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Titebond 3 Failure: Is TB3 a Weaker Glue than Regular PVA?

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Forum topic by Lazyman posted 02-24-2016 03:19 PM 1430 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lazyman

695 posts in 852 days


02-24-2016 03:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue failure titebond iii question white oak lathe gluing

I’m making a wooden beer mug from quarter sawn white oak for my cousin by gluing up 12 staves to form a cylinder and then turning it to shape on my lathe. I’m using a stainless steel insert for the the inside and because the wood will probably get wet when washing decided to use Titebond 3 since it is supposed to be waterproof. After getting the outside and inside turned to final shape, I parted it off to final length. I needed to clean up the bottom where my parting was not quite flush and also wanted to chamfer the bottom slightly so the mug sat just on the outside edge. I clamped the mug in my chuck, this time from the inside, supported the bottom end with a slightly conical face plate in my tail stock and stared flattening and then working on the chamfer. I was almost done when I got a very minor catch and the mug split exactly in half along 2 glue lines. With the exception of a sliver near the top where the mug was tapered to its thinnest point, the failure was completely in the glue joint. You could see glue residue along surfaces on both sides with no gaps.

I’ve never had a glue joint fail before when using standard wood glue. When I have had something break, the wood fails before the glue joints do. This is my first time using Titebond 3 and my first time to use white oak. Has anyone else experienced this sort of failure of TB3? Just wondering if it is not as strong as regular PVA. I am also wondering if my glue surfaces were too smooth for the white oak or if the closed cell nature of white oak didn’t allow the glue to penetrate to create a strong bond somehow? Any thoughts about what might have caused the failure?

(Note that because it was such a clean break, I sanded the glue residue from the surfaces and glued it back together with epoxy so I am able to salvage the work. It will also have some steel rings like a barrel so even if the glue fails in the future the rings should hold it all together. Instead of turning the bottom, I decided to use my router to get the chamfer. I will also glue the mugs handle on with epoxy now that I don’t trust the TB3. )

I was going to post a before and after disaster picture but I’m getting an error from Lumberjocks website.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.


29 replies so far

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1040 days


#1 posted 02-24-2016 03:57 PM

tb3 should’t fail,my guess is it just glue to it’s self with no real bonding to the wood.all glue needs something to grab to.maybe stop at 120 grit on the joints.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1059 posts in 1454 days


#2 posted 02-24-2016 04:22 PM

Do a lot of segmented turning, with a lot of end grain joints, and use tb3. The only issues Ive had were operator error. For turnings, even with face or edge grain, I apply 100% coverage to both surfaces, let sit for a few minutes to wet the wood, then apply a 2nd coat and assemble. Lite assembly clamp for a few minutes to align and allow wetting time, then gradually work up to full clamp.

Never had a failure of a joint with this process, only when I dont. Yes it uses more glue and there is plenty of squeeze out, which gets wiped and or turned off. Sounds like the glue was squeezed out of the joint before wetting the fibers. It wont matter how smooth the wood is if the fibers are properly wetted.

Its also possible the glue started to set before assembly.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4858 posts in 2278 days


#3 posted 02-24-2016 05:42 PM

How long did the glue dry before the piece was worked? I know some say that a glueup can be worked in a matter of hours, but I like to wait overnight. Make sure the joint is not glue starved. Check the manufacture date on the bottle of glue.

I generally prefer TBII for white oak. Although I have rarely had a glue joint failure, the TBIII sometimes leaves a dark line at the joint. I use TBIII on walnut projects.

I find the “waterproof” label on glues to be somewhat dubious. It doesn’t hold up to the dishwasher, I know that.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2145 posts in 1638 days


#4 posted 02-24-2016 05:47 PM

I would guess it probably wasn’t clamped tight enough.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

829 posts in 687 days


#5 posted 02-24-2016 05:52 PM

You need to shake/mix up the TBIII before use. The solids tend to settle out over a few hours and the remaining substance that will be squeezed out when yo apply from the standard bottle will be rather runny.
I don’t know if this is was an issue with your glue or if the joints are excessively weakened from this, but it apparently is a result of the recent reformulation of TBIII.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

695 posts in 852 days


#6 posted 02-25-2016 02:23 AM

All good thoughts so far. I had a pretty good coating on both surfaces on both sides. In fact, before I cleaned it off to re-glue with epoxy you could see that there was still thin layer of glue along the entire surface. I had this clamped pretty well, I used a ton of rubber bands and then applied 2 ratchet clamps straps to ensure it was tight. I got plenty of squeeze out but the broken joint didn’t look starved either. I didn’t shake the glue up because it didn’t say to on the label but from now on, I guess I will.

I find the “waterproof” label on glues to be somewhat dubious. It doesn t hold up to the dishwasher, I know that.

- pintodeluxe


Pintodeluxe, I will definitely recommend that the mug not be immersed to clean it but I thought it would be best to use a glue that was at least water resistant. If nothing else, it needs to be able to withstand a beer overflow and rinsing.

The break came at least 24 hours after glue up, though I started turning after only about 14 hours (overnight). I’m a new wood turner so I got multiple catches during the process that were worse than the one that failed. The only thing I can think of is that there must have been a small gap at this joint the tool I was using to clean up the bottom caught. I’ve just never seen a glue joint fail before the wood does. Actually it was 2 glue joints on opposite sides of the mug that failed and since I’ve never used TB3 before, I’m just wondering if that has anything to do with it.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1460 days


#7 posted 02-25-2016 02:46 AM

How well were you able to clamp it? If you were gluing angle pieces together, you might not have been able to get good pressure to bond the glue.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2440 posts in 1874 days


#8 posted 02-25-2016 02:52 AM

I do a lot of small projects that require glue of some sort. Sure it is dry, you cannot pull it apart and the manufacture says it is ready for use in xyz amount of time. But it is a chemical process, that means time must pass to not just dry but to cure. With this in mind I leave it cure for days, sometimes weeks before returning to work with it again.

While this may have nothing to do with the cause of your issue letting it cure longer would be a good idea. Several others posted good ideas as to why it failed, check into what they have suggested as well.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1667 posts in 2089 days


#9 posted 02-25-2016 02:59 AM

Any chance your glue froze this winter?

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

695 posts in 852 days


#10 posted 02-25-2016 03:42 AM



Any chance your glue froze this winter?

- jumbojack


I bought the glue from Home Depot right before I used it so unless if froze before it got to Home Depot, it didn’t freeze in my garage/shop which I heat with one of those portable A/C-Heater combo units.

I also tried to determine the date from the lot number printed on the bottle but they put it into a code that I cannot decipher into a date.


How well were you able to clamp it? If you were gluing angle pieces together, you might not have been able to get good pressure to bond the glue.

-Brian

- bbasiaga


I probably should have mentioned this before. I initially assembled all 12 staves in the cylinder but left the glue out of 2 of the joints on opposite sides and then used tape, rubber bands and finally 2 ratchet clamps to hold it in the cylinder shape while the glue set. After the glue set, this basically left me with 2 halves. I then sanded those surfaces on a piece of sand paper laying on my workbench to make sure that the opposite surfaces where coplaner. Then I glued the 2 halves together. With the final glue up I was able to add 4 clamps on top of the bands to get a little extra pressure. I did this in 2 passes to account for the couple of degrees of error that accumulates when cutting 24 15 degree angles for the staves on my table saw. Now I am thinking that it was probably this final glue joint that failed so maybe adding the clamps somehow put unequal pressure on the it? That is probably the only explanation other than a bad batch of glue. Since the other joints seem perfect, I guess I am going to assume that something went wrong with my clamping approach.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Moron's profile

Moron

5032 posts in 3358 days


#11 posted 02-25-2016 05:06 AM

it froze
and you cut a “not worthy joint” exponentially ?
i would lien to the first excuse or blame something else

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Moron

5032 posts in 3358 days


#12 posted 02-25-2016 05:09 AM

really
when i think about it
i dont recall them using glue to make a barrel
or did i miss something ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile

Moron

5032 posts in 3358 days


#13 posted 02-25-2016 05:19 AM

on the other hand
i have not seen them use glue to make a barrel
that could hold water

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile

Moron

5032 posts in 3358 days


#14 posted 02-25-2016 05:24 AM

most stores who sell it

will unconditionally back it up

so the worst scenario

they give you your money back for failing to read the directions

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 617 days


#15 posted 02-25-2016 05:30 AM

I think if you read the label on Tite Bond glues which is what I use, II and III and colored II they say do not machine for 24hours/over night.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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