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Thickening head cement


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24 replies to this topic

#1 scotty macfly

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 10:56 PM

Hey friends, I know I'll get a quick straight to the point answer here, so here's my question. I use Hard as Hull head cement, and lately it seems to be getting thicker to where it is getting difficult to use. Can I just add a little bit of water to it and stir it up to thin it out, or will that hurt the integrity of the product?



#2 FlaFly

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 11:35 PM

It isn't water soluble.  I think the solvent may be acetone, but you might check with the folks at Sally's Beauty Supply.... there's one in most cities.


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#3 FlaFly

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 11:41 PM

Or first you could put a couple of drops on a hard surface and try to stir a few drops of water in it with a toothpick.


"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it."

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"No one wants advice -- only corroboration."

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"I had six faithful serving men, they taught me all I knew.

Their names were what? and why? and when? and how? and where? and who?"
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#4 flytire

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 06:07 AM

use hard as hull thinner

 

8065.jpg


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#5 Cold

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 11:44 AM

It isn't water soluble.  I think the solvent may be acetone, but you might check with the folks at Sally's Beauty Supply.... there's one in most cities.

Be careful, though.

 

I've added acetone to thin SHAN, and while it does (kinda) thin it, it also causes it to cloud & curdle.  Still works, but the end result looks like cat vomit.  I use that bottle for securing heads and other portions of "work flies"...the buggers and other general stuff that doesn't have to be showroom pretty.



#6 SilverCreek

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 11:52 AM

Most head cements and finger nail polishes are use lacquer thinner as the solvent. If you have acetone, you can use that as a thinner but if you don't, I would buy a pint of lacquer thinner. Laquer thinner will evaporate more slowly so the head cement will not need to be thinned as often.
 
"Over-the-counter lacquer thinners are commonly divided into three groups: standard lacquer thinner which evaporates at “normal” speed, lacquer retarder which evaporates more slowly than standard lacquer thinner, and fast lacquer thinner which evaporates faster than standard lacquer thinner. Standard lacquer thinner and lacquer retarder should be available from all lacquer suppliers. Fast lacquer thinner is not so widely used for wood finishing, and is usually carried by auto-body paint stores."
 
 
"A cheaper “clean-up” lacquer thinner is often available. It’s made with a higher percentage of “thinning” petroleum-distillate solvents and doesn’t dissolve lacquer well. You will have problems if you use this thinner for thinning lacquer.
 

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#7 vjc

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 08:38 PM

I found acetone near the nail polish at Walmart. $0.99 for a bottle that will last years. Probably not the best way but it's cheap and seems to work fine.


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#8 SilverCreek

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 02:54 PM

Both ethyl acetate and butyl acetate, the two primary solvents used in nail polish, evaporate more slowly than acetone. Both the ethyl and butyl acetates will be the first two ingredients in nail polish. The mixture of the two controls the evaporation rate.

 

Dissolving Solvent Relative Evaporation Rate

 

Acetone                                        5.7

Ethyl Acetate                               4.1

Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)           3.8

Isopropyl Acetate                          3.0

Heptane                                        2.8

Methyl n-Propyl Ketone                2.3

Propyl Acetate                              2.3

Methyl Isobutyl Ketone (MIBK)     1.6

Isobutyl Acetate                            1.4

Butyl Acetate                              1.0

 

Understanding Solvents: Part III (Lacquer Thinner) @ The Finishing Store News

 

For those of you that use Sally Hansen Hard as Nails as a head cement, the chemical compostion is Ethyl Acetate, N-butyl Acetate, N-butyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, and Nitrocellulose. The solvent is composed of the first 4 acetates and alcohols.

 

AOI | AOI Shop | Shop Manual | MSDS | Data

 

Hard as Hull is nail polish. It is manufactured by Lacquerite, Inc. for the distributor.

 

https://www.facebook.com/Lacquerite/

 

Lacquerite, Inc. | GCIMagazine.com

 

The ingredients of Hard as Hull are Ethyl Acetate, N-butyl Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Nitrocellulose, N-butyl Alcohol, and Camphor. Sound familiar? Slightly different order of ingredients and Camphor. Nail polishes contain camphor as a plasticizer.

 

Go to the dollar store and look at the ingredient list for the nail polishes you find there.

 

Since the volatile head cements seem to be formulations of nail polish, I have changed my recommendation from using lacquer thinner to using nail polish thinner. I recommend a thinner such as the Beauty Secrets Nail Polish Thinner. It is the house brand at Sally Beauty Shop and sells for about $4.50 for 4 ozs. The ingredients are Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, and Heptane. The evaporation index is less than acetone and so the head cement will last longer.

 

SBS-163400.png



Regards,

Silver

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#9 Dave G.

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 03:13 PM

So Sally Hansens Hard As Nails is basically Nitrocellulose Lacquer


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#10 mikechell

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 04:43 PM

I've got four bottles of Dollar Tree polish at the hotel.  I don't remember seeing the ingredients on the labels, but I WILL be checking them as soon as I get there.

I'll report here if I see the ingredients listed.

 

I remember seeing reports on food labeling.  The ingredients on a package are listed in order of quantity ... first listing equals highest content in the mix.

If it's the same for non-food things, like we're talking about, the main difference between the two listed above is the mixture of the solvents.


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#11 SilverCreek

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 08:38 PM

I've got four bottles of Dollar Tree polish at the hotel.  I don't remember seeing the ingredients on the labels, but I WILL be checking them as soon as I get there.

I'll report here if I see the ingredients listed.

 

I remember seeing reports on food labeling.  The ingredients on a package are listed in order of quantity ... first listing equals highest content in the mix.

If it's the same for non-food things, like we're talking about, the main difference between the two listed above is the mixture of the solvents.

 

I would be interested in the ingredient list. I am going to bet that the first ingredient will be either ethyl acetate or butyl acetate. I bet it will also have isopropyl alcohol and maybe some camphor. It will have nitrocellulose as one of the last ingredients.


Regards,

Silver

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#12 mikechell

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 09:29 PM

Okay, you asked for it ... well, maybe you didn't.  But I just hurt my eyes reading the tiny print on three bottles of clear fingernail "stuff".

All three bottles are from "L.A. Colors", whoever that is.  (Made in China, of course)

 

"Rapid Dry: Topcoat"

Ethyl acetate ... butyl acetate ... nitrocellulose ... adapic acid ... neopentyl glycol ... trimellitic anhydride copolymer ... acetyl tributyl citrate ... isopropyl alcohol ... sucrose benzoate ... benzophenone-3 ... trimethylpentanedyl dibenzoate ... polyvynyl butyral ... violet-2

 

"Base coat/Top coat"

Ethyl acetate ... butyl acetate ... isopropyl alcohol ... nitrocellulose ... trimellitic anhydride ... phithalic anhydride ... glycols copolymer ... acetyl tributyl citrate ... adapic acid ...fumeric acid ... phithalic acid ... tricyclodecane dimethanol copolymer ...benzophenone-1 ... violet-2

 

"Ultranail Hardener"

Ethyl acetate ... butyl acetate ... isopropyl alcohol ... nitrocellulose ... phithalic anhydride ... trimellitic anhydride ... glycols copolymer ... acetyl tributyl citrate ... adapic acid ...fumeric acid ... phithalic acid ... tricyclodecane dimethanol copolymer ...benzophenone-1

 

There are slight differences in the formulas ... and at least one ingredient that is different from the other two or completely unique to just one.  The "Rapid Dry" has the highest number of unique ingredients.

 

I am going to test them against each other.  I am not timing the drying time or anything, just doing one coat, two coats and three coats on paper to see if they look any different.  But right now, I can say that the "Rapid Dry" has soaked into the paper the fastest.


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#13 scotty macfly

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 07:29 PM

Flytire, thank you. I didn't know till now Hard as Hull had a thinner.

 

Silver, thanks for the  information you provide. Very helpful as always.



#14 mikechell

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 09:17 PM

I don't know if this proves anything ... but the three formulas above DID react differently when put on a piece of paper.

First of all, the "Rapid Dry" soaked into the paper more and quicker than the other two.

This picture was taken just seconds after putting a single coat on all nine spots.

[attachment=55697:DSC01910.JPG]

 

This picture was taken after three coats (top row) had dried.  The "Nail Hardener" left the thickest coat and the glossiest finish, but all three were close.

 

When I get home, I might try this again with different brands, not just different formulas from the same brand.  And as I stated ... it's just a test, I wasn't trying to prove anything.


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#15 Gene L

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 11:41 PM

I use SHAN for head cement and as a thinner use Nail Polish Remover, which I think is acetone.  Works just fine.  Goop uses a different thinner, can't recall the name off-hand, but it's I believe dry cleaner fluid...also available at your local hardware.

 

Generally I find head cement such a microscopic part of fly tying I don't really care...it all works just fine. I'd think carefully before I spend the $$$$ on clear lacquer, which admittedly will last for a lifetime for a pint.  Still, the drugstore at a buck with a brush applicator is hard to beat.