I needed to add some wood standoffs to a finished painting on a tempered hardboard panel and did not want to risk damaging the front of the painting by laying all kinds of weight on the standoff boards or clamping which would have been even more risky. I remembered seeing this video where I first learned about the technique of using CA Glue (Cyanoacrylate Glue aka Super Glue, Krazy Glue etc.) to essentially "clamp" or hold the piece tightly in place while the wood glue or some other type of significantly stronger, but slower curing glue sets up.
Fast forward to the 3:00 time stamp to see the wood glue and the CA glue combined technique.
He uses just CA glue for making the sled runners. I knew from experience that CA glue alone is not strong enough for what I needed. It worked perfectly and I have since used it for many other applications including patching a hole in a huge cradled wood panel with a piece of 1/8" birch plywood, that would have been nearly impossible to do well with any other gluing method since I could not use screws or put weights on the back and could not reach the area with clamps.
Here is another quick demo. Neither of these guys spread the glue out before putting the pieces together. You will get a significantly stronger bond if you spread it out evenly from edge to edge, leaving some open spots in the middle for the CA glue. I did the wood glue first, leaving small nickel sized circles of exposed wood where I wanted to put the CA Glue so the water from the wood glue didn't mix in with the CA Glue. Align the parts, then apply pressure to bond the CA Glue. Make sure the pieces don't move when you apply pressure.
This technique is not new, but it is new to me and has been a real life saver more than once since I learned about it.
Some tips and comments from what I learned in the short time I have been using the method.
- Works with any CA glue and any slower drying glue such as Wood Glue, Urethane Glue and Epoxy.
- The more downward pressure you can apply on the areas with the CA Glue the tighter the fit will be.
- Use the accelerator on the CA glue only if you can align the parts very quickly. If critical alignment is needed, don't use the accelerator but be sure to apply downward pressure for at least 30 seconds if not more before you let go.
- If you are using Urethane glue, use a bit more CA Glue than with wood glue or epoxy since Urethane glue expands as it cures and it can push the pieces apart or make them shift.
- You don't need more CA glue than was shown in the demos. Remember all it needs to do is to hold the parts tightly together until the wood or other glue cures fully.
- Wipe off any glue that oozes out if you want a better looking glue job. Follow the instructions for your glue to clean up exposed glue such as a wet rage on wood glue.
- Watch for glue coming out of the joint and clean it up immediately if you want clean looking joint.
- Check back every so often to clean up any additional oozing, particularly with the Urethane glues.
- Be sure to let it cure the recommended time before applying stress to the glued on piece.
I did some testing and the glue joint, once the non CA glue is cured, is just as strong as if it had been heavily clamped in place while curing, but you are done in minutes rather than struggling with clamps trying to align everything just right.
It will work with just about any materials as long as the slow curing glue you select is compatible with both materials. I use Titebond III for wood to wood or wood to hardboard or MDF, Epoxy or Urethane for everything else. Imagine trying to glue a pair of 8 foot long aluminum L channel stiffening braces to the back of a full 4x8 foot ACM panel. You would need dozens of clamps and a large work area to accommodate the clamps. With this method, you can do the entire job by yourself on the floor with a protective blanket under the panel, in a matter of a few minutes without the need for a single clamp.
- Gluing on standoffs for a floating on the wall type display for unframed ACM panels. You can attach your hanging wires to the standoffs.
- Adding aluminum channel bracing to very large as in full 4x8 sheet ACM panels that are either hung frameless or in a frame.
- Attaching wood spacers to install uncradled panels in Floater Frames
- Repairs from the back on hardboard, plywood or MDF panels
- Attaching cradle boards to panels without the need for any clamps, nails, staples or clamping jigs
- Any number of non art related projects as well.