What is a substitute.

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Forum topic by Vern Little posted 10-15-2010 03:42 AM 3266 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Vern Little

103 posts in 3565 days

10-15-2010 03:42 AM

What is a substitute for accelerator for CA glue?
I am 120 miles away from a Woodcraft store and I am out of accelerator. Is there anything I can use as a substitute?

-- Earth first, we'll drill the rest of the planets later. Vern

13 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10543 posts in 3456 days

#1 posted 10-15-2010 04:13 AM

Baking soda will work. It turns the glue white, though.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3274 days

#2 posted 10-15-2010 08:05 AM

One guy I worked with swore cigarette ashes were great accelerators for ca. Haven’t tied it though.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View MarcInAylmerQC's profile


16 posts in 3657 days

#3 posted 10-15-2010 12:58 PM

I use rubbing alcohol (95%). It turns the glue white. I can’t remember if the original accelerator did that.



View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2950 days

#4 posted 10-15-2010 03:53 PM

Depends on what you are looking to do.

Water is the really best accelerent going, but it works so fast, you get no setup time, so you can’t spread it out, then set the components. You can spray a mist of water after you put the parts in place, which will pretty much instantly set whatever CA the mist touches. In fact, what makes CA set is humidity in the air. Hitting it with a lot of water does also have a tendency to turn the CA white.

One might ask if you actually need an accelerator. The thin CAs set in about 15 seconds, the thicker ones set in about a minute. Accelerators don’t do anything other than make the adhesive set faster, so as long as you hold the parts in place a few seconds longer, you can just glue without the accelerator. The vendors would like you to (pay for) and use it always, but it’s really only necessary if you can’t hold the parts together long enough for the humidity to do the job.

View Vern Little's profile

Vern Little

103 posts in 3565 days

#5 posted 10-15-2010 11:27 PM

Thanks Guys,

I was making a Celtic knot in a pen blank for a special lady. I was using medium CA and it wasn’t setting without the accelerator. I was wanting it dry so I could put it back on the saw, without getting glue smeared all over the place. I think the water mist sounds like the best route.
Thanks again.

-- Earth first, we'll drill the rest of the planets later. Vern

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2950 days

#6 posted 10-16-2010 01:55 AM

I used to sell this glue and used a LOT of it, making flying model airplanes. A good accelertor is misting water onto it. Even blowing on it will do the job. (Moisture in your breath)

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3761 days

#7 posted 10-16-2010 06:43 PM

I just looked up the MSDS for a randomly chosen accelerator – 68% acetone, 14% N-Butane, 15% propane. That sounds like a pretty potent mixture!


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Vern Little's profile

Vern Little

103 posts in 3565 days

#8 posted 10-20-2010 03:20 AM

Ok, either this stuff has a shelf life, or their claim to set in 10 sec. and cure in 30 sec is all BS.
I have some med CA by tite bond, that is setting on a board for 20 min. And I sprayed water on it.
It has been stored in a bottle with the lid off. Just a pin hole in the nozzle.
The thin stuff acts like it should.

-- Earth first, we'll drill the rest of the planets later. Vern

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3765 days

#9 posted 10-20-2010 04:09 AM

I think the normal accelerator for CA glue is ether. You might be able to get a spray can at an auto supply store. It is used to fast start a car. You crank over the engine and spray it in the carb. I don’t know if it sold anymore.

Here is a link that sheds some light on accelerators:

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3704 days

#10 posted 10-20-2010 06:56 AM

O’Rielley has it John, I’m sure others do to. I have a stubborn lawn mower ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3188 days

#11 posted 10-20-2010 08:16 PM

Accelerator = Acetone = fingernail polish remover(the older stuff anyways)

Ya have to spray mist it though, drops won’t work. Drops act like a remover. Yes, water mist will work in a pinch. Or open your mouth real big and exhale on it. We used to do that all the time building balsa airplanes. Don’t breathe IN though. :D

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View SteveRussell's profile


101 posts in 3988 days

#12 posted 10-21-2010 02:31 AM

Actually the typical ingredient in a CA accelerator that does the kicking is an amine. The rest is mostly a solvent for the base and for propellant (if the spray can type) and cleaners/degreasers. Cheers!

-- Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

View Vern Little's profile

Vern Little

103 posts in 3565 days

#13 posted 10-21-2010 02:36 AM

Thanks guys for the info. I was wondering about starting fluid, but never got around to getting any. The acetone works good to remove CA, but it did not act as a hardner. I just dripped it on. didn’t think to or have a way to spray it on.

-- Earth first, we'll drill the rest of the planets later. Vern

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