One of the tools I use regularly is glue.    It pays to know as much about this stuff as you can.  After squandering a fortune on wood and forming it into a useful shape, it is really lame to have the glue joints go bad.

One big isssue is that glue may prevent you from being able to repair the bad joint.  Bob Smalser has done good work in letting us know what is repairable.

A lesson I learned from my own experimentation;  glues that do not allow for joint repair are useful just for this purpose.  If you dilute Tightbond II, one part to two parts of water, you make a good finish for a gluing table.  Glue is much easier to remove from surfaces with this treatment.  I also wax the surface before I glue over it, but it really does a good job.

Some glues advertise that they are the strongest or best in the world. They get away with this by saying it is an exaggeration that no one would believe.  So don’t believe it.  Most glues are stronger than the wood they join, so gluing methods often  matter more than glue strength.

Another issue,  glue goes bad on the shelf.  Glue that is a year old, is usually on it’s last legs.   Hide glue can keep for extended periods, as can several of the natural old school glues.    Some really nice glues go bad in months.

Hide glue is great stuff.  It is repairable, removable, and your joints are ready at full strength in minutes.  It will draw in and tighten seams.    It is also very, very strong.   Strong enough to rip the surface right off of a glass plate as it dries. The downside of hide glue is that you have to have the gear to keep it at the right temperature and you need to prepare it before you glue.   For me, being able to glue and then keep working makes the preparation worth it. The downside of hide glue is that it is not waterproof.  I do a lot of projects that I want to be rain resistant.

Epoxy is a mess, but I will be getting more this weekend.


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