Stupid Mistake 92: Shelf Life of Unopened Superglue?

Pete Nolan Jun 7, 2007

  1. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    For a few decades, every hobby shop had privately labeled superglue.

    A decade ago, the thin stuff from my LHS worked like magic. A tiny drop wicked down a joint, and it was bonded.

    My latest purchases of privately-labeled glue from the same LHS don't work that way at all! A tiny drop of the same stuff I've been purchasing for 15 years doesn't wick and doesn't hold until at least a minute, perhaps longer.

    I suspect the LHS bought a lot of it quite a while ago ago, and it hasn't moved as promised by the private labeler.

    My question: is there any reason for thin superglue to go bad in an unopened container? I know by experience that the non-thin superglues in tiny tubes go bad. Just buy a few from a Dollar Store at $0.25 a tube, and you'll see what I mean. You can hardly glue your fingers together with that stuff.

    In the past I could glue a boom to a post by sanding an acute angle onto the boom, placing it against the post, and puting a tiny drop of superglue into the joint. Instant bond! How do you think I did all those other ships!

    Not now! Of course, I'm pre-painting everything these days.


    But even when I sand them back down, the superglue of today doesn't grab. I'm not as steady as I was a few years back, but I'm still plenty steady, and I use jigs when I'm not.

    What do you think, bad superglue, unsteady hands, or what?
  2. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

    As far as I know, as long as it's still in liquid form, it should work consistently.

    I've had superglue harden solid in the tube, but only after it's been opened - even if the cap was put straight back on again.

  3. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

    Someone on some forum recommended the following:

    I haven't tried it yet but I agree that most superglue, even the popular brands, are not as good as in previous years.

  4. Arctic Train

    Arctic Train TrainBoard Member

    It would be my guess that the CPSC has determined that too many of us have been bonding ourselves to inanimate objects. A lawsuit probably got filed since the label didn't state in size 24 font or larger that such a thing could happen. In this day and age of sue happy people the makers of AC glue probably just watered down their product thereby giving us "use half the tube" kind of people a few seconds to run away from any stationary objects before they became body jewelry.
    But I could be wrong....
  5. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    I think it's true! I used to use cotton swaps to soak up extra superglue and, while not igniting, they would smoke as they shrivelled.

    No longer! Yes, they wick it up, sort of, but nothing happens. No acrid smoke to burn my eyes!

    It's the era of weak superglue. Any suggestions where to get "the real stuff?"
  6. Steve Brown

    Steve Brown Guest

    Not only does it take longer to bond but just last week I grabbed a bottle of the super thin type from my LHS and the bottle had disolved unknown to me and drained out on about 20 books and models along with the book shelfs were destroyed. I'm not a happy camper.
  7. Richard320

    Richard320 TrainBoard Member

    Body jewelry? How about reducing 4 fingers to two double-wide fingers? Or just one big paw? :giggle7yc:

    And yes, super glue these days is more like so-so glue. I have no suggestions for any that actually work.
  8. Tim Loutzenhiser

    Tim Loutzenhiser TrainBoard Supporter

    I noticed the same thing going on the past few years. I now keep a spray/pump bottle of accelerator handy whenever I work with ACC - always needs a spritz of accelerator to get it to firm up. I have been using an ACC that seems to work better - it's called Plastic Surgery.
  9. halfpint

    halfpint TrainBoard Member

    I agree.I use testors super and accelerator.It bonds as soon as the accelerator hits the super glue.
  10. PeterCat

    PeterCat E-Mail Bounces

    I use superglue that I buy in the WalMart Cosmetics section. It's used to bond fake fingernails, and it sets up fast. I use a brand called "Kiss", "Maximum Speed 3 secs", and it does seem to set up in three seconds without an accelerator. They also sell an acrylic gel that is used to build up and smooth out fingernail surfaces, that has uses in modeling.
    Slightly off-topic, I've purchased fingernail waterslide decals for specialty trains such as my Christmas and Gothic trains in Z and N scales. They come in different sized as well, Toe, Adult and Children.

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