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Caleb recommended just plain 'ole water. I honestly don't remember if he said to use distilled or not, but that's what I use and it works fine. Seems to dry pretty fast, but Caleb told me it's perfectly OK to assemble treated mating surfaces with the Cortec still wet.
Isn't that what Cortec is for ... to glue the parts together??? Just Kidding!
Of course, you're correct - it is sticky if not dry before assembly. In the rare instance where I had to separate two parts that were mated wet and then dried, it was no big deal to slide a thin dull blade (metal putty knife) between them to non-destructively separate them - no damage to the parts whatsoever. But I certainly agree I'd let it dry first if I even thought I'd be separating the parts again!