Titebond III dries nearly black?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by n00b posted 12-06-2010 02:34 AM 7291 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View n00b's profile


16 posts in 2740 days

12-06-2010 02:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: glue titebond iii

I’ve just taken up woodworking recently, and I’ve run into a problem on my first couple of projects: I’m using Titebond III, and it dries into a distinct, nearly black seam.

If I’m using walnut, that’s fine. The black seam looks fine. But when I glued up a couple of pieces of maple, the result is terrible!

That’s about an 8-inch area, after sanding. First, why is the glue black? People seem to love this glue, but I’m mystified. Second, why is the line so wide? It looks like about 1/64 to 1/32 of an inch wide – as opposed to, you know, zero. I thought I put a good deal of pressure on these boards (I certainly got a lot of squeeze-out). And the line runs the whole length of the joint, so it’s not like there’s a gap in one section and a tight fit somewhere else.

I think I’m going to have to cut these boards apart, re-joint them and find another glue. But I’d like to actually understand what’s going on here. Is the glue affected by some types of wood? Humidity? Temperature? Loud music?

30 replies so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3011 days

#1 posted 12-06-2010 02:47 AM

I use TBII and never have had this problem in fact just did a few today. There really shouldn’t be that wide of a line. You may not have had a real square edge making it leave a bit too much glue. Someone on here that uses it may have a better answer for TBIII.

View Dennis Fletcher's profile

Dennis Fletcher

467 posts in 3023 days

#2 posted 12-06-2010 02:56 AM

I use TBII as well and it dries up a natural color that sands out pretty well.

--, Making design and application one. †

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3045 days

#3 posted 12-06-2010 03:00 AM

I have ran into the exact same issue and frustration on this. My rule of thumb now is on light colored woods I use Titebond 2…. For darker colored woods I use Titebond 3. Also when doing the home made wood filler this is a good one to remember as well. Welcome to the lovely world of “Trial & Error Woodworking”

The best lessons are the ones hard learned…. Or at least I always learn them the hard way…lol

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View RJS's profile


89 posts in 2815 days

#4 posted 12-06-2010 03:07 AM

I used Tightbond 3 on my cutting board project, it was Purpleheart and Maple, I did not have that problem.

-- RJ

View ChuckV's profile


3114 posts in 3496 days

#5 posted 12-06-2010 03:14 AM

I have used TBIII on light-colored woods like maple with no problems. Perhaps the edge of one or both of your boards is not flat from top to bottom. When you put them together, you might not see any light between them, but there would still be gaps on the surfaces.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3045 days

#6 posted 12-06-2010 03:46 AM

Well, just the thing to remember is 3 dries much darker than 2. I personally want my joints as hidden as possible so that’s my way of thinking behind using the 2 for light colored and 3 for darker. If it doesn’t matter as much I will go with 3 every time. Better bond most definitely….

I agree with Chuck with the top to bottom flatness. Been there and done that as well…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2799 days

#7 posted 12-06-2010 03:53 AM

I’ve used Titebond, Titebond II, Titebond III, and Titebond Dark (and Titebond Melamine). Original Titebond and II usually dry to the usual yellowish tint, III has a beige cast and Dark, of course, has a heavy tan tone when dry (Melamine glue dries a semi-clear white). Have never had any of them turn “black”, not even the dark. Sorry to see the problems your having. How long have you had it on the shelf?

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3037 days

#8 posted 12-06-2010 04:28 AM

I’ve noticed the same thing, too. I’ve always used TBII, but grabbed some III recently when they were out of II. It seems to dry darker, and stay a bit more “rubbery”.

I’ve set it aside for use on dark woods and gone back to TBII.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View thiel's profile


387 posts in 3261 days

#9 posted 12-06-2010 04:58 AM

TBIII is dark beige to me. Nothing approaching what’s in the photo above.

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View n00b's profile


16 posts in 2740 days

#10 posted 12-06-2010 05:02 AM

Thanks for all the replies. I bought the glue very recently, but it might have been on the shelf in the store for a while, I suppose. My projects don’t require great adhesive strength, so I guess I’ll use TB II for my light-wood projects and reserve the TB III for my dark, brooding projects.

View SPalm's profile


5317 posts in 3851 days

#11 posted 12-06-2010 05:15 AM

Hey n00b,
I have been building cutting boards recently so I have been using TBIII because it is resistant to water. I prefer TBII for normal stuff, and it’s cheaper.

The cutting boards are usually multi wood build ups, so a dark glue line does not show, even with a light wood next to a dark wood. The one problem I remember is the center of one board that was three pieces of maple, and the dark glue line showed. I mainly attributed this to a not so perfect joint, and I still believe that to be true. But I wish I had used good old white glue instead, just in case.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2960 days

#12 posted 12-06-2010 05:19 AM

I just used TB III a couple days ago on a cutting board. I figured I should use a waterproof glue, but the first one I made I used TB II. I just looked at both of them again and I can’t really tell a huge difference. I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one was which if I didn’t already know. I’d grab some from another store if possible and see if that also turns black. As far as the glue line, typically I expect them to be much thinner than how yours turned out. If it’s a light colored wood like your maple, then I’d expect the glue line to completely disappear. I’d say you’re on the right track, rip the boards apart, re-joint and try again. If I were in your position, I’d double check my jointer to make sure everything is set correctly (i.e. fence is dead on 90 degrees).

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2903 days

#13 posted 12-06-2010 06:12 AM

I only use TBIII. It does dry dark brown for me. I run the board through jointer so the glue line is not visible.
The few drops that made it to the garage floor dried dark brown, almost black.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3028 days

#14 posted 12-06-2010 06:15 AM

Titebond III is actually a darker colored glue. It will work with most woods, but as you noticed, probably not very good for use with maple or even white pine or poplar. However, it looks fine with oak, hickory, cherry, walnut and most other woods. I just would not use it with any of the whiter woods.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2943 days

#15 posted 12-06-2010 07:53 AM

Learned something tonight.
Thank you for posting this and for the responses

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

showing 1 through 15 of 30 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics