Sandbox forum: What is the best wood glue to buy?

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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Feb 21, 2017 5:11 AM CST
I have some outside wooden chairs that are in dire need of repairs. I need to find a good wood glue to glue them back together. I have several wooden chairs, a wooden high chair, and several wooden children chairs, of which a couple are potty chairs. Does anyone know what is a good glue to use on wood that will be outside in the elements?
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
jsf67
Feb 21, 2017 6:33 AM CST
I never found the type of wood glue to matter. The technique matters. No glue is strong enough for a chair repair if the pieces fit loosely together and you expect the glue to bridge the gaps. The cheapest wood glue is fine if you can hold the repair tight while the glue dies.

For wood chairs that my adult sons kept tipping back on two legs (chairs that weren't designed for that) I had to understand the forces, then cut the heads of nail to make double pointed nails to reinforce the center of glued joints. After that (and for many other less extreme repairs) the key is finding a way to clamp the joint securely while the glue cures, so a thin layer of glue is squeezed tightly between wood.

In my experience, ordinary wood glue is more weather proof than wood.

When you absolutely need to fill a gap in repairing a chair, Elmer's Wood Filler is stronger in thick layers between wood than ordinary wood glue in thick layers (but not as strong as ordinary wood glue in the thin layer of a tight fit). It is marketed just for filling cracks and gouges. But it is stronger than glue for connecting pieces that don't fit well.
[Last edited by jsf67 - Feb 21, 2017 6:40 AM (+)]
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Feb 21, 2017 6:43 AM CST
Thanks for the information, jsf67. I realize that I will need a huge C-clamp to hold the pieces tight together but was just curious if one wood glue was better than another. My B-I-L has some large clamps. I will have to borrow them from him but first I need to pick up some glue. I used some gorilla glue to repair a ceramic bird feeder but that stuff made a big oozed ridge outside the crack area, and I just didn't want that to happen with my wood chairs. The gorilla glue worked great for that broken birdbath.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
jsf67
Feb 21, 2017 7:09 AM CST
Wood glue usually cleans off easily with a wet rag while it is wet. Glue and fit the pieces, then clamp. I always get an oozed ridge, then I clean the ridge off while it is still wet. My grandfather was a cabinet maker and was incredibly skilled at gluing wood (didn't pas any of that on). He always used exactly the right amount of glue, and none oozed. But I would never try to do that, because I would leave gaps. I use a little too much, then use a lot of force to squeeze the excess out, then clean it off.
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
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McCannon
Feb 21, 2017 9:13 AM CST
Jeanne, if your furniture is exposed to the elements, I'd suggest using waterproof glue.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 21, 2017 10:30 AM CST
Gorilla Glue?
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Feb 21, 2017 10:55 AM CST
Thanks all. I do have gorilla glue. I can try that on some and try to wipe off all of it that oozes out. I will let you all know how it turns out when I have the time to get going on this project.
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Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
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McCannon
Feb 21, 2017 10:56 AM CST
I've never used it but it would probably work. I use Titebond III Ultimate for general glue-up. It's rated for indoor/outdoor usage. It pays to read the label before you buy it. Many glues have very specific procedures that need to be followed.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
jsf67
Feb 21, 2017 11:05 AM CST
gardenglassgems said: I do have gorilla glue. I can try that on some and try to wipe off all of it that oozes out.


Last time I tried gorilla glue (which was not on wood) I don't recall any details.

Most glues other than wood glue will NOT wipe clean from wood with a wet cloth. Even when the glue is wet, you need a solvent to clean it from wood. If you have steadier hands than I have, you can let a bead of such glue partially dry, then cut it flush to the wood, more easily than wiping it while it is wet. I do that myself. But I don't do it very well. So I would wipe with a wet cloth while the glue is wet only for wood glue and cut (badly) when the glue is partially dried for other glues.

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 21, 2017 11:33 AM CST
I cut the dried Gorilla Glue oize from the seams with an exacto knife. If i wipe it, it smears and leaves a haze on the project.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Feb 21, 2017 2:35 PM CST
Good or bad, how good a glue is, to me, determined by how long it holds.
The only way you can test that is with time and trying different brands.
I have used Elmer's wood glue and white glue on wood, Gorilla wood glue and some white glue that once came with a cabinet.
All are still holding and all except the generic one, have failed over time.
As JSF said, prep. is more than half the battle.

Oh yes, you will find out the glue that binds quickest and strongest is the stuff you used on an item where you made a boo-boo and have to undo it.
[Last edited by RpR - Feb 21, 2017 2:39 PM (+)]
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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Feb 21, 2017 5:25 PM CST
Thank you Cheryl, Mac, RpR, and jsf67 for your great advice. I will check to see what kind of glue I have on hand. I may use different glue with different pieces cause I have a lot of wood gluing projects to do. Then I will have an idea of what works and what doesn't. I will try to take some before and after pictures. Some things I will glue and then if I can hammer in a nail or two, I will do that also after the glue dries. I just need to get in touch with my B-I-L to get his large clamps.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
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McCannon
Feb 21, 2017 5:34 PM CST
Jeanne, I use the Titebond for all my wood glue-ups. For what I do I don't find it necessary to use several different glues. I do have a few different ones on had for gluing things other than wood. Some people will have different opinions and I'm just relating what work for me.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Eastern Massachusetts (Zone 5b)
jsf67
Feb 21, 2017 6:23 PM CST
gardenglassgems said: I just need to get in touch with my B-I-L to get his large clamps.


For chairs (I've repaired many, usually a few times each, which might not be a good recommendation, but in my defense, my sons really abuse them) clamps often don't fit right.
I have wrapped a project tight with bungee cords when I can't get clamps to fit right. Other times I have been reduced to gluing one connection point at a time, because with just one at a time, you can place the chair on assorted objects to hold it at the correct orientation such that weights can be used to press that one connection together.

Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
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McCannon
Feb 21, 2017 6:26 PM CST
Those inexpensive ratchet straps work well too. Just don't over-tighten them.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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crawgarden
Feb 21, 2017 9:16 PM CST
Used a product called Wonderlock for chairs that were coming apart, worked fantastic.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 22, 2017 7:51 PM CST
Water resistant glue ...is ... Just resistant !!!
Water proof glue ... Is !!!! Well !!! Water proof !!!
So...choose...what you need.

Dont over tighten clamps, it will squeeze all the glue out. And it will fall apart shortly.

Clamps just need to be snug.

Now... The BIGGEST THING IS !😮!
Is...to get all the old glue off !
Thats ! Right !
Glue... Dosent... Stick to glue #!!!
The best way... Is a broken or cut off hack-saw blade... It gets in corners good... It gets glue off...and ...
Rufffs up surface good...for a good adhesion !
Now !!! Apply...glue to both !!! Clean , surfaces (also, important !) and clamp , snugg, not tight !
It will be as good as new !!!
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Feb 22, 2017 9:27 PM CST
Thank you Philip for the great advice. I would have never thought about the old glue and about making the clamps too tight and squishing out all the glue. Very good points to consider.

Thank you so much all who have given me advice. I hope to get to this project soon. I will let you know how it goes.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Anita
West Fulton, NY (Zone 5a)
"Let food be thy medicine...."
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Lioba
Apr 18, 2017 6:16 AM CST
Jeanne,

If you by chance haven't gotten to this project yet, I am a furniture refurbisher. My suggestion for loose parts would be to wind thread around the end going in. Make sure both the end and hole are covered with glue, in your case a waterproof glue. In my opinion, wood furniture doesn't belong outside or on an open porch unless it is teak or is being taken in every day. You could paint it with marine paint or use tung oil if you want a natural look. Please do not use screws or nails. They rust and will rot the wood.

If you did your project, I hope it turned out well. Post pics!
Its easy for me to believe in miracles when science can't explain why a blade of grass has its shape and that is just one plant and one attribute.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Apr 18, 2017 7:26 AM CST
@Lioba Thanks Anita. I have not gotten to this project you but hope to soon. I will post some pictures before I start and after they are done. I have a couple old wooden potty chairs, a wooden highchair, a children's wooden chair, and a couple of wooden kitchen chairs. Thanks for the hint on not using nails or screws. Some may be beyond repair.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,

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