Wood Glue

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Forum topic by Allison posted 05-14-2009 10:15 PM 2101 views 2 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3823 days

05-14-2009 10:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question

I can’t say I ever thought about this before. Wood Glue’s shelf life. I am reading the 2009 issue of workbench magazine and inside on page 15 without an authors name is an article about wood glue and shelf life.

Did you know wood glue’s shelf life is generally 1 to 2 years? even if it’s NEVER been opened? I did not. I am also guilty of this, buying wood glue when it’s on sale and buying more than I normally would. Trying to save that buck, just to find out now I have wasted that buck. Just something to think about. There has got to be other’s out there besides me that never really gave a second thought to this!

Matter of fact I have been complaining about my problems with glue since the first day I stepped into a shop. I now realize that this could have been one of my biggest problems! It just never crossed my mind that when I open a new container of glue it already could be no good. I am now after going up to my shop, a glue less woodworker, having thrown it all away except a little tiny bottle I just got.

So do not buy glue that you don’t plan on using in the next year or two.

Am I the only one who did not know that glue, especially unopened glue could be bad? I knew about not letting it get to hot or to cold etc. but not this!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

33 replies so far

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3715 days

#1 posted 05-14-2009 10:26 PM

Hi Alison

I’m glad i don’t have this problem i use epoxy sp10 plus i never over order so it doesn’t last that long but i thought the life of glue was quiet long so thanks for the heads up


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3550 days

#2 posted 05-14-2009 10:29 PM

All glues have a shelf life but that does not mean the glue does not work. If you are investing time and money on a project, use the freshest glue you can. If you have doubts about the bonding qualities of your adhesive then do a test with the same kinds of materials you are going to bond/glue together to the point of destruction and see if the adhesive or the material fails. Tempatures, air flow and humidity can change the way an adhesive reacts so that too needs to be taken into account.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View woodchic's profile


841 posts in 3381 days

#3 posted 05-14-2009 10:32 PM

Hi Alison!

Thanks for sharing your information….........I didn’t know either!

Robin Renee’


-- Robin Renee'

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3550 days

#4 posted 05-14-2009 10:42 PM

...just a thought… check your finishes!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3408 days

#5 posted 05-14-2009 10:42 PM

I only found out fairly recently. Prior to that, I had used some Titebond that was over three years old and it seemed to work fine, but I didn’t really test it. I still haven’t thrown it away because it still looks good, although I have already bought some more. Maybe it’s time to do a test with the old stuff.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2794 posts in 3461 days

#6 posted 05-14-2009 10:52 PM

I usually buy a bottle that’s easy enough to work with. Ya, I might have to buy a new bottle every project or two depending on the size but it makes it that much easier to deploy. This is the reason I don’t buy it by the gallon and transfer it to a smaller bottle.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3609 days

#7 posted 05-14-2009 10:54 PM

I understand wood glue is affected by uva and maybe you could keep or extend the shelf life by keeping it in a dark box in a cool place might be worth trying Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3744 days

#8 posted 05-14-2009 11:04 PM

Thanks for the info. I’ve always kept it at moderate temperatures, but didn’t know that it could go bad if kept closed.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3550 days

#9 posted 05-14-2009 11:08 PM

SCOTSMAN, “most” adhesives and finishes can be kept in cold storage to prolong their shelf life but not frozzen unless the manufacturer so denotes. Still if over the recommened shelf life they should be tested before used.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#10 posted 05-14-2009 11:28 PM

Hey Allison
I always use a felt pen and write on the bottle the date I purchased it. I find glue will last longer that what they claim as Kindlemaker states do a test. Of course I’m not going to gamble on a major project with questionable glue. Some times are glue my fail because of how we use it . I had a student that glued up a nice chest she had made and it started coming apart. The problem she had glued mahogany without cleaning
it with acetone first because of the oils in mahorany the glue could not hold.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3685 days

#11 posted 05-14-2009 11:48 PM

I see it as expired candy. Just because they don’t taste as good doesn’t mean they don’t taste good.

But fresh glue on important projects is a good idea

-- Ed

View douglbe's profile


369 posts in 3985 days

#12 posted 05-15-2009 12:12 AM

Something I didn’t know either. I am working on a gallon of glue I bought about a year ago and still have about a quart left, I hope it holds up a little longer. Thanks for the info.

-- Doug, Reed City, Michigan

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 3641 days

#13 posted 05-15-2009 12:54 AM

I use gorilla wood glue it gets about a year life per bottle.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3454 days

#14 posted 05-15-2009 01:32 AM

Never knew it would go bad if sealed properly, and kept at good temps.

Will heve to test what I have before my daughter(Scrappys Squirt) and I glue up her husbands “Man Box” we are building.

Thanks for the info.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Jeff Roberts's profile

Jeff Roberts

35 posts in 3328 days

#15 posted 05-15-2009 01:55 AM

Somewhere I saw a brief article explaining the date code on Titebond bottles.

The first number on the code is the year and the next letter represents the month.

A=Jan, B=Feb, C=Mar…........ They do not use “I” and “J” in the code therfore N= Dec.

I keep this posted inside the cabinet with my glue. I have not had any trouble with glue up to two years old.

-- Jeff, Dayton, OH

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