Best wood glue for Mortise/Tenon glue up - Exterior Mahogany door

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Forum topic by mycrew143 posted 04-28-2012 03:33 PM 5278 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2537 days

04-28-2012 03:33 PM

Hi All,
First time poster.
I am looking for suggestions for the BEST glues for gluing up rails to stiles on an exterior mahogany door project. I am building with mortise and tenon joints. I need to have a long (about an 1/2 hour) for open time so that I am not rushed during assembling time. The longer open time is needed so I am not pressed for time. I tend to get a little spastic and crazy and I start yelling at the helper(wife) to hurry.
I am not sure if I need gap filling or not because I am host sure what constitutes a gap. I have read that the mortise needs to be about .001 bigger than the tenon. My tenons slide into the mortise with light pushing until about 3/4 of the way down and then taps from a deadblow is needed to seat it. I know that there are some gaps within the interior of the mortise of about 1/32 to 1/16 in a few places like the ends radiuses where the radius is not the same due to sanding/rasping the tenons and the sides where the router bit got out of control. My tenons are fitting pretty well but what is considered a gap where gap filling is needed? .001 is a gap.
The door will be facing west and is in south florida. It is covered but it will get wet at times. The finish will have UV protection and be marine grade.
I do not think TiteBondIII will work for me because I will not have the open time. I hear good things about Dap WoodWeld Plastic Resin but their website indicates it is for interior work. I am not sure Epoxy is the way to go because I hear is will flex. This will be a heavy door and I need the strongest joint possible.

Any REAL WORLD advice would be appreciated.

3 replies so far

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3655 days

#1 posted 04-28-2012 03:42 PM

My first thought is to use a polyurethane glue. It is water resistant, and although I havent used it on a door, I often use it where I need a lot of glue up time. Its very strong once its cured.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4180 days

#2 posted 04-28-2012 04:15 PM

I don’t see titebond 2 or 3 being a problem in a half hour assembly. I’ve done it many times.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View jdmaher's profile


437 posts in 2754 days

#3 posted 04-28-2012 04:44 PM

Dap’s Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue gives you plenty of open time. It’s a urea / formaldehyde. VERY water-resistant (but they don’t claim to be waterproof). With some protection, I wouldn’t expect any water problems (the glue is INSIDE the joint). Clean up any smears (with water) once its clamped; when cured its a really tough scrape and sand; wouldn’t want to risk marring the mahogany.

The gaps you describe wouldn’t worry me, at all. The faces of the tenons and mortises do virtually all the bonding. Plenty of surface, plenty of bonding. The tenon does NOT have to fill every cubic millimeter of the mortise. In fact, my tenons are always a 1/16” short so that excess glue has somewhere to go. If you have to use a “persuader” to close the joint, you’re tight enough.

Mahogany is nice. Send us pictures!

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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