View Full Version : Serious Beginner Problems with Ca Finish

26-06-18, 20:30
hey there,
i have tried and failed to make a CA Finish on my pens.

I have read several Tutorials and im trying to do it exactly like that.

1. i am sanding up to 800 Grit
2. cleaning and removing dust
3. applying a thin coat of CA (this one: Bob Smith Super Gold+ Medium Thick Odorless Gap Filling Foam Safe CA Glue | Model Merchants (https://modelmerchants.com/shop/bob-smith-super-gold-medium-thick-gap-filling-foam-safe-ca-glue/))
4. then i let it "dry" for 24 hours
repeat steps 3-4
i did 3 coats and did the sanding polishing after...

my PROBLEM is, that the finish wont go Hard. even if i wait 24 hours between coats i can leave a deep mark with my fingernails.

I am a Beginner..but i dont know where my mistake could be.
any help is appreciated

26-06-18, 21:06
try a different CA. In this heat, it should take seconds to dry and allow you to recoat.

I have used a few different ones, but none are gap filling, so I suspect that is your issue.

There are 1001 ways of applying it. choose 1 and stick with it. If you pick and choose from various methods you will be confused. if it works, its the best way!!

26-06-18, 22:13
Verwenden Sie CA nicht als Finish, es ist ein Klebstoff und nicht als Finish.:rolling:

Sorry, had to do it..
Welcome on board, you have come to the right place for help.

TBH it's possibly down to the type of CA you are using, you need thin CA for putting on to pens.. (it's not a finish tho, it's a glue:thumbs:)

If you use the thin you can coat the pen and it will set in minutes, you could use an accelerator as well, but to be honest better moving away from it..

If you have a look in the tutorials section there is one that Phil Dart has put on for finishing pens with something that is actually a finish.. called Melimine Lacquer.

26-06-18, 22:17
I use medium CA never more than two coats,none of these problems. I found the glue that works for me and that saved my early problems, rely on sources near you for advice. One time I used to import it from the USA.


27-06-18, 07:43
Hello Martin and welcome to the madhouse,
I used medium CA as a finish, it was hit and miss. you have to be consistent. By what you say about the drying time, I would suggest that the CA is at fault. May I also suggest that you opt for a Melamine lacquer finish, I use nothing else now. Whatever you use, I hope you have success with it.

27-06-18, 09:34
G'Day Martin welcome to the forum from the chilly centre of Australia.:thumbs::thumbs:

27-06-18, 10:02
As you may have deduced from what others have said, CA is losing popularity in the UK for a variety of reasons.

However, although I have changed to melamine lacquer as my finish of preference, CA does have its uses, on polymer clay pens for example, and when I do resort to using it I use the same Bob Smith Industries odourless that you are using.

It would seem to me that if the CA is not fully set after 24 hours that there is a problem with the product itself as your preparation sounds fine. Maybe you have a bad sample. I would suggest trying a fresh bottle or maybe a different brand.

Cumbrian Craig
27-06-18, 11:13
Welcome Martin. As Walter said, I think you have a bad batch. I changed from CA to Melamine following Phil Darts tutorial and haven't looked back. Best of luck.



Bill Mooney
27-06-18, 11:58
If you have to use ca make sure it is freshly opened. I use melamine or acrylic lacquer myself.

27-06-18, 17:42
thank you all for your advice and the welcome greetings. :3

I have tried 2 different ca products..but they are both inexpensive ones..maby i ll try a "good one" like you suggested. It just has to work because so many people are using it effectively on their pens and wooden rings.
I am currently working on an interesting finish ... UV curing doming resin but it does not work out well either...haha ...whew

27-06-18, 17:54
Welcome Martin mate, you’ll see that most people on here use melamine. That should give you a good hint my friend.

27-06-18, 20:05
I tried CA and quickly moved on to melamine its all I use now.

Paul hd
28-06-18, 07:53
CA is a fantastic finish. You must have a dodgy tube of it.