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Posted by bobsmyuncle (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 9, 11 at 14:00

Here is an interesting article on woodworking glues that came out a few years ago. It's been "republished" at the Titebond site, most likely because they came out on top.

It also debunks the commonly held belief that polyurethane glues (Gorilla Glue) is the ne plus ultra of glues.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Glues

I wish they had tested 5-minute epoxy in addition to the overnight epoxy. My second wish is that they had tested the acrylic superglue types. I banned godzilla glue from any of my projects after the first use in 1997. Yuk.
No real surprise, titebond II is the go-to glue, unless you're in a hurry.

RE: Glues

"I wish they had tested 5-minute epoxy in addition to the overnight epoxy."

Many of the 5-minute epoxies are NOT waterproof.

RE: Glues


I thought I must have been using the monkey glue wrong. I only ever bought one bottle. The directions say you have to wet the surfaces to be glued in order to activate the stuff. Then it foams out of the joint, you must allow it to dry and scrape it off. Why go through all that?

RE: Glues

You forgot the other features:
- Stains your skin, takes 3 weeks to slough off
- Pushes joints apart unless they are clamped
- No structural strength with foam filling the gaps
- Goes bad in the bottle
- Costs 4 x as much
- No known solvent once cured, so when you have a joint that fails, you'll spend three times as much time cleaning it up before being able to re-glue it with something else.

RE: Glues

I've always been a fan of Titebond. Like many, I tried Gorilla glue when it first came out and haven't bought a bottle since.

RE: Glues

Knowing the strength numbers for the Hide glue, I'll start using it for small projects like jewelry boxes and other applications where waterproofedness and ultimate bond strength are not an issue. I never liked scraping inside corner glue joints.

Thanks again. I printed the article and posted it on the wall of my shop, for the benefit of all the carpenters. Most were surprised initially by the results, but then reflecting upon their individual experiences, they decided they really weren't surprised after all. I went around to collect any bottles of the poly glue to chuck them. (We had tried a couple of other non-primate brand poly-glues) But none were found. It seems someone else had already discarded the stuff. No surprise there!

RE: Glues

There are all types of tests, based on stress - shear (ATSM), cleavage, creep, peel, tension, and as this article shows, fit and wood species, etc. Most common glues will, when properly done, be stronger than the wood adherands. That is, when stressed to the breaking point, a high percentage of the time, the wood will fail before the glue joint.

So, I say, the proper preparation and execution of the glue joint is more important than which bottle you pull out. So your glue choice should be done on other factors - set up time, clamp time, reversibility, clean up, cost, convenience, and so on.

Personally, I've been starting to use more and more good old white Elmer's glue. I like its slow tack time when gluing up something with lots of concurrent joints (e.g., chair re-glues). At at $10-12 a gallon, is the most economical. Good shelf life. If you don't need a gallon, pick up a handful of 4 oz bottles at the August back to school sales for 20 cents each. I figure Frank Klausz and Marc Adams can't be all wrong -- it's their favorite glue.

RE: Glues

That's the key point - properly done any modern glue is going to be stronger than the wood itself. I've tried breaking cut-offs from a glue up and have never gotten one to break at the glue line.

Nothing wrong with Elmers, I've used it from time to time.

RE: Glues

"Nothing wrong with Elmers"

Except it tends to creep under continuous loads.

This was a problem with many of the early PVA type glues.

It is not significant for small projects, but for a piece of furniture it can cause problems.

Some of the early glues also softened up from even light sanding heat.

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