Cold weather gluing tips

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 10-08-2013 09:17 AM 14947 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2296 days

10-08-2013 09:17 AM

It’s that time of year again when gluing becomes problematic. Having tried several experiments last winter I figured I’d share my experiences. And I hope others will as well.

So what can you use in the cold? I’m defining cold as between 45 degrees and below freezing.

Titebond III. It’s good down to 45 degree Fahrenheit. It’s pretty forgiving but it will chalk at around 43 degrees.

Titebond Extend-This is a longer open time version of Titebond I. It’s good down to 40 degrees and is actually quite forgiving. That is, it doesn’t chalk easily. But while it won’t chalk it will take forever to dry. In temperatures around 40-45 degrees I have seen Titebond Extend remain wet for several days.

Gorilla Glue (polyurethane)-This stuff works down to at least 40 degrees. It won’t expand as much as it does in warmer temperatures but the bond strength seems to be just as good. It will usually dry in 4-6 hours in the cold. Sometimes more.

Epoxy-When things start hitting the freezing point epoxy was the only thing I could get to work. I used 5 minute epoxy. In cold temperatures you will have plenty of open time even with 5 minute epoxy. The biggest problem I ran into with epoxy was that it basically doesn’t flow at all in the cold. I have noticed this leads to the epoxy not “wetting” the wood. That is, it doesn’t seem to sink into the wood. It will cure though, in in freezing temperatures. Epoxy is obviously the last resort because of cost and the need to mix the resin and hardener. Wear gloves when handling epoxy or you could end up with an allergy to the stuff.

Anyone else got ideas?

10 replies so far

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1251 posts in 1916 days

#1 posted 10-08-2013 09:31 AM

Epoxy is not good in the cold. It WILL work but hardens really slow, does, as you mention, not soak into the wood and tend to harden more brittle.
No way to winn. I guess winter is just not realy glue-time..

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1251 posts in 1916 days

#2 posted 10-08-2013 09:31 AM

Wait- i read someplace that hide-glue will work. Dont remember where thou..

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2296 days

#3 posted 10-08-2013 11:25 AM

Here’s a link to West System’s article on epoxy in the cold:

The “post cure” thing does help some, even with Loctite epoxy. Epoxy is far from ideal but I haven’t found anything else that won’t totally croak in the cold.

Hide glue works in the cold? Are you referring to the Titebond liquid hide glue or the stuff you cook in a pot?

View bondogaposis's profile


5093 posts in 2554 days

#4 posted 10-08-2013 12:15 PM

Anyone else got ideas?

Buy a heater for your shop.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2649 days

#5 posted 10-08-2013 03:43 PM

I always keep my glue inside the house until I,m ready,and the shop is close to 68° F,as far I know there isn’t any type of(readily available) glue that can work in cold temp,they all have “temperature recommendation” on the label .

I just read the label on my Titebond original,it says :use when temperature,glue,and material are all above 50° F.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1876 posts in 2172 days

#6 posted 10-08-2013 03:53 PM

I do all my work in the garage and it gets cold out there. I bought a small space heater and the thing keeps my 12 by 26 garage warm enough. I use titebond II and I haven’t had a problem with it, even in the coldest months here in South Jersey. During the winter it was frequently 40 and below. I was out there in my carhartts and the glue did what it was supposed to.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2296 days

#7 posted 10-09-2013 01:08 AM

My shop is a barn without insulation. There’s no way to heat it short of putting a small sun in there. I do have a small heater that I use for spot warming stuff. It helps to warm the epoxy before mixing.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3304 days

#8 posted 10-09-2013 07:39 AM

My shop is also in a large barn but I have insulated the shop portion and installed a wood stove. No one wants to heat a shop 24-7 for obvious reasons. I have mounted most of my paint, finishes and mostly glues up as high as possible in the shop. It’s the “heat rises” thing. I have found that even when it’s cold in the shop like mornings, the air is still warmer up higher. I don’t want to keep this stuff in the house and this approach has worked well for me. I know some people have left a light bulb on in an old refrigerator and that works too…..................

-- mike...............

View rommy's profile


13 posts in 1894 days

#9 posted 10-09-2013 10:46 AM

I heard about this been long time ago, since it is looking nice, but I could not remember at that time.

-- buy sildenafil citrate,

View Bill7255's profile


428 posts in 2487 days

#10 posted 10-10-2013 11:56 AM

If you have room. I have a old refrigerator non working. Drilled a couple of 1/2 in holes in the top and wired the light to be on all the time. Just the light and not the compressor. I put the smallest bulb I can find usually 15watt and this will keep my glue and other items from freezing. It usually stays about 70 degrees even when the outside temperature is single digits.

-- Bill R

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