Posted on Leave a comment

Quality of life equipment upgrades for pen making

Got the basics purchased but interested in some ways to make penmaking easier by spending a bit of money? Here are some of my favorite tools.

I do not get any commission from any links on my site, not even from Amazon. I am just sharing things I’ve found effective and helpful.

Kits and Tubes App

The International Association of Pen Turners has a database of bushings and tube sizes, but they also provide it in app form for iOS for $0.99: IAP Bushings & Tubes Reference. There’s also an Android version I haven’t personally used.

It’s definitely not required, but I’ve found it a useful reference and for $0.99 it’s a nice way to thank them for keeping the database up to date as well.

They will be updating the database again soon, according to their website, so while you may find some missing kits (I haven’t yet, but I’m using pretty standard kits) an update is supposedly coming.

Cutters

I used these PolyClay Tube Cutters from Penn State on every pen I make and find them well worth the $7 I paid for the set.

There are different sizes that will allow you to quickly and easily cut clay to fit (with no overlap) around the most popular pen barrel sizes: 7mm, 8mm, 3/8 in., 27/64 in. and 10mm.

They’re extra long, so they work with a variety of tube lengths, and you can easily trim the ends off your barrel after wrapping it.

When I’m doing a kaleidoscope I don’t use them, since I want it to tile perfectly (then I use my graph paper templates), but since I often like to work on a base layer of clay, they’re perfect for getting an easy base layer in place rolled out on the very thinnest level on my pasta machine.

PolyClay Mandrel

Also from Penn State, this PolyClay-specific mandrel makes it very easy for me to sand, finish, and polish my barrels on my drill. You can make one yourself (I give suggestions in my article on the minimum equipment necessary for penmaking), but I didn’t know that at the time.

I haven’t regretted the purchase though: the slightly flattened end nuts, long threaded rod, and knurled connecting nuts make it a breeze to use on my drill and I reach for it every time rather than my home made setups.

At $15 it’s not the cheapest thing out there, but for me it’s been worthwhile.

Round Cane Slicing Jig

I do not use this personally, because I don’t make pens like this, but many do, so I’m mentioning it as an option. If you’ve used it, I’d love to hear from you in the comments on this post!

Penn State also produces a PolyClay Cane Slicing Jig to make it easier to hand-slice round canes without distortion. If you already have one of the fancier slicers you may not be interested, or if you don’t do round canes often (like me), but at $10 it might be a useful purchase for the right person.

Thomas Scientific Blades

Switching to these Thomas Scientific Tissue Blades made a big difference for me in cutting my canes. They are thin but not overly flexible, and my slices have gotten much more even and thin.

LindasArtSpot sells them in 5, 10, and 25 packs. You may also be able to find them other places, but this is the source I know and where I got mine. They aren’t cheap — these are not the generic “tissue blades” you will find searching, they’re a specific brand I’ve found is significantly better than others I’ve tried — but I now use nothing else to slice my canes for my pens.

Wool buffing wheel

If you aren’t using a plastic polish and/or CA glue, this is a significantly better buffing wheel than any other one I have used: Buffing Shank with Wool Polishing Head 1”

It doesn’t leave nearly as many micro scratches behind, and as long as you buff thoroughly, it’s the best surface I’ve been able to get on clay using a buffing wheel.

Novus Polish

Novus Plastic Clean and Shine works great if you’re working on a drill or lathe, and has less of a chance of damaging your CA finish with the heat from a buffing wheel. The abrasive is suspended in a liquid, which helps heat disappation.

They also offer “Novus Polish Mate”, but having tried it, even though it’s cheap, I agree with the reviewers on amazon: it’s basically paper towels. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are having issues with paper towels.

CA Glue

I was very hesitant to start using CA glue but I’m so glad I did. I love the finish and the confidence to hand my pens over to people to use long term. One experienced polymer clay maker reported that she’s had a CA-coated pen in her backpack for almost a decade and the clay+CA surface is just as good as it was on the day she made it — the pen hardware has gotten more beaten up than the clay surface.

I wrote a lot of articles on how to use CA, since it’s an unfamiliar topic to experienced clay artists. They’re all listed on my index page for my articles on Making Polymer Clay Covered Pens.

Abranet

I confess: I am not a perfect slicer. And I slice too thick. Even with the blades above. Given that I make a lot of slimlines, this means I end up sanding…a lot.

I’ve come to love my Abranet mesh paper for sanding my pens. It’s much more durable than any other sandpaper I’ve used, and holds up well to even long sanding sessions as I get a barrel down to size.

(Note that you will find much cheaper mesh sandpapers available, but read the reviews carefully. Part of why Abranet is so popular is it sands well and lasts a long time, and other mesh sandpapers often don’t have the same qualities.)

Micro Mesh Sanding Pads

I used to use polishing papers, but about a year ago I switched to micromesh sanding pads and am very happy I did. (There’s also what appear to be very similar sanding sheets, though I haven’t used them.)

The set I bought didn’t include this dispenser, and you can probably find some that doesn’t, but I suspect the dispenser is actually really useful — one of the problems I always have is fumbling for the right color and keeping them straight, and I really like the construction of the one here.

Note that when you look at any micromesh pads you will see confused people writing negative reviews about how the pads are labeled wrong — they aren’t, they’re using a different labeling system.

Just remember that the sanding pads use a different grit system. The 1500 grit sanding pad is equivalent to a 400-600 grit sandpaper. Therefore, there’s no point in using your Abranet or sanding paper up to 800 or 1200 and then switching back to the lowest grit micromesh — you’re just undoing a bunch of work.

Pen Press

If you are using a vice today (or a rubber hammer), you may want to consider investing in a pen press. The best answer is a real pen press — and there’s one for sale on Amazon right now that is $38, which is very competitive with vice prices (and there’s one at Penn State for $50.) You may be able to find one cheaper somewhere else as well.

An alternative is the Assembly/Disassembly Pen Press from Penn State, which is the the one I have and can personally vouch for it working very well. I like having the option to dissemble a pen I’ve messed up, even if I don’t use it often.

Posted on Leave a comment

Minimum Equipment to Make a Pen

Unlike woodworkers, we’re unlikely to have any of the basics necessary to make a pen other than the clay, so here’s several levels of “what’s the minimum list of stuff I need to make a pen?” lists for buying the pen hardware, assembling the pen, making the barrel, baking the barrel, and finishing the barrels.

I do not get any commission from any links on my site, not even from Amazon. I am just sharing things I’ve found effective and helpful.

I assume you have basic polymer clay supplies: clay, blades, rollers or pasta machines, etc. If not, here are two great guides to beginner basic supplies for the clay portion:

If you’re interested in some optional equipment that makes it easier to make quality pen, take a look at my article on quality of life equipment upgrades for pen making.

Options for the pen hardware

Cover a disposable pen

The most basic thing to do is cover a bic pen. They’re fun, easy, cheap, and a good way to decide if you like working at such a small scale. All you need is a pen that won’t melt in the oven. You can try any pen that’s cheap and easy for you to get. Bic Clic Stic, Bic Soft Feel Retractable, and Bic Round Stic are all pens I have heard will work, though it’s always worth double-checking yourself in case the manufacturer changed the formula. (And at least in the US, you can often get these locally at an office supply shop as they are a common brand.)

Be sure to remove the ink from the barrel before baking.

The way most people make them (applying clay around the existing barrel) means the pen cap will no longer fit on if you are using the Bic Round Stic.

You can manufacture a new barrel yourself out of copper sheets, but it will have many of the same challenges of being a small diameter that the slimline pen kit has.

You can also make a cap, though I was never successful in making one with enough tolerance to actually stay on, so they were more “sitting on my desk” pens than anything else.

Most of the tutorials you’ll find online for polymer clay pens are for covering this type of pen.

Use a no-press pen kit

If you like the idea of a more traditional looking pen but don’t want to mess around with pressing a pen together, you can use a no press pen kit. I found them to be not as sturdy as the regular pen kits, but that may have been my error or the specific kit I bought.

Disassemble and Reassemble a Bic Soft Feel retractable

I haven’t tried these personally, but Michelle Dorn Hoffner suggested them as an in between alternative, since you do need to use a press or vice to re-assemble, but they’re much cheaper if you mess them up than a metal pen kit.

They have the advantage over the basic bics listed above of being retractable, so you don’t need to worry about a pen cap. Here’s a link, but they’re purchaseable many places: BIC 8373971 Soft Feel Retractable Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point, Black, 12-Count

Use a regular pen kit

You can find these on amazon or from any one of many pen kit suppliers — just search Google for pen kits.

Be aware that while Slimline pens often appear like a good beginner pen, the bushings (i.e. the height of the pen hardware itself, that you want your clay to be exactly as tall as) aren’t much taller than the brass barrel itself, making them hard to use because your clay (e.g. your cane slices) needs to be much thinner.

Specifically, a slimline pen has room for about four playing cards of clay before you’re exceeding the bushings. (Not familiar with the playing card method of measuring clay height? Read about it here. 10 cards should equal approximately 2.5-3mm.)

For my Atlas, for example, where 0 is my thickest setting and 9 is the thinnest, four playing cards translates to 5 thickness being a tad too high over the bushings and 6 being a tad low. I usually pick a 5 and sand back down. You can do a similar measurement with your own pasta machine to figure out what thicknesses are appropriate for your machine (all are different, even if they’re the same brand and same model, since they are not precision machines.)

That said, if you don’t care about having your first few pen barrels flush with the hardware (I didn’t!), then slimlines are great because they are cheap and plentiful and a good way to see if this is something you enjoy doing.

Options for assembling the pen

For this you will need some way to press the parts together. At a bare minimum you need a rubber hammer to use that to gently tap the parts together — but I wouldn’t recommend it, and if you don’t already own one I definitely wouldn’t recommend buying one.

You can also use a bench vice — it will need to be one that can go as wide as your widest piece you need to press, which could be several inches. While woodworkers often already have a vice in their shop, polymer clay artists are less likely to. And once you start looking at 4-5” vices, they don’t seem to be much cheaper than $30-$40 (though you may be able to get one used somewhere.) They also have the disadvantage that it’s harder to keep the pen fully in alignment — and if you don’t, you could bend the hardware and ruin the kit or even your barrel.

The best answer is a real pen press — and there’s one for sale on Amazon right now that is $38, which is very competitive with vice prices (and there’s one at Penn State for $50.) You may be able to find one cheaper somewhere else as well.

An alternative is the Assembly/Disassembly Pen Press from Penn State, which is the the one I have and can personally vouch for it working very well.

Options for making the barrel

Do nothing special

This will result in a pen that’s probably not flush with the hardware — but that may not matter to you.

It’s how I did my first few pens and plenty of people happily make their pens that way.

Use a home-made mandrel

Any 1/4-20 threaded rod (or M6 in metric) will work, but so will a knitting needle if you have a ~6-7mm needle (sizes 2-4 UK, or 10-10.5 US). If your needle is on the smaller end of that range, you will want to use masking tape to thicken it a bit, or use rubber bands or a similar solution to hold the tube in place.

You can also buy 7mm smooth rods, which work great and are a bit easier to slide the unbaked barrels back and forth on.

I prefer having something that is 1/4” or 7mm (M6) exactly and then put my bushings on also: this makes it much easier to get my pen barrel to the right height even if I’m not using a drill to sand it down and will be doing it by hand.

Buy a mandrel (or use a threaded rod) and attach it to your drill/lathe

Penn State sells a nice PolyClay Mandrel that works great either by hand, or if you’re attaching it to your drill or lathe.

Alternatively, you can use a threaded rod, but I found a 6” one (the largest my local hardware store had) to be too short to comfortably do two pen barrels so I’m happy with my mandrel purchase and I use my threaded rods for baking instead. But a longer one would work just fine (or do only one barrel on your drill at once.)

Options for baking the barrel

If you have the mandrel from Penn State, it’s designed with flat bottoms on the two large nuts on the ends so it won’t roll, and you can bake your barrels right on that.

You can use any bead rack you have or have made.

Or, I made little ‘feet’ out of polymer clay for my smooth rods as you can see in the image to the left here. The bottom is four layers of the thickest setting on my pasta machine, and the top is a single layer to hold the rod in place.

I made eight of them so I can use them to hold or bake multiple sets at once.

I like using spare slimline bushings to protect the end of the barrels so they don’t bump up into sharp edges on the feet before baking.

Options for finishing the barrel

I have several articles on hardware options for finishing the barrels, so I won’t repeat that here:

If you are finishing by hand, any sandpaper, polishing papers, and buffing method you’re used to using is sufficient.

If you are finishing with a drill or lathe, you can use your existing sandpaper and polishing papers, or you can look into abranet or sanding tape (I use both and find them very effective with the drill doing the work.)

You can also consider using CA glue (see my Making Pens page to see all my posts on using CA glue), but it’s a bigger investment than just normal sanding and buffing.

If you have a drill or lathe, consider Novus 1 Plastic Clean and Shine for your final buffing/polishing step. If not, any buffing wheels are a good choice, though these wool buffing wheels are the absolute best I’ve ever used and I don’t use anything else at this point.

Lost your pen kit directions?

The IAP (International Association of Penturners) has a very nice database of bushings and barrels and instructions that you can view online or email and print.

They also have a cheap app version of it for iOS and Android.

More?

If you’re interested in some optional equipment that makes it easier to make quality pen, take a look at my article on quality of life equipment upgrades for pen making.

Posted on Leave a comment

CA Glue Safety: Natural Materials

One little-discussed risk around CA glue is the fact that it will cause an exothermic reaction (heat/fire) when it comes into contact with natural materials like cotton, leather, wool, etc. — which includes things like your jeans, T-shirt, paper towels, etc.

The reaction can be fast, and depending on the amount, you could burn yourself or release a smoke that will irritate your lungs.

Please be very careful if you are working in a T-shirt or jeans — the safety data sheets for CA glues will tell you not to wear them while using CA.

I found this the hard way when applying CA with a paper towel, not thinking about what it was made from: I had put some accelerator on my pen body and started to apply the CA and my fingertips got suddenly very hot.

Luckily I did not get burned, and I solved my problem by slipping on a pair of gardening gloves which provided just enough insulation for my fingers given the small amounts of CA I was using — but it caught me by surprise, and I was glad it wasn’t worse.

Since then I have switched to using cut up pieces of something like this item: Non-Stick, Waxed Food-Grade Squares

The glue slides a bit more when using it, but I like not having it soaking through the paper towel or risking the heat/smoke if I’m not careful.

To protect my jeans and other fabric around me, I use a polyethylene sheet cut into appropriate-sized pieces. Here’s an example: HDX 10 ft. x 25 ft. Clear 6 mil Plastic Sheeting


All my “Before you start” with CA glue articles:


None of the information here is certified or warrantied in any way. I am a hobbiest and sharing the best information I’ve learned, but I may be 100% wrong on everything and your safety is always your responsibility and you should verify and confirm information for yourself. Where possible I have included links to serve as a starting point for research for you.

Posted on Leave a comment

CA Glue Safety: Protecting Surfaces

The strength of CA glue is that it will bond to anything — which is also its challenge. But there is a short list of things it doesn’t stick to — and most of them aren’t easy to find for surface protection.

In general, particularly when you are using an activator, CA will be happy to find things to stick to.

Polyethylene

While this isn’t listed in the most popular article for “what does CA glue not stick to”, if you search on how to glue polyethylene, it’s often being discussed at the same time as polypropylene as something that is hard to glue.

My recommendation for performance, price, and availability would be to look for polyethylene gloves, either disposable or not depending on what you prefer.

I ended up getting these polyethylene gloves because they are thin, cheap, disposable, and it’s not an issue if some CA ends up adhering to them: Disposable Clear Plastic Gloves.

Alternatively, you can use something like painter’s tape (aka masking tape) to tape over your fingers to protect them (especially if you are using paper towels.)

If you are using paper towels, consider slightly thicker gloves (e.g. I have a set of polyethylene gardening gloves) if you are using my preferred method of applying the CA glue, because I found the heat uncomfortable on my finger otherwise.

To protect my jeans and other surfaces, I use a polyethylene sheet cut into appropriate-sized pieces. Here’s an example: HDX 10 ft. x 25 ft. Clear 6 mil Plastic Sheeting

The important part is having something to protect yourself and any surfaces that it may touch that you care about.

Are you aware that you could get burned if CA glue fell on your jeans and why paper towels could be a problem with CA glue? Read my article on CA Glue Safety: Natural Materials.


For the curious, here’s what I’ve learned about other plastics and additional research I did after reading the Starbond article.

None of the information here is certified or warrantied in any way. I am a hobbiest and sharing the best information I’ve learned, but I may be 100% wrong on everything and your safety is always your responsibility and you should verify and confirm information for yourself. Where possible I have included links to serve as a starting point for research for you.

Acetal Homopolymer/Copolymer (Delrin and Celcon)

I have been unable to tell if this includes both Delrin and Celcon, the two types of acetal plastics, or just Delrin. I suspect “both” since this article from 3M talks about how both are hard to glue, and this article talks about how they are very similar for most uses. The 3M article also notes how to use CA glues to bond them with the addition of a primer.

I haven’t actually tested this, because it’s not a coating used on gloves, but if you were looking for a surface to work with glue on, an acetal sheet may be a great choice (though if you use odorless you may run into problems.)

Polypropylene

I was unable to find any polypropylene coated gloves other than these, and they aren’t useful because they are a loose cotton weave and the glue would easily get on your fingers between the holes.

PTFE (e.g. Teflon)

The only gloves I was able to find that were PTFE-coated are expensive, bulky ones like these cryogenic gloves.

HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)

HDPE has polyethylene at its base, but is a high density version, which I presume is why it’s more resistant to CA glue than regular polyethylene.

Plastic wrap is LDPE (low density polyethylene), making it an interesting option for protecting larger surface areas though I haven’t tried it yet.


All my “Before you start” with CA glue articles:

Posted on Leave a comment

CA Glue Safety: Fumes

CA glue can irritate your eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, because the fumes are a vaporized form of the CA itself and they react instantly with the moisture in your body just like they do with moisture on a surface or from a CA accelerant. About 1 in 20 people will also eventually become sensitized to CA fumes after repeated exposure and develop flu-like symptoms hours or days later. And finally, for some people, the fumes will trigger their asthma.

But lots of woodworkers work fairly freely with CA and just rely on their shop ventilation. You will need to evaluate yourself, your room setup, and your personal choices and risks to decide how much protection you want to follow and how much risk you’re comfortable with.

All manufacturers will provide the SDS (Safety Data Sheet — here’s an example from BSI) so you can read through and decide.

You can also read through the SDS for materials you already use to help estimate risk based on how materials you use today are described (e.g., The SDS for a brand of simple 99% alcohol, or the SDS for Renaissance Wax or for a brand of denatured alcohol.)

None of the information here is certified or warrantied in any way. I am a hobbiest and sharing the best information I’ve learned, but I may be 100% wrong on everything and your safety is always your responsibility and you should verify and confirm information for yourself. Where possible I have included links to serve as a starting point for research for you.

Work in a well-ventilated area (at a minimum a fan blowing fumes away from you) and if you’re using a mask, you’ll want a P100 respirator with organic vapor cartridges, not just a little N95 disposable mask.

Here is an example off Amazon, but this is not an endorsement or recommendation from me, it’s just the result of a quick keyword search and taking the first result: GVS SPR473 Elipse OV/AG-P100 Dust and Organic/Acid Gas Vapour Half Mask Respirator

Whatever mask you choose, know that they’re only as good as the fit and the seal. If air is getting in around the edges, that’s unfiltered air.,

A friend who is a woodworker says he often used an aquarium charcoal filter fastened to the back back of a fan sucking air away from his work area, but I don’t have any other information on how useful or effective that is.

Odorless CA and Fumes

Odorless CA smells less, and the companies advertise it as being less irritating than non-odorless CA.

However, if you read the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) for Supergold, it still notes “Exposure to vapors above the established exposure limit may result in respiratory irritation, which may lead to difficulty in breathing and tightness in the chest.” The established exposure limit is 0.2ppm averaged over 8 hours for all CA brands that I’ve been able to find, and they still recommend a NIOSH-approved respirator with a organic vapor cartridge (e.g. something like this.)

What this means in layman’s terms is: odorless CA is highly likely to be easier on your lungs. But it’s possible it may irritate your lungs anyways, so if you are concerned, you may want to follow the safety precautions for normal CA as well.

Personally I’ve chosen to use odorless CA glue (though it’s more challenging with bushings) with a respirator and fan, but I know many people feel they’re fine just with good ventilation and normal CA glue.

CA Accelerator and Fumes

I found it very challenging to find any safety information on CA accelerators online, so had to go to the manufacturers directly and read the data sheets.

(Updating this section now)

Follow the same safety precautions you do with CA glue and be aware that, like non-odorless CA glue, you may develop an allergy with repeated exposure if you aren’t careful.


All my “Before you start” with CA glue articles:

Posted on Leave a comment

CA Glue Basics

Pen makers can use “CA” glue to finish their pen barrels, and works regardless of whether your pen barrels are wood, acrylic, or polymer clay. It even works fine with many standard polymer clay surface treatments.

CA glue is sometimes called Superglue or Crazyglue, but those are both specific brand names. “CA” comes from “Cyanoacrylate” (Wikipedia) — and no, there is no cyanide in it despite the “cyan” in the name. It’s an acrylic resin.

They form their bond when exposed to moisture, which means they bond very well and quickly to human skin, and also means that their bonding time is faster in humid air and slower in dry air. So if you live in a climate that swings between very dry and very wet, you will need to adjust your technique, and if you live in an exceptionally dry or humid area, be aware that you may end up with more or less time to work than what you see in videos.

All my “Before you start” with CA glue articles:

Safety

Take proper cautions around fumes, avoid having your skin glued together, and be careful of exothermic reactions, but remember that CA glues are agreed upon to generally be safe by the UK and US.

The next few posts after this one go into more detail on CA glue safety.

Shelf life

CA glue does not have a long shelf life. Opened it lasts for about a month (though Mercury says their bottles have caps that let them last longer) and unopened only about a year. Most people will want to buy the smallest bottle they can, as you don’t use very much on each pen.

If you do end up buying in bulk, you can put it in the refrigerator to increase the shelf life from 12 to ~15 months, but make sure it warms up throughly before you open it: condensation inside the bottle would start the bond and could ruin the bottle.

Brands of CA

Not all CA is created equally for pens. If you have had issues in the past with cracking or cloudy CA, it may have been how you were applying it but may also have been the brand.

Per the excellent information on Toni’s site, one of the key things to look for is a CA glue with “flex”, to reduce the chance that you will get cracks or spidering during stress. One example is PMMA (poly methyl methacrylate).

I chose to buy Bob Smith Industries CA glue due to the recommendation on Toni’s site: “Other brands such as super-gold by BSI use other ingredients which works even better.” I got the Supergold thin and Supergold+ Medium because I wanted odorless CA (see below.)

I’ve also heard good things about Mercury from some other polymer clay pen makers.

March 2020: I’ve since switched to Mercury, and wrote an article about why: CA glue: BSI Odorless vs Mercury Flex

Odorless CA

Odorless CA costs about twice as much, but (quoting from the Bob Smith Industries page on Supergold) “eliminates the irritating fumes from the evaporating monomer that make repeated use of CA unpleasant at times.” (But: see my article on CA Glue Safety: Fumes before assuming that Odorless CA or accelerator are perfectly safe.)

CA Accelerator

Because you’re just spreading CA on a surface, rather than pressing two pieces together, and then putting on multiple coats, you may find CA Accelerator useful. However, as I learned on Toni’s site, the ingredients in accelerators can cause some of the cracking/clouding problems.

Specifically, the page says, you want to avoid accelerators with acetone in them, and look for ones like Naptha and Heptane. If you aren’t sure, you need to find the manufacturer’s website, they will have the MSDS/SDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) there and you can read what’s in them. For example, here is the relevant part of the BSI accelerator’s SDS:

She recommends the following brands, but I suggest you click through to the page to see if there have been any new ones added, and to see the ones she is recommending against as well.

My preference is ones like the BSI InstaSet, because they aren’t an aerosol, but are a pump action. I explain why in my article on applying CA to the pen body.

Applying CA glue

While I have a longer article on this as well, the short and sweet is:

  • Your surface must be completely dry (so don’t pre-treat with something like modpodge)
  • You should have already sanded your blank to at least 800 grit, as any big scratches will be amplified by the glossy surface (just like what happens when you try to use resin on a scratched piece)
  • Getting CA off your bushings is a pain; if you have regular CA you can use plastic bushings that don’t bond to CA, but if you’re using odorless you will need to use paste wax on the bushings

For more information, see my article on applying CA to the pen body.

Safety: Fumes

If you are new to CA, I’d recommend reading my post on CA Glue Safety: Fumes for more detail on handling CA glue (including odorless) and accelerator safely.

Safety: Protecting Surfaces

If you’re thinking of getting gloves, you may want to read my post on CA Glue Safety: Protecting Surfaces.

Safety: Natural Materials

If you didn’t know you can get a chemical burn from CA glue and your jeans, you may want to read my article on CA Glue Safety: Natural Materials

I am very grateful to Tony Ransfield Street (Etsy) and Ed Street for posting a primer on using CA Glue when making polymer clay pens. While I’ve expanded on it here with what I’ve learned, theirs was the first really good information I was able to find and I appreciate their generosity.


All my “Before you start” with CA glue articles:


None of the information here is certified or warrantied in any way. I am a hobbiest and sharing the best information I’ve learned, but I may be 100% wrong on everything and your safety is always your responsibility and you should verify and confirm information for yourself. Where possible I have included links to serve as a starting point for research for you.