What is a CA Glue Finish?

Jun 4, 2013 by

The CA in “CA glue” stands for cyanoacrylate which is a family of rapidly curing adhesives. In pen turning, CA glue is what you most likely use to glue the brass tubes into your drilled pen blanks.


This same glue can also be used to create a glass-like, durable finish which essentially coats your pens in a layer of plastic, protecting them for decades or generations to come. This is referred to as a CA glue finish, or a CA finish for short, and it looks something like this once it’s cured and sanded:

the ca glue finish has cured completely - time to dismount the barrels


The whole process is a little tricky and it takes some practice, but once you’ve got it down it will make every pen you make a head-turner.


If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at CA glue finishes but never found the right instructions, part of my pen making tutorial has highly detailed pictures and step-by-step instructions if you want to check it out. Just head to part four of my pen turning tutorial, Applying a CA Glue Finish to Your Blanks. Hopefully that gets you started in the right direction!


If you have any other questions, feel free to comment below so I can help clear anything up.

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