I've always been adhesively challenged. Various glues and epoxys just
never worked for me. I heard that wood glue was stronger than the wood
around it so I decided to see if wood glue would work for me. I glued
two scrap pieces of 2X4 that had been ripped in half, one shorter than
the other - something like:
| | ___
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
I clamped them and left them over night. The next day I set the long
piece on the concrete and went after the short piece with a hammer. I
couldn't knock it off. I then tried a 4 pound maul and the wood started
to give way but the glue joint did not budge. And this was just a butt
joint, no interlocking wood at all. The glue was some Titebond that had
been sitting around the shop for a few years. I'm a believer now. I've
always used just screws and nails in the past but I'm wanting to do some
finer things now. Anyway, I'm sure you'll get some good info on glue
from others, but I thought my little experiment might interest you.
Are you trying to unstick it, or hoping it won't unstick ? None are
really permanent, unless you're _trying_ to separate them. 8-)
Joints like dovetails were used because they continue to hold after
the glue has failed. That said, there's plenty of 400 year old hide
glue still sticking mouldings onto furniture all on its own.
Some modern glues (epoxy, polyurethane) are avoided by fine
cabinetmakers and musical instrument makers because they are more
permanent than the traditional alternative. Centuries later these
glues (hide or skin glues, starch pastes) could be safely steamed
apart to allow repairs, then replaced. Splitting an epoxy joint apart
is almost guaranteed to damage the timber (although you _can_ do this
if you use a phenolic filler - google through JAIC)
So "permanent" really depends on your timescale.
I don't believe there are any Mosquito aircraft left flying. They were
built from a plywood lamination and the glue is no longer airworthy.
Some were glued with an animal glue and they failed by termite attack
in hot countries. Some WW2 German aircraft (the copied Moskito) used a
similar construction, but didn't even last until their first flights,
owing to use of an ersatz glue instead of the intended TegoFilm from a
I've just been making sword scabbards - the traditional glue for the
two halves is rice paste, made yourself by mashing up last night's
supper. Every few years the scabbard can be split apart for cleaning.
So permanence can be either good or bad, depending on your use.
Polyurethane lasts for ages unless there's UV light (sunlight). Some
waterproof boat-building glues will fail in minutes with _hot_ water,
such as a spill over a kitchen cabinet. Permanence depends on the
conditions of service, as much as the raw materials. Proper mixing
and application technique is important too.
I don't often use different glues for different timber, but I use a
lot of different glues for different materials and different
Timber is all pretty similar, so the same glues work pretty well and
they'll have the same strength / weather resistance. Only a few
timbers, like teak, cause problems. Teak is oily, so a water-based
adhesive doesn't bond well. Either use polyurethane glue or degrease
the surface by wiping it down with dichloromethane.
Although this is a "woodworking" group, I work a lot of non-wooden
materials. Tonight I was sticking a rubberised cloth lining into a
chest with petroleum-based contact adhesive. For putting leather onto
antique binoculars I use "Croid", a Victorian recipe for a modified
hide glue. The more obscure your materials, the more esoteric your
glues become. For museum conservation work I use Acryloid's resins -
they're all PVA (sic), but there's about a dozen of them for different
materials and different risks of damaging things.
Fresh glue generally works better than old stuff, especially if
opened. So get a good glue catalogue, buy what you need for whatever
you're working on, and just buy what you need and can use in the
Sorry, but you are using some poor examples here.
There are numerious wooden or partially wooden aircraft from the '20s,
'30s and '40s still flying. Notably, Dehavlind Tiger Moths, Stearmans,
Wacos and Stearmans. Likewise, some homebuilt aircraft like the Bowers
FlyBaby were built in the late '60s and still very airworthy.
The quality of the glue I doubt had very little to do with the fact that
airworthy Mosquitos are non-existant. It probaby has more to do with the
fact that these planes, like many rare aircraft, are far too valuable for
their owners to risk them in what are essentially joy rides.
On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 22:08:57 +0000 (UTC), Frank Stutzman
Even 1910's, if you look hard enough.
The difference is that the Mosquito was a plywood monocoque, laminated
to shape. Different joint techniques, different glues.
The problem is severe and grounded all the Mosquitoes about 20 years
ago. I have heard there was a solution to fix it, but don't know how
successful it was. It's not a problem of glue strength degradation,
so much as the glue producing acids when degrading, and these then
destroy the wood surface.
I don't know the status of the post-war De Havilland jet aircraft with
similar construction (the Spider Crab and it's descendants are
basically a short pod of Mosquito fuselage with twin tail booms either
side). They were built under less austere conditions, maybe they used
There's a pack of Spitfires on my doorstep, and the RAF are still
flying the last remaining Lancaster. If there was a single Mosquito
remaining it might not be flown lightly, but chances are that it still
would be flown for the occasional display and memorial flight.
The last one that was flyable and outside of a static-display museum crashed
in '96 I understand. Kermit Weeks' is on permanent loan to the EAA
museum--it was flown there sometime after 1990. There's an outfit in
Australia that has put together the tooling to make new fuselages, so we
may see new production Mosquitos in the future, just as there are
new-production FW190s available right now.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Perhaps Andy wasn't direct to the point, but he did make some pertinent
observations as did you. I have built quite a few different types of
furniture and used a glue "type" to fit the situation. I pride myself on my
"traditional" style that hopefully will last many years. I don't use hide
glue for the purpose up future restoration (mostly because I hate working
with it); instead I use epoxy for permanance; although, permanance may
actually be measured in less than a lifetime. My furniture is high quality
and I feel that at the proper time (hopefully I will be watching from
somewhere else), someone will have the proper tools to again make my
furniture as stable as when I built it.
I am somewhat an enthusiast for old aircraft, mostly WWII that my father was
associated with. Every time I see one crash, I can only think there is one
less to exhibit our history. I lack a few hours for my private ticket. My
Dad spent many hours in the early years doping the skin and rebuilding
wooden ribs in the wings. In fact, during WWII, they supported the
Observation aircraft which meant they were real close to the line of battle.
They would sleep in tents and they would dig a trench in the tent so they
could sleep below ground to escape the constant sniper fire because they
were only a hundred yards or so from the battle line. In fact, mechanics
would be shot by snipers at times to keep the aircraft from giving real time
battle observations. It seems that the observation aircraft was one of the
enemies of the Germans. They would do their best to get rid of the
coordination effected by the L2's (Pipers), L4's and L5's (Cubs). I don't
know for a fact, but someone might help me here. He used a granular glue
that was heated up to glue the ribs. Hide glue? And the doping was
Now that I have totally gone off topic here, I use the glue that best fits
the situation, including PVC's, cyanoacrylate, different types of epoxies,
polyurethane, hot-melt, etc....
I'm not sure that the two statements are synonymous. No, there are none
left flying, although one is being restored. The one at the EAA museum was
flown there some time after 1990 (it had been flown transatlantic in that
year) and was flyable when put on display and I doubt that it has
deteriorated significantly since stored in an air-conditioned building--I
suspect that it can be easily restored to flyable condition . The last
Mosquito to fly crashed in 1996. I cannot find any information to suggest
that the crash was due to structural failure.
Hence the existence of Aerolite, which is still in use.
OTOH, the Go229 at Silver Hill may still be perfectly sound.
Depends on the polyurethane. Aircraft, ships, and trucks are painted with
it and it lasts for decades. But that is two-component polyurethane, not
the moisture-cure stuff you get at Home Depot.
Which would those be? Resorcinol glue, which is the only "waterproof
boat-building glue" in common use other than epoxy, survives several hours
of immersion in boiling water. Epoxy doesn't hold up quite as well at
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Just as a single point of opinion (your mileage may vary, etc), I
use regular old yellow wood glue for everything (either Elmers or
Tightbond, whichever happens to be cheaper when I need more).
Unless it's going outside, in which case I use epoxy (West System).
had an interesting experience last week that might help...
I used elmer's white wood glue years ago, then moved up to their
sickly yellow "carpenter's glue"..
After getting a biscuit joiner, I shopped for glue... damn, they're a
Almost settled on Gorilla glue, but the instructions said that wood
surfaces to be glued should be wiped with a wet cloth first... visions
of raised grain kept me from buying it..
Final choice (that trip) was Titebond III "ultimate wood glue", partly
because it was in a small bottle and I didn't want a lifetime supply
if it sucked..
Glued up a book rest with a couple of biscuits and spread it with an
acid brush.. joints seemed to glue up tight and strong, and the
friggin acid brush is now very firmly attached to the inside of a
plastic 5 gallon bucket/trash can that I tossed it in... this stuff
Water-based glues like Emer's/Titebond raise the grain, too. That's why
you may peel back the squeeze-out after twenty minutes, but you don't want
to scrape or sand until after the glue's been there for a good eight hours,
lest you end up with sunken areas along the joins.
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 18:36:04 GMT, "Leon"
thanks to both Leon and George.. my education is continuing and I love
Getting back to the shop at 57 years old, after having everything in
storage for 10 or 11 years, is an interesting experience... like being
in a time warp, with the progress in glues, power tools, techniques,
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.