One of the vital components of any woodworking project is glue. It helps to hold the pieces together and make sure that they don’t fall apart. However, not all glues are alike. Some glues are better for specific projects than others, so selecting the correct one is crucial.
When shopping for glue, it’s difficult not to notice that there isn’t just one sort of wood glue—instead, there are several. Most wood glues are synthetic or resins, except Hide Glue, derived from animal collagen. These glues differ in terms of bond endurance, flexibility, toxicity, and waterproofness, in addition to chemical composition. Some may even have a more significant impact on a wood’s finish than others.
Common Wood Glue Types:
- PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) Glue
- Cyanoacrylate (CA) Wood glue
- Polyurethane Wood Glue
- Epoxy-Based Glue
- Hide glue
PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) Glue
PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) is a synthetic polymer. It forms a permanent, flexible bond. It is one of the most found glues in the home. For basic indoor jobs, this adhesive is both inexpensive and highly effective. The adhesive is non-toxic (except when ingested) and cleans up quickly with water.
Some glues contain cross-linking polyvinyl acetate, which improves the bond’s water resistance. As a result, you can use it for a variety of outdoor woodworking projects. PVA is available in white and yellow (commonly known as “carpenter’s glue”). White PVA is intended for indoor use, while yellow PVA is intended for outdoor use.
Cyanoacrylate (CA) Wood glue
Cyanoacrylate (CA) Wood Glue is used to join two rigid pieces of material, often known as “super glue.” It’s the go-to option for quick and easy repairs. With a few taps of a hammer or mallet, bonds created by CA glue can be broken, which makes it the best option when you need a temporary fix.
Unlike other wood glues, it cures or sets in a matter of minutes. The glue hardens into a plastic-like bond when it dries. However, the adhesive might be runny and untidy when applied. Because of its industrial level bonding potential, you must be extremely careful not to get the glue on your fingers or hands since it will instantly stick to your flesh.
When working with the liquid, water-like adhesive, wear a mask and safety gloves. Excess superglue can be removed from a work area using acetone, but it might ruin the wood’s surface if not applied properly.
Polyurethane Wood Glue
Polyurethane is a synthetic resin that forms solid and long-lasting connections. It is incredibly versatile, as it can be used on various materials, including wood, plastic, stone, metal, porcelain, foam, glass, and concrete. Because of its high level of waterproofing, it’s ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
Unlike other wood glues, polyurethane is moisture activated, which means it sets by absorbing moisture from the air. As a result, it bonds exceptionally well in humid conditions. It also doesn’t cause sensitive wood fibers to dry out. When using polyurethane wood glues, you must first wet the surface before applying it.
Epoxies are known for their strong bindings to various substances and their chemical and moisture resistance. They are typically brittle and rigid.
Epoxy-based glue consists of a two-part bonding system: a resin and a hardener, and it is designed to bridge gaps in softwoods and hardwoods. It’s also great for joining two pieces of wood together. Bonding, on the other hand, takes time.
To build a firmer bond, you’ll need to clamp the wood down. Although certain epoxy woods are explicitly designed for indoor use, some glues are water-resistant and may be used for indoor and outdoor applications.
Hide glue is boiled animal collagen, It’s made from animal hides, and while some hide glues are solid and must be applied with a brush after melting in a hot water bath. Some glues are available in a liquid form in the shape of an applicator bottle.
This type of glue is mainly used to restore antique furniture, create a pleasing “crackling” effect, and be an excellent adhesive agent for other materials such as fabric, glass, and leather.
Few Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Glue for Your Next DIY Project
Strength of glue
One thing to consider when purchasing glue is the type of activity you project to undertake. Knowing this will help determine the amount of strength you should go for. If you need to glue heavy-duty woods, don’t use glue that isn’t very strong because it will wear away over time.
Shelf life of the glue
You don’t want to buy glue just to have it dry out before you can use it because of its short shelf life. If you want to utilize wood glue in the future, you’ll need to purchase glue with a longer shelf life. You’ll find glues with lids on their bottles that help keep air from getting in.
When choosing an adhesive for your project, consider how long it will take for the glue to dry. If glue takes a long time to dry, it may harm your project and make it difficult for you to finish it on time. Certain wood adhesives are fast-acting, meaning they dry in a matter of seconds after being applied.
If you’re going to use glue for carpentry, make sure it comes in natural wood color, so it doesn’t blend wrong.
Some wood glue formulations have a low viscosity, making them perfect for filling hairline fractures, re-bonding preassembled furniture repairs. On the other hand, they can be runny and untidy. If you use a low-viscosity glue that dries rapidly, wipe up any leftover glue with a damp cloth asap before it dries.
A thicker viscosity wood glue is ideal for more demanding DIY projects like connecting two pieces of wood, while a medium-level or well-balanced thick viscosity glue is best for all-around use. It’s suitable for gluing wood, leather, and fiberglass, as well as filling in medium-sized gaps and working on larger-scale hobby projects.
Best Wood Glues in September, 2021
|1||Gorilla Wood Glue||PVA|
|2||Elmer’s E7310 Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max||PVA|
|3||Titebond Liquid Hide Glue ||Hide|
|4||FastCap 2P-10 Super Glue Adhesive||Cyanoacrylate|
|5||Titebond 1414 16 Oz Titebond III Ultimate||Advanced Proprietary Polymer|
Project Farm’s excellent Youtube channel covered this wood glue brands’ contest through tensile and shear load testing, I highly recommend checking it out before making your decision:
Gorilla Wood Glue is considered one of the strongest wood glues available, ideal for outdoor or indoor DIY woodworking projects. The wood glue is proudly created in the United States, is incredibly strong, and outperforms any other wood glue.
Because of its high adhesive strength, Gorilla wood glue penetrates at least 2-inches into the wood grain to provide a super-strong bond. Gorilla wood glue meets ANSI/HPVA Type II water-resistance standards. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for any outdoor woodworking project.
It can, however, be used for interior jobs such as a hobby or DIY projects. Gorilla glue is an extraordinarily versatile substance used on hardwood, softwood, and natural wood composites.
Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue has been America’s favorite wood glue for over 60 years. Elmer’s Wood Glue gives you a better strength adhesive connection because it was built with carpenters in mind, making it an excellent choice for all types of indoor woodworking projects and DIY repairs. Soft and hardwoods, particleboard, and porous materials are the finest choices.
With Elmer’s E3710 Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max, high-quality bonds and woodworking projects don’t have to be expensive. This wood glue is waterproof, sandable, stainable, and paintable and makes strong bonds.
Titebond Genuine Hide Glue is the first liquid, ready-to-use hide glue on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed, heated, or stirred.
Professional woodworkers use Titebond Genuine Hide Glue because of its extended assembly time, outstanding strength, and unique crackling effect on wood. It has excellent creep resistance, is sandable, and is not affected by finishes. Its moisture sensitivity allows for easy disassembly of parts, which is helpful in antique restoration and musical instrument repair.
FastCap’s super combination adhesive and activator pack is ideal for carpentry and other bonding jobs.
A 2.25-ounce adhesive spray bottle and a 12-ounce activator aerosol can with a thick viscosity are included in the package. So, whether you’re planning a large-scale DIY project like remodeling your kitchen or emergency glue to keep your glasses together, the cyanoacrylate-based glue will come in handy.
Simply apply one surface with the water-resistant adhesive and the other with the spray activator. To give your furniture or woodworking project a professional finish, press the two sides together to form a solid, lasting bond.
Finding the correct adhesive might be difficult with so many options available. The Titebond Ultimate adhesive, on the other hand, is a game-changer in the wood glue market. The glue is simple to use, clean and forms a strong, long-lasting bond. This glue is waterproof to be used both indoors and outside, depending on the task.
Final Recommendation of WoodImprove.com
The best glue for you will eventually be determined by the jobs you need it for. However, the Gorilla Wood Glue, in general, is the best all-around glue for woodworking, in my view.