Finishing with cyanoacrylate for wood rings.

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Forum topic by Marcolm posted 02-07-2012 05:17 AM 15881 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2502 days

02-07-2012 05:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cyanoacrylate ca finishing cyanoacrylate finishing cyanoacrylate wood rings wood ring finishing wood ring finish applying cyanoacrylate using cyanoacrylate cyanoacrylate question cyanoacrylate tip finishing turning lathe

I am a wood ring maker and have recently stumbled upon the cyanoacrylate finishing method which I find very appealing. I have been using Danish Oil to finish my rings so far, followed by a coating of beeswax. This provides a nice finish but unfortunately doesn’t provide the long term durability that I hope for.

I am interested in beginning to us CA to finish my rings, but I have a problem. I don’t turn my rings on a lathe. Instead I shape them on a sationary belt sander. I do this because it allows me to create shapes other than the traditonal band ring. This means I can’t use a lathe to apply any CA.

But I am getting the impression that the only way to apply CA is by turning the ring on a lathe and slowly applying very thin layers of the glue. It seems that CA is too finicky to apply by rubbing on so I am wondering if there are any conceivable alternatives for application that don’t involve turning?

Any ideas that anybody can send my way would be much appreciated.

11 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1853 posts in 2518 days

#1 posted 02-07-2012 07:25 AM

Perhaps thin it out with acetone and try applying it that way. It’s the first thing I would try.

-- See my work at and

View Shanem's profile


130 posts in 2668 days

#2 posted 02-07-2012 04:15 PM

I’ use the super glue method now as a finish for the majority of my pens I turn. I turn the lathe down slow to roughly 150 RPM and rub back and forth quickly to get an even thin layer.

Where you don’t have a lathe you could possibly put it in your drill press and apply it that way. Will be a lot higher RPM even on the low setting.

Or, if you have a rotary tool you could possibly use the sandpaper drum and see if they fit on that. Turn it down to a low speed and apply it. Probably the best option.

View George's profile


82 posts in 2805 days

#3 posted 02-08-2012 01:16 AM

Put several thin coats on it. Note that it will dry on you thus leaving ripples, etc. So sand it between coats or every other coat with 600 grit. Might work. I use a Beale buffing system. That would do the trick on rings. You don’t have to worry about a few ripples or mars in the super glue because yhou will remove them with the three step buffing wheels. Also, just using the Beale system will put a beautifully smooth, shiney surface without using CA. It finishes with Carnuba wax which can be refreshed and buffed by the owner.

BTW, I don’t have any stock or beholdings to Beale, I just use the system with remarkable results. It’s quick and easy as well. If you don’t have a lathe and you want to buy a motor to make a dedicated system, Woodcraft sells an inexpensive on that runs at 1750 RPMs, so does Grizzly. If not, a verible speed hand drill will work nominally.

You can look at my last project, a pen, and see the CA finish after using the buffing system.

-- I did measure it twice, it's still too short.

View Marcolm's profile


2 posts in 2502 days

#4 posted 02-08-2012 01:28 AM

Thanks for the tips everyone.

I will certainly be trying ou the buffing and 600 grit sanding between coats. However my biggest problem stems from the fact that my rings aren’t circular on the outset (a lot of them anyway). I make other shapes with square and bulbous tops and much more. This means that if I were to mount the rings and spin them on some sort of apparatus I couldn’t apply an even coat anyway. The rings are too inconsistently shaped.

Here is a picture of one to get a better idea of what I mean:

I need a method of applying the glue without aid of a rotating machine. basically I’m wondering if it is going to be feesible by hand if I mount the ring on some sort of stick which I can turn freely with my other hand.

Any further assistance would be greatly appreciated.

View George's profile


82 posts in 2805 days

#5 posted 02-08-2012 05:18 PM

beautiful stuff!!! I make jewelry occasionally and sell some, but mostly my wife confiscates it! You should get a buffing system. It will work on uneven and odd shaped cuts, and it will cut your finishing time down by 2/3. You wouldn’t need to put CA on the items. Also, have you tried spray lacquer or polyurethane for the finish? Lacquer is easy to work with on small items like jewelry and once you get the hang of it, it puts a high gloss on it. Poly is more durable, but a little more finicky. BTW, if you do look at a buffing system, don’t buff lacquer finishes! It makes Lacquer boogers. don’ ask how I know! Hope this helps. Again, you make beautiful handmade jewelry!!

-- I did measure it twice, it's still too short.

View TFinney's profile


8 posts in 2894 days

#6 posted 03-16-2012 02:42 PM

I’ve been making a number of “bentwood” rings here recently, and have been using “gap filling” CA glue from our local hobby shop to finish them with. I agree with luvswood in the aspect that Carnuba wax would provide a nice, reasonably durable finish as an alternative, considering they’ve used it on pipes years. However, if you want the durability of CA, there’s not much of a way around sanding between coats, especially if you ever make a ring in the bentwood style. Personally, I don’t mind the extra sanding because you can control what your finish looks like. If you’re a fan of a satin look (such as myself), you can finish with something such as 400 grit. If you like more of a luster, sand with a progressively finer grit.
As for actually applying the super glue, I like to loop my ring through a piece of fine wire and put a thin coat over the entire ring. The spot where the ring gets “glued” to the wire can usually be pretty easily sanded away.

Hope this was helpful

Now for a shout out to luvswood: Thanks for the tip on the buffing system! I’ve been looking for something like that for finishing my pipe projects.



-- I don't really know what I'm doing... I just make it look like it do.

View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 2531 days

#7 posted 07-25-2012 01:44 PM

I’ve made an instructable on one method you might like to try.

Very quickly, it’s about making you’re own ‘paintbrush’ applicator tips to fit onto a CA bottle, turning it into a temporary brush that you can use to apply the glue.

-- Never is longer than forever.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8557 posts in 2530 days

#8 posted 07-25-2012 02:37 PM

you might consider polishing with felt bobs mounted in a dremel or fordam rotary tool. you can get the felt bobs in different densities and use all the same polishing compounds you would use on a cloth wheel.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3187 days

#9 posted 07-25-2012 02:48 PM

Maybe one of those polishing disks/drums/fluffy pads you see that attach to a drill press or other type device. I have taken these and soaked them in finish and then let it spin and rubbed my object against it. CA would be trickier, but I bet doable once you figure out a good system for it.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View AshM's profile


10 posts in 2353 days

#10 posted 07-25-2012 03:08 PM

I also make bentwood rings, usually finishing with CA glue. I wear a latex glove and apply it with my finger, sanding between coats with 320 grit. Then after the final coat progressing up through finer grits to 1200 and finally small amount of cutting paste. I then finish with carnauba wax, usually on the lathe to get enough friction to heat the wax, and then buff with a cloth also on the lathe. It can be a bit tricky regarding how to support the ring whilst applying the glue. I like the idea of Travs method using wire, am going to try it next time, thanks Trav!

One thing I have noticed is that the more CA glue you apply at one time, the milkier or cloudier the final finish will be, so I recommend only thin layers, it takes longer but looks superior.

Hope this helps


View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 2531 days

#11 posted 07-26-2012 01:00 AM

To tyskkvinna
Those polishing wheels are often cotton or similar. And CA reacts exothermically with cotton or similar (creating enough heat for serious burns, and produces noxious fumes). So just be careful trying that idea.

-- Never is longer than forever.

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