Hard to say but it is obvious that either your glue is no good or the wood
surfaces being glued were "dirty". I suspect the latter.
Was the "kindling pile" inside or outside? Did you machine or sand the wood
surfaces to be glued so that you had nice fresh, dry, unoxidized,
unweathered wood for the glue?
BTW, clamp pressure depends much on the hardness of the wood; butternut is
soft, doesn't need as much pressure as walnut which is harder and walnut
doesn't need as much as hickory which is very hard. Same thing for
planarity of surfaces...one can get a satisfactory glue job with two
relatively rough, non-matching butternut surfaces by increasing the clamp
pressure...can't do that with hickory - or at least I can't.
My first thought at that sort of spectacular glue failure would
be 'wet wood'. Wet is not always obvious, but wood above a
certain moisture content does not seem to bond well with any
waterbased glues that I've used (I haven't used titebond, since
it's not commonly sold in these parts; but I understand it to
be a member of the 'white glue'/pva/aliphatic family, also).
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
It is in that family. And I'd tend to agree, but this wood was tinder
dry. I"m still not sure what the issue was here. I've not had a chance
to glue anymore of it, but will let you guys know when I do.
I think I see a problem here. Try this:
Go to the lumber yard and get a "pine" 1 x what ever( ask for a cull it is
cheaper and will work fine). Cut the board into 2 inch wide strips about 10
inches long. Get a NEW bottle of glue, I like Titebond ll but any white or
yellow glue will work, Try to stay away from Titebond lll for this. Now
take two strips and put glue on about 6 inches on the end of one of them and
put them together so that you have a unglued surface on each end and the
glue joint in the middle ( you should have a "handle" on each end of the
glued up wood). Clamp and set aside to dry. You should do this with
several samples, changing the amount of glue, clamping pressure etc with
each sample, one with a lot of glue so that is runs out of the joint, one
with very little glue, one with glue spread evenly on one surface, one with
glue spread on both surfaces etc etc.. You should vary your clamping
method, strong clamp, light clamp, tape for clamp etc. Allow to dry for a
least 4 hours the longer the better. When cured take one of the "handles"
and place in a vice and whack the other end with a hammer until the joint
breaks, Look at the broken joint and you will see which method is strongest
and best for you. All wood should act pretty much the same with what ever
gluing method and glue you used, some better some worse depending on the
glue and wood but similar. Now you have a gluing method to use. Next on
the faces of the boards you glued up, you hand planned them, are you sure
that you got them perfectly flat? I find it hard to get them perfectly flat
with a hand plane, it seems to work better with a planner or jointer when
doing face glue ups.
Did you do the "TV woodworker" type of glue up -- squirt a little glue on
one side and press together -- for the best bond, glue should be spread
evenly and lightly on both pieces and then clamped together. For working on
the final result, wait 24 hours, even though it looks glued, it may not be
set strong enough to withstand pressures and stresses.
two things come to mind:
1 - bad glue - i'd consider this most likely - go to the borg and get a
new bottle of titebond and try again.
2 - oily wood? Don't know what your kindling pile is, so is it possible
your two pieces are not walnut, but a more tropical wood that has a high
LOL. Lew, you have a memory like my wife's. What's worse, you and she
are right way too many times.
But, you have a point. The epoxy failed the first time precisely because
of the cold. This time, I really dunno. I'll get some new glue and give
it another whirl.
I could have. That epoxy is stored inside and I'm sure it's fine. It's
also expensive as hell, and I don't want to use it for ordinary
glue-ups. I'm certainly a convert, Lew. The stuff is amazing in
tough-to-fix jobs, but for this, if I had considered it, would have
seemed a waste. I'm also sure that it would have worked well.
Out of (more or less idle) curiosity, any idea how old what you used
actually is? IIRC, a year is the suggested shelf life for TB III, but
I've seen no change in gluing properties of that kept far longer.
It does tend to thicken somewhat and get stringy, but as noted on the
container, a jarring of the container (not stirring, but vibrating) will
reconstitute its properties unless it is, indeed, too far gone. (It's a
very unusual-behaving material in that regard; I've never observed a
similar characteristic in any other material).
Also iirc, the chalk temperature is 47 F, so if it is cool at night yet
still above freezing, even if the glue is warm enough being stored in
the heated cabinet, if the wood is colder than that, it will cool the
glue and the result could be the failure of the type you observe. Does
the glue surface appear to be dry and chalky after the failures? If so,
that would be a very suggestive indicator of low temperature. I had
forgotten to mention the wood temperature as well as glue before.
I bought my current Titebond in early 2008, Jan or Feb. All temps, glue,
wood and environment,
were above 60 when the glueing was done, but overnite temps may have
dipped into the 40s. I bring glueups into the house in the winter, but
don't in spring/summer. This piece was so small, it would have been easy
to bring it inside to cure overnite, but it never entered my mind.
You may have something here.
I"m still going to get new glue.
Back in high school wood shop days we would glue poplar up for lathe
turnings. We would glue a sacrificial piece on the bottom of the stack
with a piece of newspaper between the good stuff and the sacrificial.
When we were done turning we would pop off the sacrificial piece. It
somehow survive turnings. I do not know how safe the practice was but
I do not recall any disasters. I would bet we let that glued up stuff
dry a few days in a 70 degree shop.
Well, I'm mostly corn-fused about glue thickness and pressure. Fine
for a lab or industrial setting, but for me it seems reasonable to put
a smooth coating on both sides, them clamp "tightly." When I've tried
to break glue joints later, the wood separates indicating the glue was
In the OP, the one thing I noticed was the lack of time between gluing
and working. I think the Titebond label says something like "sets in
30 mins, full strength in 24 hours." I always wait 'bout an hour to
unclamp, then overnight before I trust the joint. And if I don't need
the clamps right away, they usually remain clamped overnight.
I think all of the above suggestions have merit, but the big factor
would seem to be the time between gluing and working.
Hope this helps.....
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