Glue ups and Temperature

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Forum topic by archwwc posted 12-03-2014 03:48 AM 805 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 1970 days

12-03-2014 03:48 AM

My workshop is a single car, un insulated garage. I do have a kerosene heater that was given to me and have yet to use. Where I live, it gets very cold at night when I can work.

I’m glueing up some boards for some gifts and wondered if temperature would have any negative effect on the glue-ups. I usually glue up right before I retire for the evening and leave them for the night.

While not ideal, I could bring them in the house but, it’s sometimes not an option with little kids around the house during the day.

What do you do in this situation?

5 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2837 days

#1 posted 12-03-2014 04:11 AM

It depends on the glue you use. I believe Titebond II and III can be use as cold as 45 degrees. The glue is easier to apply if you bring the bottle temp up to 60 degrees or more.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2517 days

#2 posted 12-03-2014 12:03 PM

You have to have at least a little warmth for the glue to dry properly. You might consider “tenting” the work and putting a light bulb under the tent (following all due caution, of course), a 60 watt light puts out a fair amount of heat. Maybe an electric blanket, I use one on my vacuum press when needed. My unheated/ partially insulated garage would hold the temps above 45º, if it doesn’t get below, say, 20º or so outside. Put a thermometer out there (near your work) and see what temps you really have to deal with.

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

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2393 days

#3 posted 12-03-2014 02:35 PM

Bring the pieces, and the wood, inside and let them warm up, do the glue-up after the kids are in bed. Leave them somewhere where the kids can’t get to them, or at least let them sit overnight and move them back out before the kids wake up. I’m assuming your temperatures are somewhere within the same range as NY. Last winter I had an oak toy box lid fail because I glued it up at 40 deg. I had a good joint, good squeeze out, and I let it sit for 12 hours before the clamps came off. I took them off and applied light pressure to the pieces and the joint broke clean along the glue line, the wood was not damaged. I rejointed and brought the pieces and glue inside, and glued the next day, and it’s held fine since.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2958 days

#4 posted 12-03-2014 04:15 PM

I was in the same situation as you before I moved a few months ago. The cold temperature will affect the strength of a glue joint. I don’t know how cold is too cold but all I use is Tightbond (original and 3) and I had joints fall apart, plus the glue turns white which looks bad.

I ended up doing my glue ups in the house. I brought them in when the kids went to bed and in the morning brought them back outside. For small projects I just stuck them in a closet so the kids couldn’t get to them.

It’s a crappy situation but something you will have to do. Good luck!

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#5 posted 12-03-2014 04:45 PM

I think Fred’s Idea is clever but I would have concerns about the tent collapsing on the bulb and potentially causing a fire. If you do tent it I would make sure there’s no chance of the plastic coming in contact with the bulb you use.
I think Ed and Chuck has a good solution to the problem.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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