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best glue for balsa planes!?!?!

Merv

Well-known member
#2
It depends on the application, I use plan white glue for the majority of the balsa build. I'll use epoxy for high stress areas, wing joint, firewall etc. CA for places I want a quick set then follow up with a white glue filet for more strength. I prefer to use a syringe to apply the white glue. This will keep the weight down by using the least amount of glue posible.

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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#3
It absolutely depends on what you're trying to glue. The "strongest" is often the heaviest, and therefore not "best" for every application.

On a single plane I can use thin CA, medium CA, Titebond II, 30 minute epoxy, and canopy glue. Each glue has it's pros and cons, it's up to you to decide which glue to use as you build, and I recommend you try a few to find what works best for you.
 

Ryan O.

Well-known member
#4
whats the best/strongest glue for wooden planes. any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thick CA is used for most non structural parts, wood glue is light, and a little more flexible. It can be used for parts that have a large surface area, like for example laminating two pieces of balsa together, but it takes a day to cure to full strength. My favorite adhesive is epoxy. It is incredibly strong, and comes in different types, from 5-minute to 24 hour epoxy. The longer it takes to cure, the stronger the bond will be. 30 minute epoxy will be good for almost everything there is, but say you are gluing together a crucial piece, 1 hour to 24 hour epoxy will hold on tight and the wood will break before the glue joint. I've also found that if you want to keep parts aligned, and they aren't the easiest to clamp together, a few drops of low temp hot glue will do the trick. The glue is then removed after curing.
If you are getting into balsa building here is the list of glues you will need to get (some are used less often than others):
Thick CA (best for use on balsa)
Medium CA (sometimes used on Balsa, but rarely by itself)
Thin CA (more for plywood since it seeps into balsa wood, but is used for sealing laminated pieces of wood)
Wood Glue
Canopy Glue (used to glue plastics, like the canopy... of course ;)
Thread lock (used for the screws for landing gear and motor mounts)
Epoxy (strongest one I like to use)
CA Gel (not as strong as epoxy, but is a good substitute on smaller models. It is essentially really thick CA)

I hope this answers your question
 
#5
It absolutely depends on what you're trying to glue. The "strongest" is often the heaviest, and therefore not "best" for every application.

On a single plane I can use thin CA, medium CA, Titebond II, 30 minute epoxy, and canopy glue. Each glue has it's pros and cons, it's up to you to decide which glue to use as you build, and I recommend you try a few to find what works best for you.
thank you
 
#6
It depends on the application, I use plan white glue for the majority of the balsa build. I'll use epoxy for high stress areas, wing joint, firewall etc. CA for places I want a quick set then follow up with a white glue filet for more strength. I prefer to use a syringe to apply the white glue. This will keep the weight down by using the least amount of glue posible.

View attachment 168203
thank you!!!
 
#7
Thick CA is used for most non structural parts, wood glue is light, and a little more flexible. It can be used for parts that have a large surface area, like for example laminating two pieces of balsa together, but it takes a day to cure to full strength. My favorite adhesive is epoxy. It is incredibly strong, and comes in different types, from 5-minute to 24 hour epoxy. The longer it takes to cure, the stronger the bond will be. 30 minute epoxy will be good for almost everything there is, but say you are gluing together a crucial piece, 1 hour to 24 hour epoxy will hold on tight and the wood will break before the glue joint. I've also found that if you want to keep parts aligned, and they aren't the easiest to clamp together, a few drops of low temp hot glue will do the trick. The glue is then removed after curing.
If you are getting into balsa building here is the list of glues you will need to get (some are used less often than others):
Thick CA (best for use on balsa)
Medium CA (sometimes used on Balsa, but rarely by itself)
Thin CA (more for plywood since it seeps into balsa wood, but is used for sealing laminated pieces of wood)
Wood Glue
Canopy Glue (used to glue plastics, like the canopy... of course ;)
Thread lock (used for the screws for landing gear and motor mounts)
Epoxy (strongest one I like to use)
CA Gel (not as strong as epoxy, but is a good substitute on smaller models. It is essentially really thick CA)

I hope this answers your question
thank you!!
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#8
These answers reflect what a civilized bunch we have around here. It's like asking what's the best oil for your car. ;) Everybody is pretty much on the same page here. I build small, lightweight balsa airplanes in the 8 ounce or less range so I use thin CA glue 98% of the time. The other 2% of the time epoxy or Titebond is right for a special purpose. Once in a while I might even use a drop of hot glue.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#9
These answers reflect what a civilized bunch we have around here. It's like asking what's the best oil for your car. ;) Everybody is pretty much on the same page here. I build small, lightweight balsa airplanes in the 8 ounce or less range so I use thin CA glue 98% of the time. The other 2% of the time epoxy or Titebond is right for a special purpose. Once in a while I might even use a drop of hot glue.
And I'm at the other end of the spectrum and use CA 2% of the time. Most of my gluing is done with Titebond II, but my planes are usually 8 pounds or more. :)
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#10
And I'm at the other end of the spectrum and use CA 2% of the time. Most of my gluing is done with Titebond II, but my planes are usually 8 pounds or more. :)
I agree wholeheartedly. (y) You must use the right glue for the job. I'd never use CA for an airplane weighing 8 pounds. It's too brittle and doesn't fill gaps. The biggest airplane I ever assembled was the 2M Apollo sailplane. I not sure if I used any CA glue. Most of that was glued together with 30 minute epoxy. It weighs 3.5 pounds.
(Note I said assembled, not built. It was a bARF) ;)
 
#11
Anyone tried Super Phatic? My understanding is that it's an aliphatic glue, but is low viscosity so it would be better suited for the modern laser cut kits.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#12
Anyone tried Super Phatic? My understanding is that it's an aliphatic glue, but is low viscosity so it would be better suited for the modern laser cut kits.
I LOVE Super Phatic! :love: I use it extensively on balsa builds - the only down side is the slower setting time (pretty close to Tibebond's setting time, but way longer than CA). It's good and strong, wicks into the balsa grain well to support the joints, and sands oh so much better than CA! It would get a little expensive to use on big projects (like 2M or larger wingspan) and I switch to Titebond II for those - and I still use thin CA for some ultra-micro sized stuff when I get impatient, but for park flyers between 24" and 50" wingspan kind of sizes it's my preferred glue for 90% of the joints.
 
#13
SIG Super Weld, Titebond, and Superphatic are my go-to glues. I love CA and epoxy, but years of using them while disregarding safety measures has caused severe allergies to them. If I need CA or Epoxy, it requires long sleeves, gloves and respirator. No fun building like that ;-)
 

chris398mx

Well-known member
#14
SIG Super Weld, Titebond, and Superphatic are my go-to glues. I love CA and epoxy, but years of using them while disregarding safety measures has caused severe allergies to them. If I need CA or Epoxy, it requires long sleeves, gloves and respirator. No fun building like that ;-)
are gloves enough generally to use these glues/epoxy?
 
#15
are gloves enough generally to use these glues/epoxy?
Good ventilation and lack of skin contact goes a long ways toward protecting yourself. Everyone's sensitivity is different to chemicals and I developed some underlying things that didn't help. Good ventilation while using glues like CA and Epoxy is usually enough for most folks. If you have asthma or similar things, more precautions might be prudent.
 

Turbojoe

Well-known member
#16
Another big fan of Superphatic! If I'm assembling something that I don't want to have to hold in place I'll use CA. Otherwise Superphatic is what I use. It sands SO much easier than CA and holds just as well when set. No fumes and no fingers stuck to the model or each other either.

Joe
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#17
One thing to note is don't buy a bunch of glue then let it sit for a year, just buy it as you need it because it works so much better when glue is fresh, especially CA. Titebind doesnt seem to care, but some glues do not like sitting on the shelf for years.
 

Ryan O.

Well-known member
#18
One thing to note is don't buy a bunch of glue then let it sit for a year, just buy it as you need it because it works so much better when glue is fresh, especially CA. Titebind doesnt seem to care, but some glues do not like sitting on the shelf for years.
Refrigerating CA works well as long as it hasn't been opened.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#20
Not sure my wife would like my hobby stuff in the fridge, I can barely keep a few beers in there now...lol
It's a good argument for a workshop fridge - "honey, we can have extra food stored so we don't have to go shopping as much" - and then just fill an empty cardboard beer or soda case that she doesn't like with the glues! :D

I like that idea so much I'm going to do it this afternoon! :D