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Home Improvement : Accelerator Dries Glue Within Five Seconds

December 05, 1993|GARY ABRAMS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES Abrams is a West Los Angeles general contractor who writes on home improvement topics for The Times. and

One of the best adhesives for use around the home is cyanoacrylate, otherwise known as instant glue or by the brand name "Krazy Glue."

As anyone who has used this product knows, it is a clear adhesive applied a drop at time. It has great holding power and is extremely handy for hobbies and crafts, as well as many household fixes.

The only problem with it, though, is that it is not really instant. Sometimes it can take several minutes for the repair to fully take hold.

Now, however, there is an accelerator spray made for cyanoacrylate (CA for short) that makes this glue an absolute must around the house. With the spray, in five seconds you can make a permanent, waterproof, invisible, powerful bond between most materials, including wood, metal, glass, plastic, cloth, ceramics, vinyl, leather and rubber.

The applications of CA with accelerator for home repairs are tremendous.

Cabinet, television, appliance or stereo knobs are tight in seconds. Broken toys are mended before the tears start to flow. Loose earring stones or posts or other jewelry maladies are solved in moments. Tears in vinyl, cloth and leather are repaired almost invisibly.

Door knob trim rings are secured immediately. Formica edges re-anchored in seconds. Dimmer switch knobs reattached painlessly. Ceramic dishware and pottery are put back together instantly.

The list of uses is endless. I even used it recently to reattach a small section of aluminum that broke off a boat propeller blade after I hit a rock. It's still holding after 40 miles of cruising.

Unfortunately, instant glue accelerator is not yet widely marketed. Originally developed for model building, the only stores I have found it in are hobby shops, where it is sold in small pump spray bottles (about $4 for 2 ounces).

Using the accelerator is very simple. After applying CA to the joint to be bonded and aligning the parts into the final desired position, spray a small amount of accelerator onto the repair area. That's it. The adhesive will cure permanently before you can say cyanoacrylate.

Incidentally, the CA glue itself is available at much lower cost per ounce at hobby shops than in the small tubes and vials you see at hardware stores and supermarkets.

One- and two-ounce containers are available in a variety of viscosities for between $3 to $5 a ounce. Generally, I find the thicker the viscosity the easier it is to work with for repairs. Be careful not to get any CA adhesive on your skin, as it bonds to skin instantly without the accelerator. If this should happen, use nail polish remover to take it off.

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