Epoxy, PVA, yellow, Gorilla Glue or something else?

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Hi, I'm making a maple workbench top and I need to glue it up. The plans (the Veritas Modern Bench) call for epoxy because of the long working time or PVA or yellow glue. The epoxy was REALLY expensive, the PVA and yellow are not expensive but the working time is not as long. Do I need to worry about their water vulnerabilities? (Not that I'm gonna be working in a pool or anything.) If I do need to go the epoxy route, where can I get it, and which one? Thanks, Pete
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You COULD use epoxy, but the extended working time doesn't really buy you much, in comparison to the added costs and additional fuss. None of the "build your own heritage bench" articles I've seen in the last 5 years used anything other than PVA glues to laminate a benchtop...
I used Titebond Original and McFeeley's screws to do mine, but then, it was layering good grade plywood into a 2.25" thick top, which I regularly abuse. A reject firedoor from the oops pile at the doorbuilder makes a pretty good benchtop, too.
If you're planning on regularly getting your benchtop wet, you may need to take another road.
Patriarch
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halves and then glue them together? Good luck cleaning up the epoxy, if you go that route. Same for gorilla glue; the squeeze out is much more difficult to deal with than yellow glue.
As long as you don't drool much, I can't see that waterproofing is so important.
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Hi Pete:
I would stay away from the PVA's, because as others have noted, they creep over time. Epoxy is overkill, and as you found, expensive. Also, the glue-up will be complex enough without worrying about mixing a two-part adhesive. I have used polyurethane glue (Gorilla) for years, and am quite happy with it. It's priced between the PVA and epoxy. It is strong, can fill small gaps without significant loss of strength, is waterproof, and simple (one-part). Squeez-out is easily dealt with by allowing the glue to cure, and scraping away the resulting foam. Wear gloves, though, or your fingers will be black for weeks.
Regards, John.
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IIRC DAP makes WeldWood. A powder glue that is extremely strong and has a pretty long work time. Mix with water as needed and if it dries on your fingers or clothes it will be there for a very long time.
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skimp on glue or over-tighten the clamps.
Dave
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Pete Stolz wrote:

Spend a little time (with the wood, clamps, etc.) to rehearse every detail of what you are going to do, and anticipate the problems that will arise, then figure out a way to deal with them, and you will probably be well under the time limit. Do the rehearsal right before bedtime, and sleep on it. :)
er
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Speaking of clamps, the boards are 1" x 2" finished size and will be glued so the edges make the surface of the top...you know what I mean. Anyway, how far apart should I put the clamps?
zzzzzzzzzz

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suggest using cauls to hold the boards flat during glue up.
Dave
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Hi Dave,
Thanks for the help. I really enjoy working with wood, but I'm pretty much a rookie with this stuff. What's a caul? If it'll keep the boards flat I'll use 'em! Pete

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Pete Stolz wrote:

A caul is a (pair of) boards, sometimes with a slight "belly" to them, that you would use to clamp to the top and bottom of whatever you are gluing to keep them lined up.
And if you have that many boards you are gluing together you either need a very efficient roller (and technique) to put the glue on the boards, or, like someone said, put them together in sections.
er
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Thanks for your help, guys! This stuff sure is fun, especially when you do it right. Pete

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Pete Stolz wrote:

My suggestion would be yellow glue. Specifically, TiteBond type 2. It doesn't creep like PVA and is water resistant.
You would still have the problem of open time but that is easily solved by not trying to glue the whole works up at once...just glue together as many as comfortable. For example, glue together half a dozen; then glue together another half a dozen; then another six; finally, glue together the 3 sets of half a dozen. (Note that "half a dozen is not a suggestion, just an example). Doing it this way also means a better over all job because less clamp pressure will be needed for fewer pieces should the edges be less than perfect. Additionally, the edges of the glued up sets can be joined (if needed) before the sets are glued together. _______________

No ___________
Epoxy is handy so - for future reference - the #635 epoxy. It is handy to also have some Cabosil available (same source). It is a very light, fluffy and fine silica which is used to thicken epoxy. (Epoxy works best if the joints are *NOT* perfect; if they are *too* less than perfect, the Cabosil lets the epoxy fill the gaps.) http://www.uscomposites.com/epoxy.html
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Titebond II is a cross-linking polyvinyl acetate - PVA - and does creep unlike urethane glues (Gorilla). http://www.titebond.com/IntroPageTB.ASP?UserType=1&ProdSel=ProductLineTB.asp?prodline=2?prodcat=1

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Max Mahanke wrote:

Dang!...those devils.
OK, switch to plain old TiteBond.
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Plain old TiteBond would work just fine for a workbench glue-up. So would TiteBond II. I'd go for TiteBond Slow Set myself as it would give me 15 minutes for the 'oh craps!' that creep into glue-ups of that complexity. Creep is only a problem in joints under tension such as a bent glue lamination. Hell, a workbensh top is not under any tension. Me thinks we sometimes put too fine a point on things. BTW, did you go to TieBonds site? - a wealth of imformation.

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Pete Stolz wrote: > Hi, I'm making a maple workbench top and I need to glue it up. The plans > (the Veritas Modern Bench) call for epoxy because of the long working time > or PVA or yellow glue. The epoxy was REALLY expensive, the PVA and yellow > are not expensive but the working time is not as long. <snip>
When it comes to adhesives, after epoxy, everything else is down hill.
You indicate epoxy is "REALLY expensive".
I submit that is a relative term.
Yes, epoxy will be probably 3-6 times more expensive than say TiteBond II which as about $13-$14/gallon the last time I bought it, but that cost is not necessarily the final determination.
What percentage of the cost of the total project, does the cost of the epoxy represent?
My guess is less than 10% of the total project.
Use something that is 50% of the cost of the epoxy and your total savings are only 5% of the project, but you finished project will have it's value reduced by far more than 5%.
Glue the strips in groups of 3-4, the glue these groups together.
When everything is glued up, head to the commercial top shop and have them sand it flat.
Enjoy.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

and a lot cheaper and easier to clean up...
Dave
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As in polyester resin? That would offgas styrene and would require a lot more ventilation, VOC mask etc. I'd use good quality epoxy and know that there are fewer nasty chemicals in the air as a result. You do have to protect your skin as epoxies, when uncured, are toxic and can cause allergies.
Mike
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

What is that, Amdahl's Law for wooddorkers?
er
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