How long to keep box clamped

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Forum topic by PinsandTales posted 08-07-2010 10:44 PM 6910 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 3252 days

08-07-2010 10:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: box glue clamp question joining

I have glued a series of box joints with Titebond III and Titebond Extend and have clamped the assemblies. I typically let the boxes sit over night (18-24 hours) before unclamping and sanding the box joint flush.
Reading the glue bottle, the instructions say to leave clamped for 30-45 minutes and not to stress the joint for 24 hours. Reading the Titebond website it clarifies unstressed joints should be clamped for 30-60 minutes and a stressed joint, e.g. bent laminations, clamped for 24 hours.
I find myself short of time and need a more rapid turn on the clamps, but not at the risk of ruining a joint.
I assume a box joint is an unstressed joint, so a few hours clamp time should be workable, with perhaps waiting 24 hours to sand.
I would love to get some feedback on what the community uses for reasonable clamp and sanding times after glueing.

9 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#1 posted 08-07-2010 11:10 PM

24 hours is extreme Tite bond lll drys quicker than the other tite bonds . Depending on the temperature and humidity 3 hours should be more than enough.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

516 posts in 3711 days

#2 posted 08-07-2010 11:18 PM

i agree i used it and let it dry 3 hrs or so and never had any problems. and with the heat here in altanta, everything dry quick

-- Joe, Ga

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3186 days

#3 posted 08-07-2010 11:29 PM

I can see it now… The He-Man-Woodworker stroles into his wife’s kitchen and says “Honey, where’s the kitchen timer?”. takes it out to the shop, clamps up a box, sets it on the shelf and hits the timer for an hour. Wife comes out after a while and suddenly hears this “DING”. The He-Man-Woodworker says “Oh honey, that box is done, could you take out of the oven, uh, I mean clamps for me?”.

Seriously, 1-2 hrs is fine on most glueups. Save the planing of it until later though. Tip: Write down the time of glueup on the part.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View PinsandTales's profile


9 posts in 3252 days

#4 posted 08-07-2010 11:33 PM

The probability of getting the wife into the dusty workshop is about the same as being able to borrow the timer with her knowledge.

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3156 days

#5 posted 08-07-2010 11:53 PM

30 minutes should be fine, if the joints are good and tight. You could probably even get away with 20 minutes. When I’m short on clamps, I’ll frequently move clamps after 10 minutes or so. The initial tack keeps the joints tight.

Do a little test. Glue and clamp two small pieces of wood together for 10-15 minutes, unclamp and see if you can pull them apart. I doubt that you can.

-- Gerry,

View rimfire7891's profile


123 posts in 2928 days

#6 posted 08-08-2010 12:31 AM

Don’t know about titebond III but LV GF2002 can set in less than a minute on non porous wood like maple or birch.
Try cutting a piece of say 1/2” dowel at angle and then glue the pieces back together to make like an exhaust stack bend. Ring (twist) the pieces together and hold for 30 seconds, most of the time it takes. Great time saver when making toys. Probably works with other PVA glues, however the most common glue in my shop is LV GF2002.
Probably doesn’t have full strength but maybe 80% or so. Really saves time and clamping difficult pieces.

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

View rivendale34's profile


12 posts in 2882 days

#7 posted 08-08-2010 03:55 AM

Sounds like the perfect excuse to act on the phrase “You can never have too many clamps!”

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3094 days

#8 posted 08-08-2010 04:13 AM

Recently, I edge glued some boards with TBII, took them out of the clamps after ~2 hours, and ran them thru my planer with no problems.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3130 days

#9 posted 08-08-2010 04:36 AM

Clamps on boxes?? I only use clamps on mitered corners that are not behaving. I use strong packing tape and really stretch it on the second layer to close up the joints. But when I do clamp, I find an hour with Tite Bond III seems to be enough. I know I tried to adjust a joint yesterday after an hour and I couldn’t shift it with a mallet and a block of wood!!
My 16/32 sander paper gets clogged if I try to sand before 8-10 hours.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

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