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Out of the woods


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Once you know how to use wood glue, you can get started on your next woodworking project straightaway. This guide has expert tips on using wood glue, including product recommendations.


There are multiple kinds of wood glue on the market, including polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue, epoxy, and hide glue. For most interior woodworking projects, you can use the most common wood glue – PVA. Always check the product instructions to make sure the glue you are considering can bind to your materials.

Our recommendation: Loctite Express Wood Glue. It’s an easy-to-use PVA adhesive that creates strong bonds in just 10 minutes. You can use it for all kinds of carpentry projects, including cabinet making. It’s also ideal for many quick repairs.

Super glue is another option: while it isn’t suitable for heavy pieces of wood, it works well for light pieces such as decorative details. Try using just a drop of Loctite Super Glue Gel Control. It’s stronger than many other adhesives and has a special no-drip formula so you won’t make a mess.

Two hands hold two wooden boards at right angles to each other, wood glue leaks through a gap.
Wood glue and super glue together is your power duo for woodworking


Here is how to use wood glue:

  1. Prepare the wood. The surfaces should be clean, dry, and close-fitting. If you’re working with an oily wood like teak or rosewood, clean the surface with acetone.
  2. Apply the wood glue. Cover both surfaces completely and evenly for the best adhesion unless the product’s instructions tell you otherwise. Keep the product’s open time in mind.
  3. Clamp the surfaces together. The surfaces should be held together with a clamp using moderate pressure for at least 10 minutes or the amount of time stated in the product’s instructions. Allow longer time for oily woods or complex assemblies.
  4. Remove excess adhesive while it’s wet. Use a cloth soaked in warm water to remove any excess glue. Dried glue can be sanded or removed with a sharp blade. Any visible part of the wood should be free from glue, particularly if you plan to stain or varnish the surface later.
  5. Let the glued wood sit overnight. Before working further with the wood, leave it for 12-24 hours. This will give the glue time to cure fully and reach maximum strength.

Wash your hands with soap and water after working with glue.


Here are some expert tips to help you to get the best results when using wood glue:

  • Store the bottle carefully. Store wood glue at room temperature and make sure the cap is closed properly.
  • For small surfaces, you can use your finger to spread the glue. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap afterwards.
A hand touches a wooden box.
Using a rope or a strap can also be an alternative to clamps to hold wood in position – for a perfect result
  • For larger surfaces, spread the glue with a brush or roller. Doing so helps to speed up the application process.
  • Don’t rush. Check the manufacturer’s instructions, and make sure you leave the glue to dry and cure for long enough.

Products used

  • loctite super glue gel control 4g tube
    Loctite Super Glue Gel Control

    Porous surfaces and vertical applications. No-drip Gel formula in pin-point Control™ applicator.

Expert Tip

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