Titebond 3 glue, how long to wait till I can handle?

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Forum topic by johndeereb posted 01-21-2017 08:48 AM 3544 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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61 posts in 1411 days

01-21-2017 08:48 AM

I am playing race the clock trying to make a workbench top. It’s for my Fathers 70th birthday. It’s a 21” wide x 5 feet long top 4” thick. I glued the first half tonight with Titebond 3. The bottle says wait 24 hours before stressing the joint. I only have 1 set of clamps and 1 flat workbench I am gluing on.

How long till I can undo the clamps and pick it up and set it on the floor in order to glue the 2nd half? It weighs about 75 lbs. so I guess that puts some stress on it although I will be gentle.

Then, what’s the minimum till I can glue the 2 halves together? 24 hours?

I know this is strange to rush so much. He lives in another state and was traveling to him Monday. His shop is not heated 24 7, so trying to get the glue done here. Thanks again

6 replies so far

View endgrainy's profile


251 posts in 2085 days

#1 posted 01-21-2017 12:02 PM

It depends upon the conditions (temp/humidity) but I often leave glue-ups with Titebond 3 in the clamps for several hours, ususlly overnight for large glue-ups where stability is paramount. I try to let it sit longer in clamps when cold.

I wouldn’t consider placing a workpiece on the floor to be “stressing the joint.” I think of stress more as sitting on a chair, mounting a tabletop on a base, etc. Something that attempts to push or pull the joint apart.

I also wouldn’t consider a secondary glue-up in the same orientation to be stressing the joint, so once out of clamps I would just set up the next stage of glueup. The force is again compressing the joint in the same plane.

Alternative solution: buy more clamps!

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View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5171 posts in 2690 days

#2 posted 01-21-2017 12:14 PM

That would be my opinion (what endgrainy said) as well. If you have a warm room over night is more than enough. Have a plan to move a 150# slab?

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View johndeereb's profile


61 posts in 1411 days

#3 posted 01-21-2017 03:27 PM

Thanks for replying. It’s in my basement workshop which is about 72, very dry as we heat with wood stove.

Fred, I plan to glue the 2 halves, then slide it onto a handcart, then slide it into my truck bed! I think it will be more like 125 lbs after I plane the 2 halves some more. Still not easy though!

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1117 days

#4 posted 01-21-2017 04:34 PM


Titebond states the Titebond III glue bond is formed, but weak, after 30 minutes, but I would leave the clamps in place 4 hours.

It may be worthwhile to consider gluing the second section while leaving the first section glue-up in place. The thought of moving 75 pounds to and from the floor makes my back ache just thinking about it. An added benefit is that no stress is applied to the first section joints since the first section is not moved.

This could be done by loosening the clamps and removing the upper clamps. Then extend the width of the upper and lower clamps until they can accommodate the width of the already glued section plus the planks that are to be glued in the second phase.

If a space between the first glue-up and the second glue-up is required (for example if clamps are used to secure surface clamping cauls), scrap blocks of the same thickness and running from the lower to upper surfaces of the top could be placed between the two sections creating a gap between the two sections. These scrap blocks should be aligned with each clamp (eight in all since you have eight clamps). Since clamping pressure radiates in a semicircle from the clamp, as many additional spacer blocks as possible would greatly improve the strength of the bonds in the second section. Some masking tape can hold the scrap blocks in place, taped to the first section.

If no space is required, the scrap blocks are unnecessary. The planks at the first and second section meeting would remain dry fit during this second glue-up.

Once the glue is spread on the second section planks, the second section is put in place and clamped. As clamping pressure is applied, the second section joints are brought together and the first section is back under clamping pressure. A dry run before applying glue would ensure the second section glue-up will go smoothly.

Depending on how you are performing the glue-up, it may be possible to glue the second section planks to the first section directly, thus increasing the width of the first section. The 1st second section plank is glued to the first section (already glued top). The 2nd plank glued to the 1st second section plank, etc. Then the entire assembly is clamped.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3565 days

#5 posted 01-21-2017 04:56 PM

Monday is too soon to take the top for a long trip in an open truck if it is below freezing outside. The glue will not be cured that quick and will freeze, causing the joints to fail.

View johndeereb's profile


61 posts in 1411 days

#6 posted 01-21-2017 05:28 PM

I think I’ll plan on gluing the last 4 boards to the already glued piece tonight.. That would give about 36 hours till transport. It will be in the 40’s Monday rainy but it will be under cover for trip.

It’s not supposed to be below freezing at his place till THursday night. Not very warm, but highs in 40’s and lows in upper 30’s.

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