Stronghold Wood Adhesive

Advantages: High bonding power, attractive appearance, quick drying and easily cleaned with water as the solvent. This glue has been making a resurgence in some traditional woodworking circles because it has a lot of desirable properties: it’s non-toxic, it can be stained, it has strong initial tack that can be achieved via a rub joint (rub two coated pieces together and they will stay together), and it is available in several gram strengths (higher gram strength equals stronger glue joint) and color grades.

The clouding is barely noticeable.) I use Elmer’s Glue-All because it’s safe, inexpensive, strong, easy to use, and it can be found at many stores (Wal-Mart, Michael’s, Office Depot, etc.). I’ve used several different PVA brands, but their properties are fairly similar to one another, so I tend to use Elmer’s the most because it works well and it’s inexpensive.

Other glues specifically for veneering come in multiple colors (light, medium, dark), such as Unibond 800 (a two part adhesive, mixed before use, no water to swell the wood fibers, but without water I bet the alternative solvents are toxic and/or flammible), from Vacuum Pressing Systems Less toxic Better Bond is a pre-mixed liquid from Veneer Supplies , and is available in multiple colors.

This category includes wood, wood products, yardstick, paper gypsum plasters, felt & fabrics, styrofoam, etc. Quick & Thick is three times thicker than other PVA glues for ease of application in tight corners and vertical surfaces, according to the company. The most common wood glues – the PVA family and hide glue – can be applied with more control and ease with the help of some simple tools.

PVA adhesive strength is determined by the ‘solids content the higher the solids, the stronger the PVA. For book binding, I would definitely recommend using a pH neutral PVA based glue that is specific to book binding. Polyvinyl Acetates are very versatile and are relatively fast drying but excess glue must be wiped away after applying or it is very difficult to remove when dry. Some glue squeeze-out is workable after it cures, in the sense that it can be mechanically modified. From now on I’ll use the basic PVA when theres no need for moisture resistance, which is the one thing it clearly cant handle.

When diluting PVA it is best to add water to glue a bit at a time and stir well – that way you don’t over-dilute. Most other glues will not hold well if there is a gap between the pieces of wood that you are gluing together. This is ideal for acidic PVA adhesives because the PVA’s acidic hydrogen ions (H+) will strip away hydroxide (-OH) groups from the cellulose molecules, and create water (H2O) molecules. Polyurethane glue does not dry like PVA glues, but instead chemically reacts with moisture in the objects being glued or even in the air.

One way to make this undesirable glue squeeze-out more manageable is to use something like masking tape or painter’s tape to cover the surface along the joint where squeeze-out is expected. Once you pick the correct glue for your project, you’ll also want to make sure you have the correct tools to apply it. Some glues can be applied straight from the bottle onto your project.

If you submit your name through a form on our website to request information from an advertiser or third party, is not responsible for any marketing or other use of your name by that third party. They don’t actually glue; they weld the plastic together by dissolving the surface and fusing it. The most commonly used solvent is M.E.K. (Methyl ethyl ketone).


I don’t claim to be an expert on PVA adhesives but I have a Materials Science background (B.S. and graduate school; my emphasis is in alloys and ceramic materials, but I’ve taken some polymer courses). My bottle of Old Brown Glue that I used to illustrate this article uses urea as well. The chemical nature of wood significantly delays polymerization of cyanoacrylate.

It’s best to add water to the glue (not the other way around) a small amount at a time and stir it well, to make sure you don’t over-dilute. A wet cloth or green scrub kitchen sponge works great for removing the glue while it is wet (although I only recommend this approach with the Carpenters glue or Titebond Original). The yellow exterior version of PVA is often called Carpenter’s Glue… but it’s still PVA.

Polyurethane glue does contain a chemical that discolors skin – new skin with replace the discolored skin in about a week, but the discoloration cannot be washed out – wear disposable gloves! Because the glue will stick to tape instead of the surface, it’s much easier to remove the squeeze-out. PVA glue is a very versatile, environmentally friendly adhesive, that can be cleaned-up or diluted with water. Some are one-part systems (Krazy Glue), and others require an activator to set up properly (2P-10).

With some glues, it’s advisable to wait a short period time after applying the glue for it to become partially cured and tacky. More than likely you’ll want to use the bottle/tube the glue came in or some other tool to apply the glue directly to the surfaces of the joint. There are of course variations on these and new glue products and formulations are popping up like mushrooms.

It dries very hard and quickly, and is waterproof, but dealing with dried polyurethane glue can be problematic for finishes. If you’re working on a crown miter joint, for instance, you can apply the glue to one side, the activator to the other, then simply hold the joint in place for a few seconds until the glue bonds. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

But you can test to see if wood will absorb wood glue by just applying a few drops of water to the wood surface and see if they bead up or are absorbed by the wood. If the temperature is near the extremes of the allowed range, the working time of the glue may be affected, meaning that the glue joint must either be made very quickly, or conversely, the glue joint may need to be clamped longer than normal to fully set.

Prior to drying, polyurethane glue can be removed using solvents such as mineral spirits or acetone. Any true load-bearing engineering application should be carefully calculated and executed to make sure glue joints will be strong enough given the pressure at cure time. When using solvents, remember that some of them have accumulative effects that may not necessarily show symptoms for some time. The other glue that is often overlooked, are the acetone based adhesives often found in many hobby and craft stores under different brand-names.

When using epoxy, work in a well-ventilated area, mix the glue in small batches, and be aware of how much of each resin you are mixing together. Thinner cyanoacrylate glue does not bond more quickly nor form shorter polymer chains than the gel version when used on wood. There is another version of hide glue called liquid hide glue that comes in a bottle, as seen above.

Summary: Advice on PVA Adhesive uses and properties including sealing timber, sealing plaster, waterproofing plaster, render and mortar and as a wood glue for DIY and joinery. Make as many passes as needed with the clean area of the cloth to remove all the glue. CA glue can be used as a temporary way of joining two pieces of wood together as a temporary step in making a project. They work extremely well with re-manufactured wood and paper products such as plywood and MDF sheets.

PVA can be added to a cement mortar mix to give the mix a) slightly better waterproofing qualities and b) advanced adhesion to the surface it is applied to. Painting a coat of PVA on the surface before the cement mortar is applied can even further increase this adhesion. The second plus comes in when you are working with a burl or figured wood veneer where the sheet is so wild and far from flat that it looks like the Rocky Mountains. Please note that this answer is regarding Gorilla Wood Glue, which is a water-based PVA. In addition, some glues are stronger when the cured glue line layer is thinner, and clamping a glue joint can help make the glue line layer thinner.