Nails and Cyanoacrylate Glue

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
DaveLeeNC
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:31 pm
Location: Pinehurst, NC, USA

Nails and Cyanoacrylate Glue

Post by DaveLeeNC » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:20 pm

I am old and have crummy nails complicated by the fact that my nails exit the finger a LONG way from my finger tips. I have used Alaska Pik's and they are OK, but not my preference. So I lived for a while on a mixture of Alaska Pik's and 'under the nail' ping pong balls.

Five or six months ago I got frustrated with the security of under the nail stuff so I started to do more 'over the top of the nail' things like Guitar Player Nails. But it was really a mixture of a lot of different things including Superglue soaked tissue paper, depending on the problem.

After several months of this I have noticed a (in my mind) serious issue with the nails on p and m. Both of them are exiting the finger being very thin and VERY soft and fragile. And the top portion of the nail just 'feels funny' - only the portion that has seen Superglue. And it is important to note that i have used (almost at random) Loctite Ultragel Cyanoacrylate, some other kind of Loctite Cyanoacrylate that isn't Ultragel, and the stuff (also Cyanoacrylate) that comes with Guitar Player Nails. I have to believe that one of these has caused this nail issue but have NO IDEA which one it might be. Right now I am struggling to get enough nail out of p and m that I can use Alaska Pik's on those fingers. The nails on these two fingers are in pretty bad shape in my mind.

Or maybe my fingers react badly to any kind of cyanoacrylate stuff. But for quite a while I was using it regularly under my nails (only on the part of the nail that had exited my finger). And in that case there did not seem to be a problem. And in that timeframe I was only using the 'non Ultragel Loctite' stuff.

My suspicions are the the Ultragel stuff (even though all of them seem to be Cyanoacrylate) is the culprit here. But I wondered about other folks experience. I certainly have read of similar problems, but don't recall seeing a reference to any specific type/brand of Cyanoacrylate

Thanks.

dave
2014 Ashley Sanders Spruce/Ash Burl
1984 Jesus Marzal cedar CG
1971 Sherry-Brener (Cedar) Garcia No. 1 CG
1975 Gibson ES-175D Achtop Electric
2016 Eastman AR905CE-BD Carved Archtop Electric

davekear
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Nails and Cyanoacrylate Glue

Post by davekear » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:38 pm

When applying any type of artificial nail, only apply it to 3/4 of the nail plate at the most. Make sure whatever you're using is sealed and stays sealed. You can "back fill" any type of artificial nail with thin nail glue and it will wick into any areas you may have missed.(It's actually hard not to keep them sealed). Don't let them fall off on their own, either remove them, or have them on and sealed. When you remove any artificial nail, it's much better to file them off than to use chemicals. If you have a rotary file, or a Dremel tool, you can file them off in less than a minute without having to soak them in chemicals for an hour. (Use a medium, flat barrel carbide bit). You can also use a manual emery board type file. They're not as accurate, and take a bit longer, but they'll do the job. If you file too much nail off, or if your nail is at all sensitive, you can add some nail glue directly to the nail to build it up. It will grow out fine. Also, ping pong balls tend to get mushy with nail glue. Best to spray them first with some nail glue dryer, then apply them so that they set faster and don't have time to get mushy. But they're not really the best material for nails anyway. Lots of really good info on how to apply any type of artificial nail at guitarplayernails.com. What kind of problems can come up, and how to fix them. Not trying to sell anything, most of the data there you can apply to any type of nail. We've learned a lot over the last 25 years or so, lots of information posted there, so you may as well take advantage of a lot of hard won data. And whether you use our nails, or any nails, you can call us, or email us any time and we'll help you if we can.

DaveLeeNC
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:31 pm
Location: Pinehurst, NC, USA

Re: Nails and Cyanoacrylate Glue

Post by DaveLeeNC » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:02 pm

Dave, thanks. PM sent.

dave
2014 Ashley Sanders Spruce/Ash Burl
1984 Jesus Marzal cedar CG
1971 Sherry-Brener (Cedar) Garcia No. 1 CG
1975 Gibson ES-175D Achtop Electric
2016 Eastman AR905CE-BD Carved Archtop Electric

dtoh
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: Nails and Cyanoacrylate Glue

Post by dtoh » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:12 pm

I get soft gel treatments for my nails. I used to do the whole nail and after about 6 months started having similar problems with the tip of the nail looking quite weak and thin. Now I just do gel on the top half of the nail and that solves all problems. (The previous poster makes a similar suggestion.) I think with gel you could probably get by just doing the top 1/4 of the nail, but for me 1/2 works great.

My guess is that the problem is not so much with the chemicals themselves but rather that they block the nails from getting proper hydration. Speculating here, but my guess is that by leaving half the nail uncovered, it allows the lower half of the nail to absorb moisture and then wick it up to the top half of the nail

DaveLeeNC
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:31 pm
Location: Pinehurst, NC, USA

Re: Nails and Cyanoacrylate Glue

Post by DaveLeeNC » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:48 pm

I had used (on a semi-regular basis) Cyanoacrylate and had not encountered this problem. In thinking back on things, this showed up a number of weeks ago when I had GPN nails (I think applied with the 'super/ultra version' of Loctite SuperGlue) on both p and m. I had done some yardwork and had damaged both GPN nails (hardly surprising given the work I was doing). Later that day I was in a hurry to get going on a practice session and was pretty harsh in removing what was left of the GPN nails. And it was the first time that I had tried to rush removing nails when using this ultra super glue. I really believe that I damaged the surface of the nails doing that. What I had done would have been fine with the other glues I have used (I THINK).

So I am proceeding on that basis and am returning to using GPN nails and glue. I'll know if my diagnosis is correct in a month or two.

dave
2014 Ashley Sanders Spruce/Ash Burl
1984 Jesus Marzal cedar CG
1971 Sherry-Brener (Cedar) Garcia No. 1 CG
1975 Gibson ES-175D Achtop Electric
2016 Eastman AR905CE-BD Carved Archtop Electric

davekear
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Nails and Cyanoacrylate Glue

Post by davekear » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:05 pm

People have been using fingernail glue on their nails for many years now with no problems. In most cases, those who have had problems with artificial nails is the result of operator error. If used correctly, your natural nails will be fine. We've been doing this now for over 25 years, and have several hundred guitarists who use artificial nails on a regular basis, including many professional players; Eliot Fisk, Grisha Goryachev, William Kanengiser, and many more, with no problems. Guitarists have been using nail glue (super glue) with all sorts of things, ping pong balls, silk and fiberglass wrap, even toilet paper. It's not perfect, but it's the best glue there is for fingernails. That's why they call it fingernail glue. When you use fingernail glue you should always leave the back of the nail free, and then taper the border where the nails meet. Always have free nail at the back. The nail will always grow out; you will always have new nail. It's very important to keep the nail sealed, which again is very easy to do, but you need to be aware of it. I personally have been using artificial nails for over 30 years now; my natural nails are fine, and many others have the same result. We are aware of the problems that you can encounter using nails and fingernail glue, but we've pretty much found out why, and have solutions to them. So you can have problems if you don't have much experience and you don't do some things you should do. But most people learn how to do it correctly and have great sounding nails for many years. I should also add that there can be a bit of a learning curve when first learning to use artificial nails. So that's why we do what we do. And we're more than happy to help anyone with their nails whether they use ours or others.
And for DaveLeeNC, make sure to build up your natural nail with a bit of nail glue first so that there's no more sensitivity, then apply the nail. Keep it sealed well. And we're here if you need us. Thanks.

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