Coloring Wood Glue

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Forum topic by dustbunny posted 12-02-2009 01:07 AM 11191 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1149 posts in 3294 days

12-02-2009 01:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: coloring glue tint cutting board

This may sound totally absurd, but I’ll give it a go.
I have cut out a fish shaped cutting board on my band saw. Think food safe products.


The two curved cuts down the center of the fish (I left them open to show better), I would like to have a colored stripe. I cut a very thin piece of purpleheart strip, but when sandwiched together it looks like a bunch of tiny gaps from the band saw cut. The red birch fits together perfectly without the purpleheart.
So now I am wondering if I can color my titebond III glue to show a nice glue line stripe.

Any ideas ? Or has anyone tried this ? I did a search on this site and nothing came up.



-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

14 replies so far

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3660 days

#1 posted 12-02-2009 01:14 AM

Haven’t tried it, although I wonder if you can glue a strip of veneer between the birch for that effect you’re looking for?

-- Ed

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1149 posts in 3294 days

#2 posted 12-02-2009 01:20 AM

I cut a piece of the purpleheart into veneer. The problem I guess is that the band saw doesn’t leave a smooth finish, so you can see all the gaps. Or maybe glue up will fill the gaps and make them not noticeable. I’m not sure. Still wonder about coloring glue though.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3480 days

#3 posted 12-02-2009 01:39 AM

I know of coloring epoxy for inlays, but I don’t know about how food safe that might be. I’d think that any color you add to TB III it might be a little bit tinted due to the fact that the glue is brown and not white. I say look into epoxy inlays, see if any are safe for food. First place I’d look is a wood turning specialty store because of they would stock food safe finishes for bowls. Good luck, can’t wait to see the finished product.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3340 days

#4 posted 12-02-2009 02:12 AM

if the purpleheart and glue and clamps and cawls don’t work ,
then pink glue it is .(LOL)
i tint epoxy all the time with the craft paint from wal-mart .
however no one has ever eaten one of my boxes ,
so i can’t say how food safe it is .

i know you might try some scraps with paint , titebond ll and see how it holds on a test piece .

maybe purple ?

how much glue line do you expect to have ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3182 days

#5 posted 12-02-2009 02:59 AM

Is titebond considered to be gap filling? Wouldn’t that cause a weak joint? I would try dyeing or paint as Patron suggests.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

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1149 posts in 3294 days

#6 posted 12-02-2009 03:31 AM

That’s the thing, if I don’t use a veneer, there are no gaps; the pieces were cut together in one cut. Leading me to wonder just how visible the colored glue line would be anyway.
David, I have some craft paint, I am going to give that a try on scraps. If that fails….I’ll go on to coloring used for epoxy like Chris suggests.

I will update with the trials to let you guys know,
Thanks so much,


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View LesB's profile


1726 posts in 3442 days

#7 posted 12-02-2009 03:37 AM

Use two part epoxy and add epoxy coloring (any auto repair store has it). If you need work time use slower setting type. The cured epoxy should be nearly inert.

-- Les B, Oregon

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3431 days

#8 posted 12-02-2009 01:26 PM

You might try edge banding between the boards in a contrasting color, but only if it is thicker than the board (obviously!). I’ve never seen purple heart edge banding but I do have some birch will will show nicely.
It tends to have some “give” to it in terms of width and glues up nicely.
I really like that fish design too. And… the wood in that upper left corner looks like a project in the making!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3367 days

#9 posted 12-02-2009 01:34 PM

You just need to sand down the purpleheart stip to make it smooth and no saw marks. Glue it in and use plenty of clamps to close the joint.

View khop's profile


134 posts in 3675 days

#10 posted 12-02-2009 02:45 PM

Dustbunny, I would suggest, first to rout a small rabbit (1/8”) on both pieces,then glue them back together. Mix up some Durham’s water putty with colored latex paint and fill in the groove (now a dado) and let dry. You may need to add another coat. I did this tech. on some of my tables. Check them out on my page.
Good Luck

-- How am I doing? Better than I deserve. Dave Ramsey

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4217 days

#11 posted 12-02-2009 04:14 PM

KHOP nailed it as far as cutting a rabbet and gluing up to leave a channel which can then be filled with a material of your choosing.

You might want to check into a product called Inlace. It’s epoxy based and comes in a variety of colors. I used it on this table:

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View LesB's profile


1726 posts in 3442 days

#12 posted 12-02-2009 07:54 PM

As I look at your picture more carefully I see rough edges on your cuts. You need to sand them smooth and a drum type sander would probably work best. You can do that with a small drum (2 or 3 inch) on a hand held drill or a drill press. The latter is best because it will be hard to keep the edge at 90 degrees by hand. You might get away with using the curved front edge of a belt sander but again the 90 degree angle will be hard to maintain. You could set up a jig and clap the belt sander at a 90 degree angle to a flat surface.
Then you can glue with any of these glues; epoxy, Titebond III, thick (slow setting)superglue, or Urethane glue and clamp the pieces together tightly. I don’t think you will need any color if the joints are tight. (Titebond comes in a dark brown color) All those glues are water proof and basically inert as far as food safety is concerned when they are cured.
Do a dry test clamping of your strips to make sure you can close the any small gaps. If not, put some color in the glue you choose to create a filler. Urethan glue will expand and bubble out so it does fill in small gaps (be sure to dampen with water one surface of each joint to accelerate the curing). The expanded glue dries hard and you can sand or scrape it off afterward.
KHOP’s use of Durham’s water putty may not work well because it will absorb moisture (or oil) and can chip out easily on an item like a cutting board that may get knocked around. It is good for lots of other things. I use it to join the three slate pieces on my pool table. It leaves a perfectly smooth finish.

-- Les B, Oregon

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1149 posts in 3294 days

#13 posted 12-05-2009 02:49 AM

Thanks to everyone for all the great ideas : )
I took a close took at the surfaces that need to be glued together. The purpleheart veneer strip I cut has very rough saw marks compared to the surfaces of the red birch.
I sanded the veneer as papadan suggested and did a glue up with scraps from the board. It looks pretty darn good. I think that was all I needed to do.
khop and Charlie and LesB- I’ve tucked these away for future projects…..
Ellen- the blocks on the table are another wavy board…except, I set the board on the belt sander machine, then set something on the board, and OMG the board tipped over and the waves went flying. I spent 4 hours matching grain and cuts. Best puzzle ever ! LOL now, but not at the time.

Project coming soon….


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3130 days

#14 posted 12-05-2009 03:42 PM

Get some 1/42” veneer and use several strips together. It’s thin enough to conform to your cut.

-- Gerry,

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