Wood glue is one of those old-fashioned things that modern technology has yet to replace. Although it is not as strong as some epoxies, wood glue can be mixed and applied quickly.
What is Wood Glue?
Wood glue is a mixture of polyvinyl acetate (PVA) resin and a hardener. It holds tight fitting joints in wood working projects by forming a rigid, porous structure between the glued pieces. It is flexible and water-resistant.
Types of Wood Glue
There are three general categories of wood glues: yellow, white and epoxy. While all types bond with wood, each has different qualities and uses:
- Yellow (polyvinyl acetate)
This is the most common type of household wood glue; it comes in a tub or in an easy-application bottle. It is firm and bonds most types of wood. It can also be used for interior applications.
- White (polyvinyl acetate)
White glue (often called carpenter’s glue) is not as firm as yellow wood glue but can fill gaps and is more flexible. It dries to for a clear solution and is sometimes used in veneering because the resulting joints are virtually invisible when stained.
This glue filler is made of resin and hardeners mixed at a 1:1 ratio. It often has an accelerator that speeds up the cure time. In general, epoxy glues are designated by how long they take to cure (for example, 5 minutes or 30 minutes). Epoxy adhesives dry to form a very hard solution and are used for exterior woodworking.
Uses of Wood Glue
There are various uses, namely:
1. Joining wood together
Joining wood pieces together can be a hassle. Regular glue may not provide a strong enough hold or it may dry too slowly. It's also challenging to align the pieces together perfectly. Wood glue on the other hand, is easy to use and is very strong once dried.
2. Veneer work
Veneering parts of a woodworking project can be tedious and time-consuming, such as small trim or decorative pieces. When using epoxy glues, it isn't easy to get complete coverage on curved surfaces because the glue doesn't flow very well.
3. Making minor repairs
Wood glue can be used to fix a broken piece of furniture or even damage parts around your house, such as chairs and other furnishings. Although it won't last as long as epoxy-type glue, wood glue is still an effective adhesive. It can also be used to fix holes in walls when you knock something over or can be used to glue the bottom of a shelf that has come loose.
4. Wood finishing projects
Wood glue can be mixed with wood stains and pigment powders for special effects on your painted project. You can try staining or lacquering before or after gluing. Just be careful not to get wood glue on finished surfaces because it will leave a permanent mark.
How to Apply Wood Glue
When using PVA-based glue, assemble your pieces and apply the glue evenly with a brush or roller. Apply it generously; you want the two surfaces covered and wetted. Ensure they touch before clamping (if clamping is necessary); this will ensure the strongest bond.
When using epoxy glue, be sure to mix it thoroughly before applying. Scrape any excess glue that may protrude from the container's rim. Spread it evenly with a brush or roller. Clamp your pieces together and allow them to dry for at least 24 hours before using.
Here are some other tips for working with wood glue:
1. Clean up after gluing by wiping any excess glue with a damp rag while it is still wet.
2. Apply wood glue to your project before assembly, as it's easier to apply an even coat on flat surfaces.
3. If you are working with veneers or two different wood types, use yellow glue rather than epoxy—the differing types of wood may require other glues.
4. When clamping, don't place a lot of pressure on the pieces as you want to allow the glue to seep into the cracks and open pores between your pieces.
In a nutshell, this article should have informed you on "what is wood glue" and how it works. Moreover, this should help you understand the various uses of wood glue.