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  #1  
Old 01-21-2010, 10:16 AM
filmore filmore is offline
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How to keep tubes of super glue from drying up after one use

I love using super glue for fixing things, but it seems like I can never get more than one use out of the tube. Either the glue in the tube will dry out or else the cap will be permanently glued to the tube. Is there any way to keep the tube of glue viable for any reasonable amount of time after it has been opened?
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2010, 10:21 AM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
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I've heard of leaving a needle in the hole. It gets dried in, but once extracted allows further uses of the glue within.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2010, 10:54 AM
pipper pipper is offline
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Never had any luck keeping it viable after opening. They now sell 4 packs (or maybe 5?) of little mini "single serving" tubes of the glue- pretty much acknowledging the fact that you're only gonna get one use after you open it.....
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2010, 10:59 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipper View Post
Never had any luck keeping it viable after opening. They now sell 4 packs (or maybe 5?) of little mini "single serving" tubes of the glue- pretty much acknowledging the fact that you're only gonna get one use after you open it.....
Yes, I've started using these. I rarely need more than a small amount anyway.
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2010, 11:27 AM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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I buy the little tubes and don't use the applicator. Instead I use a toothpick to apply the glue and when I'm done I take a piece of plastic from a sandwich bag and put that over the tube end and screw the cap back on.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2010, 11:48 AM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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Go to a hobby store that sells model airplanes, and buy zap brand and a bottle of kicker. It cures very slowly, if at all unless you spritz it with the kicker...which cures it instantly. Keeping the glue in the 'fridge seems to help life as well. Zap comes in several formulations, the "thin" being similar to the superglue from the drugstore. The "plastizap" for plastics seems to work much better in that application than regular superglue. I think it has some added solvents to let it "bite" the plastic a bit better.
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2010, 11:48 AM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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I've had decent luck with standing the tube upright after use, then giving it a gentle squeeze so there's only air in the tip.

Two difficulties are:
Dealing with the glue that was in the nozzle - when you squeeze, it's going to come out and run down the side of the nozzle.
Keeping the tube upright. The newer bottles are easy to do this with if you're able to dedicate a space to store it, but the older tubes are nearly impossible unless you stand them up inside something else.
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2010, 11:57 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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I don't normally have problems with tubes of super glue. I just make sure to wipe the tip with a paper towel to remove glue. Gripping the cap loosely I then screw the cap on to the point where it stops. Over torquing the cap or not wiping it off gets you a glued on cap. Leaving the cap too loose gets you a tube of cured glue.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2010, 12:26 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I've been known to get a second use out of a tube by punching a new hole in the side somewhere. Once you've done that, though, you've usually got enough opening for the entire contents to set, so it's not a tactic that can be repeated.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2010, 12:49 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo View Post
Go to a hobby store that sells model airplanes, and buy zap brand and a bottle of kicker. It cures very slowly, if at all unless you spritz it with the kicker...which cures it instantly. Keeping the glue in the 'fridge seems to help life as well. Zap comes in several formulations, the "thin" being similar to the superglue from the drugstore. The "plastizap" for plastics seems to work much better in that application than regular superglue. I think it has some added solvents to let it "bite" the plastic a bit better.
Yes.

.
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2010, 02:27 PM
Rocketeer Rocketeer is offline
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Zap is good stuff, and it does seem to be less prone to drying up in the bottle.

I also try to store mine tip-up, as others suggested.

If the cap sticks on, you can usually break it loose by squeezing the cap gently with a pair of pliers to break up the (relatively brittle) layer of glue between the cap and nozzle.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2010, 08:45 PM
Xema Xema is offline
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Loctite makes various kinds of super glue (cyanoacrylate glue). One that seems to be widely available is called Precision Max and comes in a 10g (0.35oz) package with a really good cap that incorporates a metal pin to prevent clogging. The shelf life of this glue in this package is dramatically better than anything I've used.

Here's a link.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2010, 08:48 PM
Hockey Monkey Hockey Monkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipper View Post
Never had any luck keeping it viable after opening. They now sell 4 packs (or maybe 5?) of little mini "single serving" tubes of the glue- pretty much acknowledging the fact that you're only gonna get one use after you open it.....
Ding ding ding! We have a winner.
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2010, 09:07 PM
Peanuthead Peanuthead is offline
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For future reference here's a nifty website that will tell you how to glue anything to anything: This to That
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2010, 10:14 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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I can usually find a 4- or 5-pack of superglue at the Dollar Store or Harbor Freight for a dollar. I just consider them to be single-use tubes. If I get more than a single use, I consider it a bonus.
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  #16  
Old 01-21-2010, 10:15 PM
Xema Xema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipper View Post
Never had any luck keeping it viable after opening.
I've easily gotten 50 applications out of the Loctite mentioned above. It seems to have no trouble lasting a year, and indeed until the liquid is entirely used up.

Until I found this, I was firmly in the "Tiny tube, single use" camp. But no longer.

Last edited by Xema; 01-21-2010 at 10:16 PM..
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2010, 07:03 AM
Hi Medlo Hi Medlo is offline
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Hobby-quality glue is generally better. Try not to stick anything (like a pin) down the nozzle. The moisture, even a little bit clinging to a pin, causes the glue to cure. If you use only a tiny bit of glue wipe the nozzle clean, put the cap on and give the bottle a sharp rap on the table to help the glue settle out of the nozzle, then store it in the freezer. This will extend the useful live quite a bit.
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2010, 08:28 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo View Post
Go to a hobby store that sells model airplanes, and buy zap brand and a bottle of kicker.
Is the kicker anything more than water? (I understood that cyanoacrylate glues cured by hydration or some such)
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  #19  
Old 01-22-2010, 09:42 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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My husband uses lots of the stuff in his line of work, he's always buying it at the dollar store.

He uses it till the very end of the tube. You may notice when you buy it, at least at the dollar store, it comes in a tube, packaged in a small airtight bottle. Don't throw the bottle away. Keep it. Use it.

Works for him.
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  #20  
Old 01-22-2010, 11:31 AM
Baal Houtham Baal Houtham is offline
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My wife taught me this trick:
After the first use fold the bottom of the tube up a few turns and then glue the tube to a nickel so that it's standing upright. With the nozzle pointing skyward.

The tube lasted until all the glue was used up (three or four projects.)

I'm cheap, so with the next tube I used a nickel-size washer. It was kinda lighter and the hole made for a smaller gluing area... I think it fell over pretty easily, and the washer was probably worth four cents, so the nickel is better.
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  #21  
Old 01-22-2010, 06:44 PM
Improvisor Improvisor is offline
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I picked this up about a month ago and it seems to work as advertised:
http://www.krazyglue.com/products/pr...x?pc=KG825&g=8

It has a little internal tip that you need to push in to get the glue to come out. When you are done the tip springs back out and the glue dries around the tip until the next usage where you have to push it back in to crack the seal. I've used it probably 4 times over the course of the month and the glue still comes out with no issues.

Last edited by Improvisor; 01-22-2010 at 06:44 PM..
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  #22  
Old 01-22-2010, 07:43 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xema View Post
Loctite makes various kinds of super glue (cyanoacrylate glue). One that seems to be widely available is called Precision Max and comes in a 10g (0.35oz) package with a really good cap that incorporates a metal pin to prevent clogging. The shelf life of this glue in this package is dramatically better than anything I've used.

Here's a link.
Seconded. I used to get the expensive hobby-store glue (in an assortment of thicknesses!), but that stuff kept setting in the bottle before I used much of it. So in a time of need I bought that bottle from some office supply aisle at the grocery store. Turns out that the bottle really does help, and I kept it around for a few years of occasional use. The remaining portion did eventually set up in the bottle, but I had used most of the glue up by that point.

Hobby-store superglue ain't that much better unless you have some very specific requirements -- must set in 20 seconds, or fill large gaps, or have a certain viscosity, etc. It's pretty expensive too, and overkill for basic household use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout
Is the kicker anything more than water? (I understood that cyanoacrylate glues cured by hydration or some such)
It certainly smells like something more than water. I can't say what it is for sure, but it has a very strong chemical/solvent odor.

Last edited by lazybratsche; 01-22-2010 at 07:46 PM..
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  #23  
Old 01-23-2010, 11:19 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
Is the kicker anything more than water? (I understood that cyanoacrylate glues cured by hydration or some such)
Aromatic esters IIRC, at least in the old stuff. The new stuff smells different, but it is not water. When the CAs first came out, we used to use baking soda. I partly filled an ear syringe with it so I could puff it on to the joints.

The soda also makes a good filler for CA...either to help with a poor fit, or to form a fillet. Can be difficult to keep in place 'till you get the glue on it.
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  #24  
Old 01-24-2010, 12:34 PM
Rocketeer Rocketeer is offline
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I used baking soda and super glue as a filler for some extensive body work on a 1940 Ford model I built some years back. I wouldn't recommend it; the paint has oily-looking stains now.
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  #25  
Old 01-24-2010, 04:31 PM
OccamsTaser OccamsTaser is offline
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I'm big into scale model aircraft. Super glue is cyanacrylate - usually referred to as CA in the hobby. I use mostly extra-thick, and don't use much thin at all. I've pulled my hair out over this for years. I think there are a few variables at work here. Brand of glue, type of glue (thick, thin, etc...), and style of container. Moisture is what makes the glue cure, so if the container is not sealed well, the humidity in the air will cause the glue to slowly begin setting. Seems like the thicker the glue, the more likely it will set in the container. I have the best luck with InstaCure brand, which has a good screw-on cap that doesn't seem to get gunked up like the Zap brand does. I keep mine in the fridge. Since I use alot of it, I always keep a new spare, and have just resigned myself to the fact that it never lasts the full bottle, and it's just "the cost of doing business" in my hobby. The Kicker stuff is an accelerator and is used for curing the slower-drying glues. A bottle lasts a long time if used judiciously. You only need a drop of it. It's a must have in my hobby and well worth it.

As far as baking soda used to thicken up the glue to fill seams, I haven't had luck with that. ApoxieSculpt is a much better alternative IMHO, for any seams that are too large to fill with straight extra thick glue.
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  #26  
Old 04-27-2011, 09:09 PM
jpanzar jpanzar is offline
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This works!

1. After you open the superglue package, assemble and puncture the thin tip is directed. You should create an exit hole a little bigger than a pinhole.
2. Squeeze the tube so a little superglue comes out.
3. Put the tube in a snack size ziplock bag, tip first.
4. By squeezing the outside of the bag, make a drop of superglue come out of the tube. Then squeeze the drop so it squishes around the tip of the tube. This glue works as an air seal and will not dry!
5. Seal the bag.

When you want to reuse the tube, take it out and you will see that there is no dried superglue sealing the tip. So the glue squeezes easily out of the tip.

When done, put the tube back in the bag, with the tip in the area containing squished superglue. No need to squeeze any more glue out of the tube. The original squished drop works forever. Reseal the bag.

- Jim
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  #27  
Old 04-27-2011, 09:42 PM
thelabdude thelabdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
I can usually find a 4- or 5-pack of superglue at the Dollar Store or Harbor Freight for a dollar. I just consider them to be single-use tubes. If I get more than a single use, I consider it a bonus.
More or less my techjnique.
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  #28  
Old 04-27-2011, 10:51 PM
california jobcase california jobcase is offline
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Super glue's also sold in little plastic bottles. They cost a bit more, but I've never had problems using them up unless I forgot about them for several months.

Last edited by california jobcase; 04-27-2011 at 10:52 PM..
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  #29  
Old 12-09-2012, 12:07 AM
WilliamTing WilliamTing is offline
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Once you have opened the tube, just store them in freezer! They will remain as if it is the first time using it for a long time. No restriction on how you place them in the freezer.

I tried on other types of glue in this manner also and they work!

So, I will see many will have a tight box to keep all the glues in the freezer!
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  #30  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:14 AM
Dog80 Dog80 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xema View Post
I've easily gotten 50 applications out of the Loctite mentioned above. It seems to have no trouble lasting a year, and indeed until the liquid is entirely used up.

Until I found this, I was firmly in the "Tiny tube, single use" camp. But no longer.

Another vote for the Loctite branded superglue

I don't think the glue formula is any different from other brands, simply the container is of better quality and seals well.
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  #31  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:10 PM
Kokopelli23 Kokopelli23 is offline
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Before I figured out that Loctite was the way to go (especially the kind with the little applicator brush on the cap), I would either: a) use a thumbtack to carefully clear out the nozzle (unlike a pin, you've got something to press down on without cutting into your finger), or b) use an Exacto knife to cut off the tip of the nozzle, which is usually the only part that gets clogged. Just make sure you don't squeeze the tube first before trying either of these methods, unless you like being splattered with a jet of pressurized glue.
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  #32  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:11 AM
StJoan StJoan is offline
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Acetone is your friend. You can find acetone based nail polish removers at a beauty supply store. After opening a new tube and using it, carefully wipe the tip of the nozzle with a paper towel (or some cotton wool) soaked in acetone (-based nail polish remover, if you can't get pure acetone). Close the cap and store tube upright in the fridge. Sometimes, the air in the nozzle may cause a thin, hard, crust to form at the interface, but you can always pierce that with a pin and use the liquid glue present underneath.

I use superglue to repair cracked and broken nails (the keratin kind, not the metal ones ) and I have got several uses over a few months even from the tiny 2 ml tube by this method.
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  #33  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:06 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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In my experience superglue doesn't come in tubes, it comes in bottles. I've had a bottle in the kitchen drawer for two or three years and it is still liquid and still comes out of the nozzle fine. The cap has a shape designed to give you plenty of leverage when unscrewing it, and being made of plastic it doesn't really get glued up anyway (generally superglue is rubbish for gluing most plastics).

Edit: once I've finished using it, I stand the bottle upright and gently squeeze it, with a tissue over the nozzle, so that any residual glue in the nozzle gets cleared out. Then a quick wipe of the nozzle and screw the cap back on. I just throw the bottle back in the drawer - it doesn't seem to matter if its upright or not.

Last edited by Colophon; 12-10-2012 at 05:07 AM..
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