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Best glue to use for cutting boards

by Sawdustmaker
posted 01-05-2008 05:07 AM

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55 replies

55 replies so far

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4576 days

#1 posted 01-05-2008 05:15 AM

I used Tightbond III on mine. I think any glue designated as “exterior” should work, though.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4382 days

#2 posted 01-05-2008 05:54 AM

Titebond III. Their website says it is food safe, and it is waterproof.

View Splinters's profile


190 posts in 4690 days

#3 posted 01-05-2008 06:41 AM

I use Titebond III on my boards

-- Splinters - Living and Loving life in the Rockies - -

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4668 days

#4 posted 01-05-2008 01:39 PM

hahaa if you build it…..

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View relic's profile


343 posts in 4444 days

#5 posted 01-05-2008 08:15 PM

Titebond III here as well.

-- Andy

View bobdurnell's profile


317 posts in 4404 days

#6 posted 01-05-2008 08:49 PM

I’m a fan of that Gorrila glue stuff. Mainly bacause of the open time, having only to spread the glue on one surface, and water on the other, and its real easy to sand off after it has dried. I have used Titebond III also. I have used the old standby Weldwood Plastic Resin. Practically all of the adhesives will work, however when in doubt I use good ol West Systems Epoxy. I kinda stay away from that two part Resorcinal stuff though. Most of my clamps have a deep red color on them since. Hope this helps.

-- bobdurnell, Santa Ana California.

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4669 days

#7 posted 01-05-2008 08:53 PM

Same here, Titebond III is what I use not only for cutting boards but all my woodworking projects.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View CharlesNeil's profile


2496 posts in 4378 days

#8 posted 01-05-2008 10:12 PM

i agree across the board, titebond III, I like if its small and i have enough time, for bigger i like the polyurethane,for the open time

View Sawdustmaker's profile


295 posts in 4305 days

#9 posted 01-07-2008 01:06 AM

Well, it sounds like I need to go down to Wood Craft and pick up some Titebond III. I’ll have to put on my isle blinders and head straight for the glue section. Maybe I can get out of there without having to drop $60.00 at the cash register…....and that’s on a good day. Thanks for the wisdom.

-- Brian, Virginia Beach

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4593 days

#10 posted 01-29-2008 06:04 PM

I’ve build a number of cutting boards using both Titebond III and Ployurethane (gorrilla) glue. I have found that the Poly glue will not hold up over time. I have had two boards that have failed due to the glue. One of the magazines recently conducted stregth tests on various types of glue and the Poly glue came out as the weakest of all the glues. I now use Titebond III on all of my boards.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

810 posts in 4416 days

#11 posted 01-30-2008 07:46 PM


-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View matter's profile


210 posts in 4277 days

#12 posted 01-31-2008 11:39 PM

TB3 again. Urethane doesn’t hold up. You are better off using just about any PVA glues. I warranty my boards for life. Never replaced one with PVA but all the poly’s have been re-done.

I always use a Watco butcher’s block finish too- seems to hold up well.

It was a short learning curve, but a painful one.

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View degoose's profile


7257 posts in 3862 days

#13 posted 03-28-2009 12:12 PM

Titebond II I haven’t tried the III yet

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3860 days

#14 posted 03-30-2009 01:29 AM

Wow, glad this popped to the top. I’m planning on making some end grain cutting boards and I researched the various glues and chose Titebond III because it had a Type 1 rating. I wasn’t sure if it was rated safe for food so I was going to look into that but now I don’t have to.

I jumped on the Gorilla Glue bandwagon too when it first came out but have since fallen off. Get it on your hands and they’re brown for days, or on anything else. Wearing gloves my hands sweat and they’re dripping by the time I take the gloves off. And, last but not least, it’s not that great. I made a bird feeder a bunch of years back with it because it was so good. Even sealed it with a marine rated urethane. The glue joints eventually failed. No advantage to it. I’m going to try Titebond III on the next one.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Gary's profile


9402 posts in 3940 days

#15 posted 03-30-2009 01:56 AM

TB3 The only way to go

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View D1st's profile


291 posts in 3547 days

#16 posted 04-22-2010 06:41 AM

I like TB3 best, but I do use gorilla glue as well. Someone purchase some gorilla glue for one of their projects I made and had lots left to use on other projects. It seems to spread a long way. Good luck.


View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 4017 days

#17 posted 04-27-2010 06:52 PM

TBII here. In regards to self destructing if left in hot water for a couple of hours…not sure any board will stand up to that soak. I don’t think its really a glue issue but more an issue of the wood soaking it up, releasing it and moving all over/splitting.

On the board I use at home, there is a small check on one end that opens up when it is dry and closes when we wash it. It was freaking me out at first because I would see it…and then go back later and I couldn’t find any trace of it.

Good luck…can’t wait to see the results!


-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 4017 days

#18 posted 04-27-2010 06:56 PM

HA!!! ...I didn’t even see the number of days ago this was posted. Oh well….don’t I feel like a dufus…

“Good luck on those boards you probably already built 2 and half years ago”....Dooh!

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View slysteve's profile


1 post in 3366 days

#19 posted 07-29-2010 07:22 PM

I just delivered an end-grain cherry wood butcher block to my sister in Oxford UK which I glued up with Tightbond II. On the third day of my visit she hosted a huge party at which several of her women friends helped out in the kitchen. One of them thought the butcher block at 24×36 would make the prefect trivet for the huge soup pot simmering on the stove. Three hours later as I helped with clean up I lifted the pot to return it to the kitchen from the buffet and found my gift beneath it. I was horrified! Outlined on the block in steam sweat beads was the shape of the ten gallon pot which had gone from boiling to room temperature on my cherry block. I wiped it off and after close inspection could find no damage whatsoever. Each day for several days I again inspected it. It was good as new. I would have used Tightbond III had I the time before my trip, but went with II because it cured faster and in the past had worked so well. I will likely go with III on my next block but I am satisfied that II passed the hot-pot steam test. By the way, I finished the block 1 1/2” thick block with two coats of salad bowl varnish from Rockleer cut about 30% with mineral spirits and a top coat of food safe mineral oil, a small bottle of which I left behind for future monthly dressings.

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4156 days

#20 posted 07-29-2010 07:31 PM

I am just making one myself, and am using Gorilla Wood glue. it’s marked water resistant , and food safe approved.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 4458 days

#21 posted 07-29-2010 07:37 PM

I currently use TBII. As mentioned above, it is approved by the FDA for food applications. I use that as a selling point and keep a copy of the FDA document with me during the shows I attend. I just tell everyone…. “Yep, buy that boards at walmart that is made in China. Heck, if they are willing to put toxic paint on kids toy, I can only imagine what is in the glue they used!”

View stevef22's profile


35 posts in 3386 days

#22 posted 07-30-2010 04:45 PM

I didnt know Gorilla Wood glue is food safe. Thank you

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3674 days

#23 posted 07-30-2010 05:05 PM

I use both II and III.
Tried to get more assemble time.
It didn’t make much difference to me they were both too fast for my eyes.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View milehighwoodworker's profile


11 posts in 4167 days

#24 posted 07-31-2010 12:35 AM

Titebond II is definitely my glue of choice for most projects (great for veneering). Just a note, PLEASE don’t buy at Rockler or Woodcraft! Go to your local ACE or Home Depot and pay $5 less per gallon!

-- "A craftsman who is respected nearly always rises to the task, and is happy to do so." -Thos. Moser

View KnifeLife's profile


14 posts in 3086 days

#25 posted 05-05-2011 07:27 PM

Gorilla has a new FDA approved white wood glue that works great it got me away from TBIII after many many years.

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3201 days

#26 posted 05-05-2011 07:39 PM

Another vote for Titebond III here.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3833 days

#27 posted 05-05-2011 07:58 PM

Again, Tightbond III.

View AZMac's profile


87 posts in 3200 days

#28 posted 05-08-2011 01:54 AM

Tightbond III

View Willie1031's profile


141 posts in 3045 days

#29 posted 06-15-2011 11:15 PM

That’s a good question because I just joined and I’m about to start a cutting board. I am also wondering what I can use to put over it so the knives don’t beat it up too bad.

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

View Elmar's profile


17 posts in 2828 days

#30 posted 01-18-2012 08:22 PM

Here is a board I just made with the Gorilla wood glue, obviously I won’t know how it holds up for a while I hope! This was made with Red Oak, Maple, Zebra and Cocobola

-- Elmar in San Antonio.....

View Elmar's profile


17 posts in 2828 days

#31 posted 01-18-2012 09:00 PM

I have one additional question since I am pretty new at this. Do most of you join using biscuits? How about when you are using thin strips to you just cut and join them? How do most of you square up the surfaces? Just a table saw or do you use a joiner to true the edge?


-- Elmar in San Antonio.....

View brtech's profile


1066 posts in 3430 days

#32 posted 01-18-2012 09:53 PM

I dont use biscuits, but keeping the edges aligned is a pain, and unless you have a thickness sander, you need a lot of sanding work to get the joints smooth and flat. I’m gonna try dowels the next time I make one, but you have to plan the locations carefully if you use them on the first glue up for the complex two cut boards.

Table saw works fine for me for the edges. I might use the jointer on the first edge of a rough stock board, but then it’s planer and TS only.

View Elmar's profile


17 posts in 2828 days

#33 posted 01-19-2012 03:35 AM

Thanks, I have a good TS and fence system so hopefully the next one will be easier to do

-- Elmar in San Antonio.....

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 2863 days

#34 posted 01-19-2012 03:44 AM

Tightbond II. I dont use biscuits. Just surface glue the strips. If you are making a endgrain cutting board you are glueing to sidegrain and none of mine has failed yet.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View bbjjj's profile


29 posts in 2839 days

#35 posted 01-19-2012 06:20 AM

I started using the Titebond III when it first came available mostly for cutting boards but also in some outdoor applications.
I gave a couple of cutting boards to a nephew for a wedding gift and about 6-8 months later I was invited for dinner. Before dinner we were in the kitchen and the larger of the two boards (20” X 24” X 1 1/2”) that I had given them was in use and looked great. I inquired about the smaller one (9” X 14” X 5/8”) that was it’s companion and they opened the dishwasher and there it was. Yes, they had been washing it in the dishwasher and it looked terrible, really dry and the grain had raised horribly, but it had not De-laminated. So Titebond III is the only wood glue that I use.
On the thinner boards I put a strip across the ends using biscuits

to help in keeping them from warping. I do not use biscuits on the rest of the board.

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3690 days

#36 posted 01-19-2012 06:35 AM

I’ve used TITEBONDIII but in my recent build I needed a glue with a longer open time and I found TITEBOND II EXTEND to work very well. It’s FDA approved but it isn’t listed as FDA approved on the bottle or their website but I called their company and was told it is FDA approved.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View USMC6531's profile


42 posts in 3167 days

#37 posted 01-20-2012 04:15 PM

I have used Titebond III for my boards just because that is what I have in the shop, but Titebond II is also a good choice and will save a few buck. Both are approved for indirect food contact.

View Ed Pirnik's profile

Ed Pirnik

83 posts in 3338 days

#38 posted 01-20-2012 04:47 PM

Ditto: Titebond III for all my cutting boards and humidors as well. I’ve never had a failure.

-- Ed Pirnik, Fine Woodworking Web Producer

View bob101's profile


335 posts in 3958 days

#39 posted 01-20-2012 06:04 PM

gorilla glue is my choice and my boards get used and rinsed almost daily, and have never failled at the joints.

-- rob, ont,canada

View yank's profile


57 posts in 4640 days

#40 posted 01-20-2012 08:32 PM

TBIII is my choice also. I have made approximately 50 cutting boards and not one has failed at a glue joint. I use only mineral oil on my boards, two generous coats and let them soak in. Wipe off any excess after two days and they are ready, after I put on the rubber bumpers for feet. Willie; I only make end grain cutting boards, I have used mine for 3 years and the knife marks are almost non-existant. Not so with edge grain cutting boards like the ones sold in stores from foreign countries, nor do they hold up nearly as long.
I also tell those that I give or sell my boards to, too not put in dw, no raw meat, and after use, clean with water or soap and water, dry board well, let air dry overnight, and then apply a light coat of mineral oil, and allow to soak in. .

I am also late in posting to this post, but hope it will get seen.

-- My Father was my mentor for my woodworking hobby and knowledge. Luv ya Dad.

View NiteWalker's profile


2739 posts in 3084 days

#41 posted 01-20-2012 11:02 PM

I usually use TBIII, but recently got a hold of a bottle of elmer’s wood glue max. Elmer’s markets it as a direct competitor as it has the same water proof and longer open time characteristics. So far so good. I like it a lot. It seems to be less runny than TBIII.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Reaper621's profile


126 posts in 2837 days

#42 posted 01-24-2012 07:32 AM

I always use Titebond III, end of story. It has a hold that I find scary. Everything I build, I test, and even on hard scrap like oak, the wood breaks before the glue bond.

Your cutting board looks beautiful. Great job.

I don’t biscuit anything anymore. I have three methods of choice, depending on a) who will see it, b) function of the piece, and c) what it’s made of. First, you have just brute force – clamp that thing together, as tight as you can, and use face clamps to draw it in. This works quite well with wood that isn’t warped, and is preferable on some projects. I try to do this on my cutting boards, but I usually use method two. Second, you can try dowel rods. My father has a dowel jig, and it works so amazingly well… when you remember to tighten the screws. Again, this is preferable if someone will see/use both sides, but beware – I once planed through to my dowel hole because I forgot how deep I was. My wife still adores her cutting board, but it pisses me off that I messed it up. Either of these methods is just fine, just prepare for a bit of sanding regardless of your method.

Third is unfeasible for cutting boards, but I like my pocket hole screws a lot, and they work nice. Couple face clamps, couple bar clamps, TBIII, and you’ve got a fortress. See my desk project – the entire top was fabricated in this fashion.

-- Laywer by day, Carpenter by later in the day.

View Elmar's profile


17 posts in 2828 days

#43 posted 01-24-2012 03:13 PM

Here is my latest, all food safe wood with Titebond III

-- Elmar in San Antonio.....

View Reaper621's profile


126 posts in 2837 days

#44 posted 01-24-2012 06:16 PM

What is the multi colored one split by the middle piece?

I love these boards, it’s always amazing how well scrap wood looks when you throw it together.

-- Laywer by day, Carpenter by later in the day.

View degoose's profile


7257 posts in 3862 days

#45 posted 01-25-2012 02:40 AM

Add one more lover of TB III and for any Aussie readers…get it from Masters Hardware… half the price of elsewhere.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3558 days

#46 posted 01-25-2012 04:00 AM

I also use Titebond III on all my boards. Not only is it food safe and tolerant of water, it is easier on knives than some other glues out there, especially non-PVA glues that are much harder once dried/cured. They can wreak havoc on a knife’s sharp edge, which will lead to more frequent sharpening. I think this fact unfortunately tends to be overlooked quite a bit.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View JonH's profile


82 posts in 4594 days

#47 posted 11-29-2012 05:14 PM

Also, download the cutting board designer program. Its a real easy little program that shows you the design you will end up with when you enter your varieties of wood, and size of each piece, etc. It works great.

Good Luck!

Here’s the link to the guy on lumberjocks who got me going on CB Designer.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2696 days

#48 posted 11-29-2012 07:31 PM

I suspect that many of the “artwork” cutting boards never see a knife or a sink. They likely are deemed too beautiful to deface. But if they do get wet on occasion, I would say Titebond III is good enough unless you leave them to soak, in which case epoxy is likely the better choice.

Most of the fancy cutting boards have joints that involve one or both surfaces being end grain, and we know that’s not good. In some cases I would bet that repeated exposure to water would cause a joint failure.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View dat's profile


23 posts in 2754 days

#49 posted 03-31-2013 03:01 PM

I am surprised to hear that the gorilla glue doesn’t hold up over time. I used it to repair some deck furniture that was falling a part (plough and hearth…) and it has held together beautifully, outside, through winter.

That said, still going to take the advice here and use TB3 for my first cutting board!

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 2406 days

#50 posted 04-01-2013 12:13 AM

Titebond III. Hopefully you will be making end grain boards. There are several tutorials. I’ve made dozens of them and enjoy the design process. I have witnessed professionals say you can NOT plane end grain, but it’s not true. On my second glue-up, when you roll the pieces 90 degrees to get the end grain up, I put a sacrificial board on the two narrow ends. When you plane the board, you take only 1/32 or less. The sacrificial boards act as a backer for the end grain and you get ZERO split out. Then I run them through a drum sander over and over and finish with a ROS to 150 grit. I use tung oil and get great results. It really brings out the color of both cherry and maple. I mix woods to make a patchwork design. Who knew maple could have so many colors?

-- --Dale Page

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