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"How to remove CA? (the glue...)" Topic

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7,885 hits since 29 Jul 2005
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Comments or corrections?

nvdoyle29 Jul 2005 9:55 p.m. PST

I've got some GW figs, made of their grey styrene, that were assembled with zap-a-gap (IIRC). I want to remove some parts without ripping the rest to shreds. What will debond/dissolve the CA?

Mardaddy29 Jul 2005 10:16 p.m. PST


No, seriously, if you are talking about SELECTIVE removal, I've not a clue. If you are open to soaking, disassemble, clean up & then reassemble (with the newer parts you want), then maybe Castrol Brake Fuid, though it no picnic to clean, it does loosen up the CA some.

darktwit666 Inactive Member29 Jul 2005 11:13 p.m. PST

Debonder works well enough.. It also strips paint if youre not careful. Available at Hobby lobby.

nvdoyle30 Jul 2005 12:47 a.m. PST

The paint can go – and I can live with a complete disassembly, too.

No Name02 Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 1:04 a.m. PST

I think water does the trick. Super glue uses a thin flim of water to achieve adhesion. Too much water and it falls apart.

Nasteeman Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 4:53 a.m. PST

Debonder cannot be used with styrene plastic as debonder has acetone in it, which will melt styrene. Water won't work either. Superglue is *not* water soluble. I don't know where you heard that superglue uses water to achieve adhesion, but it's not true. The only thing that water *might* do, as superglue is anaerobic (works without air), is cause it to cure faster.

BillChuck Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 5:18 a.m. PST

My understanding is that water is part of the chemical reaction that causes superglue to harden. If you put it on a dry surface in 0% humidity, it won't harden at all.

To remove it, probably the easiest way will be to carefully snap the pieces apart and then scrape the glue away.

Pine-Sol might loosen it, but some formulas will melt plastic figures so be careful with that route.

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 5:45 a.m. PST

fingernailpolish remover wil debond C/A glues but test it on the plastic bits first.

Cosmic Reset Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 6:39 a.m. PST

If you carefully apply the debonder with a toothpick or piece of wire you can debond without destroying the styrene; it may take awhile though. If you can get the jaws on either side of the piece to be removed (such as an arm), use a pair of sidecutters at the glue joint. I pop pieces apart all of the time with very minimal damage to the part. You can usually then clip most of the suprglue off of the parts with the sidecutters, and/or sand with a flexible sanding stick. Any small pair of wire cutters will work.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2005 7:15 a.m. PST

Water does two things to superglue:

1) It catalyzes the polymerization of the liquid. BillChuck is correct on this.

2) It also degrades the bond between the glue and the substrate (the things glued together).

So, letting it soak in hot water will degrade the bond, and not affect the plastic. It can't hurt, and is less chemically intrusive than solvents, brake fluid, debonder, flamethrowers, etc.

Superglue is not as super as some would have you believe.

Soaking your hands in hot soapy water will also help unglue your hands, as if such a thing could ever happen!

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2005 7:38 a.m. PST

Hot water will do the trick. For the patience challenged, acetone is much quicker (but may be dangerous to styrene).


Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2005 7:39 a.m. PST

Oh – something I discovered accidentally – a LONG soak in Simple Green will also dissolve a CA bond … but it might not be any more efficient at it than a long soak in water.


Para Bellum Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 7:45 a.m. PST

Oven cleaner will break the bond in about 10 minutes, but I only use it on metal minis. I would surely try a test on plastics before throwing them all in.

PJ Parent Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 9:01 a.m. PST

I had heard that freezing will help you snap them apart but I tried that and it did not work. I will be sawing the stuff I have apart. I tried soaking it in nail polish remover and it did not work (too much glue) I might try water as I have nothing to loose (thanks for that one).

I have used oven cleaner on plastic miniatures and the only negative was discolouring.


tchristney Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 11:12 a.m. PST

What I have done in the past is to use a hobby knife to wedge into the joint. Because the CA is actually quite brittle it usually breaks before the surrounding plastic. Then it is easily scraped and sanded away. On the plus side be thankful that the figures weren't assembled using proper styrene cement. Then you would be SOL.

Cyrus the Great30 Jul 2005 12:18 p.m. PST

Soaking in Simple Green or Formula 409 ( not the glass cleaning variety )will do the job.

No Name02 Inactive Member30 Jul 2005 1:30 p.m. PST

"Superglue is not as super as some would have you believe."

Another one we agree on!

Amoryl Inactive Member28 Sep 2005 12:17 a.m. PST

does it have something to do with the heat of water? i've done a couple of quick and dirty repairs to my mom's toilet by gluing things back together (inside the tank) with superglue, i'd been told that superglue once it dries is waterproof, and truth be told, i never had a problem with it coming unglued even constantly under water for years…

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