Glue Brass Tubes into Pen Blanks with CA Glue

Gluing brass tubes into pen blanks can be a very messy process. Although cyanoacrylate glue is not known to be harmful to the skin, it would be wise to put on a pair of non-latex gloves to protect your hands during this process. Here is a brief guide of how to glue brass tubes into pen blanks using the appropriate ca glue viscosity level.

brass tubes

Materials Needed

  1. Brass tubes
  2. Wax paper
  3. Pen turning supplies; Starbond Medium CA Glue, micro mesh pads, pen polish, acetone etc.
  4. Pen making supplies; pen blanks, accelerators and pen finishes
ca glue

I am going to assume that you already have your blanks cut, drilled and the brass already burnished.

Choosing The Appropriate CA Glue Viscosity Level

Choosing the right thickness of ca glue to use is very crucial in this process. The viscosity level of ca glue has a direct impact on the curing time. The thickness level of ca glue is denoted by the term cps meaning centipoise. The appropriate ca glue to use for brass tubes is medium level ca with 300cps. This level of ca has a curing speed of 30 seconds giving you just enough time to work on the tube to ensure perfect placement.

The Gluing Process

Before you begin, make sure you have your non-latex gloves on. You should also lay the wax paper sheets on your working surface to prevent the ca glue from staining it.

Step 1

Place the already prepared pen blanks and brass tubes just next to the wax paper, where you can reach them easily. Remember, the ca level you are using has a curing speed of 30 seconds, so you do not want to waste time moving from one place to another.

Step 2

Squeeze out a considerable amount, not too much though, of the medium level ca glue onto the wax paper sheet.

Take one of the brass tubes and roll it onto the paddle of ca glue. Make sure it is evenly coated.

Step 3

You should then proceed and quickly put it into the pen blank up to the appropriate depth. Wipe out any excess glue that oozes out of the borehole.

Since you are using a medium thickness ca glue, you have a limited amount of time to ensure perfect placement of the brass tube. You need to be very fast and accurate while putting it in place.

Once the brass tube is perfectly in place, set the glued blank aside as you work on another.

CA Glue with Wooden Blanks

Step 1

However, if you happen to be using wooden blanks, you need to first squeeze the ca into the borehole while rotating the blank so that it cots the inside. This is done to close up any cracks that might be present so as to ensure the pen turning process is stable. With other materials like Corian, this is not necessary as it is hard for them to develop cracks or gaps.Although some people still do it, the disadvantage is that the quick setting nature of ca will have the brass tube misplaced if you are not fast enough.

Step 2

Once all the pen blanks have been glued perfectly, spray the accelerator on both ends of the blanks to dry off any residue that might have overflown.

To ensure perfection, swab off any gross amounts of glue that are in the tube using a long handle cotton swab soaked in acetone. This will make end milling easier and reduce any potential problems.

Step 3

You should then allow the blanks 4 to 5 hours to dry off before you proceed to the actual pen turning.

Gluing brass tubes into pen blanks is a very simple process. However, with the nature of the brass material, your choice of ca glue viscosity level can have a huge impact on the final product. Thin levels of ca glue dries instantly allowing you almost no time to work on the tubes while the thicker types are known to span small gaps. The medium level ca glue works perfectly for brass tubes.