Which glue to use?

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Forum topic by joey502 posted 03-13-2015 08:41 PM 1187 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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558 posts in 2525 days

03-13-2015 08:41 PM

I plan on gluing up the footboard of a frame and panel bed tonight. The parts are all made of poplar with 1/4” poplar plywood panels. The outside two stiles will connect to the legs with a few floating tenons, no concerns with the strength of this joint. The rest are tongue and groove joints. My concern is the amount of glue surface I am going to have on the tongue and groove joints. I don’t feel there will be enough strength if the assembly tries to rack during use. The grooves are just under 1/4” to fit the plywood panels and 7/16” deep. The tongues are cut to fit the width and a bit shy of the depth.

Should I glue the panels as well to add strength? What type of glue should I use? Polyurethane Titebond?

6 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6829 posts in 3501 days

#1 posted 03-13-2015 08:55 PM

I would glue the plywood panels in. This really strengthens any frame and panel construction and if the grooves match the panel well just use a PVA, like Titebomd. You have no worries about wood movement with the plywood, and this will also prevent any possible rattles.

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

View joey502's profile


558 posts in 2525 days

#2 posted 03-13-2015 09:09 PM

The panels are a good fit but not tight enough for a PVA, they are a little undersized. I want the frame joints to fit tightly.

View Mike Throckmorton's profile

Mike Throckmorton

124 posts in 2672 days

#3 posted 03-13-2015 09:31 PM

According to Matthias Wandel’s tests foaming Polyurethane glues have no strength when used to fill gaps.

Maybe judicious use of epoxy would be better.

-- You are never complete, you just draw a line where done is and stop at that line.

View SST's profile


790 posts in 5202 days

#4 posted 03-16-2015 01:16 AM

I agree that polyurethane glue is not strong for loose joints. My personal choice for indoor furniture is good old hide glue. It has stood the test of time. If the joints are quite loose, I do switch to a 2 part epoxy, but use it carefully, no squeeze out, please!

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View joey502's profile


558 posts in 2525 days

#5 posted 03-16-2015 02:28 AM

Thanks for the help guys. If I had not asked I might have made the mistake of using polyurethane glue. The joints are tight but I cut the panels a dash undersized so they would not keep the rails and stiles from clamping up tight. During my dry fit, I decided that I wanted more strength than the tongue and groove joints were going to provide.

I decided to use PVA glue but do the glue up in sections. This would allow me to glue in the panels in an order and position that would add strength. I glued the left and right stiles to the bottom rail. Then I glued in the left and right panels into both the stile and bottom rail. The last glue up will add the two inside stiles, the center panel and the top rail. This way the two outside panels will reinforce the joint between the stiles and bottom rail. The center panel will have a little extra play between the two center stiles.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 2230 days

#6 posted 03-16-2015 08:00 PM

I have 5 octagonal fir columns holding up a sizable, (heavy) patio roof in a weather prone area in the next town over Woods Hole Ma. for 16 yrs. The columns 4 segments were joined and glued together with biscuits and Gorilla Glue poly. These columns are over 44 feet above the road which is at least 50 feet above and open to the vineyard sound. The south face is hammered by wind rain snow and salt during the winter, sun, fog and wind during the summer. The only affordable glue I’ve been able to count on to do its job outside is gorilla poly.

I tried Elmers and Tite bond they’ve let go. I also use PL 400 and 200 for smaller things. If the joint your trying to glue up is so loose Gorilla glue will fail how can one expect any of the others to work let alone provide strength of bond?

-- I meant to do that!

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