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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    Quote Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
    Larry, I used to buy Wapsi head cement by the quart, and it would get thick after awhile. There should be more in that bottle, but probably they've had it a long time & much of the solvent has evaporated. If it's still the same formula, and I haven't used it in many, many years, a little acetone will thin it. You might try & contact Wapsi direct to verify that's the correct solvent to use however.

    I stopped using that cement when shipping it became an issue as it's flammable, and the cost went way up on the shipping cost.

    I had a couple of those applicator bottles too, but those I bought were empty and I put the head cement in them myself. I may even still have one of them. If the cement ever hardens in it, it's difficult to get it cleaned out, so pretty much makes it worthless.

    I also tried Wapsi's water based cement and a few others but didn't care for them. I use Sally Hansen's Hard As Nail now when I use head cement, and otherwise use epoxy.
    Jim

    Thanks for your reply, with your fly tying experience, I can relay on you observations. I like the idea of that application bottle. I think I will just fall back to Hard as Hull,
    which has never failed me.
    Larry


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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    In sight of the Gateway Arch in Illinois
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    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    If your WAPSI head cement gets thick, go to the Beauty Brands store and purchase "Beauty Secrets" nail polish thinner #163400. It will thin your head cement and get it flowing again. It is not a permanent cure as the thinner will flash off over time and you have to keep adding it to the cement. But it will get it flowing again and extend the life of your cement.

    Bob

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  5. #13

    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    Quote Originally Posted by unknownflyman View Post
    I use the brand Hard as Hull. One is just penetrating brown bottle and the blue bottle is for gorgeous streamer heads after a couple coats, dries fast. Best Ive found Larry.
    I guess it's time to talk about the chemistry of head cement again and what to use as a thinner to maintain the identical chemical composition and evaporation rate.

    Most head cements and finger nail polishes are lacquers and can use lacquer thinner as the solvent. If you have acetone, you can use that as a thinner but lacquer thinner will evaporate more slowly so the head cement will not need to be thinned as often. But if you want a safer product to thin head cement and the actual product that the manufacturer's use, keep reading.

    "Nail polish consists of a film-forming polymer dissolved in a volatile organic solvent. Nitrocellulose that is dissolved in butyl acetate or ethyl acetate is common."

    Nail polish - Wikipedia

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

    Almost all head cement is a formulation of nail polish. For example, Hard as Hull Head Cement is nail polish. It is manufactured by Lacquerite, Inc. for BackCountry Laboratories which is trademark of Prestige Cosmetics. Lacquerite is a major manufacturer of nail polish.

    “On Monday, August 30, 1999, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for BACKCOUNTRY LABORATORIES by PRESTIGE COSMETICS, Deerfield Beach 33442. The USPTO has given the BACKCOUNTRY LABORATORIES trademark serial number of 75787956.”

    BACKCOUNTRY LABORATORIES Trademark of PRESTIGE COSMETICS Serial Number: 75787956 :: Trademarkia Trademarks

    Lacquerite, Inc - Home | Facebook






    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. Does the list sound familiar. Check it against the Sally Hansen’s Formulation.

    Since the volatile head cements seem to be formulations of nail polish, 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.

    solvents evaporation rate table - Google Search


    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







    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. They are also the first two ingredients in Beauty Secrets Nail Polish Thinner. The mixture of the two controls the evaporation rate. For example the MSDS sheet for Sally Hansen Hard as Nails polish has the following ingredients listed in order of concentration: Ethyl Acetate, N-butyl Acetate & Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Nitrocellulose.

    The reason I recommend Nail polish thinner is that it contains very same chemicals as nail polish. Since nail salon workers are exposed to the vapors for decades, the thinners use very safe chemicals. Read up on Ethyl Acetate and Butyl Acetate below. Both are found naturally in foods and Butyl Acetate ( N-butly Acetate) is even used as a flavoring in food.

    Ethyl acetate - Wikipedia "Ethyl acetate is used primarily as a solvent and diluent, being favored because of its low cost, low toxicity, and agreeable odor."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyl_acetate "Butyl acetate is found in many types of fruit, where along with other chemicals it imparts characteristic flavors and has a sweet smell of banana or apple. It is used as a synthetic fruit flavoring in foods such as candy, ice cream, cheeses, and baked goods."

    Beauty Secret Thinner also smells better unless you like huffing acetone. Notice that acetone is NOT an ingredient in nail polish! Acetone will thin head cement but it is not as safe as Beauty Secrets Thinner which uses Butyl Acetate and Ethyl Acetate as the first two ingredients. Plus you get 8 times the thinner (4 oz. vs 0.5 oz) compared to the Hard as Hull thinner.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  7. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
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    2,257

    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    I'm still using Waspi head cement and I switched to water based. The metal heads on the jars always glues itself to the glass bottle so I keep a small pair of slip joint pliers to get 'em open. The lid gets dents (or I finish what I'm doing and forget to close it up) and the glue thickens. With the water based stuff, I just add water to it and give it a shake. When I was using the other (laquer? Shellac? ) stuff, I'd try to keep cement thinner for it, but the thinner would evaporate before I needed to use it. I have the Sally Hansen clear and blue bottles on hand and brush on Krazy glue (which also thickens before I get thru a whole bottle). I use the Krazy for big weighted buggers that I know are going to bang around on the bottom, and the Hansen stuff for shiny heads. I tried to use one of the needle/tube applicators, but they're too hard to keep clean. I've replaced the brush in the Hansen with a needle and the other stuff I just apply it with a bodkin. I had to make a smaller diameter bodkin when I started tying smaller than size twenty's.

    "Every [child] has the right to a first fish. On this particular planet, no man is granted a greater privilege than to be present and to assist in the realization of this moment". Bill Heavey

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  9. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Whitefish, MT
    Posts
    286

    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    I rarely use head cement. I have had two with the applicator needle, but both dried up. Just looked at my hard as hull, hard as a rock and almost full! Only time I use it is for streamers.
    flyfishingnwmontana.blogspot.com

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  11. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
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    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    Silver, your posts are always informative! I use acetone, because for one I keep a gallon of it on hand for various uses, and can get it at almost any hardware or paint store. The chemicals that you've mentioned are not as readily available to the general public, and in many places beauty supply stores are non-existent. I've also known that some beauty supply stores only sell to licensed beauty type businesses, not the general public. When I was still driving a truck for Domino's Pizza, I had a store in DE with a beauty supply store next door, and they only sold to businesses. In larger metro areas, finding a beauty supply store is more likely, but where I now live, I would have to travel a least an hour to one of the bigger towns/cities to find one, and that may be the case for many folks here. Our town has at least one hardware and one paint store.

    Unless someone such as yourself points out specific products that contain these chemicals, many folks wouldn't know what to look for to thin head cements.

    In the past, some nail polish removers did use acetone in their formulation, but I'm sure with health concerns due to exposure to various chemicals that has changed. My wife used a nail polish remover that had acetone listed on the label, but that has been many years ago. What she uses now does not.

    The best course of action is always to attempt to contact the supplier/manufacturer and ask what can be used for thinning. I know Wapsi used to sell a thinner for their head cements, because I also bought it when I was buying their head cement. Unfortunately, these are considered Hazmat materials and liquid, and can't be shipped via the USPS, so have to be shipped by other courier, and the price goes up as a result. Sometimes even with additional charges for hazardous materials. That's why I stopped ordering them from Wapsi. The shipping charges exceeded the cost of the head cement and thinner.

    IMO, whenever head cement is purchased, if it's not water based, it's best to also buy the appropriate thinner if available.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  12. #17

    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    I guess it's time to talk about the chemistry of head cement again...
    Silver, thanks for laying it all out! Details are much appreciated here.

  13. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Montrose, CO.
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    1,084
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    3

    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    I guess it's time to talk about the chemistry of head cement again and what to use as a thinner to maintain the identical chemical composition and evaporation rate.

    Most head cements and finger nail polishes are lacquers and can use lacquer thinner as the solvent. If you have acetone, you can use that as a thinner but lacquer thinner will evaporate more slowly so the head cement will not need to be thinned as often. But if you want a safer product to thin head cement and the actual product that the manufacturer's use, keep reading.

    "Nail polish consists of a film-forming polymer dissolved in a volatile organic solvent. Nitrocellulose that is dissolved in butyl acetate or ethyl acetate is common."

    Nail polish - Wikipedia

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

    Almost all head cement is a formulation of nail polish. For example, Hard as Hull Head Cement is nail polish. It is manufactured by Lacquerite, Inc. for BackCountry Laboratories which is trademark of Prestige Cosmetics. Lacquerite is a major manufacturer of nail polish.

    “On Monday, August 30, 1999, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for BACKCOUNTRY LABORATORIES by PRESTIGE COSMETICS, Deerfield Beach 33442. The USPTO has given the BACKCOUNTRY LABORATORIES trademark serial number of 75787956.”

    BACKCOUNTRY LABORATORIES Trademark of PRESTIGE COSMETICS Serial Number: 75787956 :: Trademarkia Trademarks

    Lacquerite, Inc - Home | Facebook






    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. Does the list sound familiar. Check it against the Sally Hansen’s Formulation.

    Since the volatile head cements seem to be formulations of nail polish, 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.

    solvents evaporation rate table - Google Search


    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







    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. They are also the first two ingredients in Beauty Secrets Nail Polish Thinner. The mixture of the two controls the evaporation rate. For example the MSDS sheet for Sally Hansen Hard as Nails polish has the following ingredients listed in order of concentration: Ethyl Acetate, N-butyl Acetate & Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Nitrocellulose.

    The reason I recommend Nail polish thinner is that it contains very same chemicals as nail polish. Since nail salon workers are exposed to the vapors for decades, the thinners use very safe chemicals. Read up on Ethyl Acetate and Butyl Acetate below. Both are found naturally in foods and Butyl Acetate ( N-butly Acetate) is even used as a flavoring in food.

    Ethyl acetate - Wikipedia "Ethyl acetate is used primarily as a solvent and diluent, being favored because of its low cost, low toxicity, and agreeable odor."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyl_acetate "Butyl acetate is found in many types of fruit, where along with other chemicals it imparts characteristic flavors and has a sweet smell of banana or apple. It is used as a synthetic fruit flavoring in foods such as candy, ice cream, cheeses, and baked goods."

    Beauty Secret Thinner also smells better unless you like huffing acetone. Notice that acetone is NOT an ingredient in nail polish! Acetone will thin head cement but it is not as safe as Beauty Secrets Thinner which uses Butyl Acetate and Ethyl Acetate as the first two ingredients. Plus you get 8 times the thinner (4 oz. vs 0.5 oz) compared to the Hard as Hull thinner.
    Why is it that Sally Hansen nail polish contracts causing it to look "rippled" while the Hard as Hull product does not? Is it the ratio of ingredients? I especially see this effect when laying back craft fur. (Reaction to the chemical composition of the craft fur?). I know the fish don't care but I do when creating a display fly. Laquer cracks and yellows something fierce and super glue turns to a white crust. Horrible.

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
    Nice fish! Do you have anymore pictures of it lying in the dirt?
    As publicity increases so does the propensity of tripping over yards of mono attached to a Dipsey sinker.

  14. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    2,257

    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    I keep a bottle of the non-acetone polish remover in my first aid kit for glued skin emergencies.

    "Every [child] has the right to a first fish. On this particular planet, no man is granted a greater privilege than to be present and to assist in the realization of this moment". Bill Heavey

  15. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
    Posts
    3,190

    Default Re: Question about Head Cement

    One thing you should pay attention to when obtaining nail polish "removers" is the ingredients. I used one my wife had, which also had other ingredients for improving the cuticles, that wasn't a good choice for thinning a fly head cement. The remover thinned the cement, but the head cement never hardened. I believe there was a reaction with wax on the thread I used, so pay attention to what's in a remover if you use it. They aren't intended for thinning, so use a thinner like those mentioned here in this post whenever possible.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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