Shelf life for glue (revisited)

A week ago or so someone posted something about shelf life for glue. I was surprised to learn that the regular white and yellow PVC glue had a shelf life of about one year...
I tought when glue was too old, either it makes a film, dries in the bottle, change color or consistency, etc...
I purchased a bottle when I was a teenager for my first woodworking project... That bottle got packed up in a box and remained forgotten for around 20 years... The time I was going through my years in a small appartment and paying all the more pressing bills...
When I bought my house and started to dig through all those forgotten stuff, I found my bottle and put it back to use as I started woodworking again... It's been there for almost 18 years...
Guess what? No difference from the first day I used it. Same strengh, same open time, same consistency, etc...
Now the inevitable question: Are you kiddin' when you all say one year shelf life max?
Wally
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Quite possibly the glue companies desire you to throw it out at that time and buy a new, fresh bottle. I've used bottles of yellow PVA glue over 5+ year spans with no glue problems.
Poly glue? Don't know, but once it is open, it should probably be used as soon as possible, otherwise inevitably moisture in the air will help the glue to cure in the bottle.
scott

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Fri, Jul 2, 2004, 4:19pm snipped-for-privacy@nfoe.com (Wally) claims: <snip> I purchased a bottle when I was a teenager <snip> It's been therefor almost 18 years... Guess what? No difference from the first day I used it. Same strengh, same open time, same consistency, etc... <snip>
My, my, what a remarkable memory you have. And, apparently a testing lab.
Now the inevitable question: Trolling is we Wally? What kind of glue you talking about anyway? Miracle Glue?
JOAT "That's right," he said. "We're philosophers. We think, therefore we am." - From Small Gods
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I'm not trolling. I've better to do with my life.
I'm serious. I have this yellow PVC glue made by "Lepage". It's called carpenter's glue (3000 pound). I've use it when I was 15 while taking woodworking class.
I packed it up and never used it until just recently. I'm now 35 and I started to use it last year. Make your own math... I can even send it to you if you don't believe me.
As the others mentionned, I think also it's all in the interest of the glue manufacturers to let people believe their product have to be replaced on a regular basis.
Wally
On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 17:22:24 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

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Time will tell, won't it. For me, I spend the extra couple of bucks to rule out glue failure several years down the road that may be caused by an expired shelf life. But, if your glue lasts you 18 years, you may never use enough that it would matter.
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Storage conditions will factor in with each set of circumstances. As for your 18 year old glue, it is too early to tell if it is still OK or not. You may have tested it by doing a glue up and it appears fine but glue deteriorates over time any you test piece may not hold up. It could possibly fail in 10 years. Glue is CHEAP and it should hold your projects together long after you are gone.
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Leon wrote:

I have Weldwood Plastic Resin glue, Elmer's carepenter's glue, and Elmer's resorcinol glue that are old. None give a shelf life on the container. I think I saw 1 year for Plastic resin (a powder). In any case, all have been used long after they were purchased and continue to performed as expected. There is no reason to believe that glue will fail some time after the application if it doesn't fail immediately after or during application. All glues probably fail over a period of time and under adverse conditions.
The world is so full of crap about products and applications that it is difficult to know what is true, but some is such obvious bullshit that you wonder why people believe it. As an example, periodic wheel alignment. Wheels are either aligned or not, and the only way to become unaligned is to bend, break, or wear out a part. If you don't need a new part for the alignment then you didn't need an alignment or more likely it wasn't aligned correctly the last time.
Because some things do need periodic maintenance and some things do go bad after a period of storage, it is easy for manufactures to prey on the gullible by insisting on certain periodic maintenance and on replacing older products.
A 1 year or six month warranty (or shelf life) is probably more about legal protection and a desire to sell more product than any truth about the product.
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From the age of 17 to 40 I was in the automotive business and retired at 40 from upper management. To keep my sanity during those years I took up Woodworking seriousely when I was 23. I puttered around with it since I was 10. Now I am self employeed, dont have to work but choose to. I design and build custom furniture or just about anything wood related including repairing furniture. Almost always the furniture fails because of the glue. This furniture that I work on ranges in age of 60 years old to 4 years old and all in between. For me, there is a reason to believe that glue fails prematurely.

Taking into consideration my previous profession, I tend to agree with your observation. More often than not, a symptom that indicates the need for an alignment is a bad tire. The tire can be brand new and still be bad. That said, if the nuts and bolts that tighten the tie rod end sleeves loosen for some reason or were not tightened properly, a pot hole in the road can knock the alignment out with out necessarily damaging any front end parts. I do not subscribe to periodic wheel alignments unless tire wear indicates the need. Simply having the alignment "checked" is a good idea when having new tires mounted. The caster or camber can be out of spec's and will cause premature tire wear and not necessarily be noticed by a pull or drift of the vehicle.
If you don't

That is normally true.

Yeah, like you said, probably, but maybe not.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

The data sheet says "1 year minimum" whatever that means. What's the maximum I wonder?

Kermit Weeks flew his deHavilland Mosquito to Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1990 to be put on display in the EAA museum. It was more than 50 years old at the time, and if you contact the EAA museum they'll likely tell you that if it's not currently flight-ready the glue is not the reason. If glue will hold a combat aircraft together for over 50 years then that "period of time" is long enough that I'm not going to worry about it and you don't get conditions much more adverse than a WWII bomber experienced.

Really depends on the product and also on what you're doing with it. Would you want to fly in an airplane that had been stuck together with out of date adhesives? Would you want a surgeon to stick your body parts together with out of date adhesives (surgeons do use adhesives, usually some variant of superglue, instead of sutures or staples in some situations these days).
A while back I did some preliminary testing on a group of coatings, attempting to select one to be used in a high-wear area on military aircraft--we had in some cases to buy several gallons to get the quart or so we needed for our tests. Once purchased the stuff was carefully stored according to the manufacturer's instructions and if there were no instructions it was kept refrigerated. That project got put on the back burner for a while, then got hot again a couple of years later, when I got a budget to do a full evaluation of one of the coatings. We pulled out the samples we had and the first thing we did was replicate the preliminary test. Results were _very_ different. The stuff looked the same in the can, and seemed to spray the same, but when we started doing measurements we found that we didn't get as much build per coat, the color was slightly different, and the durability of the cured coating was _much_ less. This is stuff that nobody would have noticed if we hadn't been doing tests with instruments and comparing with previous data--if we had just sprayed the stuff and put it in service we would never have known there was a problem until it wore out prematurely. Tried it again from different cans that had never been opened before. Same result. Checked the shelf life and according to the data sheet it was 6 months. So we called up the manufacturer and got some fresh sent out and the properties on that were what they were supposed to be.
So don't assume because a glue _seems_ to be OK that it _is_ OK. It might be or it might not. If failure of the joint could result in somebody getting hurt or in significant property damage then use fresh. If the cost of failure is small then take chances.
--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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I have been using Tite Bond II glue from a gallon bottle with no expiration date on the bottle. I have been using this for approximately 4 years. I used about a third of it when I purchased it and had less than a half gallon after the one year expiration date, seems fine to me but what do I know? Can anyone out there explain what happens to the glue after a year other than getting a little thicker ?
I also remember when bottled/canned beer had no expiration date. Wayne Columbia MD

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Can lose holding pwer. Thickeing is a first step in curing.
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wrote:

lol... I am old enough to remember when not a single prescription drug had an expiration date on the stock bottle... and I was old enough to drink beer at that time...but I never checked for an expiration date on the can (my dad was a Steel Worker so If I got caught with a glass bottle I was in deep do-do)
However I gave up buying large bottles of glue years ago ..Had problems storing it in my shop over the winter etc... Glue is cheap and I now just buy fresh glue and toss out the old...
Bob Griffiths
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Every ten degrees in temp will make a big difference. That includes the temperature it was stored in for the months before you bought it. Same with mixed shellac; in a cold climate year-round, I've had that last nicely over 6 years, yet a friend in a warm climate is lucky to get much over 6-months. GerryG

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