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"How dangerous is super glue?" Topic


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7,964 hits since 8 Aug 2002
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unknown member09 Aug 2002 6:17 a.m. PST

Just how unpleasant is super glue to deal with anyway? It's the only convenient way I know of to assemble metal minis, but a person I know who is an old hand at assembling things swears its dangerous because you can easily glue your fingers together or something.

So far I've been using epoxy which takes forever to dry and needs to be held in place using inconvenient methods so I'd like to try super glue but if it's that risky I'd rather not.

Thanks!

unknown member09 Aug 2002 6:21 a.m. PST

Just have some nail polish remover or acetone handy and all your problems will be solved...

unknown member09 Aug 2002 6:22 a.m. PST

P.S. forgot to add go to Home Depot or wherever and buy their "gel" super glue. Its great and doesn't run all over the place..

unknown member09 Aug 2002 6:40 a.m. PST

Just did a little more research, here's what www.lepage.com (a glue company) has to say about super glue:

"Super Glue, also known as cyanoacrylate, has the ability to bond skin instantly. Gloves and protective clothing should be worn while using this adhesive. One should exercise caution and treat Cyanoacrylate adhesive with great care. "

Considering I'm all thumbs maybe super glue is not for me. ;) I'm always getting the epoxy on my fingers.

Personal logo Ratbone Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2002 6:59 a.m. PST

I've been using superglue for at least ten or so years. Yeah, if you dribble on your fingers, it sticks them together. Although I'm fairly certain I've glued my fingers to either other fingers, miniatures, clothing, and other things to come into contact while assembling miniatures almost EVERY time I do it.

Yet, I've never once had any danger such as ripping flesh from my skin or tearing fingernails off or anything even remotely hazardous.

Of course, you should be careful, and not stick your skin together. But nail polish remover will debond it, or you can get special glue debonder products available from the same companies in the same places that the glue itself was purchased.

Also, don't get it on your clothes, it doesn't wash out and leaves little stainlike marks. Wear old jeans and t-shirt or something.

Chris Wimbrow09 Aug 2002 7:03 a.m. PST

I once spilled super glue (CA) all over my wedding band and just kept things moving until it dried. Z-7 Debonder was the acetonitrile solution I used for removing the residue.

The right remedy on hand is all you need to protect yourself. Thanks for making me look to find my bottle has dried out.

Dr Mathias Fezian09 Aug 2002 7:11 a.m. PST

I've heard that super glue was invented for military first aid applications, reattaching corneas and such. They aren't kidding when it says "bonds skin in an instant". Sometimes, it seems like skin is the only thing it really works on. Like Ratbone, I have glued my fingers to everything. Women like callouses! (so my dad said).

Terry L09 Aug 2002 7:19 a.m. PST

My concern with super glue is the fumes. I find the fumes it gives off irritating. Did you that police forces now use this stuff to retrive finger prints. Apparently one of the by products of super glue is that the fumes make hard to detect finger prints visible.

alamo1836t Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 7:24 a.m. PST

Correct!!!!! Mathias it does seem like skin is the only thing it bonds instantly. But to FriendlyFungus, I have used the stuff, glued my fingers together and just cut them off. With some alcohol and a rag to stop the bleeding, you will be fine. If you are wary, just use Elmers and a vice to hold the stuff together for a few hours, days how long it takes. Also, a natural soltion, honey. It's non toxic and sticks like a flea to a dog. Sorry, for the unbriddled sarcasm but I had to let it out.
Thanks Guys

Personal logo Rogzombie Supporting Member of TMP Fezian09 Aug 2002 7:24 a.m. PST

It's very hard on the sinuses so make sure you use it in a well ventilated area and not near where you sleep. It's not a good thing.

I get it on my hands eventually but it starts to wash off after about 5 washes.

Dread Pirate Garness Fezian Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 7:36 a.m. PST

I use all the time, but I would recommend using one of the Generic brands of superglue that comes in a slow curing time. It is much thicker and never gets all over anything. I avoid the runny stuff like the plague cuase it gets everywhere. As for the fumes, they are not a problem unless you stick your face right up in the glue and take a big whiff. I generally keep the glue part about arms length away once the 2 pieces have been put together. What really stinks is the kicker that accelerates the drying time. It smells, but the glue dries superquick with it.

Thane Morgan Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 8:24 a.m. PST

Never, ever get it confused with Visine!

It sets with moisture, so it loves hands much more than it loves metal. I try to breath on whatever I'm gluing before and after putting a drop on, it tends to help. It's not going to penetrate skin, it gels up too quickly from the moisture. The fumes are unpleasant, but usually too low concentration to be a real risk. What can happen though is a small string of superglue can waft up and into your eyes or nose-not enought to bond them, but enough to sting until it gets washed out.

I recommend the gel also. It's down side is that it doesn't always set as quickly as you would like.

Former Member Account Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 8:59 a.m. PST

Superglue IS/WAS used in hospitals for closing wounds. However it should not replace stitches for hand cuts done by razor knives and you should pull the lead shaving out of the wound first. Not like I had experience doing that...smirk

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Aug 2002 9:37 a.m. PST

I always get it on my hands and I try not too. Am I the only one to use a metal file to file the hard slab of superglue of my fingers? SOmetimes I get lucky and I am able to peel it off and miraculously I have not taken extra skin with it.

Can't live with it, can't live without it.

unknown member09 Aug 2002 10:13 a.m. PST

Again try the Gel super glue. It doesn't spill and comes out 1 gel drop at a time.

BunkerMonkey Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 10:25 a.m. PST

I second ROGOCOLLECTIBLES caution. If you are gluing one or two piesces together, no big deal. But if you are going to be using the glue for an extended amount of time, set a fan a few feet away from where you're working and let it blow across your work surface. I have a lot of sinus problems so I'm probably a lot more susceptible to this but other friends of mine have experienced a problem occasionally.

Also, when I worked for Games Workshop, one of our employees managed to flip a drop of glue into his eye. If you do this DO NOT PANIC. It will burn like hell but hold your lids open and don't blink. The glue will set up almost immediately. Get to the emergency room and they can remove it. This is what this guy did and the doctors said it was the right thing to do. If the lids get glued shut, it's a lot more complicated.

Paintbeast Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 10:28 a.m. PST

About 7 years ago I had a run in with Super glue that changed my life forever! I was answering the call of nature when I realized I had not removed all the excess glue from my fingers….Now I have to get my pants specially tailored.

Aestivalis Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 10:30 a.m. PST

Apart from all the warnings, it's still the only way to go. I've been using "superglue" since back when only Krazy Glue was available.

Here's a tip most of you "consumers" may not know; if you store your CA glue in the refrigerator, it lasts much longer (the shelf life is like 2-3x as long). I use glues like Pace and Loctite quite frequently at work, and we store them in a small fridge on the production floor. I also keep a bottle next to the butter tray in the fridge at home. Just make sure that you clean the top of the glue bottle every time you use it so you can close it with a good seal.

Here's another tip; if you use a tissue to wipe or dab at any excess glue on a figure or model (including the top of the bottle before you close it), the tissue will smoke a little and create twice the fumes as just the raw glue - keep this away from your face or body. If your eyes begin to sting, move to another area and fan at your face with your hands while keeping your eyes open to get the sting out (this also works for CS agents like tear gas).

kerveros2002 Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 10:30 a.m. PST

I belive that I can contribute to this matter as beeing an MD.

Cyanoacrylate was first invented as a cutaneous (skin) adhesive during the Vietnam War. The hole point was that soldiers couldn't stich theirselfs (forget that Rambo crap) but they could glue themselfs. And as the adhesive sets it forms a protective film over the wound, reducing infections. It was intended to be used as an emergency, never really intended to replace layered suturing and other surgical techniques.

Nowdays all surgerys have glues, not commonly used though, for various reasons:
1. The glue isn't suitable for the job
2. Practice, all surgeons (new and old) prefer to practice their skills than just glue a wound.
3.The result is kind of unpredictable
4. Etc
Offcourse medical and commercial CA glue aren't exactly the same. And if this makes -a bad- differense on our health I really do not know. Although I haven't read in the medical literature something about CA glue being harmfull. Keep in mind though that contact with synthetic chemicals in generall in not healthy at all.

PS: CA glue sticks fingers toogether easyly and bonds exactly mathing surfaces because it sets in the absense of oxygen

kerveros2002 Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 10:32 a.m. PST

Later I'll brouse the literature and tell you what I found

The Gonk09 Aug 2002 11:13 a.m. PST

Stick to epoxy. It's generally less messy, it's stronger, the strength lasts longer, and usually dries clear instead of leaving the little white turds CA does (at least on flock). I still have a bottle, but rarely ever use it. EPOXY (and emacs) RULES! ;-)

clonecommander Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 12:56 p.m. PST

Man, kerveros2002...you're an MD? "beeing"? "hole point"? "easyly" and "mathing"? Dude! Don't write any prescriptions!

alamo1836t Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 1:22 p.m. PST

Cradleofilthyminis, taake too asspwins anne caul mee inn da monin.

ColSanders Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 1:24 p.m. PST

Most dangerous thing with superglue is inhaling fules if using a lot. Do not hold the piece to be glued close to your face. Except in rare circumstances, gluing your skin is more an inconvenience than a hazard. To reduce accidental gluing, I always use a gluing tip on my superglue bottle (I bring home micropipettor tips from work) and always use a medium viscosity glue. I've found that the good grade CA glues (Zap, Jet, etc.) are very reliable and form very strong bonds. CA glues sold in hardware and other stores are crap (KrazyGlue, SuperGlue). Go to a hobby store and buy the glue the guys use to hold their $300 RC planes together. Good Stuff.

kerveros2002 Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 2:22 p.m. PST

cradleofilthyminis did it ever cross your mind that their might be people and countrys where english isn't our native language?

I guess not!

And please next time that you want to critisise a doctor do it regarding his medical skills and not his english-writing

Patrick R09 Aug 2002 2:57 p.m. PST

I find that whenever I spill glue on my fingers that quickly rubbing it out with my thumb will often set the glue through friction, but not cause the fingers to stick together. It does leave a hard coating on the surface of your fingers that will wear down over time or can be scrubbed away later. Mind you it does take a bit of practice.

unknown member09 Aug 2002 3:06 p.m. PST

J.B. weld puts out an expoy called J.B. quick weld and it sets up in 5 minutes, I've used it and it works pretty well

unknown member09 Aug 2002 3:10 p.m. PST

Just wanted to mention the hazard of using accelerator. The accelerator make the glue dry fast! and also produces lots of heat. I got second degree burns on half a finger when superglue sprayed with accelerator flowed down my finger and began to set. This is a chemical burn, rubbing made the skin that blistered come off but it will still burn. Thats the only time in my life I sceamed like a ninny girl :)
JIM

Roblev Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 5:17 p.m. PST

Does'nt any of you put a drop on a bit of tin foil, and transfer it to the joint with a toothpick ?
I was in the Jewellery trade for 25+ years and thats the way we were taught to transfer all types of glue.

Never use it on clear parts. The fogging left by the fumes is a real pain in the aspedista.

LORD SLAUGHTERTON Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 8:32 p.m. PST

I noticed that someone near the top said to use acetone on hands to debond. Now I'm a pretty tough guy but using a slighty weakned ACID to clean your hands can cause serious rashes or skin reactions. Trust me the first time you pour acetone on your hand and it hits a small paper cut you will wish your hand ended at the wrist. I would suggest for safety sake that everyone stick to nail polish remover or a debonding agent.... This has been a test of the safe modeling system...This is only a test!

When it comes to superglue which I swear by it for ALL my bonding needs, I used the green bottle of zap-a-gap. It is thicker(but not a gel) for better control. Remember super glue is like sharp blows to the head, less is better! Superglue also cannot replace pinning in bigger models or when bonding plastic/resin to metal. For those afraid of bonded digits, I like Zap-a-gap brand because of the thin long nossel that allows for greater control. As for accelerator, unless you are putting an army together ten minutes before a battle, stay away for it. Accelerator should ONLY be used in a EXTREMELY well ventitated area!!! The concentraited fumes with prolonged use can cause nerve damage and brain damage. Accelerators are usually sold in spray bottles thus increasing the amount of fumes produced with every spritz. Super glue has the same potential but the fumes are usually less. Modellers should always be aware of the chance for fumes and the damage they can do to the brain and nervous system!

I will now step off my soap box and wish everyone safe modeling! Thank you!

LORD SLAUGHTERTON Inactive Member09 Aug 2002 8:37 p.m. PST

I noticed that someone near the top said to use acetone on hands to debond. Now I'm a pretty tough guy but using a slighty weakned ACID to clean your hands can cause serious rashes or skin reactions. Trust me the first time you pour acetone on your hand and it hits a small paper cut you will wish your hand ended at the wrist. I would suggest for safety sake that everyone stick to nail polish remover or a debonding agent.... This has been a test of the safe modeling system...This is only a test!

When it comes to superglue which I swear by it for ALL my bonding needs, I used the green bottle of zap-a-gap. It is thicker(but not a gel) for better control. Remember super glue is like sharp blows to the head, less is better! Superglue also cannot replace pinning in bigger models or when bonding plastic/resin to metal. For those afraid of bonded digits, I like Zap-a-gap brand because of the thin long nossel that allows for greater control. As for accelerator, unless you are putting an army together ten minutes before a battle, stay away for it. Accelerator should ONLY be used in a EXTREMELY well ventitated area!!! The concentraited fumes with prolonged use can cause nerve damage and brain damage. Accelerators are usually sold in spray bottles thus increasing the amount of fumes produced with every spritz. Super glue has the same potential but the fumes are usually less. Modellers should always be aware of the chance for fumes and the damage they can do to the brain and nervous system!

I will now step off my soap box and wish everyone safe modeling! Thank you!

Oh one more thing, use wood glue for plastic canopies it won't fog the glass and holds well.

unknown member10 Aug 2002 1:46 a.m. PST

I have a friend who superglues cork and stuff to his face for "special make up effects". He has also been known to drink acrylic paint. I wouldn't recommended that sort of thing, but for normal (sane) people superglue is no more dangerous than a craft knife (that is, quite dangerous really but not if you're careful).

unknown member10 Aug 2002 2:28 a.m. PST

This is one of the funniest threads I've read in a while. If I'd had some of these problems with superglue, I think I'd be too embarrassed to share them in a public forum. I think Melted Metal Man has hit the nail on the head, once I asked someone to borrow an x-acto knife, he said sure, you just have to promise you won't cut yourself. I think the same applies to superglue, if you are careful, no problems. I can't comment on the long term health effects of exposure to cyanoacrylates, ( I'm not an MD) but I have had more success removing CA glues from most surfaces than epoxy. My nose tells me that nail polish remover and acetone are the same, could be wrong though, and I know that lots of women spend at least some time drenched in that stuff (you're soaking in it!) I guess beauty knows no pain. Epoxy seems to have more shear strength than CA, though, and I use it for models that have large or ill fitting parts. I get my CA glues and accelerants from the hobby store, most of these places have their own less expensive "house" brands than zap a gap or similar, but I haven't seen a difference in quality between the generics and name brands. I've often wondered where the house brands came from, though, and I wouldn't be surprised to find someone brewing up the stuff in the back room. Just my 2 cents, thanks for the laugh.

robk98 Inactive Member10 Aug 2002 12:05 p.m. PST

Try gel superglue. I've been using the walmart brand and it sets in about 20 seconds, so you don't have to hold it steady for long, but takes a few seconds more to really bond. I've been able to painlessly pull apart myself everytime I've glued fingers together. It seems to be the best of both worlds, and really is wonderful stuff.

Hevy Phyzx Inactive Member10 Aug 2002 9:16 p.m. PST

Lord Slaughterton,
Not to make a too big a point of it, but acetone and acid are to different chemical compounds. Acetone is an organic compound which happens to be one of the primary components of nail polish remover. And yes! it stings like the dickens when you get it in a paper cut (or larger.) It is also very useful for dissolving bonds between "non-polar" organic compounds (cyanoacrylates being one of those types.)
An acid is an inorganic compound (usually, vinegar being one of the exceptions) which also stings like the dickens in a cut, but has several different chemical propertites from acetone.

To all of which, "Super glues" or Cyanoacrylates are just what has been stated above. They are *very* useful for bonding "non-porous" materials, such as metals and ceramics, together. They *do* have a relatively high level of harmful fumes, but the same precautions you take using spray paint with suffice for the use of superglues.

Yes, superglues do bond you skin "nearly instantly". Yet, the use of acetone or its derivative products will very easily dissolve the bond. You do need some patience though if a large area of skin has become bonded together.

Be that as it may, superglues, when used properly, are very fine for gluing metalic minis and models together. Epoxies do tend to have stronger tensile strengths, but have *very* long setting times.

As has been noted above, care in the use of superglues is what is needed when you are using them in this hobby.

Andy Welkley
"Your Phriendli Hevy Phyzx T-chrr"

Squash Inactive Member11 Aug 2002 1:41 a.m. PST

I recommend the use of epoxy. You should be able to find a five minute version, which has slightly less strength, but you don't have to sit there holding the thing for 8 hours. It doesn't bond as quickly as superglue (a good thing for many of us, as the above anecdotes prove), but it is stronger and fills gaps better. No bad fumes either. Still use gloves as it can leave a greasy residue on your hands.

unknown member11 Aug 2002 3:51 a.m. PST

If you use epoxy and plan ahead, wire the two pieces together so that you won't have to hold them for eight hours.

unknown member11 Aug 2002 9:19 a.m. PST

As I said before, J.B. weld makes a 5 minute expoy that really works in less than 5 minutes not 8 hours. I work in a maintance department at a huge warehouse and we use to fix all sorts of things, from broken trin to broken forklifts.

Covert Walrus11 Aug 2002 9:33 p.m. PST


Strangely, I am allergic to the fumes from most epoxies, but not to the Locktite 406 superglue. This stuff will not penetrate skin below the epidermis - The dead surface cells will stick together, and as it is relatively inert it is a bit safer. Very strong too.

Loctite also make an inert glue for internal surgery where stitches are not suitable.

spugnoid Inactive Member28 Sep 2002 10:13 a.m. PST

Go to a hobby store that sells RC aircraft and supplies. You can purchase CA glue in 3 viscosities, the thinnest being like water and won't do much good for metal. The medium is the best and has a cure time of 5-7 seconds if you blow and hold the pieces tight. The thick stuff is intended for high-strength applications and for gap-filling. Also, if you use accelerator such as Zip-Kicker, only use it with medium or thick. Use it very sparingly as it can cause the glue to bubble and smoke weakening the joint and looking ugly. I usually apply a small amount of accelerator to one surface and a small amount of glue to the other. Line up the parts perfect the first time because when they make contact they are stuck.

unknown member01 Oct 2002 9:15 a.m. PST

I have an ideal solution to the dangers of super glue-Do what i have done and develop from the age of 10 a revolting habit of picking off the skin from my fingers this way i never have to worry about the problems of getting superglu on my hands

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