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Titebond III vs. Polyurethane Glue?

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Forum topic by jasoncarpentry posted 788 days ago 5486 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jasoncarpentry

111 posts in 1155 days


788 days ago

I just read an ad which claims that Titebond III glue has all the features of polyurethane (i.e., Gorilla) glue, but without the mess. Plus, the Titebond III is water-soluble.

I routinely use Titebond II for all my projects, and have found that it isn’t as strong as Gorilla glue. Has anybody had experience w/ the Titebond III? Does it live up to the hype?

-- Jim in Tennessee


23 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1320 posts in 862 days


#1 posted 788 days ago

How did you determine that Titebond wasn’t as strong? I’ve never had a Titebond joint fail…and that ain’t hype.

On the other hand, Gorilla has no redeeming qualities.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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Jim Finn

1502 posts in 1423 days


#2 posted 788 days ago

I agree with Clint.

-- In God We Trust

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Grandpa

2983 posts in 1176 days


#3 posted 788 days ago

I believe polyurethane glues expand and we think this should make a tight joint. It does help but it has a kind of foaming action so the expansion has all these bubbles in it that makes it weaker. The Titebond glue works into the wood and bonds to it. This seems to hold some better. There is a place for polyurethane glues. If you have a poor joint and need the expansion and not a lot of strength then you might use it. I have used poly adhesives with limited success. Adhesives will never make up for poor craftsmanship.

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4736 posts in 1809 days


#4 posted 788 days ago

I use Titebond III on most woods and epoxy glues for oily woods such as teak, cocobolo etc. I don’t use polyurethane glues because I would not feel comfortable having my joints held together with foam. I am sure it has some uses…but not for what I do.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work. http://www.FineArtBoxes.com

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paratrooper34

760 posts in 1453 days


#5 posted 788 days ago

I wouldn’t say Gorilla glue has no redeeming qualities; I had patio type bricks used as a step to go into my house in Germany. One day, one of them fell off. I guess the mortar failed. I used Gorilla glue to fix it and it stayed there for two years, then I moved out. Probably still in place to this day. Try doing that with Tightbond. For woodworking, I used it on a couple of products, it is harder to clean up when you make a mess with it, but it works as good as any other glue. I do use Tightbond more often though, it is just easier to clean and use.

-- Mike

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1470 days


#6 posted 788 days ago

I only reach for the Gorilla glue when it’s that cold that normal PVA would chalk. I’d like to know if chalking is a problem with TB?

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ChrisK

920 posts in 1582 days


#7 posted 788 days ago

I have used both for wood working. Where I need strength I make sure that the joint is a good fitting joint. Nether Titebond or Polyurethane glues are for gap filling. I use Polyurethane glues when I need to sand the joint to the final shape for appearance and the work will be painted. I find they ah cure harder I also use them for vacuum forming molds when I am using foams and other materials where wood glues will not adhere strongly. If parts are already painted or finished with polyurethane I will reach for a Polyurethane glue. If the polyurethane glue foams it has almost no strength. Making the parts too wet makes the foaming problem worse. For wood and plywood I do not use extra moisture, here in the south there is almost always enough humidity in there air. For man made materials I will use a slightly damp cloth to add a little moisture.

Titebond III is supposed to be water proof after drying. I use it for wood toys and such. I have a ’.50 cal machine gun’ I built for the boys club house. The gun body was made of 6 layers of plywood, glued with Titebond III and fully painted. It survived the summer and this far into the winter. Gorilla would have worked to, it just costs a bit more.

Wood glues are best for bare wood. Use the right tool for the job.

-- Chris K

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Bertha

12942 posts in 1194 days


#8 posted 788 days ago

I was going to answer “Titebond III” without reading the post, lol. I’ve had more failures with PU than with TIII. I use it for just about everything.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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crank49

3245 posts in 1472 days


#9 posted 788 days ago

My experience with polyurethane glue is that is is very weak in shear. Used it to build a fence and I could easily pull boards off the next week when I decided to modify the fence. With Tite Bond III I would have ripped the boards to pieces before the glue would release.

-- Michael :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1274 posts in 1499 days


#10 posted 788 days ago

I don’t see the point to the PU glues like Gorilla glue. It glues ok when clamped well but I don’t like it for all the other reasons: It is more expensive per ounce than epoxy, messy, poor gap filling, and horrible to get off your skin.

I like TB III for most stuff. I have never seen it fail when it was clamped well. I buy in the gallon container and transfer to roller bottles. The only time I use a different PVA is when the darker glue line of the TBIII is an issue.

Epoxy when I want a longer open time or lots of gaps to fill. The different fillers you can use with epoxy is another big plus.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2310 posts in 1078 days


#11 posted 788 days ago

With epoxy there’s no place in my shop for PU glues.

My main wood glues are TBII, TBIII and elmer’s wood glue max (same as TBIII but not as runny).

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 1981 days


#12 posted 788 days ago

I primarily use TiteBond III. And as others have said, never any joint failures. I do use poly glue however if I need a longer set time. Often when I am doing chests that all four corners have dovetails or a lot of mortise and tenon joints and its going to take a bit to get the joints aligned I will use poly glue. I have never had a poly glue joint fail either.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Retrowood's profile

Retrowood

117 posts in 920 days


#13 posted 788 days ago

I use TB2 although recently switched to TB3 due to a slightly slower setting time and lower operating temps. Seems like I’m always using about 20+ clamps to put something together and the longer set-up time allows me some breathing room. Tried Poly twice and did not like the overall characteristics.

Retrowood

-- Retrowood

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thebigvise

190 posts in 1402 days


#14 posted 788 days ago

I agree with Clint Searl and many of the other comments above. Polyurethane glue has no place in my shop. I did a glue demonstration for my church men’s group with red oak and simple lap joints glued the day before. The polyurethane was easily overpowered by my arbor press, but all the other glues held as the 3/4” oak broke apart. Even the old white Elmer’s glue from elementary school was far superior to the polyurethane.

I also agree with David Kirtley. If gap filling and longer open time are needed, thenby all means, break out the epoxy.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1447 posts in 1015 days


#15 posted 788 days ago

Agree with most of these comments. Virtually every one of my guitars has been assembled with Titebond III. It’s pretty much waterproof, yet while still wet I can wipe it off my bench with a wet cloth. It does dry dark, but I literally can’t remember the last time I had a joint actually break at the glue point with Titebond III.
Gorilla glues, with the foaming action and shelf life of no more than 4-6 months put them in the “but a really little bottle for special projects” category, IMHO.

I have multiple 3MM thick pickguards out there getting hit everyday with hard strumming guitarists, and so far, the only one that broke got kicked while on a stand, and it didn’t break at the joint.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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