CA Kicker

I really don't want to pay $12 for a small bottle of CA kicker anymore. I suspect it might be available cheaper. What is it, or what else can I use to
get the same reaction. I understand baking soda also works as a kicker, but I would guess its messy.
Harlan
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There are a good number of things that will trigger the CA UNLESS you are trying to get CA to work on something like spruce.
I have tried rubbing the spruce with baking soda, and dusting off the excess, it works to some degree. Using baking soda as a filler is a BAD idea.
Having said all that, I have found that simply using a drinking straw and blowing on the joint will usually add enough moisture to kick the CA
MOST aromatic solvents will start the reaction just from the fumes, even acetone fumes will usually get things started.
Smoke blown on a CA joint will kick the reaction, but that is more expensive than buying a bit of kicker.
My { current } favorite method when I need kicker is to dip a LONG single ended cotton swab in kicker, shake off the excess, and then blow through the hollow handle of the swab to waft a bit of moisture and a few molecules of kicker past the joint.
YMMV bob return address is totally bogus
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Using baking soda as a filler is a bad idea?? I've used baking soda and CA glue to glue together a fulesoaked fuselage that had a severe crash. I've even used baking sode as a filler or reinforcer when gluing broken parts of an OS LA 46 engine. It works GREAT!
Stefan Pettersen
wrote:

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I tried making home-made kicker by dissolving baking soda in water and putting in a little spray bottle. It didn't work well at all. Real kicker works GREAT. I decided to bite the bullet and buy the real stuff. If you find a cheap home-made substitute that works as good as the real thing, please post it.
Good flying, desmobob
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My problem with kicker is I go through it fast.. mine had a wide spray pattern and it didn't take long to use up the small bottle I had.
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There seems to be an endless search for the magical 50 cent a bottle kicker. Maybe if I can come up with one I should call it "Holy Grail".
There are a people who claim how great baking soda works. Problem is, you need to first define the definition of "great"... in my opinion baking soda totally sucks ass in terms of it's efficacy with CA. But hey, that's just me, what do I know.
If you want to make the real deal yourself, find a few buddies also interested, and buy yourselves a 250ml or 500ml bottle of n-n-dimethyl-paratoluidine from Sigma Aldrich or another chemical company. I have the CAS number at work but not here, sorry, but you can easily search the chemical name. Then, mix a solution of that at about 1.5 - 2.5% level by weight in the high vapor pressure solvent of your choice. In the olden days of CA kickers, the solvent of choice was Freon 113 (trichlorotrifluoreethane IIRC), but of course that has an issue with ozone. You can use hexane, MEK, acetone, tetrahydrofuran aka THF (a favorite of mine), naptha, or others depending on the substrate you are dealing with. The key point is that CA kicker is a dilute solution of a catalyst such as that mentioned above in a volatile solvent carrier.. the job of the carrier is to deliver the material, then evaporate and get the heck out of the way. At work, I make a few different solutions. We have a 5% solution in hexane for swabbing phenolic parts 5-10 minutes ahead of time, we have an aerosol solution at 1.5% for structural tacking, etc.. several others. At about 1.5% - 2.0% in solvent, you can do just about anything you need to, so start there. Anything more concentrated is more trouble than good, so heed these numbers.
CA stays dormant via an acid inhibitor; when you apply it to a substrate, the surface chemistry plays a huge role in how fast it kicks off. Alkaline substrates shift the ph upwards and the reaction goes off quickly. The reaction is a homopolymerization reaction, which sounds somewhat alternative lifestyle-ish but really just means the molecules react with themselves to form much higher molecular weight cross-linked species, i.e the liquid turns into plastic.
Baking soda is crude, the CA often kicks off before penetrating all the way to the substrate, and the bond strength is typically totally f---ed by the water carrier. Water has no business in any catalyst solution, unless you are totally cheap and don't care whether you have any structural strength left at all. Other than that, it is a great idea. Why cheap out? Nobody minds spending 130 bucks for an engine, what the heck is the obsession with using crap for a CA "accelerator" to save a few bucks? I just don't get it.
How's that for a tech tip...?
Yeah I am being sarcastic, but I am not trying to be mean spirited, just trying to give some heads a proverbial shake. If you follow the guidelines above you might see something magical and enlightening...
MJD

to
but
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Hmmm! I guess this may just be the definitive answer to the question of how to find a cheaper kicker/accelerator! That being the case, I will forget it, because me playing with chemicals is something those who surround me would not want to see. I'll spend the bucks until one of those simple, elegant solutions turn up. I won't hold my breath, although when working with this stuff, one probably should.
Thanks, MJD.
Harlan

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On Thu, 22 Mar 2007 22:13:07 -0500, "H Davis"

Harlan-
My newsfeed didn't pick up mjd's post, so I'm glad you cited it - very interesting and informative. I'm with you in leaving it to the pros to blend the stuff, and holding your breath when working with it ain't a bad idea. One of the smelly emissions of CA when it polymerizes is formaldehyde. You may have some inhibitions about breathing embalming fluid on aesthetic grounds alone, but it is also a suspected carcinogen. So is the common kicker ingredient toluidine that mjd mentioned. As with many of the chemicals we use in this hobby, good ventilation while using them makes good sense.
Abel
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Some people play mental chess.
I play mental chemist.
Thanks for the encouragement to use the real thing. Sounds like it's not a bad investment, all things considered.
                Marty
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$12??????? I buy kicker for $9.99 for an 8 oz bottle. I use an old spray bottle that I bought years ago and refill it each time I run out. The 8 oz bottle usually last me a a couple of years. You need to store in a cool, dry and dark cabinet though. Any hobby shop has the large bottles.
Ted
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I pay $8.50 for 8 ounces of kicker. I use a lot more then model builders use as my big use is fossil prep. And still my last 8 ounce bottle was enough to cure out 64 ounces of CA. For model building I seldom need it at all and suspect 8 ounces would be enough for twice that much CA. How many models can you build with 128 ounces of CA? Maybe 30 to 90 depending on size. So you are talking no more then pennys per model for kicker.
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Ted, I pay about a buck more than you at the local Hobby Town by the time the club discount is figured in.
By the way, I've had two spray bottles fail in the last week. One was the type that you push down on the top. The other was a small trigger spray bottle. I'm suspecting that the kicker is attacking the plastic. I have to admit that I didn't buy a spray bottle at the LHS. I bought one at a beauty supply store and the other at Target. Guess I'd better pick one up that is specifically made for kicker., but most of the bottle are olefinic materials and should hold up under the kicker. It embarrassing for a guy who sells plastics for a living.
Harlan
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Another question that I ask myself is where do you get the $12 price tag? I haven't seen a bottle over $8. Cheapest on Tower is $5.69
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Stefan:
8 oz. refill bottle at the local hobby shop (HobbyTown) is $11.99. Our club gets a 10% discount on that. I think its $10.00 at Tower, but that doesn't include shipping.
Harlan

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Well I for one have never seen any bargans at Hobbytown!

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I agree with that! Bargains at Hobbytown are few, but I still need to keep them open for the time I need to run over there and get one or two items. I hate paying shipping on a few dollars worth of supplies.
Harlan

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As far as kicker is concerned I was going to make some one time when I was out but When I use kicker I only use it because it's handy to I bought a couple cans of aerosol with the little tube that gets those tight spots. Cost? Once in a while Tower sends a AD # for $10 off $25 order, then I pick up things I can't get at the LHS. $10 off $25 is pretty good isn't it? It's like free shipping without the saver club and the big order minimum. My wife thinks I'm a sucker. mk

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Yeah, mk, $10 off of $25 is really good. I'll be ordering from them when I see one of those. Because Tower is here in Illinois, I also have to pay Illinois sales tax. That means that if I can't save enough using one of their discounts, I'll order from Hobby Lobby, Hobby People or one of the others not located in Illinois. If the LHS offers the best cost, I'll go that way. I try to give the LHS as much business as practical without overpaying too much. Besides the owner is a member of our club, so its also a loyalty thing, since he contributes products to our monthly drawings ........ not free, but at a good discount.
Harlan

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You do know that if you live in Illinois and buy via mail order out of state with no tax you are required to report and pay local sales tax to the State of Illinois.
There is no statue of limitations on this.
They catch you, they audit you, you pay all they determine you owe plus interest plus penalty.
Hugh
H Davis wrote:

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