Bwaaaaaaa! My glue froze!

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Forum topic by maplerock posted 01-08-2014 08:21 PM 1466 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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529 posts in 2006 days

01-08-2014 08:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: freeze glue cold shop pole barn furnace energy cost

I only heat my shop when I’m in it. Today I went out to work a little even though it was 9 degrees here overnight, and even colder the last few days when I had the sense to stay in the house.

Turned on the furnace and began. When it was time for a glue up, I picked up the Titebond Molding and Trim glue and it was frozen solid. I went to bottle #2 and ditto! Luckily I had more in my house, but now I think I’ll have to transport my glue back and forth.

How do you guys do it? My workshop is a pole barn style building with a concrete floor. The eaves are not tight (although I’ve pressed insulation into them. The area around 3 garage doors has slight gaps, and it never gets really toasty except in July and August. My furnace is good, and would do a fantastic job if not for the inherent limitations of this style of building.

Now I’m wondering about the effect of working on cold wood, and on the finishing materials I keep out there. Ideas? Suggestions? I know I can set the thermostat on 50 and leave the furnace on, but my utility bill is already about $300 per month and I don’t want to waste all that money and energy.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

13 replies so far

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2720 days

#1 posted 01-08-2014 08:25 PM

Been there! Now that you mention it, I bet mine froze up also…

Yeah, used to carry mine back and forth, along with the epoxy. Pain in the toosh.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Richard's profile


1922 posts in 2896 days

#2 posted 01-08-2014 08:33 PM

How about a storage cabinet with solid outer sides and doors with pegboard for shelves and a small (25 watt) light bulb at the bottom of the cabinet that would provide heat to keep the inside warm enough to not freeze but still not be fire a hazard. Kind of like what they make for hatching eggs and keeping the baby chicks warm.

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 1835 days

#3 posted 01-08-2014 09:03 PM

I had the same problem and found this on the Titebond website.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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Fred Hargis

5180 posts in 2699 days

#4 posted 01-08-2014 09:55 PM

An old freezer or refrigerator, put a very small bulb in there, maybe 15 watts or less. Check the temps and adjust bulb size accordingly. Something with a thermostat would be more practical but require some fabrication. You need to watch the temps, too hot is as bad as too cold.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2693 days

#5 posted 01-08-2014 09:58 PM

”An old freezer or refrigerator, put a very small bulb in there, maybe 15 watts or less. Check the temps and adjust bulb size accordingly. Something with a thermostat would be more practical but require some fabrication. You need to watch the temps, too hot is as bad as too cold.”

Actually I think a decent alternative would be a $50-$100 used fridge from your local CL or thrifty nickel. Set it at the warmest it will go and you won’t have a problem.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3514 days

#6 posted 01-08-2014 10:02 PM

I wonder how the freeze that affected your glue might have affected other things like finishes …shellacs, lacquers, varnishes, oils, etc.
The old fridge or freezer idea is good…but I wouldn’t have enough room for me to get in there also.

I guess that I like my warm weather too much. I insulated my shop when I built it and have an A/C window unit that also has a heating element. When it was 17 degrees the past few nights my heather got a good workout and earned its money… it was 67 in the shop…so neither my glue, my bones or anything else froze.

View Boxguy's profile


2767 posts in 2473 days

#7 posted 01-08-2014 11:45 PM

Jerry, I move my glue to the “finish room” during winter and carry it in my pants pocket in cold weather so it is warm enough to run. I use Titebond Trim glue and it won’t run if it gets too cold. I also bring in my newly glued boxes. The glue does not set up well in cold conditions. That glue turns sort of “chalky.” If you can work far enough ahead, it is a good idea to warm the boards too before gluing. The “ropy” glue is great for filling holes when you add sawdust to it. After reading the link left by John Hutchinson I may move my reserve glue to the refrigerator this summer.

-- Big Al in IN

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3010 days

#8 posted 01-08-2014 11:55 PM

I can’t ad anything except if you can, get some insulation, and turn on the heat. I wish you the best. You can’t let a problem like this go by. Your creations are depending on you. :) Good luck Jerry.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2647 days

#9 posted 01-09-2014 12:03 AM

I live in Georgia and my garage is my workshop, so it doesn’t get all that cold. Even when the outside temps here dropped into the single digits, the area of the garage where I keep my glues was still about 40 degrees. I do still take precautions though. All my glues are stored in styrafoam coolers and if the outside temperature is predicted to drop below 25 degrees or so, I’ll heat up a sealed container of water and stick that in there. That only happens a handful to times a year, so it could be a big pain for other people, but I’ve never had a problem with that method.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2718 days

#10 posted 01-09-2014 12:16 PM

I’m in the same boat as Greg, the location I’m in down here in TX it doesn’t really get that cold and when it does freeze it doesn’t stay for very long, I use a small floor electric heater for my shop and it does just fine along with having an insulated shop.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2590 days

#11 posted 01-11-2014 08:49 PM

I stir my glue inside during winter…i even do some glue UPS on a drop cloth on our kitchen floor!

Our utility room is in our garage, and has the blower and water heater in there, and stays “warmer” than the garage… so that is another place I store stuff to keep it from freezing…paint, waterstones, etc.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View nate22's profile


475 posts in 3081 days

#12 posted 01-12-2014 02:07 AM

I live in northern Indiana and I have the same problem I keep my glue along with my stains and poly in the house. I made the mistake of leaving the glue in my shop when I first started 15 years ago and haven’t done it since. And if I’m working on small projects I will glue things in the house. And I will stain inside to if it is to cold outside and I need to have it done. I know it’s a pain to carry it back and forth but it keeps it from freezing.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

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12431 posts in 2586 days

#13 posted 01-12-2014 06:06 PM

We’ve had some colder than normal winters lately so I’m thinking of building a cabinet like John Heisz’. It’s heated with a light bulb and has a thermostat to turn it on and off. You can buy a thermostat for around $30 or modify a water heater thermostat for about half that cost.

-- Rick M,

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