Episode No. 21 Six Essential Glues

July 24, 2006

This episode is all about glues, we use them in almost every project so it’s good to know all our options. To help us understand the different types of glues out there, I found the following article and rather than putting it in my words I’m just reading it as the author wrote it.

The Six Essential Glues by Scott Gibson – Fine Woodworking Magazine Issue Number 176 April 2005

Regardless of what type of woodworking you do, glue is one of the most crucial tools in your shop. There are, as this article covers, six categories of glues we can use for our projects.

The six categories are as follows:

1. PVA – standard yellow glue, the versatile workhorse good for general assembly work and joinery

2. Polyurethane – ideal for laminations, edge joints and outdoor furniture

3. Epoxy – good for laminations, outdoor furniture and when a structural gap-filling bond is needed
4. Cyanoacrylate – Best for quick repairs of defects, such as cracks, small knots and slivers

5. Hide Glue – excels at veneering and repairing period furniture and musical instruments

6. Urea Formaldehyde – good for veneering and bent laminations

The main points to keep in mind when choosing a glue is not only the above but each glue varies in the following categories:

1. Open time – the amount of time inwhich the joint should be assembled

2. Clamp time – the minimum amount of time the joint needs to be in clamps for the glue to set up so that it’s strong enough to stay in place

3. Water, Heat and solvent resistance – is the glue water proof, at what temp. does the glue begin to breakdown and are there any solvents that would dissolve the glue joint after it’s setup

4. Cleanup – what do you need to clean up any mess while gluing

5. Health and safety – how toxic is it to use this product?

6. Shelf life – after you buy it, how long do you have to use it before it becomes less effective?

Not all glues are the same so do a little research to make sure you have the one that works best for your needs.

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