Wood glue: Carpentry without nails or screws

Selecting the right wood glue will help you create durable, lasting bonds. However, not all wood adhesives are suitable for all applications. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right glue and use it correctly.

Wood glue: The basics

Gluing is an important part of many wood-based projects. But determining the best wood glue for your particular task isn’t always easy. Here’s what you need to know to decide which wood glue will work best for your project.

Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue is the most common type of wood glue. This type includes typical white and yellow glues, or what are commonly called “carpenter’s glue.” Iit can be used for many – but not all – projects.

Hide glue is made from animal products. It can come as a liquid or as granules, flakes, or sheets that need to be dissolved in water. It needs to be heated and applied with a brush, and it bonds as it cools.

Epoxy typically comes in two separate components: a hardener and a resin. The parts are mixed together to create a chemical bond that, when it hardens, is waterproof and fills gaps. Some epoxies are slow to cure, but they are some of the strongest wood glues available. If you are looking for an epoxy that’s easy to apply and works great with wood, try Loctite Epoxy Quick Set or one of Loctite’s many epoxies for every application.

Polyurethane glues are a type of moisture-activated glue that foams as it dries into a very resilient adhesive.

For most wood-based projects, Loctite PL Wood Lumber, Paneling & Trim Adhesive is a solid choice.

Watch this video and learn more about using Loctite PL Premium Construction Adhesive for all your wood-based tasks:

What is PVA glue and how does it work?

Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue is a synthetic adhesive and the most common type of wood glue. It is colorless and odorless. PVA glue sets best in areas with good air circulation and dries quickly at room temperature. Not all PVA glues are waterproof, so check your product’s instructions.

If you need a food-safe wood glue, check for products that are FDA-approved. Some wood glues, such as PVA glue and its residue, are not suitable for surfaces that contact food or drinks.

Using PVA glue for wood

PVA glues are great for use with porous substances such as wood. PVA wood adhesive is specially formulated to penetrate wood fibers, resulting in glue bonds that can be even stronger than the wood itself.

How to use wood glue

If you proceed carefully, select the right glues, and follow the correct drying procedures, gluing wood effectively can be a snap. Follow these simple steps for using PVA glue and other glues.

  1. Apply the glue to both surfaces of the wood to be bonded. Use a cloth to wipe away any spill or overflow immediately.
  2. Spread the wood glue into a thin, consistent coat using a brush or plastic spreader.
  3. Press the pieces together. You may want to shift the surfaces back and forth slightly to ensure an even coat and to release any air that may cause gaps.
  4. Use a G-clamp to secure the pieces.
  5. Let the glued pieces sit undisturbed for the recommended pressing time given by the product instructions.
  6. Sand off any dried excess glue.