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Wood Glue or Epoxy

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Forum topic by medsker posted 02-08-2014 03:22 PM 1178 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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medsker

116 posts in 1298 days


02-08-2014 03:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am needing some advice. I am repairing a wooden chair that has came loose at the joints. Some joints are tenons others are simply dowels. What is the best thing to use. Epoxy or wood glue? Thank you.


20 replies so far

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3188 posts in 1234 days


#1 posted 02-08-2014 03:40 PM

Clean out the old glue first.
Modern wood glue is stronger than the wood. I try not to use epoxy for anything that I want to be nice clean and pretty. That is because I always make too big a mess.

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

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1003 posts in 2142 days


#2 posted 02-08-2014 03:55 PM

Never use epoxy on a chair unless it is a last ditch repair.
The reason?
It can never be repaired again.
When I repair chairs (I’ve done many) I pull them apart, clean out all old glue repair or replace undersized or broken parts and refit with good clamp pressure. I use Titebond III for most of them.

db

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View Natalie 's profile

Natalie

367 posts in 713 days


#3 posted 02-08-2014 03:57 PM

Ha, speaking of Epoxy being messy. I was using it yesterday for the first time in a LONG time to fill some gaps and cracks in a piece of wood and forgot to use gloves. OMG. Talk about a mess! I used a gel type and I got it ALL OVER my right hand. I wasn’t too concerned, because I just was going to wipe it off and use some solvent for the rest, but guess what? When it says it dries in 5 minutes that means that one second it is goopy and the next second your fingers are glued together like superglue!

I took me about 30 minutes and a lot of toxic Acetone to get it off. Lesson Learned!

As far as the furniture goes, like Dallas said you have to clean off the old glue. Traditional wood glue will not adhere to old glue. Getting it all out of those holes can be almost impossible, which might be a good reason to use Epoxy which will adhered if there is some old glue residue. You still have to clean as much of the old glue out as possible.

-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5304 posts in 1545 days


#4 posted 02-08-2014 04:25 PM

Important question: How old is the chair?
If it is old enough (pre 1950’s) it is likely hide glue.
In that case you are lucky because you don’t have to remove the old glue. The new will melt and bond to the old and your chair will be repairable again in the future if necessary. Many custom woodworkers still use hide glue for chairs because it can be reversed.
I am a big fan of epoxy and have used gallons and gallons of it but don’t use it on your chair, +1Don.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Natalie 's profile

Natalie

367 posts in 713 days


#5 posted 02-08-2014 04:37 PM

Hey Paul, I would love to know the best Epoxy for using with wood, and a source other than home depot. I don’t use it much but will be doing some gap filling and need some recommendations.

-- Natalie - My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I don't like to go there alone.

View kati's profile

kati

5 posts in 315 days


#6 posted 02-08-2014 05:02 PM

is there a certain epoxy to use or can i use all?

View MalcolmLaurel's profile

MalcolmLaurel

216 posts in 370 days


#7 posted 02-08-2014 07:00 PM

For gluing wood to wood epoxy is not the best choice… it hardens too fast, doesn’t soak into the wood, and is a weaker bond than wood glues that soak into the wood as they slowly dry. Save epoxy for when you’re gluing plastic or metals.

The slower drying epoxies (you can get 15 or even 45 minute epoxy but it can be hard to find, R/C hobby shops sometimes carry them) tend to be stronger. On the downside they may run more before they set.

-- Malcolm Laurel - http://MalcolmLaurel.com https://www.etsy.com/shop/MalcolmLaurel

View medsker's profile

medsker

116 posts in 1298 days


#8 posted 02-08-2014 08:08 PM

Thanks for the information everybody. I’m going to go repair the chair…with wood glue!

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5304 posts in 1545 days


#9 posted 02-08-2014 09:13 PM

No offence Malcolm but I certainly hope you are misinformed. If not I have built several boats, including my own, that will fall apart soon.
Hobby store epoxies (read fast cure stuff) bear little resemblance to the real thing. ” Real” epoxies take from around 12 to 24 hours to achieve full cure and are about the best permanent wood glue there is. My choice for boat building were always those from Industrial Formulators of Canada. They were bought out by System Three and that company still sells most of the old IFC line under their original names. My favourites were Cold Cure for general gluing and structural fillets and S1 Sealer for sealing anything.
Look for System three online or at plastics dealers. West System is OK too but not my preference. There are lots of others.
As far as this relates to the OP’s question, ... Epoxy (real thing) is too good a glue. It will never come apart if you need future repair.
I have a blog that answers a lot of epoxy questions here.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View MalcolmLaurel's profile

MalcolmLaurel

216 posts in 370 days


#10 posted 02-08-2014 11:13 PM

OK Paul, yes, you’re right. I was referring to generic hardware or hobby store epoxies. The longer curing ones you’re referring to have time to soak into the wood fibers to get a good bond, but are harder to find locally.

-- Malcolm Laurel - http://MalcolmLaurel.com https://www.etsy.com/shop/MalcolmLaurel

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

729 posts in 421 days


#11 posted 02-09-2014 12:26 AM

A lot depends on how valuable the chair is and how sloppy the joint is. I use a Bote-Cote product called
Epox-E-Glue. It is pre-thickened with cabosil, it won’t drip, it is gap filling and is strong across the gap. 24 hr. set.

I use it as a bog, colored with wood dust. Also in hard to clamp situations ex: I put an Ebony cap on the ends of my double bass fingerboards. The fb is put in a vise vertically and the cap pushed into place and left to set. If not colored it dries grey.

-- Bill....... " was you dryin' your nails or a wavin' me goodbye?" Tom Waits

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2597 posts in 2489 days


#12 posted 02-09-2014 12:33 AM

REgardless of glue choice if you are using PVA wood glue or epoxy – you need to get the surfaces clean again.

If it is hide glue, like shipwright mentions – hide glue can bond to itself and is reversible.

If you can open it up, I would pop the joints, then use hide glue again – if you don’t want to mess with a glue pot, use Titebond Liquid hide.

If it is a modern piece of furniture, I would go with a slow epoxy, because you are likely to need some of the gapfilling properties to get it tight again – as the joints are already loose.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

729 posts in 421 days


#13 posted 02-09-2014 12:48 AM

Liquid hide glue should not be confused with proper hide glue. I wouldn’t use it on anything important.

-- Bill....... " was you dryin' your nails or a wavin' me goodbye?" Tom Waits

View Picklehead's profile

Picklehead

641 posts in 676 days


#14 posted 02-09-2014 01:33 AM

Not intending to hijack this thread, trying to introduce another option that I, unfortunately, have no experience with.

Has anybody used either of these?

I was wondering, myself, if I should use these the next time I have a loose rung. Maybe info that would be pertinent in this case.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

1234 posts in 772 days


#15 posted 02-09-2014 02:50 AM

I always make it a point to wear vinyl or latex gloves when using epoxy, but it’s almost impossible to avoid getting it on you. One reason for avoiding contact is that people can build up sensitivity to it. Once that has happened, it’s just like any other allergy—something you dare not expose yourself to again.

When I do have to clean it up, I always use vinegar instead of acetone. Works as well, if not better. You need to rub it around and rinse frequently with more vinegar. Unlike acetone, it’s not volatile and is non-toxic.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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