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best glue for a cross grain joint... ?

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Forum topic by HammerSmith posted 03-05-2018 02:54 PM 3155 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HammerSmith

137 posts in 205 days


03-05-2018 02:54 PM

Hi all, I’m new here, my name’s Jim.

I have a project with strips of Ash bent into curves… Some of the joints overlap “wrong”, and the grain is crossing.

...But there’s no way around it, it’s part of the design..

So, my question is, what kind of glue would you guys prefer for crossing joints like this? (The finished product will probably be painted, so staining issues might not matter.)

I guess gorilla glue would be stronger than Titebond… But if titebond is “good enough,” then thats what I’m using..

Any opinions or suggestions?

Cheers,

Jim

-- ~Jim


19 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

367 posts in 741 days


#1 posted 03-05-2018 03:20 PM

Titebond should be fine. M&Ts are cross grain.

-- Sawdust Maker

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

3073 posts in 1602 days


#2 posted 03-05-2018 03:55 PM

Good question. Personally I wouldn’t trust TB you have a shearing forces here that do not apply to a M/T joint.

I would use Epoxy.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5741 posts in 2935 days


#3 posted 03-05-2018 03:57 PM

Why cross-grain doesn’t matter in this instance: the strips are narrow.

Less than 6” width, don’t worry about it.
12” Width, worry some.
40” wide tabletop, plan the whole design around it.

Any yellow PVA glue will work great. I prefer TBII.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View WyattCo's profile

WyattCo

93 posts in 226 days


#4 posted 03-05-2018 04:16 PM

Titebond will be more than sufficient. If it comes apart, I’ll eat it.

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3001 posts in 2294 days


#5 posted 03-05-2018 04:52 PM

face grain to face grain it will be a strong joint if clamped properly use titebond, elmers, gorilla any pva will work

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1396 posts in 1345 days


#6 posted 03-05-2018 05:19 PM

The width isn’t a problem and the thickness makes it even less of a problem. When gluing veneers, the thicker they are, the more a problem you have with expansion.

You shouldn’t have an issue with what you have.

Cool design. Is it a sculpture or will this be incorporated into something else?

View LesB's profile

LesB

1802 posts in 3564 days


#7 posted 03-05-2018 05:48 PM

That looks similar to a “sculpture” design by Stephen White (https://www.custommade.com/by/stephenwhite/) with bent wood and glue soaked tissue paper. He lived near us for a while and my bought one smaller piece. He has several of his large pieces (I mean up to 10’) on display somewhere in Hawaii. Anyway he uses regular PVA glue with no problem.
If you need something a little stronger and water proof I would use Urethane glue (Gorilla glue) but be sure to clamp the joints because it does expand during curing. Wetting one side of the joint with water helps speed the curing process and any squeeze out should be left and scraped off after it cures…..it makes a crusty foam.

-- Les B, Oregon

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

137 posts in 205 days


#8 posted 03-05-2018 07:42 PM

Thanks everybody for the suggestions… Titebond it is then!

Les B, thanks for that link, that guy makes some cool stuff.

AZWoody, it’s for an art project that I’m helping someone make. In April I’ll post some pics of the finished product.

Thanks again, cheers,

Jim

-- ~Jim

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

137 posts in 205 days


#9 posted 03-06-2018 06:17 AM



Good question. Personally I wouldn t trust TB you have a shearing forces here that do not apply to a M/T joint.

I would use Epoxy.

- rwe2156

What kind of epoxy are you thinking rwe? The only one I’m really familiar with is E-Z weld.. I’m a carpenter, so I rarely use epoxy.

I love titebond, and I hate using gorilla glue, but I know gorilla glue would probably be a little stronger for those crossing joints…

I guess Gorilla glue is “technically” an epoxy, but I think you’re talking about something else..? I’m curious now..

-- ~Jim

View athar's profile

athar

2 posts in 203 days


#10 posted 03-06-2018 06:26 AM

i suggest M&Ts glue.

-- Buy Furniture Online, http://indcrafts.co.in

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1035 posts in 2939 days


#11 posted 03-06-2018 11:10 AM

In glue tests I’ve seen yellow glue is always as strong as epoxy. And polyurethane (Gorilla glue) weaker than either. Here in Fine Woodworking the tests are all cross-grain orientations, and epoxy performed about as well as TB3, but no better (they rate the epoxy as 99% as good as TB3, but that’s splitting hairs). Given equal performance I’d choose the ease of yellow glue over epoxy every time.
http://www.oldbrownglue.com/images/articles/HowStrongisYourGlue_FWW.pdf

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View PJKS's profile

PJKS

61 posts in 643 days


#12 posted 03-06-2018 11:23 AM

Titebond III is my go to… System Three makes some excellent epoxy…

-- Pat / Colorado

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

137 posts in 205 days


#13 posted 03-07-2018 06:42 AM


In glue tests I ve seen yellow glue is always as strong as epoxy. And polyurethane (Gorilla glue) weaker than either. Here in Fine Woodworking the tests are all cross-grain orientations, and epoxy performed about as well as TB3, but no better (they rate the epoxy as 99% as good as TB3, but that s splitting hairs). Given equal performance I d choose the ease of yellow glue over epoxy every time.
http://www.oldbrownglue.com/images/articles/HowStrongisYourGlue_FWW.pdf

- jdh122


Wow! That’s a great article Jeremy! Thanks man, that’s exactly what I was looking for.

I’m surprised that the Gorilla glue did so poorly, but I guess it does make perfect sense now… That foam is brittle when it dries…

I love TB3, but I wasn’t sure how it would be for the cross-grain joint. I only use TB2 when I need more time to glue up, and I can’t even remember the last time I bought TB1.

I was gonna do a test of my own, with TB3 vs Golilla glue, but I think I’ll just go ahead and trust that test that they did..

-- ~Jim

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1046 posts in 937 days


#14 posted 03-08-2018 01:52 AM

Epoxy would absolutely not be a good choice for that application because it isn’t resilient. Epoxy is quite hard and brittle. Serious expansion and contraction would shatter it. Try hitting a glob of it hardened on a hard surface and you will see what I mean.

Gorilla glue is polyurethane and is absolutely not like either epoxy or PVA glues (Titebond). I have less experience with it than epoxy (too foamy!) but I think it is fairly brittle also. It is not stronger than Titebond. Destructive testing from pros and amateurs alike have demonstrated that. Either one is much more than strong enough for your application.

Despite what others have said, I think Titebond or some other brand of PVA chemistry is your best option. It holds while expanding and contracting with the wood a small amount.

Actually, I don’t think you will have any trouble no matter what glue you use due to the thinness of the wood. I used to build cabinet doors with 1-1/4” X 3/4” lap jointed PVA glued rails and stiles. I recently saw one of the first cabinets I made like that back in about 1978 and it is still holding together. The wood doesn’t exactly meet up like it once did due to expansion/contraction but there is no sign of glue failure.

Good question. Personally I wouldn t trust TB you have a shearing forces here that do not apply to a M/T joint.

I would use Epoxy.

- rwe2156

What kind of epoxy are you thinking rwe? The only one I m really familiar with is E-Z weld.. I m a carpenter, so I rarely use epoxy.

I love titebond, and I hate using gorilla glue, but I know gorilla glue would probably be a little stronger for those crossing joints…

I guess Gorilla glue is “technically” an epoxy, but I think you re talking about something else..? I m curious now..

- HammerSmith


View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

137 posts in 205 days


#15 posted 03-08-2018 03:45 AM


Epoxy would absolutely not be a good choice for that application because it isn t resilient. Epoxy is quite hard and brittle. Serious expansion and contraction would shatter it. Try hitting a glob of it hardened on a hard surface and you will see what I mean.

Gorilla glue is polyurethane and is absolutely not like either epoxy or PVA glues (Titebond). I have less experience with it than epoxy (too foamy!) but I think it is fairly brittle also. It is not stronger than Titebond. Destructive testing from pros and amateurs alike have demonstrated that. Either one is much more than strong enough for your application.

Despite what others have said, I think Titebond or some other brand of PVA chemistry is your best option. It holds while expanding and contracting with the wood a small amount.

Actually, I don t think you will have any trouble no matter what glue you use due to the thinness of the wood. I used to build cabinet doors with 1-1/4” X 3/4” lap jointed PVA glued rails and stiles. I recently saw one of the first cabinets I made like that back in about 1978 and it is still holding together. The wood doesn t exactly meet up like it once did due to expansion/contraction but there is no sign of glue failure.
- ArtMann

Thanks ArtMann, that makes perfect sense about epoxy being brittle. I don’t use epoxy very often, so I was wondering if there’s one that stays flexible…

I used to know a guy who swore by “resorcinol”... I used it once and I hated it… It was a big mess, and the joints had a heavy glue line visible. The guy swore that it was better than TiteBond, but I don’t see the point if TB is good enough already. And, back then, there was no such thing as TB3 yet. I love TB3…

I know exactly what you mean about the way TB stays flexible too.

I’ve used Gorilla glue more times than I would’ve preferred. Gorilla glue makes a big mess too.. I found that the more moisture it gets, the more it foams. The foam is somewhat flexible after it’s cured, but it doesn’t stay quite as rubbery as TiteBond.

I read an article years ago that said Gorrilla glue is best for end-to-end joints because the foam pushes it deep into the pores… makes sense to me… And, since it’s waterproof, that makes it perfect for joints on the cap of deck railings, or for fascia boards, etc.

I was using Gorilla glue on some fascia boards on a rainy day once… The ladder was all muddy, and of course I got a little glue on my hands… Next thing I knew, I had mud glued to my hands and it took three days to wash it off! Lol… I was actually kinda impressed!

But, for this project, I’m already convinced. I’m just gonna use TB3 and I won’t even worry about it. Thanks to everyone for all the opinions and input!

Cheers,

Jim

-- ~Jim

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