A Tea Addict's Journal

A minor disaster

May 20, 2008 · 10 Comments

I’m fully guilty of causing this.

I have the original piece…. and it sort of still fits. I’m thinking of just using super glue.

Despite all the talk about glue maybe changing the way the tea taste… I can’t really bear the sight. The pot is still usable right now, but I don’t think I can use it in this condition.

How much formaldehyde can be released by a small amount of super glue to stick this piece back on anyway? Not much, right? Don’t our bodies produce that stuff anyway? I’m sure with enough tea… the carcinogenic effects of this wonderful compound will be neutralized….

Sigh, excuse me if I seem to be moody today.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • djn7304 // May 20, 2008 at 7:22 pm | Reply

    Don’t use cyanoacrolate “super-glue”. I tried it on a gaiwan and it melted under the heat of the water. I think fixing pottery was discussed not too long ago on the Live Journal.

    Found it –> http://community.livejournal.com/puerh_tea/199915.html

  • Anonymous // May 20, 2008 at 7:24 pm | Reply

    Superglue is used in marine aquariums by hobbyists to affix corals, even in very small systems. Small aquatic systems are very sensitive to toxins, particularly marine systems, but it doesn’t seem to have either a short-term or longterm detrimental effect on fish or corals.

    As long as you are not superglueing a spot that will be soaking in hot water, I doubt you will have any significant leaching if you repair the spot. Just let it cure for an extra day or two before you use it.

    I’m sorry your teapot broke. I broke one last week too, just being careless. It was one of my favorites, and not repairable. 🙁

  • Dogma_l // May 20, 2008 at 10:29 pm | Reply

    A fine pot indeed, and well worth the attention.

    Cyanoacrylate adhesive (Super Glue, Crazy Glue, Eastman 910, …) should work fine. It won’t melt at hot-water temperatures, though that does push the glass-transition temperature of acrylates. I wonder if djn’s bond failed in cohesion (the glue fell apart) or adhesion (the glue separated from one surface)? Latter is common, and indicated need for better surface prep.

    To support Stacy’s point, CA adhesives are used to glue people back together all the time – can’t be too awfully toxic.

    There are plenty of other options. For example, PVA white glue (Elmer’s) in many grades is more or less water-stable once fully dried. Epoxies are messy but effective. Contact cement is great if you get it right the first time. There are strong and stable glues used by carpenters, some water-softenable (for later repairs) and some not. Lots of choices. In all cases, it’s pretty easy to re-color and -texture a bond line to make it nearly invisible.

    However, looking at the break, the proceed-with-destiny option looks pretty plausible: grind it out a little further to make a nice look. Probably won’t affect pour much if at all, and might even improve it. Lots of options, again, but a Dremel with a sanding drum, a diamond file or emery paper – all used wet – would probably do the job in a few minutes. Polishing it to match the body would be an hour’s finger work of the fun/compulsive sort, like popping bubble wrap.

    My tuppence worth-


  • Dogma_l // May 20, 2008 at 10:35 pm | Reply

    Oh, yeah – there’s no formaldehyde in cyanocrylate glue. Just smelly residual monomer, which either reacts or evaporates fairly quickly. It’s a water-initiated reaction.


  • mulcahyfeldman // May 20, 2008 at 10:54 pm | Reply

    Just extending my sympathy. Isn’t that your beautiful black pot? Eileen

  • Anonymous // May 21, 2008 at 1:09 am | Reply

    My heart goes out to you.

    I know this is not going to help in the short term, if at all, but I offer it anyway. Every tea utensil I buy, every last one, I buy with the very conscious knowledge that one day it will break. It is part of the fleeting nature of things. And so when it does break, I say to myself, “There. Knew it.” It doesn’t totally help with the stuff I love. But I think it and say it anyway. It allows me to make pretentious postings on blogs (like this) and I like to believe it’s teaching me something. Tea does that, I’ve heard.

    In the meantime, total bummer. Sorry.

    I have a chipped spout of a beloved pot. I left it as is. A reminder of things to come.


  • mulcahyfeldman // May 22, 2008 at 12:50 am | Reply

    I think there is a zen saying, “the bowl is already broken,” to avoid inordinate attachment to objects. When you purchase or obtain something it should be viewed as already broken so your heart won’t be broken when it is.

  • MarshalN // May 22, 2008 at 12:54 am | Reply

    Thanks for all the comments

    I understand that sooner or later, all pots will break, but much like the knowledge that sooner or later, everybody will die… it doesn’t keep us from being sad.

    Perhaps I have too much attachment to material objects, and I’ll freely admit that in this case, I do, but this pot is quite special to me. I remember a few months ago when I chipped another pot, my reaction was basically “shrug”. Not this time 🙁

  • Phyllo // May 28, 2008 at 6:40 pm | Reply

    Oh, such a lovely pot to break. I’m sorry it happened. As Dogma said, Cyanoacrylate glue should work just fine. I did that to fix a lid I dropped. From reading some comments online, it’s completely safe. Just air the pot out for a week or so to dry the glue completely (the miniscule amount of cyanide will evaporate). The leftover compound on the teapot is just acrylic…a non-toxic stuff.

  • MANDARINstea // June 2, 2008 at 11:59 am | Reply

    Now it looks like a seasoned General with battle scare. Quite sexy, from my opinion… you know I love this pot, and I think you will like it more then ever : )
    If my juliet came back with a nice face left. I will contact the doctor for you? T

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