Glue Use

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Forum topic by Mark Smith posted 11-16-2012 11:47 PM 1723 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Smith

509 posts in 2007 days

11-16-2012 11:47 PM

I have some glue questions. I just did a search and found some very good information from several people including a person with the user name of Alaskaguy. I was hoping to break some of that information down into a little bit more user friendly terms. For example Alaskaguy said Titebond III glue appears to have issues when it gets into temps above 150 degrees. So I was thinking that’s generally no problem for anything I build and then he mentioned leaving a guitar in a hot car. I guess that is a potential posibility for any wood item that is made. Or if it had to be left out in direct sunlight on a hot day could that heat the glue to 150 and cause it to fail?

My basic questions are this; after reading online information I decided that I was simply going to buy Titebond III glue and use it for everything I do. Now I’m seeing that may not be the best of ideas. So if it isn’t, what is the best glues for various types of projects? For example if I’m going to glue up four pieces of 3/4” oak to make a 3” square turning piece to turn a table leg, is Titebond III good for that? I have already done that and they didn’t come apart on the CNC lathe. What is Titebond III not good for?

Also, my last formal training on glueing wood was back in the 70’s in high school woodshop. We were taught to put ample glue on both surfaces to be glued together. With these new types of glue is that still necessary? The last few things I’ve done I just used a glue brush to coat one surface of the wood to be glued together and even with glue on one surface a lot still gets squeezed out. Seems to me like putting glue on both surfaces just squeezes more glue out and you end up using twice as much glue with most of it ending up on the newspapers. Do you guys just put glue on one surface or both? This stuff isn’t cheap and I don’t want to just waste it.

And my last specific question, on the Tightbond website they say with Tightbond III you can take the clamps off in 30 minutes. Back to my 70’s training we always left them on over night. Anybody taking the clamps off in 30 minutes or do you leave them on longer? If I could really take them off in 30 minutes it sure would speed things up and you wouldn’t need to have as many clamps.

And if you do take the clamps off in 30 minutes, how long before you actually start working with the glued up wood?

28 replies so far

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2651 days

#1 posted 11-17-2012 12:00 AM

it’s a trade-off between clamping time, working time and water resistantcy. Even Titebond II is going to set up faster than the old Elmer’s did (less time in the clamps which is sometimes good, sometimes not).

as for brushing both sides, probably required on the faster grip glues and you might want a light coat on porous materials to start followed by your assembly coat. I use plumber’s flux brushes. and always keep a wet sponge or something handy.

just my opinion.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5622 posts in 2780 days

#2 posted 11-17-2012 12:02 AM

Titebond II for general everyday projects. Buy it by the gallon.
Titebond III for waterproof applications, cutting boards etc. Not good for lighter colored projects.
Titebond II Extend for complicated glueups where you need a longer open time. I use it for spindle chairs.

Titebond I has too short of an open time to be very useful for most woodworking projects.

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

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2007 days

#3 posted 11-17-2012 12:18 AM

So is Titebond III not good for general eveyday stuff, or is it just that it’s more expensive and not needed?

View MJCD's profile


540 posts in 2338 days

#4 posted 11-17-2012 12:39 AM


T3 has different characteristics, due to its formulation to include outdoor use, as well. T3 will ‘foam’ a bit, once applied, whereas T1 & T2 will setup in a relatively predictable way. One way to look at it is that T3 will work in all applications; though, I still use T2 in traditional indoor projects. I don’t use T1, as T2 is simply a better choice.


-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2007 days

#5 posted 11-17-2012 02:56 AM

What do you mean by foam? I have been using the T3 and haven’t noticed any foam.

View MJCD's profile


540 posts in 2338 days

#6 posted 11-17-2012 03:10 AM

I’m going to correct myself – I glued-up (biscuit jointed) some MDF with Gorilla Glue, not the T3 – a senior moment….

Thanks for the follow-up.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2253 days

#7 posted 11-17-2012 03:11 AM

I use T2 on my glue ups. T3 is waterproof. T2 also comes in a darker color which is nice. Gorilla glue is good too.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2007 days

#8 posted 11-17-2012 03:26 AM

I haven’t used Gorilla glue but I did watch a video where they were using Gorilla glue on some wood that was wet from being bent. It did foam all over the place.

View Gary's profile


9326 posts in 3399 days

#9 posted 11-17-2012 03:40 AM

I wont take clamps off after only 30 minutes, but I will take them off after about an hour if I’m going to sand or something like that . It says not to stress the joint for 24 hours. So, I’m cautious about that but, I still will remove them from the clamps if I need to so something that doesnt, stress the joints. I use the TB II and sometimes the TB White.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2543 days

#10 posted 11-17-2012 03:21 PM

I went through this a while back and tried a few glues too.

I now use TBI Original Extend for 98% of my projects, as it has the longer open time, can be used in temps down to 40*f, has high heat resistance and is a lot cheaper than TBIII. For the other 2% where moisture may be an issue I use TBII Extend.

I always leave the clamps on for a few hours at least, and for gluing surfaces, a wet coat on both sides is usually good. You want a little squeeze out, but not waterfalls of glue running down your project.

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

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2060 days

#11 posted 11-18-2012 11:31 AM

Recently I’ve been using Titebond III for everything. It seems to be quite strong and I like the fact that it isn’t as thick as the others. That makes it much easier to spread around than any other wood glue I’ve run across so far. And makes it easier to clean off while still wet. The longer open time is a big plus. Titebond III seems to take longer to cure than Titebond II.

I’ve read that Titebond III is one of the better glues to use for gluing endgrain.

I think the moral of the story is that any glue in the Titebond family will work fine for interior stuff. Titebond II and III are better for outdoor projects.

I’ve come to quite like Gorilla Glue. It works well when I have a smallish gap I need to have filled. It creates a strong bond. It’s expanding properties save my bacon on my often loose joinery.

The one caveat I have is that I don’t like their “dries white, 2 times faster” Gorilla Glue. It does cure faster and is whiter. But the bond isn’t as strong and it expands even more than the regular stuff.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28946 posts in 2305 days

#12 posted 11-18-2012 11:44 AM

Lots of good info here. I have used TIII for about everything. I may consider dropping back to TII for most now. Gorilla glue is fine, but must be clamped. I try to never take clamps off less than a couple hours.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2168 days

#13 posted 11-18-2012 01:32 PM

Well I have been told that 3 is better for wood turnings, especially when sanding….... It takes the heat build up much better…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View johnstoneb's profile


2869 posts in 2139 days

#14 posted 11-18-2012 02:29 PM

I stumbled on an article about pva glues and titebond formulations. I can’t find it now. Titebond I and II are the same formulation with TBII having some additional additives that extend the open time. TBIII has some additional additives that give it the longer open time and water resistance. The additional additives make it somewhat heat sensitive. It will start to soften at temps above 150F. Under stress at temnps above 150 over an extended period you could see some slippage.
I sue all three TBI for most applications. TBII & III when I need the additional open time or waterproof joints. The reasoning is monetary TBI costs less than the other 2 and according to this article might have a slightly stronger bond.

Boise, ID

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2817 days

#15 posted 11-18-2012 02:48 PM

Interesting topic.

I think it’s simpler if we don’t include polyurethane glues in the discussion with the TB line. Different characteristics, different handling, different application, different results.

I don’t think designing for someone who will leave a wood construction in a car at 150oF is practical.

Franklin is generous with web site info as well as phone response. I checked the former to find out about how many surfaces to cover and it didn’t address that directly.

”Adhesive is generally applied by plastic squeeze bottles or brush. It is important to get a uniform coating over the entire gluing surface. In dowel assemblies, the sides of the dowel hole should be evenly coated. The dowel forces glue up the side of the dowel.”

Regarding clamping:

”Clamp time is dependent on the adhesive used, species and moisture content of the stock, environmental factors and glue line thickness. Clamp times can range from a few minutes to more than an hour, depending on the above factors. Clamp times should be determined under plant conditions.”

What is not addressed in the above quotation is how much, if any, stress there is on the joint. That is to say, pieces in a mold and manually clamped, or in a vacuum bag.

My general glue experience is this:

The most critical variables in clamping time are ambient temperature and stress.

If your shop drops below freezing, protect the glue in a box with a light bulb. Even if the product says “freeze thaw stable.” Why gamble.

There is a difference between “waterproof” and “for use below the waterline.”

Finally, Most of these products have a shelf life. While they are cheaper by the gallon, that may not be the best economy, based on your consumption rate.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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