I used to use CA's for my building but about 9 years ago I switched to Elmer's Carpenter's Glue, and I won't go back to the CA's. I feel that my building has improved since I've switched because I have more time to get a joint positioned correctly before the glue sets and you don't get those hard knots in the wood that are impossible to sand. Also I didn't like the reaction my body has to the CA fumes. Many call it a CA allergy, but after I've talked to a few doctors and a couple of chemists I find that it's not an allergy but a simple chemical reaction in your body. The CA fumes react with the moisture in your nose, throat, and lungs to produce some very bad reactions. Over time these reactions can become worse with repeated exposure. I've seen people that can hardly breath for 3 days after using it. I wanted to avoid that from happening before it got to that point. So..... here's what I use for my building.
- Elmer's Carpenter's Glue - This is my main adhesive. I use it for the majority of building with balsa and wood to wood contact. For ply's and harder woods I will use epoxy
- 5 minute epoxy - I do have this around but I very rarerly use it. I will usually use 30 minute, but I have the 5 minute around for quick uses that aren't in critical areas of the plane.
- 30 minute epoxy - I use this for critical stress areas on the plane such as wing joints, firewall attachments, horizontal and vertical stabilizer, securing hinge points, and other high stress critical areas.
- CA's - Yes, I know I said I didn't use these but that's not entirely true. I still use them for a couple of things. I keep thin CA around for hardening threads cut into wood for such things as wing bolts. I may also use it to help hold large constructions together while the Elmer's sets. I will put a couple of small drops on the wood to hold it all together while the wood glue dries. I also do reviews for RCU and I use the proper thickness CA adhesive that is called for in the instructions. I do this because we try to do review planes as the instructions call for. I do have medium and thick CA around but don't use them much. Especially the thick, too many people try to use thick CA to fill up gaps in wood joints but this can be bad, it can lead to a false sense of security because the joint will be weak. Nothing beats wood to wood contact in a joint.
- Formula 560 - This is a canopy adhesive and that's exactly what I use it for, for attaching the canopy to the fuselage
- Gorilla Glue - I don't use this glue too much because of the way it expands while setting up. This can be bad if you don't have the area secured properly because it can push the parts out of position before it dries. But I've found that it does have several really good uses, one especially good is if you have areas that need to be filled and secured. You can apply the glue and a little water and the glue will expand out into the area you want to fill.
- Thread locks - Self-explanatory. I use thread lock to keep nuts and screws in place. Always use blue thread lock so you can remove the nut or screw later. Never ever use red thread lock because it's permenant, you won't get your nut or screw off ever again.
- 3M 77 spray adhesive - This is some great stuff that has lots of uses in our hobby. One that comes to mind right off the bat is when doing cockpits. You can use this spray adhesive to hold items like printed instrument panels in place.
Well, that's about all I can think of right now.