Glue will soak more into the end grain of wood and potentially result in starved glue joints. To help prevent this, you can “size” any end grain to be glued with a mixture of glue diluted with water. Dilute just so that when it is applied, glue drops don’t form at the lower edges of the wood. Another method, somewhat less effective, is to coat the end grain with full strength glue, allow it to dry 5 to 10 minutes, then re-coat with glue and assemble.
When clamping long or wide panels with bar clamps, a dowel inserted crosswise between the jaws of the bar clamps and the wood will help center the pressure and keep it uniform. Use dowels about as thick as the thickness of the wood you are gluing up.
If you are gluing veneer to a wood surface, you can use an old clothes iron to help. First use a sponge to wet the face of the veneer so that it won’t curl. Next, apply a thin film of glue to both the surface and the underside of the veneer. Then, when the veneer is dry to the touch, use the clothes iron at a high setting to secure the veneer in place.
Whenever you are glueing glass you must consider the visibility of the adhesive. If the glass is translucent, you will want a glue that dries as clear as possible. Before glueing any glass bond be sure that the glass is clean, free of any oil (even from your fingers) and dry.
Fingerjointing is a process in which short pieces of high grade wood are end glued together to make long lengths of stock. The advantages to this process are cost and availability of long lengths. Fingerjointed wood is used in a variety of applications including interior and exterior trim, moldings, and siding materials. In exterior applications, its one drawback is the way in which the different grains of the various pieces react to weather exposure. The individual pieces may telegraph their differences through the finish coat of paint giving a somewhat uneven or checkerboard appearance over time. Fingerjointing is a wonderful recycler of wood products if you give thought to where it can work best for you.
Glue will soak more into the end grain of wood and can potentially result in starved glue joints. To help prevent this, you can “size” any end grain to be glued with a mixture of glue diluted with water. Dilute just so that when it is applied, glue drops don’t form at the lower edges of the wood. Another method, somewhat less effective, is to coat the end grain with full-strength glue, allow it to dry 5 to 10 minutes, then re-coat with glue and assemble.
Whenever you are gluing metal it’s a good idea to clean it first with steel wool or sandpaper. (Rust never sleeps.)
Old bicycle innertubes that are cut into long, narrow strips can make excellent clamps for repairing broken wooden furniture. After gluing a fractured joint, the rubber strips can be tightly stretched around the repair area to hold pieces in place while the glue is drying.
You can cut the cost of wood glue for workshop projects significantly by buying your glue in 1-qt. or larger containers. To make it convenient to use, transfer the glue as you need it from the large bottle to your own squeeze bottles or a glue pot.
Styrofoam is a plastic that has been whipped up like a milkshake and then cured that way. That’s what makes it light. Like plastic, there are many different formulas for styrofoam. They may contain any combination of styrene, urethane, neoprene or vinyl. For this reason choosing the correct adhesive is not easy. For our tests we used polystyrene which is a composition of styrene, chlorodifluoroethane and ethyl chloride, for those of you who care. The most important things to remember when choosing an adhesive for styrofoam are:
– Never use an adhesive that contains a solvent. It will erode the styrofoam releasing all sorts of toxic fumes.
– Choose adhesives that are suited for not porous materials (remember styrofoams are plastics and plastics are non-porous).
– Never use hot glue directly on to styrofoam. There are some cases when hot glue is an appropriate adhesive, but it should be applied to the material you are bonding the styrofoam to and left to cool a few seconds before contacting the styrofoam. The glue will get lost in the hole that it has burned, and burning plastics releases toxic fumes.
– Remember, a glue is only as strong as the weakest material in the union. Styrofoam is easily broken and has very little tensile strength. In our tests, if the styrofoam broke before the bond, the glue was considered strong enough.