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These lapidary techniques are not new- Satellite City originally issued the tip booklet they come from in the 1980's. We present them now on our website because they are time-tested and just as valid and useful now as they were when first published.

Insurance Bond for Gemstone Settings

Use this easy tip to prevent expensive gemstones from slipping out of their settings and becoming lost.

For a tight-fitting stone and mount, use one drop of Hot Stuff thin CA glue on the back side or next to the prongs. Hot Stuff is clear and will not be seen. Uneven or non-matching pieces can be bonded with Super T medium CA glue.. Super T fills in the gap for extra strength.

In a few seconds and with just a drop or two of glue, your gemstone is now bonded to the setting and cannot slip out!

Cracked Stones and Slabs

Use Super T medium to fill in and bond the cracks in a slab before trimming out your cabs. The slab will then work up just like normal material. The glue will buff to a good polish just like the stone and will remain clear.

Cracked and broken cabs can be saved with Super T medium. Place a small amount (usually one or two drops) on one piece. Then press the other piece into place. Place waxed paper beneath the item if it can be set down. Ten to twenty-five seconds later, the parts will be bonded and ready for buffing.

Petrified Wood

Save those slabs! After banding and cutting a slab, wash off cutting oil in hot soapy water, let the slab dry, and clean it with acetone. Apply Hot Stuff thin or Super T medium to all cracks. When the glue is cured completely, remove band, polish, and finish as usual.

Treating a Soft, Porous Stone

Some stones do not make good jewelry because they are too soft or porous. These can be saved by first shaping the stone and then spreading a drop or so of Hot Stuff thin over the surface. The entire stone should be covered. Next, buff to a polish as you normally would. The stone will now be much tougher and non-porous.

Making Belt Buckles

For tight-fitting pieces, use Hot Stuff thin. You can use Super T medium to bond uneven, pitted, or rough surfaces. In hardly any time at all, you're done!

Working with Hard-to-Hold Projects

For a better grip on things (tools, etc.): Cut a piece or pieces of light sandpaper to fit a hard-to-hold object and use Hot Stuff thin to glue corners of the paper to the object. Use wax paper to hold the corners down tight. When cured, apply Hot Stuff thin around all edges and over the surface to seal it.

If the grip area is a compound curve, use strips of rubber. Hot Stuff one end, stretch to shape, and Hot Stuff the rest while holding in place. There is no need to apply Hot Stuff to the outside surface of the rubber.

Special tool modifications: For hard to get at places, bond screws or nuts to the driver with a drop of Hot Stuff thin. The same method can be used for holding gaskets, seals, etc. in places while parts are assembled.

Dopping Heat-Sensitive Stones

Hot Stuff thin and Super T medium make stone dopping easy and fast. If surfaces to be bonded fit tightly, use Hot Stuff thin. Position the pieces together and place a drop or two along the edge. Hot Stuff will penetrate and quickly bond the pieces.

Use Super T medium on uneven surfaces. There is almost no waiting and no heat needed which might crack and ruin the stone, as with some other adhesives. A drop or two is all that is normally needed. Apply the Super T medium to one side and press the pieces together.

To remove, either soak in acetone or Super Solvent. Before doing so, check that the stone and dop are not affected by whichever you choose to use, and use caution as both solvents are very flammable and can irritate your skin. Alternatively, you can place a sharp knife in the joint and tap on it with a sharp blow from a hammer.

Inlay and Mosaic

Hot Stuff thin is terrific for inlay and all kinds of mosaic work. On tight-fitting parts, use Hot Stuff thin on the joints after assembly. Laying the parts on wax paper while assembling works very well as the wax paper prevents the glue from bonding the pieces to whatever surface you are working on. Where voids, cracks, or uneven surfaces are to be joined, use Super T medium. Its gap-filling ability takes care of small irregularities.

If you are interested in inlay, you may our Inlay tutorial by Uel S. Clanton very helpful.

Making Triplets and Doublets

Bonding triplets and doublets with Hot Stuff thin is fast and easy. Firt, lap and smooth the pieces flat. If you have smooth, tightly-fitting pieces, place them together and apply a small amount of Hot Stuff thin which will penetrate deeply and bond the two parts in seconds.

If the surfaces are slightly uneven or pitted, use Super T medium. Super T allows ten to twenty-five seconds of positioning time. Place one or two drops on the stone and press on the quartz cap. Repeat this step for the black backing on triplets. The final step is to sand and polish the excess from the edges. Hot Stuff and Super T dry clear and buff to a good polish with normal lapidary techniques.

Easy Mounting of Jump Rings

Some jewelry is made by plating precious metals on the edge of a tiny geode, polished agate, sea shell, fossil, or other small mineral specimen. There is a huge variety of items made in this way. In all cases, there is a need for a way to suspend the pieces in various plating solutions, and when finished, a way to hang the completed item on a chain.

Super T medium is the best solution here because of its gap-filling ability. Place the pieces on a sheet of wax paper with the point of contact face down. Next, position a jump ring, up-eye, or pendant bail tightly in contact where you wish it to hang. Place one drop of Super T medium between the two pieces for a fast, superior bond.

Rules of Thumb

Least is best

One drop of Hot Stuff covers about one square inch when pressed between tight-fitting parts. Too much Hot Stuff slows the rate of cure.

Joints must be clean

As with any adhesive, the best joint is achieved when the parts are clean. Oils from your skin deposited during handling and airborne oils such as grease, tar, and nicotine from smoking and cooking can retard the cure rate of any cyanoacrylate adhesive, including Hot Stuff. If there is reason to believe such oils are present, one of the following will eliminate the problem:

For non-porous materials such as plastics or ceramics, use soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Note: never use an acidic cleaning agent. Vinegar is the most common acidic agent used for cleaning. Cyanoacrylate is acid-stabilized, when it is applied to an acidic surface, it will cure improperly or not at all.

For porous items like wood, which may contain a great deal of pitch, apply a very fine mist of NCF Quick accelerator to the areas to be bonded.

Bonding new or broken parts

Fit parts firmly together first. If the parts are tight-fitting and non-porous, apply a drop of Hot Stuff thin to the joint. The Hot Stuff will penetrate the tiniest crack and bond the parts in seconds. If the parts are uneven, porous, or do not fit perfectly, use Super T medium or Special T thick. When using Super T or Special T, apply the glue to one part, NCF Quick accelerator to the other part, and then put them together. If you need some positioning time, use only the glue, not the NCF Quick accelerator.

Gaps should be kept to a minimum

Hot Stuff cannot fill gaps. Super T and Special T are designed to fill gaps, but as the gap filled gets larger, the cure rate slows. When filling especially large gaps, apply and cure the glue in layers. That is, apply a layer of glue, then spray a light mist of NCF Quick accelerator to cure it. When that layer has cured, apply the next layer. Filling a very large gap with too much glue without layering will result in the glue at the surface curing while the glue beneath remains liquid.

Hot Stuffing a second time

Bonding a previously Hot Stuffed surface sometimes seems impossible. This is because when Hot Stuff is applied and left to cure "open-face" on any surface, all the dust particle and surface contaminants which were unnoticeable before become hard little bumps which then hold the surface away from anything it comes in contact with. If an attempt is made to bond a surface like this, a slow cure and weak bond will result. To avoid this problem, either completely clean the surface with Super Solvent or acetone or use Super T instead of Hot Stuff to bond the surface.