1. What is Cyanoacrylate (CA) and how does it work?

Cyanoacrylate is an acrylic resin with an almost instantaneous curing capacity. When CA is introduced to moisture, it undergoes a process where the CA molecules start linking up into chains and these chains start whipping around to form a durable plastic mesh. The glue thickens and hardens until the thrashing molecule strands can no longer move. CA will adhere to most anything, since almost any substrate you may want to glue will at least have trace amounts of water on its surface. Most importantly, CA bonds best to itself.

2. What is the shelf life of CA and the best way to keep it fresh?

If properly made and packaged, CA can last up to two years or more. Since our MasterGlu adhesives are the freshest glues available, we guarantee them for one year from date of shipment to you. The bottle that the CA is packaged in is a vital link to the shelf life of CA. Gear Up Products’ chemists have tested many different HDPE resins and there are only a handful that can properly store CA and isolate the liquid inside from the moisture in the air. The cap or closure is also very important to sealing out the water vapors that exist in the air we breathe. The Gear Up bottle uses proprietary resins in the molding of the bottle and has a highly engineered triple seal closure to keep moisture out and the product fresh.

The handling of the product, once opened, is also very important to the life span of the product. Always keep the cap on when not in use, keep the nozzle clean from excess glue and contaminants, keep the CA bottle away from accelerators, and store the sealed bottle in a cool dry place and never in direct sunlight. Also, be sure to allow the glue to go back down the nozzle before recapping. Tapping the tube assists greatly with this. Storing CA in the refrigerator, in an unopened container, will keep the product fresh for a long time. Do not freeze CA, as 40˚ F is an ideal temperature for optimal storage. Once you initially open the bottle, do not put the bottle back into the refrigerator as this will introduce condensation to the inside of the bottle and dispensing tube. This will then cause a reaction with the CA, and it will actually start to set up and compromise your entire bottle.

3. Why are there different viscosities of CA?

CA comes in different viscosities so it can be used for a variety of applications. MasterGlu Thin and MasterGlu UltraThin, our GluBoost adhesives, have been specifically chosen to provide optimal workability and performance in all types of woodwork.

4. What is a Finisher?

CA like many other glues by are very brittle and cure very hard. While the rigidity of a bond can often be a very good attribute, there are circumstances where this can be a negative. Take for example cracks or crevices that will move over time, such as a guitar ding or dent or even an entire wood finish for that matter. While other products leave witness lines, our Fill n’ Finish products leave zero to minimal witness lines.

Several years ago, the Gear Up Products lab formulated a process where we added specialized market-specific additives to the formula, giving the product the ability to resist age and temperature changes, as well as impact. As a result, Fill n' Finish Pro Formula and Fill n’ Finish Pro Formula Thin were born. Fill n’ Finish products are flexible and non creeping so they can be used in areas where CA, and other adhesives havebeen used before (but now with increased performance and super-clear results), such as to create wood finishes and repair all types of dings and dents. Fill n' Finish is the ideal finisher for ding and dent repair or for entire finishes. It’s great for pore filling as well. Use it with GluBoost Glue Dry Accelerator for super-fast finish and repair work with zero to minimal witness lines on any finish.

5. What is the difference between FIll n' Finish Pro Formula and Fill n' Finish Pro Formula Thin?

While actual woodworking product application is the same for both finishes, the primary difference between our two finishes lies in the type of wood they're formulated to work best with.

Fill n' Finish Pro Formula is specifically formulated for use on more porous woods, such as rosewood, spruce, cedar and mahogany.

When you’re working with less porous woods like ebony, maple, some rosewoods and Koa, you need Fill n' Finish Pro Formula Thin, a thinner finishing product that will penetrate further for superior results every time.

Another benefit to Fill n’ Finish Thin is that when mixing in any of the MasterTint products, one gets a more even dispersion with which to start the repair process.

6. How strong is CA?

CA is extremely strong, with tensile strengths upwards of two tons per square inch. While CA is not nearly as strong in shear as it is in tensile, a glue joint is only as strong as the substrates being bonded.

For example, if you were to bond balsa wood, the balsa wood itself will always break long before the glue joint would fail, no matter what the forces are. All viscosities of MasterGlu have the highest tensile strength available. However, strength is really dependent in most cases on the substrate, so don’t be overly impressed by strength claims. Glue can be only as strong as the substrate that is glued. More strength than the substrate can take is simply overkill -- i.e., in our business, the substrate – not the glue -- is the weakest link. Most important is having a purer, safer, fresher, better looking and more workable glue, which is what truly separates MasterGlu adhesives from other store-bought or supplier-bought super glues.

7. Is your CA pure and High Performance?

MasterGlu Thin and UltraThin adhesives are never formulated from industrial remnants or leftovers (as are most current CA products) and actually come out at a high 99% purity level. Also, MasterGlu adhesives do not have any carcinogens added to keep them stable as do products from other manufacturers who seek super-long “on the water” shelf life. These additives negatively affect the glue’s performance and do not provide as clear a finish when your work is done. No bad additives -- better for you!

8. Why does the nozzle on CA bottles always clog, and how can I keep them from clogging?

The CA in the tip of the nozzle is reacting with moisture in the air that gets into the small orifice and hardening. Typically, once the CA hardens, the user will take a pin and stick it down into the nozzle to open it up only to find it clogs up even quicker the next time. What happens is the pin scratches the inside of the nozzle, which allows even more CA to stay in the nozzle, causing it to clog up quicker. This process will be repeated several times until the nozzle is no longer able to be used and gets thrown away. While blooming does not affect the quality of the bond, if blooming cannot be tolerated at all, try using an accelerator product such as GluBoost that will not gas or bloom.

Some companies have claimed to have a clog-free nozzle, which in reality is only a very long nozzle that you keep snipping the clogged end off until there is no nozzle left, and still end up throwing it away. Other companies simply sell you extra caps and nozzles so you can replace them after they clog.

At Gear Up Products, we have actually engineered a nozzle that not only will not clog, but also has three different points of seal to assure the product inside is kept fresh and away from moisture. This cap has a blunt-nose, stainless-steel pin molded into the cap, which engages into the orifice of the nozzle (not scratching the insides of the bottle) to keep the orifice clean. Inside the tip is a calculated venturie shape, which pulls the CA out of the tip and back into the bottle once the bottle is stood upright. On the very tip of the nozzle is a tapered seat that engages with a tapered boss in the cap, creating compression on the tip of the nozzle that keeps the nozzle clean and the product inside fresh.

If the tip is wiped and the cap is replaced each time the user is finished with the product, the nozzle should never clog. As an added safety measure, we recommend tapping the nozzle to assist with the transport of any adhesive that could be left over down the nozzle and back into the bottle.

9. What is blooming (or all this white stuff)?

Blooming is the white haze left behind by CA vapors after a glue cures. This is typically caused by excessive adhesive, an inadequate accelerator, high humidity in the area, and/or improper ventilation around the part while the CA cures. While blooming does not affect the quality of the bond, if blooming cannot be tolerated at all, try using an accelerator product such as GluBoost that will never gas or bloom.

10. What is GluBoost Non Blushing Accelerator?

Gear Up Products' GluBoost Glue Dry Accelerator is used to speed up the cure of CA glues. GluBoost uses a base with proprietary additives to give users a nice blend between speed and aggressiveness, with no bubbles, pitting, hazing, crazing, blooming or white spots, ever!

11. What is MasterTint and how does it work?

Color matching can be a very difficult task even under the best of circumstances. Our MasterTint is the first color-mixing product that gives you a perfect match every single time! Available in three collection kits – Vintage, Modern, and Black and White -- MasterTint collections make color matching spot on, for fast and simple woodworking repairs and restorations.