Glue Recommendation

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Forum topic by Zod posted 12-12-2017 04:52 PM 1053 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 1467 days

12-12-2017 04:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue question recommendation

After seeing a post by kryptix, I realized I am completely ignorant when it comes to wood glue. For my small projects, I have been using Gorilla Glue. A few of my next projects will be a bookshelf and a nightstand. What glue would be appropriate for things like that? I am assuming one of the Titebonds would be okay. I haven’t settled on the type of joinery yet but if I get a dado blade for my table saw for Christmas, I would like to get some experience with that method. I am just starting out and don’t know what I don’t know. I know the glues will probably differ between projects but was hoping there might be a few that I can get that will handle most situations. Thanks in advance for any advice!

20 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile


778 posts in 1907 days

#1 posted 12-12-2017 04:55 PM

Titebond 2 for interior projects, Titebond 3 for exterior or cutting boards.

-- Sawdust Maker

View BurlyBob's profile


9414 posts in 3553 days

#2 posted 12-12-2017 05:01 PM

I agree.

View sulphurcreekcustoms's profile


211 posts in 1823 days

#3 posted 12-12-2017 05:02 PM

Titebond 2 for everything that isn’t going to stay submerged in water or isn’t going outside. Basically it’s the only glue you’ll EVER need unless you build an exterior piece. Cutting boards…titebond 2. Says it right on the jug and have personally made over 1000 with exactly 1 failure. And that one happened inside a dishwasher.


View Zod's profile


24 posts in 1467 days

#4 posted 12-12-2017 05:04 PM

Thanks. That simplifies it :)

View ArtMann's profile


1483 posts in 2104 days

#5 posted 12-12-2017 05:17 PM

Titebond 3 has one other benefit under certain conditions. It has a greater “open” time. That is the amount of time allowed to manipulate a joint to get it just right before you start to compromise the glue strength. If you are doing a complex glue-up, those few extra minutes can make a difference.

View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 3287 days

#6 posted 12-12-2017 05:25 PM

I use Elmer’s wood glue, just what I’m used to, most people like Titebond better, they are very similar. Heck even just regular white Elmer’s or even dollar store glue works fine. It’s all just polyvinyl acetate. Almost anything but the ‘school’ or ‘washaable’ stuff woks fine. The yellow carpenter glue is Polyvinyl acetate with a bit of resin added to make it a bit tackier, sometimes called Aliphatic resin glue (that just means white glue with some yellow sticky stuff mixed in.)

-- Ted

View Woodknack's profile


13585 posts in 3668 days

#7 posted 12-12-2017 05:35 PM

Elmer’s wood glue is good when you want more tack. It grabs and holds quickly.

-- Rick M,

View LesB's profile


3143 posts in 4731 days

#8 posted 12-12-2017 05:56 PM

I use 5 different glues depending on the project and it’s intended use.
First and most often I use PVA glue, aliphatic resins, (Elmers or tightbond) either regular as in Tightbond II or water resistant as in Tightbond III; Elmer’s and Gorilla have similar types. Properly used these glues are stronger then the wood they are used on and as everyone has said this is usually the “go to glue”. They do not work particularly well on oily wood like Teak.

Next is Hide glue made from animal skins. It is an very old and traditional glue usually heated in a pot and applied hot. An advantage is can be disassembled by heating the joints and it also has some flexibility where joints may be stressed like in a chair. It is easy to re-glue the joints. It now comes in a bottle and can be used without the hot pot…I don’t know if it is equivalent to the hot glue form.

I often use what is commonly known as Gorrilla glue or urethane glue (although Gorilla now makes the PV type and Superglue) for things that will have a lot of water exposure because it is waterproof. Urethane glue definitely needs firm clamping because it expands as it cures and sprinkling a little water on the glue joint helps it cure better. It will foam out of joints and when the foam cures you can easily scrape it away. Don’t get it on your hands unless you like black fingers. It will expand in loose joints but looses strength if the joint is not tight. It does work well on oily wood.

Third I use Superglue or Cyanoacrylates. This comes in a variety of thickness from watery thin to syrupy thick. Most of the time I use it on small objects, wood turning to fill voids and cracks (medium or thick type), or because it sets up quickly to hold objects in place (sometimes with just a small dot for temporary placement). This glue is brittle so don’t use it where the item will flex. There are some super glues with “rubber” in them that are more flexible.

There is one more that I seldom use. Hot glue from a heated glue gun. This does not have a lot of strength and is used most in craft projects but in wood working it can be used for temporary assembly work and other limited applications.

I’m sure other people can add info on all of these glues but this gives a quick reference to them.

Most of them do not keep on the shelf for more than about a year (some less)

-- Les B, Oregon

View EarlS's profile


4818 posts in 3636 days

#9 posted 12-12-2017 06:11 PM

I’ve had problems with a glue line showing up weeks or even months later when I use Titebond II for things like table tops. Consequently, I use Gorilla (Ppolyurethane) for those kinds of glue-ups and Titebond where there is a corner that would make any of the Polurethane foam hard to get out.

Anyone else see issues with Titebond making raised glue lines after the project is finished?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6776 posts in 3597 days

#10 posted 12-12-2017 06:20 PM

For most indoor stuff I’ve use Elmer’s yellow Carpenters Glue for what seem like ever. Once in a while I’ll use Elmer’s white glue because of more open time.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Loren's profile (online now)


11316 posts in 4935 days

#11 posted 12-12-2017 06:23 PM

Discussion of glue creep here.

Plastic resin glue can come in handy sometimes.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6776 posts in 3597 days

#12 posted 12-12-2017 06:41 PM

Discussion of glue creep here.

Plastic resin glue can come in handy sometimes.

- Loren

I have read about glue creep but have never experience it.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 3287 days

#13 posted 12-12-2017 07:13 PM

LesB that one of the best, shortest and most coherent discussions on glue I’ve seen. The only other adhesives I use involving wood is spray adhesive, mosty for attaching paper patterns to wood or a piece of veneer (no idea if that is the ‘right’ way to glue veneer but it seems to work) and construction adhesive like liquid nails for well, construction stuff.

-- Ted

View pintodeluxe's profile


6497 posts in 4101 days

#14 posted 12-12-2017 07:18 PM

I’ve tried “Quick and Thick”, Titebond Extend, and many others.

I always come back to Titebond II. I agree with others that TB III is appropriate for exterior applications (or something that might go through the dishwasher) but for everything else it’s TB II. I go through it by the gallons.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Zod's profile


24 posts in 1467 days

#15 posted 12-14-2017 08:30 PM

I just learned more about glue than I could have ever imagined. It definitely seems like the glues are pretty good now days. I am working on some smaller projects now but I am hoping to start on a bookshelf and a nightstand and am thinking I will need to learn more about this for that.

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