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CA as a finish on rocking chair seat

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Forum topic by bues0022 posted 10-07-2016 02:55 PM 319 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bues0022

223 posts in 2621 days


10-07-2016 02:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

I’m making a Hal Taylor / Sam Maloof inspired rocking chair (for a long time now, almost 6 years). So, here’s the deal. My seat is a sandwich of walnut/spalted maple/walnut (about 1.125” / 0.75 / 0.125” thick each). It probably does not come as much of a surprise for those more seasoned than myself, that the spalted maple continues to crack/move with humidity changes (remember, 6 years on the chair now). I’ve filled the cracks with epoxy a couple times over the past years, then sanded them down again as the swelling, humid wood pushes the epoxy fill out.

I have a bit of a wild idea to help stabilize the seat pan – super glue. Woodturners use it often as a finish, why can’t I? It soaks into the wood, will help stabilize the weaker/softer parts of the wood. After application, I can give a light sand to re-smooth any bubbled areas. And, after the seat-pan is super-glued, I can put my “normal” finish over the top to give the correct sheen as the rest of the chair (yes, I know it won’t soak in).

A potential problem I can see, is how do I apply it quick enough so I won’t get funny looking streaks. Just applying a super glue is going to be tricky, and I’ll have to work very fast (unless someone knows of another CA that is very thin that has a longer open working time).

I have images of my seat pan attached. There’s a thin line of black epoxy ringing the spalted maple, so it’ll provide an easy point to stop the glue.

I know it’s unconventional, and a bit off-the-wall. But, what do you think?

-- Ryan -- Delano, MN


10 replies so far

View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

460 posts in 712 days


#1 posted 10-07-2016 03:04 PM

Interesting topic. I look forward to any input you may get. What I have learned about CA is that water is the catalyst for polymerization. So, to gain a longer open time anything you can do to remove water should help. Perhaps applying alcohol first? Just an idea. Good luck with your project, that’s a nice looking rocker.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

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Cooler

270 posts in 304 days


#2 posted 10-07-2016 03:57 PM

Super glue is available in many formulations. It is even fumed for use in forensics. I wonder if you could fume the chair inside a poly bag.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanoacrylate

Woodworking

Thin CA glue has application in woodworking.[citation needed] It can be used as a fast-drying, glossy finish. The use of oil (such as boiled linseed oil) may be used to control the rate at which the CA cures. CA glue is also used in combination with sawdust (from a saw or sanding) to fill voids and cracks. These repair methods are used on piano soundboards, wood instruments, and wood furniture.

And this article:

https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/tipstechniques/finishing-ca-glue

And this search:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=cyanoacrylate%20as%20a%20wood%20finish

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

140 posts in 201 days


#3 posted 10-07-2016 03:58 PM

I’m not an expert by any means, but I think the problem with CA as a finish for larger pieces is the idea that it won’t stop expansion and contraction, and CA is incredibly stiff and brittle, so it will crack over time. I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong about this.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7909 posts in 1841 days


#4 posted 10-08-2016 04:33 AM

Super glue is expensive, dries very fast, and is a slightly different appearance than other finishes. I would just soak it in wood hardener and let it dry for a long while then refinish and reassemble.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3390 posts in 1665 days


#5 posted 10-08-2016 11:32 AM

I dont think CA glue will do anything to stabilise the surface unless you completley envelope it.

If you use CA glue to finish the surface ensure that is all 100% dry before sitting in it otherwise you may spend more time in it than expected.

Take note of Rick Ms comment regarding costs too, there is a lot of surface area to cover and it needs to be done all over as well, and that means a considerable amount of CA glue being used.

Now a consideration you also need to make is, what happens if you ruin 6 years of work? So if the risk is unacceptable I would recommend using a specific design sealing product as an alternative and it may only reduce the effect not completely eliminate it, read as seasonal movement is a characteristic of timber.

To help you make a decision make sure you read Coolers links posted above, (and although they maybe just a just a wandering gypsy) as all the information you need is in there I assure you.

-- Regards Robert

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bues0022

223 posts in 2621 days


#6 posted 10-10-2016 03:41 PM

I’ve decided away from using CA as my finish and way of helping stabilize the wood. Does anyone have any experience with penetrating epoxies?

-- Ryan -- Delano, MN

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Cooler

270 posts in 304 days


#7 posted 10-10-2016 04:05 PM

There are lots of articles about stablizing wood, especially for wood turnings:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=finishes%20that%20stabilize%20wood

“Pentacryl” seems to be the stabilizer most cited.

http://www.preservation-solutions.com/product/pentacryl/

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

687 posts in 1259 days


#8 posted 10-10-2016 04:39 PM

I don’t think CA glue is the right fix and will not help one bit.
What I see is this you need to open up that crack into a wedge shape.Then glue in a wedge of maple to match.
This is one of those times where you cannot remake the part so we have to pay attention to what the wood is telling us.
To me it’s saying I want to be wider so add to it .And stop trying to close the gap!

Aj

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bues0022

223 posts in 2621 days


#9 posted 10-10-2016 05:47 PM

The small crack that’s shown in the first image isn’t a worry to me at all. That image was meant to show the spalted maple that I’m dealing with (and the black interface).

I agree, CA isn’t a great option. Also, I’m well aware that Pentacryl is mostly used for green wood, mine isn’t anywhere close to green.

What are people’s experiences with products such as System Three epoxy, or other similar products?

-- Ryan -- Delano, MN

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Aj2

687 posts in 1259 days


#10 posted 10-10-2016 06:32 PM

OH I’m sorry I though you are trying to close the split and it kept coming back.
My thoughts about epoxy for a finish are not good.
The first reason is Sam Maloof made his chairs and finished them to be touched.To keep people and wood as close as possible.
It’s your project and defiantly do what ever you think is right.

I wouldn’t do it his museum is just up the street from me.So I be afraid to sleep at night,I don’t need any more paranormal stuff around.

Aj

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