All Replies on Sticking it Together; What Glue to Use?

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View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Sticking it Together; What Glue to Use?

by Mark A. DeCou
posted 11-24-2006 09:08 PM

18 replies so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4322 days

#1 posted 11-24-2006 09:44 PM

I started using masking tape up close to the glue joints. That way any squeeze out ends up on the tape. In the past I’ve been plagued by glue spots while staining. This seems to remedy the situation.
Years ago thats all they had was Elmer’s white glue, & I haven’t had anything come apart on me using White glue.
I used to have a formula for making your own white glue using milk, but I have misplaced it over the years. Maybe it can be found on the internet.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4322 days

#2 posted 11-24-2006 09:59 PM

Another Glue that I’ve used is Franklin liquid hide glue. It has a long open time.
It came in handy when I built some Windsor chairs, when I glued the back, & arm rest bent laminations where I needed that extra time.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4350 days

#3 posted 11-25-2006 06:51 AM

on the use of CA glue in place of bandages…

I had an accident (kitchen, not shop) several years back, I nearly took off the tip of my thumb. The knife was sharp, and I never felt a thing. Anyhow, this was on a saturday afternoon, and I ended up waiting a few hours for the doctor to basically cover the tip of my finger with glue, and wrap it in gauze to keep it dry (and look like a much more impressive injury). If not for the tetanus booster, I could have done the same thing myself (which I did a few years later – same thumb – to no ill effect).

So, I managed to get out of cooking a “thank you dinner” for my parents, In-laws, and grandparents for all their help over the previous 6 months with our house. Fortunately, they didn’t seem to mind taking over in the kitchen (my domaign, not generally my wifes) cooking their own thank-you meal.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4337 days

#4 posted 11-25-2006 06:54 AM

Thanks for all the information on the CA glues.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4269 days

#5 posted 12-12-2006 03:21 AM

Mark, one you did’nt touch on. What kind of glue to use for veneer? I need to put a ribbon of veneer around my daughters lid edge. It does’nt say on the package what to use. Your help would be greatly appreciated. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4423 days

#6 posted 12-13-2006 05:33 AM

Mike: I use a veneer glue that is probably a PVA glue in my vacuum veneer press. I’ve not used veneer on the edge of anything because of my concern for lifting of veneer that seems to occur when clothing products hit corners and other thin places. I’ve not tried but I read where you can put pva glue on both the substrate and on the veneer and let it dry and then iron on the edge, like the prepared edging that you can buy. Like I’ve said I’ve not tried it so I can’t speak from experience on this. I tend to use solid wood for edging. about 1/4” thick and put a bead on it and then make it proud of the surfice you are placing it on.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


604 posts in 4207 days

#7 posted 12-13-2006 06:11 AM

Hey guys. Just thought I’d throw in my 2 cents on veneer glue. I have done the PVA glue ironing trick and it actually does work. But you should definitely practice on scraps first. There’s a little bit of a learning curve. Honestly though, Im not a real big fan of pva glues for veneering applications. I use Unibond 800 for all of my veneering. Its a 2 part plastic resin glue that provides a very rigid glue line and doesn’t introduce water into the veneer. You also have a very long working time.

Now for edging, I never bother applying veneer strips unless they are pre-glued. Its just too much darn work for me any other way. :) And I have to agree with Karson about using home-sawn 1/4” thick edging whenever possible. But if I were applying edge tape that wasnt pre-glued, I would probably use regular pva glue and make a long caul with cork on the business end. This will help you get even pressure all along the joint.

Good luck!!


-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4269 days

#8 posted 12-14-2006 04:41 PM

Thanks guys, well I’ll flip a coin and iron and vacuum a 1/4” of edging and put a long caul on it all andand ….... just kidding. You were a lot of help. I bought enough stuff I should make it work. The 1/4” edging actually sounds to me like the smart thing for me to do. Thanks again. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4428 days

#9 posted 12-15-2006 04:34 PM

Hey Guys: I’ve been busy trying to finish up Christmas orders, and so I haven’t checked on my forum topics lately. I agree with Woodwhisperer, I use the Unibond 800 glue for veneer, because this is what David Marks’ uses in his DIY Woodworks show. I do very little veneering, so I forgot to mention it in my glue listing. It is not the easiest glue to find, and I had to order it over the internet. Mike, if you have a hard time finding it, let me know and I will dig out my receipts from the last time I bought it and let you know where I found it. I just mix it like it says on the side of the container. It has a long “open” time, so it is David Marks’ selection for assembly glue when he has a lot of parts to glue up and doesn’t want any of it to set until the parts are all together. This glue needs to sit overnight to dry.

I also don’t like using veneer edging on something that has a chance of getting bumped by legs, such as your case box lid edge. The veneer joints at the corners are susceptible to being easily damaged by ordinary use in a room, even dragging a throw blanket and pulling it off can rip a corner of veneer edging, and the blanket.

In your case, my recommendation would be to use a strip of wood, the thicker the better, and use regular PVA wood glue to hold it in place. The other suggestions I agree with, as you will need to hold the strip in place while the glue sets. You can do this with multiple strips of masking tape, or you can use a brad nailer (not my choice) or you can use a pin nailer (I don’t have one), or you can use the long “caul” (strip of wood) that you use to apply even force along the strip you are gluing. A friend of mine (lumberjock Duane Kohles) has a pin nailer (no head nails) and says it works great, with no holes to fill with putty. Maybe he can enter a tool review about it sometime in the Forum. This tool is on my wish list for situations like you are encountering.

I have used the iron on veneer edging, but it does not hold well for situations where the veneer could get bumped, such as in the case of your box lid. I would use it for situations where I was covering plywood edges on a shelf board, but not in a structural situation. I am not a heavy veneering guy, as I mentioned, as there are just too many antiques with ruined veneer, so I generally try to stick with solid wood. I noticed that Karson added a new wall cabinet project, where he used veneer on the door panel, and that is the type of application where I think veneer makes a great addition to a project, giving wonderful grain in an expensive wood, yet is not in a situation where it would lift easily. I met some nice folks at the Western Design Conference that cut down a tree and had it’s wood made into veneer. They sent me as a gift about a dozen pieces of the veneer, and I will be using it in a similar project to Karson’s after Christmas is over.

Marc Adams has a great video on Veneering that I bought several years ago, and he says that any wood glue will work great on veneer as long as you have a method to hold it in place with pressure. In cases where that isn’t possible, he said a compromise is to use Contact Cement glue, as is done with Formica style counter tops for kitchen cabinets. Karson has what all of us wish for, and that is a vacuum bag. This is another tool that will eventually be in my shop, as it will open up lots of opportunties to new techniques for woodworking that are too difficult to accomplish with other methods.

Hope this helps, let us know if this is not clear,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4269 days

#10 posted 12-17-2006 07:26 AM

Thanks Mark, I think I’ll stick with the 1/4” purpleheart edging. I’ve actually got the unibond 800 glue and veneer, but I’ve never done it before, so since it’s near Christmas I think I should take the advice of the three wise men….. whatdaya think? mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4269 days

#11 posted 12-17-2006 07:32 AM

You know I’ve got a paslode finish gun and I could throw some one inch little nail in there, they are pretty small and I’ve actually matched the purpleheart with my timbermate and foodcolor. So it won’t be nothing to cover up the holes, they’re pretty small. Thanks again for everyones time. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4218 days

#12 posted 12-18-2006 06:51 AM

I arf to agree with everybody, and I always use a waterproof glue when I’m outside working on my woof.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View MichB's profile


1 post in 3225 days

#13 posted 08-20-2009 04:25 PM

I was reading your post as I was searching this site for information related to glue and its uses. You see I have this antique wood bedframe that I am trying repair. I am not so worried about keeping its value, it is more a sentimental piece that I just want to repair for use by my daughter. Anyway, it is a structural repair. The footboard of the bed is split top to bottom with a crack. The crack runs across some molding – the footboard has 3 panels joined together and covered with moldings. Anyway I have been having this debate with friends over using wood glue like Elmers versus Epoxy. I personally thought that the Elmers would be too weak to hold the stress this area might take. I don’t want the seam to rip open and have my daughter with the bed coming crashing to the floor or something. So what do you recommend to use?

View LesB's profile


1748 posts in 3466 days

#14 posted 08-20-2009 06:56 PM

Great information.
In regards to venneer I recall reading that PVA glue is not recommended because it can “creep” with time and cause the veneer to move. I don’t remember the source.
I have found the urethane glue works well on dovetail joints because the “foam” out is easy to clean up afterward without leaving spots that resist stain like PVA does. I use a small stiff brush to lightly coat one surface and dampen the other surface with a fine mist of water to activate it.

Does anyone have any experience with the hot glue guns (not the melted stick kind)? They are probably more suitable for production type assembly.

-- Les B, Oregon

View gerrym526's profile


274 posts in 3831 days

#15 posted 08-20-2009 07:03 PM


Great write up with lots of useful information.
What I would add to the discussion on PVA glue clean up is that using a damp rag around joints that have glue squeeze out doesn’t really weaken the joint. What does happen is that the squeezed out glue gets thinned out with water, and becomes “sizing” or wood pore filler around the joint. If you don’t do a significant amount of sanding to remove this almost invisible layer of glue around the joint, it will show up as an area that won’t absorb stain your applying in the finishing process.
Your technique of scraping away squeeze out around a joint when it has reached the “rubbery” stage of curing is the correct one.

-- Gerry

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 3245 days

#16 posted 08-20-2009 08:05 PM

Regarding CA glue on wounds – I was told that the “glue” that is used by doctors is similar to CA glue; however, it is not the same and can pose minor health concerns. This article by the NY Times to support what I had heard. Though apparently there is an FDA approved version of “super glue” available.

-- James -

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4428 days

#17 posted 02-22-2012 01:22 AM

I have written a better, longer, and expanded version of this Glue Article for publishing in “The Maine Journal of Antiques & Collectibles”

Thanks Lumberjocks’ readers for finding me this “gig”.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3010 days

#18 posted 02-22-2012 01:30 AM

Congrats on your publication.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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