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TiteBond II for Pen Blanks

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Forum topic by Dave Owen posted 09-03-2016 02:54 PM 646 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dave Owen

253 posts in 2535 days


09-03-2016 02:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pen gluing brass tube pen blank titebond

Please comment on my recent experiment with gluing tubes into wood blanks. In the future, I plan to use Titebond Polyurethane for this purpose, but since I’d had mixed results using Epoxy and ‘Super Glue’ I decided to experiment with Titebond II. My blank of Marblewood was cut perpendicular to the grain, and it was- shop stabilized by soaking in ‘Sanding Sealer’ and then thoroughly dried for over a week. All together, these factors created a blank that was more like ‘Marble’ than ‘Wood’, making it extremely difficult to cut with any tool, so much of the shaping was done with sandpaper. Despite the turning difficulties, the Titebond II glue held without a problem, and I now have a beautiful pen body drying before buffing. Have any of you tried using Titebond II for this purpose – and if so, what was the result? Thanks!

-- Dave O.


20 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1595 days


#1 posted 09-03-2016 03:34 PM

No and surprized that it worked out for you. I switch to epoxy over polyurethane for two reasons.

Polyurethane went bad on me in the container. Learned from glue strenght chart and others complaning poly not as good as epoxy. I never had a glue failure with the stuff, just didn’t use it fast enough before it went bad.

Whether using epoxy or poly glue I do wait until next day to turn pen barrels. Honestly feel both glues have better gap filling & strenght qualities over CA. Never had a glue failure with either epoxy or poly glue!

I prefer individual tube epoxy versus double tube syringe dispensers. Have use both and only secret can offer is mix well.

If have to have poly glue but smallest bottle can find regardless of the brand name.

-- Bill

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3124 days


#2 posted 09-03-2016 06:10 PM

Like Bill, I am surprised it worked for you at all. Titebond III is formulated to bond wood-to-wood, not wood to anything else. Epoxy is a much better choice, but I have used Gorilla glue (polyurethane) without problems. I glue one day, then turn the next, allowing plenty of time for the glue to cure.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1037 days


#3 posted 09-03-2016 06:57 PM

Epoxy is the way to go, I’ve used superglue before but had a couple times where the dang stuff would set halfway in. Ruined a couple real nice blanks trying to force it in, then realized I could have just cut the tube off and run it in the other side. Always something to learn.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3124 days


#4 posted 09-03-2016 09:52 PM

... then realized I could have just cut the tube off and run it in the other side.

Pretty smart! Never thought of that.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2419 posts in 1870 days


#5 posted 09-04-2016 12:42 AM

Never really tried using wood glue for anything other than gluing wood. That said I use alot of glue on blanks but like others mentioned epoxy or if you like quality CA glue not the cheap stuff. Don’t really make many pens anymore since I got a chuck for my lathe it opened up what I could turn and pens are low on that list. LOL

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

View JTTHECLOCKMAN's profile

JTTHECLOCKMAN

176 posts in 2610 days


#6 posted 09-04-2016 02:09 AM

As mentioned Titebond II is made for gluing wood to wood and not wood to metal. Will it hold up , if you got past the turning stage and completing stage then it should hold because after the parts are compressed there really is no stress on the blank again unless it is dropped. To me epoxy is my glue of choice and I always use System III T88 epoxy.

-- John T.

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

253 posts in 2535 days


#7 posted 09-04-2016 04:31 PM

First, thanks to all for their comments and for identifying their favorite glue for pen-blanks/brass tubes. There are many ‘bests’ – so ‘whatever works”! I know most Titebond’s are formulated for wood to wood gluing, and I’ve used nothing else for that purpose for many years, but while doing so, I’ve also noticed that it’s extremely difficult to remove it from most surfaces oncc dry. That was one reason for my ‘experiment’. The other was related to glue distribution. It’s always seemed odd to me that even with an adequate amount of glue applied with the recommended push/twist/pull technique, that much glue could reach the end opposite the insertion end without being scraped off by the blank. Neither of the two failures I had (one with epoxy, and one with CA) resulted in the tube coming loose from the blank. Instead, what happened was that a piece of the wood at the non-insertion end popped off while turning. In both cases, following the failure, I broke off more of the blank at that end and found virtually no bond at all despite having used the recommended technique. On my experiment with the Titebond II, in addition to the push/twist/pull technique, I pushed the tube out the non-insertion end about 1/2”, and found there was almost no glue on the tube. I then applied glue to that exposed end and twisted and pushed it back in place. That seems to have worked fine, and suggests to me that tube/blank failures are likely more often caused by poor glue distribution – than by the type of glue. In any case, it’s not my intent to use Titebond again for that purpose, but I’d still like to hear the experience of anyone else who has tried Titebond for bonding blanks to tubes.

-- Dave O.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2419 posts in 1870 days


#8 posted 09-05-2016 01:11 AM

I glued up a tube with titebond today. Will let it sit till tomorrow or next day and spin it down and she how it works.

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

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3124 days


#9 posted 09-05-2016 03:53 AM

Titebond (I, II, and III) are PVA (poly-vinyl acetate) glues. Water is the solvent for the PVA.

When the glue is applied to wood, the PVA migrates into the wood fibers and cures as the water evaporates. The resulting bond is the result of a chemical reaction between the wood surfaces and the PVA.

Any bond that results from PVA glue being applied to metal (or any other non-wood substance) is purely coincidental and, IMNTBHO, will be prone to failure.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

253 posts in 2535 days


#10 posted 09-05-2016 05:03 PM

For anyone who might be interested in seeing the ‘Titebond’ Marblewood pen, here’s a photo. Sorry the photo is not of better quality, but enlarging it will still show quite a bit of the unusual grain pattern produced by turning cross-grain. The pen is a PSI Gatsby style with 24 kt gold and Gun Metal trim.

-- Dave O.

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Dave Owen

253 posts in 2535 days


#11 posted 09-07-2016 01:41 PM

PS: It turned out that the brass tube I used for this pen (confiscated from another kit) was about 1/16” too long – preventing full extension of the refill tip. As a result, after taking the picture above, I had to disassemble the pen by driving out both the ‘band’ and the ‘clip/cap assembly’ in order to shorten the body. Surprisingly, the Titebond gluing the tube to the body held fast. It might fail in the future, but right now that seems unlikely.

-- Dave O.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2419 posts in 1870 days


#12 posted 09-12-2016 03:03 AM

I turned my blank today. Having left 1/4 inch of the barrel without any wood I used that to pull on after turning. To my surprise it did move and was warm. Leaving it for a few hours I was able to remove the brass blank for the wood. Although it did require more effort.

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

View JTTHECLOCKMAN's profile

JTTHECLOCKMAN

176 posts in 2610 days


#13 posted 09-12-2016 04:36 AM

Maybe you would like to try Liquid nails or PL 5000 constructive adhesive too. No reason why they won’t work well.

-- John T.

View loiblb's profile

loiblb

106 posts in 517 days


#14 posted 10-30-2016 04:34 PM

The bottom pen is all Tight Bond III glued. The top pen was 5 min. epoxy.
I just found that sometimes heat from drilling hard wood will melt the TB III so it only epoxy from now on.

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

317 posts in 2496 days


#15 posted 10-30-2016 05:54 PM

I realize this is an old thread, but the idea of turning a pen with cross-grain is intriguing. The marblewood example really stands out among wooden pens.

I suspect that most techniques and glue choices don’t actually provide full coverage between the tubes and the wood. The glue only needs to be strong enough to hold the brass tube in place. And because we almost always use lengthwise grain orientation, the wood will hold itself together well enough that the lack of coverage is not an issue.

In the case of a cross grained pen, I can see why full coverage would be important. I also suspect that the viscosity of the glue matters quite a bit as far as coverage. Most of the quick epoxies are rather thick, and it may be that TB II is a better balance and therefore provides more complete contact with the fibers. As far as adhering to the brass tube, there isn’t a lot of force pulling it out, so TB II is probably fine.

The biggest problem I can imagine in this scenario is adjusting the turning technique and tools to the grain orientation. To properly cut downhill, spindle turning techniques may end up with pieces splitting.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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