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CA storage

I buy my CA glue from a company called Bob Smith Industries in Atascadero, California. Bob & Charlie Smith used to own hobby shops called Smith Brothers in the Los Angeles area. They got into the CA business about 15 years ago and sold their hobby shops.

A few months ago, I ordered eight of their 8 Ounce bottles of medium thick CA glue by mistake. I have a restoration company and a prostetic company, who buy about two of these a month, but I was concerned that they would go bad by the time I got to the last bottles.

I called Charlie Smith and told him I wanted to return the bottles for credit. He told me sure, but if I wanted to keep them, put them in the freezer. The colder they are stored, the longer they will keep. Also, a freezer has less moisture than the refrigerator.

One thing he told me was that if you put thin CA in the fridge or freezer, it slows down the working time. Thin CA will work like medium and medium will work like extra thick until the glue gets to room temprature.

One last thing. If you use “kicker” don’t spray kicker within 5 feet of where you have your bottle. Just because you spray the kicker on the work to be glued, the vapor will get to the bottle and harden the glue on the tip of the bottle.

Well, one more last thing. If you tip becomes clogged. Remove the cap from the bottle and use a piece of wire and push the plug out from the inside out. Never… NEVER… push the plug into the glue inside of the bottle as it will act as a catlyst and cause the glue to solidify.

If you want to test your medium glue to see if it is getting old. Shake the bottle and then look at the bubbles. If the bubbles go away in less than 3 seconds, the glue is fine. If they remain after that, it is thickening up and will not work up to specs….

Good luck,

Al Sandrini
B & F Hobby Shop

My local hobby dealer doesn’t stock my favorite brand of ACC, so I have to special order it and get a box of 6 large bottles at a time. I just throw it all into the freezer. I keep the open one in there too.

I don’t know how long they will last, but they have been in there at least 5 years and I still have 1 and 1/2 bottles to go.

Carl Goldberg’s Instant Jet. I started using it when they first made it back in 1973 when I had my hobby shop in Fresno.

Darryl Huffman
Anchorage, Alaska

Assuming normal room temperatures, how long does the ACC need be out of the freezer before it is usable?

I don’t have to wait at all. I just take it out and use. After I am done with my building session, I put it back into the freezer.

Darryl Huffman
Anchorage, Alaska

I keep it in the freezer, lasts a couple years at least. I know acetone will dissolve it off fingers, but don’t know if it works as thinnerwithout causing damage.

Bob M

I don’t see where anyone answered your question in my digest: Myself, I’d Try acetone, because that’s what I use to get unstuck from CA glues, so I ALWAYS keep a bit (half an ounce?) of Acetone in a pool tester dropper bottle with my MiracleGlue, wherever it goes. Acetone always works for my CA, so maybe it should dilute your brand?

Keeping a normal sized pint can of acetone inside the house is dangerous, so I keep that in the garage, near the floor where it stays cooler.

I mainly use MiracleGlue brand of CA- everyone else’s CA hardens too soon from what others tell me.

I never use accelerator with MiracleGlue, I just spray mist water onto a joint if i need to make it harden right away, because the MiracleGlue guy told me it is the absence of air that makes CA set. Using H20 Does turn the glue white, though, so sometimes i just breathe heavily on it — less water/less white.

Mr. MiracleGlue also said the glue may only keep a year in the sunlight, so I keep it in the dark if I can, in my refrigerator where it is dark & cold. I put it on a top door shelf with my other CA glues, when i remember — that way he said it should be good for at least 2 years; he was right– i kept using one bottle for over a couple years before i gave it away to someone. I also have 2 bottles of Miracle Glue’s Unbonder, but I’ve never used it.

Ive been keeping my MiracleGlues in the refrigerator for almost 5 years: Thanks to Darryl, I’m gonna try keeping my last unopened bottle (from about 2002/3, it technically “expired” in January 2004 according to the label) in the freezer. Last time, I bought two sets of 5 bottles to get a sixth one free at

If you decide to order some MiracleGlue, probably order the small (10ML) bottles — it takes me over a year to almost use only half of either bottle size.

I sell my extra glue at cost to anyone i meet tired of having Superglue go bad after usually One use: that may pay for the free bottle for me to keep. I give away my partially used bottles to someone i meet every year or so who is fed up with Superglue only lasting one use, and open a clean ‘new’ bottle for me. I’ve sold some to a cobbler, my dentist, and my mechanic (he uses it for cuts instead of bandaids, as it was first used in VietNam war, i hear). And, Yes: I don’t get any commission from MiracleGlue; i just LOVE their CA. Works for me, over 5 years now. The seller said MiracleGlue is pure CA with no dilutants which is why it lasts so long, but I’m no chemist.

I been thinking of ordering 5 more of the small bottles, but i still have 1.5 of the 20 ml bottles left — one in my toool bag/bench, the other in the refrigerator.

Always Follow the directions: I keep a long needle handy for the time you forgot to tap the bottle to keep the delivery hole free before re-capping the bottle. Maybe pushing the clog into the glue IS a bad idea, and may be why my bottles only last 2 years? One did harden in the bottle.

Oh yeah, I use baking soda or sawdust or sand or any dry powder for filler if i need to ‘gap fill’. Anything dry will do — MiracleGlue only comes in a watery consistency.
Hope this helps.


First off, if it’s getting thick it’s starting to cure, throw it away because it will probably give you weak glue joints that will fall apart when very little pressure is applied. The following properties were found on the internet in a couple places.

Properties of Cyanoacrylate: In its liquid form, cyanoacrylate consists of monomers of cyanoacrylate molecules, (C5H5NO2) CH2=C(CN)COOCH3, and has molecular weight equal to 111.1. Its melting point lies at -22 ºC, its burning point lies at 79 ºC and its density is 1.1 times the density of common water (H2O).

It is an acrylic resin which rapidly polymerises in the presence of water (specifically hydroxide ions), forming long, strong chains, joining the bonded surfaces together. During setting, it exudes concentrated acetic acid, making a strong smell of vinegar. Because the presence of moisture causes the glue to set up, exposure to moisture in the air can cause a tube or bottle of glue to become unusable over time. To prevent an opened container of glue from setting before use, store it in an airtight jar or bottle with a package of silica gel.

Another important trait is that cyanoacrylate sets up fast, often in less than a minute. A normal bond reaches full strength in two hours, and is waterproof. There are also accelerants that can force a set-up as fast as two or three seconds, at some loss of strength. Acetone, which is found in nail polish remover, is a commonly available solvent capable of softening cured super glue. Cold temperatures cause cyanoacrylate to become brittle. Cyanoacrylate’s bond can be weakened, allowing disassembly, by placing a glued object in a household freezer for several hours.

Greg Melby
Seattle, WA

“Now for the science bit”
As cyanoacrylate is essentially a cross-liking resin type adhesive, once it starts to go ‘off’ nothing will bring it back. The only use for acetone with CA I can think of is to break a CA joint by stripping out the water from the chemical bonds. At least I think that’s what the wife uses to dismantle CA joints prior to re-restoring.

(who IS a chemist)

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