So I ran into some trouble last night trying to assemble a resin model with CA (cyanoacrylate AKA 'Super') glue. I use a number of different glues, this one happens to be CA glue from the (Privateer Press) P3 range, and I've had the bottle for well over a year now (maybe even several?). I haven't had any problems with it so far, really, but it's a reasonably large bottle and I don't use it all that often.
I did, however, run into a problem last night: I was trying to prep a resin figure as one of my entries for Gen Con coming up at the end of July and noticed the figure's ankle had broken while still attached by sprues. Oh well - just get some CA glue, dab it on, and done! Yeah, not so much... While I've used the glue a bunch of times for small odds and ends-type stuff, I've not used it for gluing anything intensive in at least half a year. I forgot there's a shelf life for glue!
While it's worked fine for smaller stuff - porous clay cat litter glued to bases as rocks, or pinned plastic figures sunk into bases by a good 1/8" and not inclined to move anyway - something requiring solid and quick bonding needs glue that is relatively fresh. The same glue I've used for at least a year to reasonably good effect on small stuff not only wouldn't firm up quickly on this resin figure, it also wouldn't bond at all!
Long story short: unless you use it often or in large amounts, there really is no reason to buy an over-large bottle of CA glue because it does lose effectiveness over time, especially if the bottle no longer seals completely airtight due to buildup on the spout. CA glue works by absorbing moisture to complete its chemical bond.
Before doing any time-intensive project where you absolutely need your materials to be at the top of your game, make sure you're using fresh glue, if nothing else!
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