Longevity of glued panels

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Forum topic by Brettbuilds posted 11-24-2016 05:55 PM 558 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brettbuilds's profile


2 posts in 697 days

11-24-2016 05:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue panel longevity question

Hello all. Long time lurker, but first post. Probably a naive question, but here goes:

Someone asked me to make an urn for them. So, I got to sketching a design and picking wood. The design features different woods, so I’d make some small panels before joining them into the box. This got me thinking, what is the longevity of a purely glued joint, like a panel? Obviously this isn’t going be used like a cabinet door, but it might sit on a mantle for decades. Daily temperature fluctuations seem reasonable to expect- sunlight possibly, heat from a fireplace below the mantle, cool room temps at night- etc. Wouldn’t want the panels to de-laminate. So is there any guideline for how long a glue up might reasonably last?

Thanks much. Happy turkey day.

3 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile


1240 posts in 2144 days

#1 posted 11-24-2016 06:27 PM

Forever? Modern glues are stronger than the wood they join, and waterproof once cured. I believe old time glue like hide glue was suseptible to temp and moisture and temp swings. But there are pieces 100years old out there that are still together.


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

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1069 days

#2 posted 11-25-2016 04:09 AM


What I believe to be comprehensive and authoritative resource for wood questions is the Wood Handbook published by the Forest Products Laboratory, USDA. It is available on-line and addresses a wide variety of wood related questions and issues, although at times it gets a bit technical. The chapter index is found at

For example Chapter 10 addresses adhesives. Your question is answered on page 10-21 under the caption Short- and Long-Term Performance. It confirms bbasiaga’s opinion for PVA glue, but with some conditions (namely that moisture content of the wood does not exceed 15% and the temperature range is kept within a range comfortable to people). This chapter is found at Performance of other glues is also included within the Short- and Long-Term Performance section.

View Brettbuilds's profile


2 posts in 697 days

#3 posted 11-25-2016 03:35 PM

Excellent. Thanks everyone.

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