For every woodworking project, there is a particular adhesive that best suits the task at hand. Broadly classified into three categories (white glues, yellow glues and urethane glues), each type of wood glue offers a variety of adhesive possibilities. Choosing the right glue means your woodwork can be enjoyed for years to come.
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Use white glue for projects where a light, flexible bond is required. White glue is not waterproof and has a set time of 60 to 90 seconds. As it is not waterproof, white glue can be easily cleaned off with a warm, damp cloth. This particular glue also dries clear, making it ideal for projects where glue may be visible. White glues are especially good for crafts and for projects involving veneering, as the layers of glue can be reactivated by applying low heat to the veneer. Brands of white glue include Elmer's and Borden's Glue-All.
Also called carpenter's glue, yellow glues have a long shelf life and a set time of one to three minutes. While yellow glue is not waterproof, this does mean that it is non-toxic, making it a kid-friendly addition to your workshop. Yellow glue is extremely durable and is the choice of woodworkers for the majority of in-home carpentry projects. However, avoid using yellow glue with woods such as teak and beech, as these woods can warp easily, and note that yellow glue does keep a slight yellow tint after drying. Yellow glue brands include Titebond, Woodworx and Elmer's Carpenter Glue.
Urethane glues are extremely waterproof and have a set time of 30 minutes. In order to ensure that your urethane glue is actually waterproof, check the label and make sure it says "Type I." Only Type I glues are certified waterproof adhesives. In arid or desert locales, you may have to slightly dampen the wood before using a urethane glue. Clamping is essential when using urethane glues, as the glue expands when curing. Clamps will ensure that the glue integrates into the wood instead of pushing the joints apart as the glue expands. Use caution when using urethane glues, as they are incredibly tacky and will stick to any and all available surfaces. A light buffing of lacquer thinner should removed unwanted urethane glue. Popular urethane glue brands include Gorilla Glue, Excel Glue and Roo Glue.
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