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Reply by Vercingetorix

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Posted on Cold weather and wood glue

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Vercingetorix

2 posts in 594 days


#1 posted 02-15-2013 05:18 PM

Just to add to the information for other bumbling unheated shop workers like myself, I just called the titebond tech support line after a failed glue up.

My situation was that I glued a butt joint and kept it clamped for about an hour. Ambient temperature was fairly high (50’s) but it had gotten down to the 30’s overnight. As soon as I took the clamps off, the boards fell apart, and there was a combination of overly runny glue and drier areas with a white, powdery appearance, i.e. “chalking.”

In talking to tech support, I learned that the glue should stand up to 5-10 freeze cycles, but that as long as it has its usual creamy, liquid texture, it will be fine to use. The things that actually have an impact on the glue action are the temperature of the glue, the substrate (wood), and ambient temperature. However, even if the glue is on the cool side, the thermal mass of wood at the proper temperature should quickly get it up to the right level for proper bonding.

If the glue has undergone a permanent chemical change because of freezing, it will either be solid in the bottle, or have a grainy texture.

The Upshot: Don’t throw away your glue just because it froze. If the texture is solid, gummy, or granular, throw it away. The main thing is to get the wood up to the proper temperature, which is around 55F minimum, before gluing your joints. This can take a while, unfortunately.


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