Wood glues / adhesives

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Wood glues / adhesives

Postby ToneWood » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:40 pm

I avoid using adhesives if I can and I've not used wood glues much until recently. It turns out there are quite a lot of options available now. Apparently almost all are stronger than the wood itself [see youtube testing]. I thought I'd pass on what little I have gleaned recently, in the hope that others might be able to add to it. I've only used white glues so far:

1. Everbuild 502 wood adhesive***

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This is, I think, similar to what Pa used 40+ years ago although a different brand. I believe it is a type of PVA glue: a popular, cheap, safe, water-soluble white glue (label says "resin based"). Until recently, this is all I used too.
Pros:
  • Cheap - one local store carries a 250ml bottle for £1.50 (yellow bottle with a black tip) [£15 for 3 litres inc. shipping on ebay]
  • Water-soluble - even when dry.
  • Dries clear.
  • Relatively non-toxic.
  • Stronger than the wood when set.
  • Quite thick - so doesn't run much
  • Excellent shelf life, 12 months+
Cons:
  • Shrinks - a lot. Often need to apply 3 or 4 times to compensate for shrinkage.
  • Water-soluble when dry - weatherproof only if painted.
  • Quite thick - so doesn't soak into thin gaps well.
  • Takes a long time to dry - overnight sees it only half cured. Says clamp 3-4 hours.

2. Decorators' PVA glue*

I think this is same stuff as above but it comes much thinner. As this is water-soluble, I assume they
just add a lot of water to make it goes further and go on thinner.
Pros:
  • Cheap - B&Q sell a huge 1 litre bottle for £5
  • Water-soluble - even when dry.
  • Dries clear.
  • Relatively non-toxic (I think).
  • Stronger than the wood when set (presumably)
  • Quite thin - so soaks into thin gaps well.
  • Excellent shelf life, 12 months+
Cons:
  • Shrinks - a lot. Often need to apply 5, 6 or more times to compensate for shrinkage & running.
  • Water-soluble when dry - weatherproof only if painted.
  • Quite thin - runs all over the place.
  • Takes a v. long time to dry - 1 day sees it only half cured

3. Gorilla Glue - (White) woodglue****

Image
This is a newer product but is, I was surprised to read, also PVA glue.
Pros:
  • Water-soluble - even when dry (? TBC).
  • "Dries natural color" (I mixed wood scrapings with mine, so it did for me! I suspect it dries clear, as above).
  • Relatively non-toxic (I think).
  • Stronger than the wood when set (presumably).
  • Quite thick - so doesn't run much
  • Good shelf life (TBC)
  • Seems to dry much quicker than those above - only 20-30 minutes clamp time (seems near perfect - I don't like 5 minute glues, too quick) but then 24 hours to fully cure.
  • Does not seem to shrink nor expand (I believe some gorilla glues expand quite a lot).
  • Excellent self-cleaning cap allows accurate application.
  • "passes ANSI/HPVA Type II water resistance" (but see below).
Cons:
  • Expensive - ~£8 for 0.5l. [On Amazon: 1 litre for £10.99 inc. shipping]
  • Water-soluble when dry - weatherproof only if painted.
  • Quite thick - so doesn't soak into thin gaps well (slotted applicator tip helps somewhat).

I am genuinely impressed by the Gorilla Woodglue (which I only bought because the regular wood glue had sold out): it appears to address several of the drawbacks of my normal PVA woodglue with no new drawbacks that I can fathom, other than its relatively high price (2-3x the price of 502). But it goes further too, as it doesn't shrink much, so only needs to be applied once, or perhaps twice. Although it pains me to say it, it's worth the extra cost.

I'd be interested to find out more about alternatives, such as Elmers yellow woodglue, Gorilla Glue (brown) polyurethane adhesive, waterproof glues and also traditional glues, such as Rabbit Skin Glue (is that what those 2-pot metal glue pots are used for?)
ToneWood
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Re: Wood glues / adhesives

Postby ToneWood » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:16 pm

A pal who does a quite lot of woodworking (including making wooden spearguns - which obviously need to be waterproof) recommended this as his favourite glue currently:

Image
Evo-Stik Resin 'W' Polyurethane Wood Adhesive (a.k.a. EvoStik PWAC20 PU Waterproof Wood Adhesive)

This Polyurethane wood adhesive from Evo Stik is a waterproof, translucent wood adhesive which sets in 5 minutes.

Also available from B&Q.

Although he did warn that: (1) it's not the cheapest tube glue around, (2) it sets quickly, so you don't get much working time and (3) it is very hard to get off your hands (wear gloves). He also recommends clamping it tight while it dries - the more pressure the better.
ToneWood
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Re: Wood glues / adhesives

Postby TonyH » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:53 am

I have done a bit of work with seasoned wood. I had quite reasonable results with builder's PVA bought by the gallon, drawback being it doesn't really dry clear but leaves a grey glue line which can look ugly unless the parts are well fitted. Now I use Titebond 3, which dries to a less conspicuous tan colour, and has the great advantage of being food safe when cured, aswell as water resistant.
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