glueing in cold weather

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Forum topic by tingaling posted 01-17-2020 09:02 PM 352 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 951 days

01-17-2020 09:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: contact cement glueing in cold garage laminate with hardboard question

I want to glue 1/4 inch hardboard to plywood for the surface of my outfeed table. The hardboard has is smooth on one side. I purchased some Dap water based contact cement and the directions say the surfaces and cement should be at least 65 degrees for 24 hours before application. My workshop is in my garage and I can’t get it that warm. I can heat the cement ok, but the wood will only be up to 50 degrees. Will it work, or should I use a different adhesive?

-- Nick, north coast of California

11 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2171 posts in 793 days

#1 posted 01-17-2020 09:27 PM

Nick, you may have to wait until Spring.
or – use double faced carpet tape to hold it temporarily until it warms up.
even two-part epoxy would be “iffy”.

I just checked my can of Weldwood solvent contact cement and it says
the air temperature, glue temperature and item temperature must be
above 65 degrees (f) for 24 hours before application and 72 hours AFTER application.

just for an outfeed table, this is not a critical piece of machinery or furniture.
double faced carpet tape will work just fine until the weather warms up.
or even permanent if you like the way it holds.



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View bondogaposis's profile


5637 posts in 2982 days

#2 posted 01-17-2020 10:01 PM

It might work, But I wouldn’t try it because if it fails, what are you going to do? You will have a big mess, like John said, wait ‘til spring.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Ub1chris's profile


133 posts in 2011 days

#3 posted 01-17-2020 10:23 PM

+1 vote for carpet tape. That stuff has so many uses.

View SMP's profile


1736 posts in 536 days

#4 posted 01-17-2020 11:08 PM

That double sided carpet tape is no joke. I once used some “temporarily”, and used a heat gun to get it nice and warm. I can’t remember how many years it lasted until i got rid of the whole thing.

View Axis39's profile


158 posts in 228 days

#5 posted 01-18-2020 04:39 AM

I keep my hardboard tops loose, but put a hardwood edge all around mine.

I had a workbench like this for about fifteen years and it was still holding up fine. So, when I built my outfeed table in my new shop a couple months ago, I used the same method and it has worked beautifully, once again.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Andybb's profile


2486 posts in 1234 days

#6 posted 01-18-2020 04:51 AM

I’d use Titebond, not contact cement. Less chance of the 1/4 wood moving over time. I wouldn’t worry about the temp. though using Titebond. Clamp it flat and take the top in the house and let it dry overnight if you’re worried about it.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5969 posts in 3124 days

#7 posted 01-18-2020 11:47 AM

I was in your shoes quite some years ago and chose to glue the piece and then take it in the house overnight. With the non-flammable contact cement the odor was quite tolerable, but if I do it again I’ll put the thing under an electric blanket and leave it in the shop.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View LesB's profile


2350 posts in 4074 days

#8 posted 01-18-2020 07:39 PM

I assume you are gluing the “rough” side of the hardboard to the plywood. You could tack it down with some finishing nails temporarily until things warm up. I use this on my old radial arm saw table and just tack it down so I can easily replace it as the saw kerfs get worn and sloppy.

My personal preference is to use 3/4” MDF for the top of my benches. I fasten it down with recessed screws and when the surface becomes ugly from use I flip it over to the clean side.

Even Tightbond (as mentioned by Andy) need a minimum of 50 degrees to cure properly.

There is also the urethane glues like Gorilla glue They can in high humidity expand (foam) as they cure so they need to be well clamped but it would give better adherence for the rough side of the hard board. In lower humidity they also cure better and faster with some moisture, so moisten the plywood side lightly first. I just looked up the temperature limitations and it is good down to 40 degrees F.

-- Les B, Oregon

View BattleRidge's profile


131 posts in 846 days

#9 posted 01-18-2020 08:13 PM

My outfeed / assembly table / workbench top consists of two layers of 3/4” plywood with a sheet of hardboard on top that can be easily replaced when damaged or worn. It is held in place with double-sided tape and is surrounded by modified oak trim. Do you need the top to be permanently affixed?

-- ~Art~

View Andybb's profile


2486 posts in 1234 days

#10 posted 01-18-2020 09:23 PM

Another idea. Why glue it at all? If you’re like me that outfeed table will get used as work/assembly table too which means it will get glue, paint, gouges etc on it. Why not just screw it to the plywood with a few well placed recessed drywall screws? Then you can just flip it over or replace it. Like someone else said, carpet tape would work too.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Chenier's profile


13 posts in 338 days

#11 posted 01-19-2020 12:44 AM

Even Tightbond (as mentioned by Andy) need a minimum of 50 degrees to cure properly.

More. I have a garage workshop similar to the OP. My experience with TBIII over the last month has been if the temp is below 62º on the shop thermometer the glue will start to chalk. The manufacturer specs say the chalk point is 55º. Now my shop thermometer isn’t calibrated, but who puts calibrated thermometers up in their shop? You need to allow some margin from the specs. Not hard to run a little experiment for your own shop.

Above advice to take the piece indoors is good.

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