Thursday, March 6, 2014

Titebond Wood Glues

If you are woodworking eventually you are going to want to use wood glues.

In which case you then have to ask, which one is best for your woodworking project.

Well you could just buy the cheapest glue you can find that provides a reasonable quality. Elmer's wood glue for example.

But the glue I am going to recommend instead is Titebond wood glues, which comes in three main varieties:

Titebond Original (aka Titebond I) which is for indoor use only, and is not meant to get wet. It will work great on all of your woodworking projects that are for outdoors.

Titebond II is water resistant - which means it can be used outdoors.

Titebond III is labelled "waterproof" but in reality it is extra water resistant. It can be used outdoors regularly, but it is not meant for being submerged in water for long periods of time.

Prices for the three different types are:

$8.59 for Titebond Original, $10.49 for Titebond II, and $13.99 for Titebond III.

Another difference is that Titebond III has a longer "Open Time", which is basically the amount of time you can work with the glue before it starts to set. That means you can work on your project longer, making sure the glue is perfect before squeezing your woodworking pieces together and later clamping them.


 There is also differences between the glue strength of each. Titebond III is easily the strongest, but it only a difference of 10% when compared to Titebond I.

So my recommendation is Titebond III for both indoor and outdoor use. No need to buy all three types. Yes, it is more expensive. But one bottle of Titebond III can do the job regardless of what you need it for.

HOWEVER I will point out these glues are not meant for space filler. For that you need an epoxy.

I recently emailed a local bowyer in Toronto, Mike Meusel (who made me a bow in 2013) and asked him what wood glues he uses when making bows. Here is what he had to say:


I get a lot of my glues at Lee Valley –
For gluing of laminatons, risers and tip overlays – Titebond III.
Works great and is waterproof.   Keep in mind Titebond is not a gap-filling glue, so your pieces should be well mated so you get really thin glue lines.  Titebond 3 is what I used on your bow for pretty much all of it I think.  
For best results – Wipe surfaces to be glued with acetone or give a fresh sanding to remove oil/grease/dirt.   Spread a thin layer of glue on both surfaces (sizing coat) – wait 10 minutes, some spots will have soaked up more glue than others which will lead to dry spots in the glue up. Re-apply another layer of glue to both surfaces and clamp. 
G2 epoxies from Lee valley work great as well, but I use them on smaller thing, epoxies are gap-filling glues, so there is a bit more leeway in terms of your mating surfaces.  
- Mike Meusel


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