I posted this a few days ago, but it apparently never made it to the group ?
Funny, this has never happened before.
If this ends up being aduplicate post, I apologize.
Have a real old wooden bed frame that is in pieces, that I would like to put
It was originally held together by very large Biscuits, and a few Dowells,
Re the biscuits:
a. Should I use an epoxy glue, or perhaps that Gorilla Glue which I think
they call an acrylic adhesive ?
Which would be better ? Why ? (anything even better these days ?)
b. Some of the biuscuits have old, very hard, dried glue on them.
Would either the epoxy or Gorilla glue work (well) if I don't go to the
trouble of sanding them clean ? Or, must I really get rid of the old stuff
before either would grab ?
(looks like a lot of work to try and sand them clean)
here's a repeat of my answer;
Polyurethane glues are not meant for gap-filling applications.
Biscuits(new ones) are meant to swell from moisture in the glue,to be very
tight mechanically in addition to the glue bond.
Glue Epoxies do not get absorbed into the wood,and have a weaker bond than
a glue like Titebond.Clamping can also squeeze out too much epoxy,weakening
the joint.They do fill gaps nicely,and would work better with the old used
biscuits,as the old biscuits have a glue coating that would prevent
absorbtion of a polyurethane or Titebond-type glue.
it would be better to use NEW biscuits(or make a spline) and Titebond.
(biscuits are cheap,and worth it.)
Wood Magazine recently did a test on biscuit/dowel joints,tested their
relative strengths and ease of use. They also have done glue tests.
you also need to remove the old glue from the biscuit slots or dowel
holes,as the old glue will prevent the new glue from soaking into the wood.
new glue is not going to bond well to old glue.
I responded too and your post confirmed my suspicions that Gorilla glue
is a polyurethane since it foams on curing. Titebond sounds like the
standard type polyvinyl acetate as is Elmer's glue. I would use them
but epoxies should also work and there are probably grades made for wood.
Titebond is quite a bit better than Elmers Glue(white glue),and there are
thick,non-drip and waterproof versions of Titebond(II and III).
boat fiberglassing epoxies will be thin enough to soak into wood but need
fillers(like wood flour,chopped glass,chopped plastic fiber,fumed
silica,phenolic microballoons) added to use as a glue.You first apply the
unfilled epoxy mix to soak into the wood,then add fillers for gluing.
System Three has an inexpensive (~$10 US PPD) trial kit (epoxy,several
fillers,mix cups and sticks,and a piece of fiberglass)that is very
nice,comes with the Epoxy Book(also downloadable)that is a must-read.
West Systems Epoxy is also very good,and personally,I use RAKA epoxy.
I started out with the System Three trial kit.It's WELL worth the money.
S3 and West epoxies are widely available,usually at woodworking stores and
marine supply stores.
Well, one would think so, but surely you've noticed that one the things
that makes it mess it is foams -- the gap is filled w/ the same way --
it's mostly air w/ only a tiny amount of glue making up the bubbles.
So, you really end up with the worst of both worlds -- the gap isn't
solidly filled so it doesn't finish well and (at least in that area) the
joint isn't very strong.
Obviously the best answer is to make well-fitting joints but for
gap-filling, choose something other than the polyurethanes (epoxies w/
fillers, etc.). The only time I really would recommend p-u's is for
locations that really require the fully waterproof nature or for an
application perhaps requiring the long open time during assembly I
_might_ consider it (although w/o the waterproof requirement it would be
pretty far down my list of alternatives probably).
Some advice already --
How old is "real old"?
If biscuits are original that indicates more than likely 20s-vintage at
the earliest and machine, not hand produced.
The glue to use depends in part on what is there but the the general
advice of cleanup is sound.
Assuming the joints are original and not something already hacked on, if
you can take a hot, wet cloth and soften the glue, that would indicate a
hide glue which is certainly one possibility. In that case, going that
route as a repair would make sense.
Otherwise, if it is nonsoluble in water/heat, cleanup and dry fit as
well as possible, particularly to ensure dirt and years' of crud aren't
in the way. If the biscuits are larger than a current new one,
depending on what they actually are, you may be able to fabricate
replacements relatively simply from thin ply stock. Otherwise, cleaning
them before reuse is about the only reliable technique.
After that, if not using hide glue, I'd recommend any of the current PVA
wood glues--on a clean, well-fitted joint they're as strong as the wood
in well over 50% of joint tests so there's no need for anything stronger
I recommend against epoxies or polyurethanes (gorilla, et al.),
resorcinol, etc., as simply unneeded for the job and making additional
repair/restoration down the way if required nearly impossible, not just
I would clean off all the old glue. Dry fit, fuss with clamps, use
yellow woodworking glue (such as Elmer's), clamp, allow to dry
overnight, sand, refinish. If that's too much work, I'd reconstruct
replacement pieces. Why did it break? I wonder if the frame was made
properly in the first place and not worthy of repair.
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