Glen 20 Part Deux

Decided to give it a try myself, to see if there is any substance to this curious concept.

I started by running a bead of thin CA without any accelerator to see how long it would take to set up. After a minute I got bored (short attention span), so moved onto commercial accelerant. It took a few seconds, then the reaction was both expected, and impressive. Smoke, heat, crackling sounds and a solid bead appeared. (One of the reasons I don’t like a pump applicator- you end up with a rather foam-like result as the boiling creates an aerated result). A good result, at least in the sense of a proper exothermic rapid reaction.

Next I tried alcohol, specifically vodka. Interesting- a very quick result, but it wasn’t an exothermic reaction (at least not obviously). Instead it was more of a rubbery result, sticky almost. Not what you’d want from CA, or an accelerator on a pen (or any other use of CA).

So onto water, and in the same time period, the same result. Guess it was the water content of the vodka that got the result, not the ethanol.

Time for the Glen 20. Hmm- no exothermic reaction, and the same sticky, gummy result as I got with all the other potential accelerator alternatives. And yeah, the Glen 20 smell gets pretty repugnant after a very short time. What I think is setting the glue off is the water content of Glen 20, and not the ethanol. I’m not saying that Timberbits didn’t get the result they did, but if it worked that well, you could use a spray of water to equal result, which is even cheaper, and won’t make your shed smell like a just-cleaned toilet.

So the result, at least for me, is that none of the alternatives tested are a good substitute for genuine accelerator. I’m still very much of the mind that I prefer aerosol to pump applicators.

Hmm – how do I get superglue off my fingers again?

6 Responses

  1. you did mean Timberbits

  2. Do an experiment where you compare water to water with half a teaspoon of dishwashing powder in it. Although it still works, water is a poor source of hydroxide.

  3. Maybe you were drinking the vodka?!

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