clear rubber toughened gap filling CA creates superior bonds on these foams. For all foam-to-foam bonding, BSI’s Insta-Set accelerator must be used in conjunction with the CA since foams do not have the moisture content that normally initiates the curing of CA. The Insta-Set can be sprayed on one part and the CA applied to the other before bonding, or Insta-Set can be sprayed on a joint after the parts are assembled. Epoxies can be used but they are heavier and produce generally weaker bonds on EPP type foams.

Should I be mixing BSI’s epoxies by equal volume or weight? Also, can I add more hardener to speed the cure? – K. Achee, Citronelle, AL

The resins (the black bottles) of BSI’s epoxies are heavier than the hardeners by a 1.1 to 1 ratio. As long as the epoxies are mixed in equal amounts within a 10% margin of error, there will be no distinguishable difference in the cured characteristics if done at the proper temperature. Since the 1.1 to 1 difference in weight falls within this 10% margin, the epoxies can be mixed with equal volume or equal weight with the same results. Additional hardener should never be intentionally added to “improve” the curing of epoxy. As a general rule, each molecule of resin needs to have a matching molecule of hardener for optimum results. If all the resin molecules already are attached their “partner,” any excess hardener molecules will be left floating in the mix, which will degrade the cured properties of the epoxy.

What is the best way to apply Insta-Cure super thin CA? Many times when I apply it the CA goes places I didn’t want it to go. – W. Tobler, Junction City, CA

For the precise application of Insta-Cure, Insta-Flex and Super-Gold, BSI makes accessories that can be very helpful. Our Extra-Fine Extender Tips #302 slip over the bottle’s nozzle so that thin CA can be applied a drop at a time. BSI’s PTFE Tubing #305, however, is the best solution for applying thin CA. By cutting back the nozzle a little under a 1/16” to get to a slightly bigger I.D. and cutting the end of the tubing at a 45° angle, it can be inserted into the nozzle about 1/8” and kept there. The CA will always flow back into the bottle, ready for the next application. CA that may build up on the tubing can be easily pulled off. Worst case, 1/8” can be cut off the end of the tubing.

My organization uses many of your adhesives but we need Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to meet OSHA requirements. Where can I get them? I couldn’t find them on your web site. – J. High, Langley, VA

You can contact BSI directly. Eventually, BSI’s MSDSs will be on our web site, but we enjoy seeing organizations and companies like NASA, Northrop-Grumman, BAE Systems, Wright-Paterson AFB, Sandia Labs, Max Planck Institute, AAI, Siemens, Raytheon and many others contact us about MSDS information. They have all found BSI’s quality and performance matches or surpasses that of the leaders in industrial adhesives.Tesla Motors, Volkswagen, Gulfstream Aerospace, Ford and Nissan are the latest to be added. The consistent freshness of BSI’s products is a large factor in this. BSI’s network of hobby shops reports that a least 35% of their adhesive sales go outside the hobby. Word has gotten out that hobby shops have the best adhesives available for many industrial applications at a fraction of the cost.

UPDATE: All BSI product safety information (in the new SDS format) is now available on our website within each product listing, under the Safety Data Sheet tab.

CA fumes really irritate my eyelids. Could I use your Super-Gold odorless CAs for balsa construction? – M. Mann, Concord, CA

BSI’s Super-Gold thin and Super-Gold+ gap filling have developed an international reputation as being the best foam safe CAs. They are also odorless and are the best alternative for modelers who have developed a sensitivity to the fumes that are an irritant emitted by regular CAs (these fumes do not contain anything related to cyanide like some have claimed). Unlike many other foam safe CAs, modelers do not have to sacrifice any significant performance characteristics when they use the Super-Golds on other materials like wood and plastic. Super-Gold thin is not quite as thin as Insta-Cure super thin, but is a direct substitute. Super-Gold+ can be used on clear plastic, like canopies, without producing the fogging that occurs when regular CA fumes settle on a surface. The only disadvantage is their price.

I am looking for an epoxy resin to improve the fuel proofing on my 25 yr old model aeroplane. Will Finish-Cure™ do the job? – A. Gould, UK

Yes, Finish-Cure™ is your best choice. It will be the easiest to apply since it is formulated to have a thin consistency so that you can brush it on. Finish-Cure™, along with BSI’s Slow-Cure™, is 100% fuel proof, which makes it ideal for sealing engine and fuel compartments. It penetrates balsa better than other hobby epoxies, making Finish-Cure™ the best choice for applying fiberglass cloth over wood. It is also easy to sand to a smooth finish.

Since it is thin, Finish-Cure™ works very well for laminations and for sheeting foam wings. Once it is applied into a thin layer, it has a working time up to 40 minutes, with full cure in 6-8 hours. Temperatures need to be above 75°F during Finish-Cure’s entire curing time to assure it has the specified characteristics.

What is the best way to fix broken cups, plates and porcelain/ceramic knickknacks? – K. O’Clair, San Luis Obispo, CA

Being located in earthquake country, BSI’s Glue Pros have become experts at this. CA is always the best choice for these types of fixes. If a precious object is broken into two or three pieces, any of our thicker CAs (except IC-2000) can be sparingly applied to one part and then the pieces can be aligned and held tightly together for 15 seconds.

If there are more than three pieces, the object needs to be reassembled without using any adhesive, using small pieces of masking tape to hold everything in place. Once every part is perfectly aligned, any of BSI’s thin CAs can be applied along all the joints. After about 30 seconds, all the joints can be sprayed with Insta-Set and the tape can be removed. A paper towel soaked in Un-Cure will then remove any excess CA from the outside.

What are the cured heat ranges for BSI epoxies? – J. Stern, Livermore, CA

The epoxies that are formulated for hobby use are thermosetting polymers that have varying glass transition temperatures. This is the temperature at which the epoxies will begin to soften, but not necessarily fail. The result of this softening can be seen in our models, and many full size composite aircraft, when an epoxy and cloth finished surface is set out in the sun. The higher heat levels can cause the weave of the cloth to become visible in what was once a perfectly smooth finish.

BSI’s epoxies and CAs are all rated down to -40°F. The upper limit for Quik-Cure epoxy is 140°F, Mid-Cure 165°, Finish-Cure 175° and Slow-Cure 190°. Cyanoacrylates can be used when higher temperature resistance is needed. Regular CAs are good up to 220°F, while BSI’s black IC-2000 is rated at 250°F. One aerospace firm tested Super-Gold+ and found it was stronger after being heated to 270°.

My son has been using BSI’s Insta-Cure adhesives for making balsa wood towers that are tested to destruction at his school. A friend suggested that he use one of your competitor’s CA but it wouldn’t bond the balsa. What is special about BSI CA that makes it work better in this application? – D. George, Sparks, MD

BSI adhesives are consistently the freshest that consumers can buy. BSI starts with the finest raw materials available, then blends and bottles them here in Atascadero, CA. The adhesives are then sold direct to hobby shops and industrial users. They never sit in warehouses where they can be exposed to adverse storage conditions. It is not uncommon for a California modeler to purchase a bottle of CA from their local hobby retailer that was bottled just the day before. BSI’s specially made bottles and labels help preserve this freshness so that modelers can experience to the full extent the high performance that CAs have to offer.

My hobby dealer recommended your Finish-Cure for glassing over balsa. Can the epoxy be used just by itself to provide a hard finish? – M. Campbell, Oklahoma City, OKD

Yes, the Finish-Cure can be used to harden the surface of the balsa without the cloth. One advantage of using 3/4 oz. cloth, however, is that you can squeegee away any excess epoxy and end up with a layer of epoxy with a uniform thickness, thereby producing a lighter structure. By just using epoxy over the balsa, you never really know how thick the epoxy is until you sand through it. If you sand through the Finish-Cure down to the balsa, use thin CA to provide the finish for these smaller areas so that I don't have to mix up more epoxy. As long as you sand the CA within 15 minutes, it’s not difficult. Thin CA can also be used to provide a hard, smooth finish on just about any wood surface.

I told you in Toledo this year I was very allergic to CA. You gave me some of your foam safe Super-Gold and told me I would be able to use it. I tried a very little at first and, to my surprise, there was no reaction. I always envied someone who could use CA, and now I can thanks to you. I have had two bouts with phenomena-like symptoms after using regular CA. You have an excellent product and should advertise the fact that it is non-allergenic. – R. Juschkus, Saint James, NY

Thank you. You just did.

About 5% of the population can become sensitized to the fumes created by CA. The fumes are the evaporated form of the CA and can irritate some membranes in the body. The Super-Golds have a higher molecular weight and don’t emit these fumes. The makers of the new movie ‘The Hobbit’ are only allowing the Super-Golds to be used on the film’s set in New Zealand.

I've heard several sources say CA glues aren’t waterproof. My experience shows this is not accurate with respect to modern CAs. Are CAs waterproof? – P. Matthews, West Bloomfield, MI

In all our experience, we have never seen a CA failure due to water in model construction. BSI’s Maxi-Cure and IC-Gel are used extensively for bonding fragments of coral to underwater rocks in the aquarium industry. We have a tile roof that had a large tile break in half 12 years ago and Maxi-Cure is still holding it together. Thousands of model boats have been built with CA without failure.

Drug store CAs are a factor in the bad rap that CA has received. They just don’t hold up as well as the industrial grade CA that companies like BSI provide for modelers.

As a general rule for maximum results, CA should not have constant exposure to water until it has cured for 12 hours, although this time period is not always necessary.

How can I slow the curing of CA? – P. Gieseking, Phil’s Hobby Shop, IN (Who also provides the answer)

Cool the work pieces that are being joined. I broke a small metal hollow tube and needed to splice it back together by inserting a small steel wire into each piece about 1”. It was in a cramped working space and I knew thin CA would do the job but I needed at least one minute of working time. I put the steel wire and tubing into the freezer. It was really cold when I took it out to assemble. The wire went together perfectly and several minutes later the CA set up.

(CA in bottles that have been kept in a freezer will also bond very slowly until they get to room temperature. Using accelerator on very cold CA can cause the cured adhesive to become much more brittle. Do not use these techniques with epoxies. They will not cure correctly.)

I’ve used your Insta-Set accelerator for a number of years in my dental lab and have found that it, as opposed to the industry standards, works better. What makes it different? – C. Johnson, Lake Geneva, WI

BSI’s Insta-Set has become the favorite CA accelerator for many dental labs, industries and modelers. It is not flammable, it is foam safe and, since we add a strawberry scent, it smells a little better. Insta-Set takes a few more seconds to cure the CA compared to many others, but that results in one of its primary strengths. Many accelerators create excessive heat that may cause the CA to become very brittle. Insta-Set has the least affect on the strength of CA, and its longer evaporation time (which some feel is its only drawback) actually helps cool the CA during the curing process.

Insta-Set is compatible with all surfaces, even clear plastic. It is also a great cleaner of adhesive tape residue and tree sap on automobiles.

Why are your CAs packaged in oval bottles? Round ones would not tip over as easy. – J. White, Buffalo, NY

To give CA the best chance at a long shelf life, the virgin plastic that the bottle are made from must be made as thick as possible so that it provides a good barrier against moisture that can actually creep through plastic. When CA was introduced to the hobby by Satellite City, their bottles were too thin, which contributed to their very short shelf life. If BSI used round bottles with a wall thickness as large as we use for our oval bottles, you could barely squeeze them. We felt it was better to get complaints about the bottles falling over than complaints about the CA not coming out of the bottles or having a shorter shelf life.

Oval bottles also give us the room to add the information in a readable form that is required by constantly increasing worldwide government regulations.

Just a note to tell you that I have learned a lot from your ‘Ask the Glue Pros’ in the various magazines. I learned ‘the hard way’ when I used some of your competitor’s CA thinking ‘it was all the same’. It would not bond nearly as fast. BSI, or local hobby shop (LHS) brand, for me from now on. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! – G. Bishop, Frisco, TX

BSI is signing up more than a dealer a day as hobby shop owners and manufacturers are discovering there can be a major difference between brands of adhesives. BSI makes a larger variety of CAs, ranging from high performance to rubber toughened to odorless, than any other hobby adhesive manufacturer.

Bob Smith adhesives are usually found in your LHS with the shop’s name imprinted on every bottle. As long as you see the BSI code on the back of the bottles, you’ll know you’re purchasing the highest quality adhesives available to modelers.

I am building a very expensive thermal dynamic glider and need to bond a brass female coupler to a steel pushrod. Will IC-2000 work on such a critical application? – J. Kapitan, Cambridge, NY

If you are good at soldering, it is the best method to use. We have seen, however, many reports of BSI’s IC-2000 being successfully used for applications like this without any failures. IC-2000 is a carbon reinforced and rubber toughened black CA that many have said is the strongest cyanoacrylate on the planet. As a testament to IC-2000’s durability, it is used by golf pro shops to bond the heads onto golf clubs.

BSI’s standard CAs and accelerator, along with IC-2000, are used by Boeing’s Insitu division in the manufacture of their ScanEagle and Integrator, the most numerous small UAVs. Lockheed-Martin and Aerovironment use IC-2000 and Super-Gold+ in their lines of micro-UAVs that are operated by America’s foot soldiers. The U.S. military settles for nothing but the best.

When using your Super-Gold thin CA to assemble an aircraft made of a fine grain smooth white foam, there was some cratering on edges of the joints. What caused this? – L. Scribner, Southern Pines, NC

It sounds like the foam was reacting to the excess heat from the curing process. This is much more likely to occur with the thin Super-Gold when Insta-Set is used on it, so a minimal amount of the spray mist should be applied. Some foams, especially the fine grain blue and white foams, have much lower tolerance to heat, so only the Super-Gold+ should be used on these. Thin can be used on the fine grain foams when it is applied to the surfaces that have been cut with a hot wire. But if you were to sand an edge of that same foam, the thin seems to react with the foam dust and quickly cures, creating excess heat that can melt a lot of foam.

I would like to attach clear polystyrene canopies to plastic models. What CA can I use that will not fog the inside of the canopy? Also, what thin CA can I use on very thin polystyrene sheet? CA usually deforms the plastic. – J. Ruehle, Houston, TX

Be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the canopy, or clear plastic sheet, first. Super-Gold+ works perfect for this application. You can also use Insta-Set to speed the bonding with no affect on the clear plastic.

Insta-Flex flexible thin CA works great on opaque plastic, especially when it’s thin. It is a version of a medical grade CA that produces less heat when curing. Rumor has it that it is also ideal for cuts on fingers. It cures to a flexible consistency, even when accelerated, which also makes Insta-Flex ideal for use with CA hinges since the hinge line will not become brittle. It also has a different, less irritating odor compared to regular CAs.

How do you remove Insta-Cure gap filling CA from skin? –S. Engel, Arlington Heights, IL
Once I have bonded two small wood pieces together with CA, is it possible to separate the two without doing much damage to them? –J. Joosten, Mukilteo, WA

With the normal shedding of the outer layers of the skin, cured CA will be gone after 24 hours and a shower. Our Un-Cure or acetone will soften the glue so that it can be removed, but this can be messy and spread it over more areas of the skin. We usually have the glue picked off with our fingernails within three hours.

Our Un-Cure will soften CA so parts can be separated, but we have found just using a razor saw to cut the pieces apart is usually the fastest way to undo a joint. This is also your only option if any of the material is foam, since anything that will soften the CA will also dissolve the foam.

I am a woodworker and I have found that cracks develop in the white oak I use to make bowls. Can Insta-Cure be used to repair the cracks and seal the wood? – R. Erickson, Woodbury, MN

Insta-Cure super thin CA is ideal for this application. It is used by many wood pen and bowl makers to stabilize wood and provide a close to ideal finish. With the grain saturated with CA, it becomes a wood/plastic composite that is extremely durable. Archeologists use Insta-Cure to strengthen bones before they remove them from the ground. It is also used to seal the edges of Kevla/carbon fiber armor on military vehicles.

When using Insta-Cure to provide a finish, it is best to sand it within 20 minutes. After an hour it becomes very hard and requires a lot more elbow grease. Super-Gold odorless thin can be substituted in these applications if the fumes produced by regular CA being spread over a large area become a problem.

What material would be best for soaking up excess thin CA with minimum fuss? – K. Ong, Singapore

The soft, thicker type of paper towels are what work best. A small, folded piece held at one end and dabbed onto the excess CA and quickly pulled away will soak up most of it. As the CA almost instantly cures on the towel it will create a lot of heat, so don't touch it.

I have a bottle of older CA that has gotten thicker than when I bought it. Can I add acetone to the CA to bring it back to its original thickness? – M. Anderson, Thomasville, NC

The only fluid that you can add to CA is other CA. Anything else will cause the CA to harden in the bottle within days. Thin CA can be added to the thicker CAs to create any consistency you want. Nothing will bring thin CA back to its original water thin consistency.

Why would I ever need to use your Insta-Set accelerator? Your CAs bond so quickly I don't think I would need them to be any faster. – J. Biersach, Madison, WI

Whenever you are bonding material with the thicker CAs, some of the CA will ooze out of the joint. Even though the parts may be firmly bonded within 5-10 seconds, the excess CA can remain liquid for several minutes. Spraying the joint with the Insta-Set will harden this CA in less than ten seconds so you can handle the parts without fear of bonding your fingers to them. For stronger construction, fillets can be formed with thicker CA in the corners of 90° joints and then sprayed with Insta-Set. Some materials like high acid content or very dry wood, low surface energy plastics and foam do not have the correct chemistry to initiate the polymerization of CA. This is when it's necessary to use Insta-Set to get any kind of instant bonding.

Is Slow-Cure or Finish-Cure recommended when laminating glass cloth to patch elongated holes on wheel pants of a full-size aircraft? – I. Borookow, South Windsor, CT

Both of the epoxies will work. The Slow-Cure will cure harder, so for your application it is probably preferred. It has a thicker consistency compared to Finish-Cure so it doesn't naturally saturate the glass cloth, but you can overcome this by going over the repair area with a heat gun after you apply the epoxy and cloth. This will thin the epoxy out and also eliminate any air bubbles that are trapped in the lamination. Make sure that the pants are in an environment of 70°+F during the entire 6-8 hour full cure time. Finish-Cure is usually your best choice to use with fiberglass cloth to apply a hard, smooth finish to balsa wood. It is easier to brush on and to sand. It should cure at temperatures of 75°F or above.

I've used your products with much success over many years of modeling. I'm currently building a P-38 kit with a fiberglass fuselage and nacelles made with polyester resin. What adhesive should I use to bond the bulkheads? – V. Johnson, Durango, CO

Epoxy does not bond well to fiberglass components made with polyester resin. Sig Mfg is a good source for the finishing resin you can use to bond the bulkheads. Lightly sand the bonding area and clean it with alcohol or acetone before joining the parts. The polyester does have a much stronger odor compared to epoxies. An alternative is to use our IC-2000 black rubber toughened CA, but this will be more expensive and you will still want to use the polyester to apply any fiberglass cloth reinforcing strips. Strangely, polyester resins will not cure over the slower curing epoxies. You must use 4-6 minute epoxies on any joint that will be coated with polyester resin.

Is Insta-Cure safe for use in aquariums? – B. Foster, Barnesville, GA

All our CAs are aquarium safe, but BSI's IC-Gel, which does very well with long term exposure to water, is the most popular to use for mounting live coral fragments (frags) to rocks underwater in aquariums. Both hobbyists and commercial aquariums like Monterey Bay's use the IC-Gel. The CA does not release any toxins into the water and has no adverse effects on the propagation of the live coral. When a spot of IC-Gel is put on a frag and placed underwater, a very thin film of cured CA forms around the mound of glue. When pressed against a rock, this film breaks and the CA spreads to quickly bond the coral, all under water. The truly gel consistency of the IC-Gel is very convenient for many modeling applications. It can be shaped like a putty, then sprayed with Insta-Set. It will still bond parts in less than 20 seconds, and has a shelf life of over 3 years.

I was watching the show MythBusters on TV the other night and they demonstrated how all the furniture in a room could be super glued to the ceiling. It looked like they were using BSI's products for this. Is that true? – R. Smith, Cape Coral, FL

Yes, one of our lucky dealers was able to sell a lot of Insta-Cure+ and Insta-Set to the crew at MythBusters. You can see the highlights of the show on their web site by searching "super adhesive." The show also demonstrated that one drop of cyanoacrylate can hold up to 650 lbs and seven drops was able to pick up up a large station wagon. For years BSI's adhesives were considered to be the generic brand, which in a grocery store usually translates to cheaper but not quite as good. Modelers and manufacturers have discovered, however, that BSI is the new standard for excellence.

I would just like to say how pleased I am with the Insta-Flex+ rubberized CA. It is the best tire glue I have used, and I have tried a lot of them. – J. Bennett, Escanaba, MI and J. O'Quinn, Spring Hill, TN

Insta-Flex+ is the clear version of BSI's IC-2000, which has carbon black added to make it the strongest CA available anywhere. IC-2000 can withstand higher temperatures (250ºF) and hold the tires to wheels of vehicles going 100+ mph. It does, however, have a shorter shelf life compared to BSI's other CAs and its black color can make it messy to use. For these reasons, Insta-Flex+ is becoming increasingly popular for use as a tire glue. Its rubber toughened formula gives it a shock resistance that many standard CAs don't have.

Insta-Cure super-thin and Insta-Cure+ gap filling, BSI's best selling CAs, are also popular for R/C vehicles, even though they don't say "tire glue" on their labels. A major manufacturer uses Insta-Cure+ in their production of pre-mounted tires.

Will any of your epoxies work on installing fiberglass cloth to PVC planking on a model boat? –R. SercuHilton, NY

Epoxy does not form the strongest bond to PVC. We would recommend laying the dry cloth down on the PVC and then saturating the cloth with Insta-Cure, or Super-Gold thin CA. You should apply just enough CA to create a bond between the cloth and the plastic. Then you can fill the texture of the weave with our Finish-Cure epoxy and sand it down smooth. Carefully applying a heat gun to the epoxy after applying it will eliminate any air bubbles trapped in the cloth. You will need very good ventilation if you use the Insta-Cure since it gives off a large amount of irritating fumes when used over a large area. The Super-Gold will not give off these fumes, but it costs a lot more. Many modelers think it's worth it. BSI products are available from Dan's Crafts & Things in Rochester.

What CA is best to use on balsa if it has to be sanded? –T. Hubbard Victoria, Australia

Our Insta-Flex thin sands easier than our standard Insta-Cures and odorless Super-Golds. In all cases, CAs are easier to sand if it is done within 15 minutes of applying them. After one hour of cure, the cyanoacrylates are much harder and more difficult to sand. For all sanding of balsa with joints done with CA, you need to use a hard-backed sanding block, not one with a soft foam backing. Remove the backing if yours has one. This way the balsa and the CA joint sand down at the same rate. Always sand at an angle to the joint. Your sanding motion should not be parallel to the joint. Never sand the area without using a sanding block.

CAs can also be used to form a hard final finish on balsa and other woods. This technique is very popular for woodworkers making wooden writing pens.

Can CA be used to repair flaws in the finish of musical instruments? –W. R. Hinton,  Napolean, OH

As a professional luthier I often have an instrument with a little ding needing repair, and as I am building a custom guitar or bass I'll experience the same thing.

Luthiers use a technique referred to as "drop fill" using CA. We spray the ding with accelerator, wipe it off and let it air for a bit. Then we drop a spot of thin CA into the ding and allow it to cure. 5 minutes later we can block sand it level, finish sand it through 2000 grit wet, buff it and the ding has disappeared!

I've been forced to use other CA's when the hobby shop was closed and I was out, and nothing, absolutely nothing works as good as yours!

BSI CAs and Epoxies are the preferred choice of guitar manufacturer such as Fender, Warrior and Ernie Ball.

I am highly sensitive to regular CA glues but your odorless Super-Gold is working fine for me. It is, however, a little thicker than regular thin CA. Will the Super-Gold wick into CA hinges like regular CA? Or do you have another product suggestion? – S. Strickland Montgomery, AL

Nothing wicks into CA hinges like our Insta-Cure super thin, but our Super-Gold thin is almost as good. To help increase the penetration of the Super-Gold, drill a 3/32" hole in the center of the slot for the CA hinge. This way the hinge will be saturated sufficiently enough so that it will never pull out. This same technique can be used for our Insta-Flex thin, which is the same thickness as the Super-Gold, but remains flexible at the hinge line. Insta-Flex has a less irritating odor compared to Insta-Cure, so you may be able to use it. Super-Gold thin, however, is the only CA that can be used for hinges in EPS and Depron foam.

Do you sell your products through sources other than hobby shops? – R. Johnston, Orem, U

In addition to many industrial accounts, BSI has dealers in the dental, archery, shoe repair, bowling, billiards, aquarium and education industries, with woodworkers being our largest users outside model hobbies. One of our dealers wrote to us this month about why he handles BSI: 

"I feel that we have been blessed choosing BSI as our adhesive line. You ship fast and your stuff always arrives in good condition. It takes more than one person along the chain that really cares to be as good as BSI is. We are seeing many repeat customers. Schools, that used to buy from one of your competitors in woodworking, are ordering 40-60 bottles at a time. To win them over, we give them a bottle of BSI and say that it's free if it's not better than the other guy's CA. We win lots of customers by putting our glue where our mouth is."

Which glues should be used when working with balsa, basswood and plywood to give maximum strength? – Steve Dixon

For balsa joints with a tight fit, Insta-Cure and Super-Gold thin are your strongest choices. This is also the case for laser-cut plywood that can be assembled before any gluing is done. The thicker CAs can be used to form fillets at critical points along the joints for additional strength. When there are loose fitting joints, larger bonding surfaces or it's just more convenient to apply the CA first on the balsa, Insta-Cure+ works best. For most basswood and plywood, Insta-Cure+, or especially Maxi-Cure, gives you the strongest joints.

Some modelers will dispute this, but we have found BSI CA to be as good, if not better, than epoxy for most applications. CA's penetrating characteristics is a factor in this. Epoxies are best used when additional time is needed for aligning parts, like when joining wing halves and mounting tail surfaces.

I have two wood wing halves to join (68" total span). Which of your epoxies would be best, and what is the lowest temperature permitted during the curing time? – C.E. Lee West Yorkshire, UK

Our Slow-Cure 30 minute epoxy will be your best choice. By mixing a batch on a flat surface, such as the plastic top for a metal can, the heat produced during curing will dissipate and you will have the full 30 minute working time. The epoxy needs to cure in an environment of 70° F (21° C) or more for the entire curing time.

During winter time, instead of heating an entire room, you can take a cardboard box that has two sides cut out the size of the cord of the wing and place it over the center section. By putting a lamp inside with a 60w light bulb, a temperature of about 80° F (which epoxies really like) will be maintained for the 6-8 hour curing time.

What is your best all-around household glue? – S. Levine Brooklyn, NY

If you were to buy only one BSI product, Maxi-Cure cyanoacrylate (CA) would have the most universal use. Its extra thickness makes it easier to use. Some would argue that Insta-Cure+ would be a better choice since it will bond a little faster, but it is not as thick. Your best choice for a second product would be Insta-Set accelerator. This will cure any excess CA that oozes from a joint and lets you handle parts in less than ten seconds. It also allows you to build up fillets of the CA in the corners of joints for extra strength. Insta-Set will also promote bonding of materials that CA by itself has difficulty with.

Un-Cure debonder would be your third choice, since you never know when you may accidentally bond your fingers together or to the parts you are joining. Un-Cure will also soften CA that has accidentally spilled on most surfaces.

Can I use your Insta-flex glue for plastic hinges? If not, what product do you recommend. – E. Aughtry Concord, CA

The Insta-Flex will work, but for the plastic hinges like those made by DuBro and Robart, we prefer to use either our 5 or 15 minute epoxy. Their surfaces have a texture that allows the cured epoxy to lock them in place. A light coat of petroleum jelly should first be placed on the flexible part of the hinge. Fill the slots or holes with the epoxy and put a light coat on the half of the hinge that is being inserted. Any excess epoxy that oozes out should be wiped off, and care should be taken that the hinges are aligned correctly. Do all the hinges (usually 3 or 4) on the control surface. It doesn't matter whether you put them in the fixed surface or the control surface first. Once the epoxy cures on one side, repeat the process to mount the control surface.

I am having a problem getting good bonds between some structural members of the R/C models I make and EPP foam. Is there something I should use to clean the foam first? – R. Torrito East Hartford, CT

The polypropylene plastic EPP is made from is just naturally difficult to bond. Epoxies don't do well, and any surface prep doesn't seem to help. The strongest bonds seem to come from using our Insta-Cure+ and Insta-Flex+. We have introduced a new product, Foam-Cure, that does very well with EPP if you are willing to wait for 8-12 hours for full curing. Foam-Cure is more flexible than CA and is less than 1/5 the price. It is crystal clear and comes in 1oz and 4 oz. bottles. The tack time can be reduced by applying to one surface, joining them together, then pulling them apart. Allowing the Foam-Cure to air dry on both surfaces for 10-15 min. before re-joining results in a fast initial bond.

What will CA not stick to?– R. Kirchoff Griffin, CA
I am fixing my pet’s drinking fountain. Will CA be toxic to my dog?– M. Moore Erie, PA

1. Anything made from or coated with PTFE will not stick to CA. Since this isn’t practical for many modeling applications, we usually use waxed paper, either taped down to the building board or wrapped around apart. You’ll still get some adhesion to the paper, but it’s usually easy to get the parts separated. The center of CA hinges can be marked with a crayon to keep the hinge line free of CA. Petroleum jelly also works.

2.Cured CA is essentially an acrylic plastic. It is non-toxic to pets and humans. CA can be used to repair utensils and containers for food, but should not be used on anything that will be heated on a stove or in a microwave, since temperatures above 220º will cause the CA to soften.

Can you tell me if CA can be exposed to gasoline without losing its bond? I have a gas tank on a weed eater that has a crack in it and need to seal it. - R. Cook, Enid, OK

Yes, you can use BSI CA for this purpose. First, clean the plastic with rubbing alcohol. Then use our Insta-Cure super thin CA along the crack and hold it together for 30 seconds. Then apply a bead of our Maxi-Cure along the crack to reinforce it. After one minute, spray it with our Insta-Set accelerator to ensure everything is cured. After 30 seconds, wipe the area clean with a paper towel. BSI's Maxi-Cure has been used to hold the float inside several gas tanks that we know of.

A dental lab contacted us recently and said Maxi-Cure is the best adhesive they have found for bonding teeth into dentures. The dental industry is one of the largest users of BSI CAs.

I used BSI CA to repair the top from my sugar bowl (the bonding was very effective). It cured while sitting on a dark marble countertop. When I picked up the top, a dull, discolored circle was left on the marble. What caused this? - J. Fletcher, N. Yorkshire, U.K.

The fumes that are emitted during the curing of regular CA will sometimes settle back down onto the surfaces around it. They react with any moisture on the surface, which can create a dull white finish. This characteristic is very useful for the forensic section of many law enforcement agencies since it can uncover hard to detect fingerprints. For everyday use, however, it can be an irritation.

The fogging doesn’t always occur, but using BSI’s odorless Super-Gold+ will insure there will be no fogging, which makes it ideal for attaching clear plastic canopies. The fogging can usually be removed from plastic surfaces by using a rubbing compound (or even tooth paste) and a soft cloth.

I leave a bottle of Insta-Cure open on the workbench, knock it over, it won't ever spill. But should I ever try to put it in my backpack to take it somewhere, it goes EVERYWHERE. How do you suggest transporting a bottle of CA, short of an airtight steel case? -CRC, Pennsylvania

We've permanently glued tools to the bottom of toolboxes this way. The solution is to buy our CAs in the 3/4 oz. size. We call them Pocket CAs since the top has a screw-on cap with a pin in it that seals the nozzle off. One drawback to the top is that the nozzle is more blunt and therefore precise application can be more difficult. Our #304 extender tips can be used to help with this. We also offer this top on our new 4 oz. sizes of Insta-Cure, Insta-Cure+ and Maxi-Cure. These sizes are proving to be very popular in the home construction industry for attaching fancy woodwork like crown molding.

I have a grumpy customer here who thinks he is getting short changed. Your bottles are never filled to the top, with the ½ oz. bottles only a little over half full. These levels are always consistent, but are my customers getting the amount of CA that the label states? – C. Avenell, Auckland, New Zealand

All of BSI’s bottles are oversize so that they are easier to squeeze and to allow the wording on the labels to be bigger; therefore, most look about 2/3 full. The amount of glue is measured by weight, not volume, and you can be assured that if the label says 1 ounce net weight, that is the minimum you are getting. The bigger size of our 8 oz. CA bottles also allows for an easier transfer of CA into smaller bottles. The first pour from any bottle that is completely full usually results in some spillage, which is not a good thing when it comes to CA.

I have found your Foam-Cure glue to be an excellent product and have highly recommended it to my fellow flyers. Could you tell me the approximate shelf life of Foam-Cure? Are there any steps that can be taken to improve the shelf life, such as storing unopened bottles in a fridge? -M. Mackay, Vancouver, Canada

The shelf life of Foam-Cure is two years. Keeping the bottles capped is the most important aspect of shelf life. Storage at room temperature is best. There seems to be no advantage in keeping it refrigerated. It will begin to thicken over time, and methyl or denatured alcohol can be mixed with it to bring it back to its original consistency.