Super glue finish

Dedicated to the Bowyer and his craft. A place to talk building techninques, design, and build-alongs.

Super glue finish

Postby rancid crabtree on Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:25 pm

After receiving lots of questions on how to do a super glue finish on a knife handle I decided to show the steps. This is not to say that this is the only and proper way to use super glue as a finish. It's just the way I do it. Super glue is used on tropical woods that have oils that prevent most finishes from drying, curing or hardening. It can be used on any wood.

First of all, This is for small projects since it is not really cost effective for large projects. At the same time, there are those that use a super glue finish on pool cues, pens, bowls, chess pieces and a host of other projects.

I went out and bought a 4 pack of .07 Oz. tubes for $1.99. I bought the regular and not the gel but have heard of people using the gel with good results.


Always read the warnings and understand the risks. I have chosen to ignore rule number four. I found rule number five a bit odd. I do want good results but I fail to see why it matters how me and the missus spend our free time or if we are good at it.

This glue is stinky but larger containers that are more expensive can be bought in a low odor version.


I used a scrap piece of Bubinga right off the saw. I did not sand it at all. I did this to show that super glue is gap filling and fills in the pores of the wood. I poured a small drop on the wood.


I spread it around with this brush. This is one of a set of ten brushes in various sizes that I got from my parents on my birthday. I've had them for 44 years. The two biggest ones don't work well and the two smallest ones are really only good for cleaning your ears. :D


I just spread it out until the piece is covered and never stop moving. It stays liquid for a short while.


And then hardens with a little less gloss. You can see the rough saw lines on the wood. but after I build up of a few coats, it will smooth over the bumps. *** DO NOT blow on it to dry it faster.


After two coats, I use 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the brush marks and then wipe it with a clean cloth to remove the white dust.


On the back side of the piece I applied the same number of coats except on the last one, I blew on it to dry it faster and you can see the results. The water vapor in your breath makes the glue cloudy or foggy and you cant un-do the damage. You will have to sand it all off and start over. The same goes for touching the wet glue with your finger. The moisture in your skin will also turn the glue white.


After a few coats, you also get a build up on the tip of your brush.


Nail polish remover (Acetone) will remove the hardened glue. I wet a paper towel and set my finger in it.


I will also use some of that same 400 grit to clean of any glue left behind. Now the brush is clean.


Once hardened, I use 400 grit and 0000 steel wool to smooth the finish.


Super glue leaves a hard, crystal clear and water proof protective coating of acrylic plastic on the wood.


It can be buffed to a high sheen.


Give it a try the next time you are working on a small wood project or if making fishing jig heads or turkey calls or pistol grips, etc. Work outside or in an area with good ventilation.
Wisconsin Bowhunters Association
Wisconsin Traditional Archers
Michigan Bowhunters Association
Professional Bowhunters Society
Pope and Young Club
American Broadhead Collectors Club
Sherwood Forest Bowmen Instinctors

User avatar
rancid crabtree
Raghorn Bull
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:13 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Super glue finish

Postby BowHuntingFool on Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:23 pm

Pretty cool, I never knew!

WhisperStik VoodooStik 58", 50#
Montana Longbow 64", 50#
Mohawk Longbow 64", 52#
Lyman .54 Deerstalker Flintlock
Lyman .50 GPR Flintlock

Wisconsin Bowhunters Association
Wisconsin Traditional Archers
NRA Member

4X4 Bull
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:38 pm
Location: Wisconsin/Michigan

Re: Super glue finish

Postby TradRag on Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:44 pm

That is amazing! I'd be the guy walking around with a lam glued to my hand. :o
"Ne Desit Virtus" ("Let Valor Not Fail")
Oklahoma Selfbow Society Charter Member
Bowhunting Council of Oklahoma Member
PBS Associate Member
Founder of

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2974
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:59 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Super glue finish

Postby Lance Coleman on Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:45 pm

Thats awesome. I got two lil projects coming up I'm gonna try that on.
It's not what you do............ It's how you do it.

User avatar
Lance Coleman
Royal (6X6) Bull
Posts: 744
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Super glue finish

Postby Voodoo on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:34 am

I use CA(superglue) to seal the wood pores on everything I make from knives to my Elk longbows, there is a difference in glue. I use the industrial types, Jet medium mostly, as it doesn't turn white(I use my fingers) and a 4oz. bottle can be had for $15.. and it lasts a long time....I also put a finish over it, Helmsman spar urethane, it works great!.
Freedom!, It's the best thing in life!, DRH 9/25/81-4/25/05

Raghorn Bull
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:47 am
Location: Warren,Indiana

Re: Super glue finish

Postby Buddy Bell on Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:56 pm

This is very cool. I never knew. Thanks
Trad is 75% mental & 25% mental ))))====> Buddy Bell

Buddy Bell
Raghorn Bull
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:20 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Super glue finish

Postby heavybows on Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:34 am

Yes i used it to coat my flight arrows. Marlon ;)

5X5 Bull
Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:04 am

Re: Super glue finish

Postby trapperDave on Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:02 pm

about how many coats do you use, how long between coats and how long till final product is cured?;referredby=104

User avatar
5X5 Bull
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:36 am
Location: Indiana

Re: Super glue finish

Postby Double Tee on Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:41 pm

That is neat!!!----I have messed with that stuff for years building RC aircraft and have never thought of using it to finish wood.I have a knife I built a few years back,think I'll try that on the handle!Thanks for the build along.
John Quillin

Double Tee
4X4 Bull
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:44 pm

Re: Super glue finish

Postby Pluck Yew on Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:00 am

Hey, good to know! thanks for the lesson! :o

(wanna be bowyer)

User avatar
Pluck Yew
4X4 Bull
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:32 pm
Location: Howell, Michigan

Re: Super glue finish

Postby KsBow on Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:38 am

Excellent info. For Bigger projects, like a bow or gun stock, try a Massey finish. That is, take a tube of 5 minute epoxy, shoot both part of the epoxy into a pint jar and add some acetone. Ratio is about 4 to 1, acetone to epoxy. Put the lid on the jar and swirl it around until the epoxy is dissolved. Then use a small, soft, lintless piece of cloth to wipe on the finish. The acetone evaporates leaving behind a finish of epoxy. It dries fast and I put on two or three coats. I generally use some fine steel wool after the second coat. It leaves a fairly high gloss finish. I then, give the last coat a bit of steel wool and complete the job by laying on a coat of Johnson's Paste Wax. You'll have a durable, waterproof finish on your project. :D
Building Bows, Making Friends, and Making Memories
Charter Member Oklahoma Selfbow Society
At Large Representative-OSS
2014 OSS Hall of Fame Inductee
Past President Kansas Bowhunter's Association
Member BCO

User avatar
Imperial (7X7) Bull
Posts: 1616
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:53 pm
Location: Chase, Kansas America

Re: Super glue finish

Postby woodsman1031 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:00 pm

Has anyone ever tried super glue gel for the super glue finish?

4X4 Bull
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:59 am
Location: East Texas

Re: Super glue finish

Postby crooketarrow on Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:53 pm

I've been building selfbows for 20 years.Last year I built a bow out of Osage for a gentlemen.After staining it the color he wanted I always seal by bows with wax and a hair dryed totally water proofs it.Firer your hair dryer up every now and again or when ever you want a new looking bow.It dose make your bow look like it was just finished and get rid of those hunting scratchs.
He did'nt want to be bother with it.No problem I'd go to my old back up plan.I've used varafane spray leaves a thin plastic coating over your bow.No sweat I'll just go to LOWES and get a can.Well he wanted to shot his bow NOW.
He saw a tube of super glue laying on a shelf.and said it dos'nt matter You can even seal it with that super glue .I must have had a stupid look on my face.Because he said you build bows and never used super glue to seal a bow.What kind if a bow builder are you.I still must have had that look because he was still loking at me. It took me a second to come around.
Since then I've talked a friend into trying it on a bow he'd just finished.As far as I know it works great.He said thats what he's useing from here on.YOU NEVER TO OLD ARE YOU
If anyone else use's it PM me. :mrgreen:

Spike Bull
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:19 am

Re: Super glue finish

Postby RickBarbee on Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:08 am


I must have misread the part about the small brushes, and am now on my way to the ER to get my right little finger removed from my left ear (hopefully without having to remove to much of the ear).

Where did I go wrong?

Man it is tough to type this way.


User avatar
Raghorn Bull
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:00 pm
Location: The backroads of Texas

Re: Super glue finish

Postby Dave Beeler on Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:28 pm

Rick, ya gotta be kiddin man, are you serious?

Dave Beeler
Raghorn Bull
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:37 pm
Location: K A N S A S

Return to The Bowyers Workbench

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest