What pen adhesive do you use?

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Forum topic by tooldad posted 04-27-2010 05:40 AM 1099 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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659 posts in 3134 days

04-27-2010 05:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pen lathe polyurethane glue ca glue

Trying to get an opinion of the best adhesive to use in the class for the kids.

Epoxy so far has worked the best, however it takes a glue brush and wastes so much each time, great if gluing up a bunch of pen blanks, but just one is a waste.

CA is great, fast, but have had problems with it. not sticking, actually setting too quickly and students get barrel in half way, CA glue on everything!

Polyurthene. According to the video by Kip (can’t think of last name) Poly glue is best, just takes time to set. Well my students have the time, usually takes a class period to cut, drill, and glue blank. They don’t get to turn it until the next day anyway. I have never used water on poly glue before and have not had problems, however it says to wet the surface. Do you think I should wet the tube or inside of the blank. Poly glue is good solution since it is reasonably priced compared to CA glue, available at any store, and expands to fill gaps if student didn’t clamp tight and blank moves during drilling. However we have had a few blanks not stick, but we are not using water in the mix.

Have tried all 3, gave my experiences. Just wanted to hear others. Probably will hear that CA is the clear cut winner. Hope to hear from some that use poly glue.


4 replies so far

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2689 days

#1 posted 04-27-2010 06:16 AM

I use the 5 min epoxy. I get it in two bottles and can mix enough for one or many barrels at a time. I have never had a pen come apart from this method as I have seen alot of loose barrels, tops and nibs…etc from CA glues. You can turn a pen glued this way in around 15 minutes to 1/2 hour or so…overnight the glue is fully cured….overnight is best….but in an clutch over an hour will do.

I dont recommend Polyurethanes…unless you use the non foaming. Dampening the inside of the wood could be done by moistening the copper tube….but doing this extra step is not required with epoxy….I find epoxy is also less expensive then the “good” Polyurethanes that don’t foam. The foaming can be used but you have to be diligent about getting rid of foam out….Poly does not set very fast either and no accellerant either.

I have heard of folks using PVA glues (Titebound III) but have not tried it myself. I would fear that it would not be strong enough…although I have a friend that uses it and believes it is strong as the epoxies (time will tell).

CA glues…I have mixed feelings about this glue. It seems to not wear very long…or at least long enough. I have seen alot of pens that were turned that have loose parts due to the CA glue giving out….I think most is due to starvation of the joint….but CA glue has a problem with sheer when used in woodworking. The pro’s are the instant seize properties and the fact that you can use an accellarent (you can turn a pen almost instantaneously this way).

There are other glues and methods but those are the “approved” ones….Any others would require that you find certain ingredients…etc….where the components for the above products are available almost everywhere.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View yarydoc's profile


417 posts in 2563 days

#2 posted 04-27-2010 06:29 AM

I use the 5 minute epoxy. I mix it on a wax paper and Roll the sanded tube in it. I work the tube in both ends of the blank to make sure there is a good coat of glue on it and apply more glue on the tube and insert it in the blank. I have tried other glues and sometimes the tubes would push out when I started to press the kit in. I also like to turn the next day. The thick CA glue will set up before I get everything in place.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 2483 days

#3 posted 04-27-2010 01:31 PM

I use CA glue.. Works great.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2493 days

#4 posted 04-27-2010 01:51 PM

CA – medium

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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