Summary: learn how to glue wood together using wood glue.
Wood glue can be a great method for joining wood and can have a bond stronger than the wood itself.
You need to find the correct type of wood glue for the project you will be using it for. This is done simply by reading the glue labels and manufacturer’s instructions. Once you have chosen your glue, make sure you read all instructions for application and how much time it will be before the glue has fully set. This is important if the item you are gluing is used in a physical capacity.
Using wood glue
- The area you are gluing needs to be cleaned properly to enable the adhesive to bond firmly. This includes all dust, old paint or varnish and any other dirt that could obstruct the glue from sticking to the wood surface.
- When considering the way the timber will join, you should look at how the grain runs on the two pieces. Long grain attached to another long grain piece will be the strongest. However, if one or more pieces are short grain, you may want to reinforce the join with a screw, or better, a dado. A dado is a groove cut into one piece, into which the second bit of timber will slot with the help of the wood glue.
- When applying the glue, make sure it is even and that all areas of the join have a good covering, this can be done by squeezing the glue onto the joint in a zig zag pattern. Other types of wood glue may require a brush or other instrument to spread onto the joint.
- You should leave the glue for approximately 2 minutes to allow the wood to absorb some of it. If you find you have not applied enough, then add a little more.
- Place the two pieces of timber together and clamp firmly in place. Do not remove the clamp until the glue has set. The length of time the glue takes to set will be written on the bottle. Wipe away any excess glue using a cloth. This should be done before the glue sets.
- You should attempt to wipe off excess glue before it dries as the marks will be visible. If this is not possible, you can sand off the excess glue once it is dry.
- For heavier, harder to glue items, you may want to use faster setting adhesives such as contact cement or super glue.
How to apply wood glue video
Video explaining the basics of wood glue, providing advice on how to apply wood glue
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