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Foam safe CA - are there secrets?

Old 03-13-2007, 02:32 PM
  #1  
nk1851
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Default Foam safe CA - are there secrets?

Purchased my first foamy (Great Planes Yak 55 3D ARF ) and started to put it together. Not having experience with foam safe CA, I went to the LHS and purchased ZAP-O foam safe CA. Asked the proprietor if I needed kicker and was told that it was not really needed, that foam safe acted just like regular CA, and the kicker just accelerated the cure.
When I got home, began assembly, first step being to CA the wing halves together. I applied the CA, held the wing halves together for a few minutes and tried to lay them down and they fell apart. The glue didn't work!. I tried again with the same results. I even let it cure over night and the bond was very minimal.
Questions:
1. Will foam safe go bad sitting on the LHS shelf - did I just get a bad bottle?
2. Are there special steps to accomplish when using this stuff?
3. Do you really need the kicker to make it work?
4. Anybody got any ideas on where I screwing up, and can make this stuff work?
Thanks,
Nick
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:01 PM
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reg3
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Originally Posted by nk1851 View Post
3. Do you really need the kicker to make it work?
4. Anybody got any ideas on where I screwing up, and can make this stuff work?
Yes, you really need some kicker. I have used baking soda before to make it "kick". Good luck.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:08 PM
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gsk11740
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I tried to put together a Great Planes FlatOuts J-3 with the same results. I had several people tell me forget the CA and use a hot glue gun.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:15 PM
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firemanbill
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The ca uses moisture to set. that is why your fingers will instantly bond when you get some on them. Stryo is by nature very very dry so kicker is a must!

I don't use it for joints that require strength. Use a contact cement safe for foam or epoxy for that. Areas like the fuse halves, wing joins and such.

CA is ok for small repairs and attaching detail accessories and such. I have never had good result trying to use ca as the main bonding agent.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gsk11740 View Post
I tried to put together a Great Planes FlatOuts J-3 with the same results. I had several people tell me forget the CA and use a hot glue gun.
Be careful when using hot glue on foam. Some of the higher temp glues will melt the foam. I only use low melt. As Bill said, I would use epoxy or Gorilla glue for joints that require a lot of strength. I rarely use CA on foam.
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:27 PM
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crxmanpat
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I'm with Bill. Use some type of contact cement for making strong foam joints like wing and fuse halves. On all of my GWS birds, I use the cement they supply. It works perfectly if used correctly. Apply a thin layer of cement on each half and let stand for 5-10 minutes until it gets tacky. Then simply press the halves together and tape. Caution, you typically only get one shot at lining things up straight. I usually let this stuff cure overnight, although it should be good after a few hours.

An alternate method is to apply a layer of cement to one part, press the parts together briefly and pull apart, and let it set for 5-10 minutes. Then press together and tape.

There are also other glues thay can be used such as Gorilla Glue or Elmers Ultimate Glue (basically the same stuff), UHU Por or UHU Creativ, or any other type of contact cement.
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:56 PM
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gsk11740
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Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
Be careful when using hot glue on foam. Some of the higher temp glues will melt the foam. I only use low melt. As Bill said, I would use epoxy or Gorilla glue for joints that require a lot of strength. I rarely use CA on foam.
...as Gary roots around looking for the receipt to see if the glue gun and sticks he ordered are the low temp melt variety...

Good! Got the right one!
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:31 PM
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firemanbill
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Just be carefule using hot glue if you ever leave it in a hot car the glue may melt since it has a low melting point. Hence the name I guess.
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Just be carefule using hot glue if you ever leave it in a hot car the glue may melt since it has a low melting point. Hence the name I guess.
Well, for my ratty old Blazer, any hot glue "damage" to the upholstery can only be an improvement!
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:38 PM
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firemanbill
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LOL... it's not the blazer I'd be worried about!
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
LOL... it's not the blazer I'd be worried about!
Good point!
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:57 PM
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I can definitely attest to the need for "low temp". I didn't know what kind of cheapo glue gun I bought years ago, but when I tried it on foam I found out it was "high temp". I was able to use it for a little experimental model I didn't really intend to fly, but the glue and tip of the gun both melted the foam as soon as it touched it. Time to buy a low temp gun...

I'll throw out the only other advice I heard on hot glue for airplanes: use it sparingly, not so much because it is heavier than other glues, but because it is easy to overdo it and use more than is necessary.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:01 PM
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Balil
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5 min epoxy i found works the best on all joints that need high strength. i keep some in my field kit, and i have even been known to use it for minor repairs at the field.
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:57 PM
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Son of Paleface
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some kikers will eat foam get foam safe ones ....gorilla glue used sparingly , damp one side hold together with velcro straps or tape is the best , put some strong tape over the glue joint to help contain the glue expands
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:17 AM
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Go ahead and use oderless CA, it works great. You must use kicker. Using lot of the other glues will take you forever to build. I have built over a hundred foamies for myself and other people with great results by using oderless CA with no proplems. Remember you must use kicker.
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Old 03-14-2007, 01:18 AM
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Another problem with Foam Safe CA is that when it hits the kicker, it cures and the chemical reaction releases HEAT!! Enough heat to melt foam!!

I just found this out - fortunately I was only spot-tacking two halves of a canopy together. The tacks held well enough so I could apply epoxy and I reinforced with some fiberglass. Great stuff - high shear strength and light.
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Old 03-14-2007, 02:45 AM
  #17  
mandoblast
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Default poly glue and foam

nothing else like it. Epoxy doesn't even stick as well and can be pretty brittle. (adding some micro balloons to the mix seems to help that a lot)
for poly with foam, wet both sides well, apply some glue and rub them together or if you can't do that, smear it arount with a stick. let it cure up really tacky and remove excess along the way. stick 'em together. they might not even need taping/clamping.
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:01 AM
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peterkron
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Originally Posted by markind View Post
Another problem with Foam Safe CA is that when it hits the kicker, it cures and the chemical reaction releases HEAT!! Enough heat to melt foam!!

I just found this out - fortunately I was only spot-tacking two halves of a canopy together. The tacks held well enough so I could apply epoxy and I reinforced with some fiberglass. Great stuff - high shear strength and light.
yes. the first time i used foam safe ca with accelerator i burned my fingers and it hurts! try not to get that stuff on your fingers
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:26 AM
  #19  
DBacon
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I have become deathly allergic to the CA kicker, so I use a fine mist of water! It takes 5 mins or so to "firm up" but it is a lot better than the week or two I take to get over the fumes. And it doubles in recuperation time each time I try it.
Gorilla glue mixed with water works much better than just Gorilla glue, setting time is 10 times faster, and it foams up a lot less while setting up.
You gotta really whip it with a popsicle stick in a little plastic cup to get it to mix, but it is worth it.
Wish I could recall who told me this, but it was on this forum for building a MHO or a Gemini.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:39 AM
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bowtie hi
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Post # 2 is the way to go. Get a small pump bottle put some baking soda & water in it shake and you have a kicker that don't fume you up and don't melt foam.
WORKS GREAT

Ken

BTW The good point with Gorilla Glue IS the fact it foams up and is lite.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:46 AM
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DBacon
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I will add baking soda next time, sounds good. Is it stable enough to sit around and still work weeks later?
And GG is lite. I haven't tried Sumo glue, but heard good things, it is supposed to be similar to GG, but foams less.
Too much foaming from GG may make leakers in pontoons and such.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:30 AM
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Yep just shake it up and its fine. GG 101 Masking tape over seam you GG and poke holes in it to let excess out leaves smooth surface
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Old 03-14-2007, 12:34 PM
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How much baking soda should be used to say 2 ozs. of water? Along this line of Q&A, has anyone tried using regular CA and the baking soda kicker on foam yet? I'm wondering if it will still damage the foam/Depron?
Thanks,
SJ
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:12 PM
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bowtie hi
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I don't put so much in that its to stiff to pump and I use it on everything
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:41 PM
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Slowjohn
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Originally Posted by bowtie hi View Post
I don't put so much in that its to stiff to pump and I use it on everything
Thanks bowtie hi,
The "foam safe CA" is so high in price I think. It's also a 140 mile round trip to the nearest LHS so I just order most everything I need. I think I'll give it a try on a foam trainer I'm about to build for the daughter who wants to try flying one herself. She's done okay on the simulator so I'll build her a simple trainer and see.

Thanks again,
SJ
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