wood glues

Have big job pending - 10 of these:
http://www.owdman.co.uk/wood2/window1.jpg
and thought I ought to get up to speed on new glues. Normally I use hide glue for little projects & repairs etc, PVA for most, and cascamite for important ones. What would anyone recommend from the new ones PU, Resorcinol, titebond etc etc or is there a good website with comparisons and reviews?
cheers Jacob
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normanwisdom wrote:

Cascamite or a foaming polyurethane
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'Norman' You do not state if you are making a replica of these windows from scratch or using glue to repair them. I can advise on both but the solutions are very different so let me know. Chris
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Thanks Chris Both. Replicas; in redwood with linseed oil putty. But will incorporate some components such as the curved glazing bars which are in good condition and difficult to make. So would also be interested in "repair" glues. PVA is hopeless for repairs - won't stick well to less than perfect surfaces , hide glue seems to be best "universal" glue esp if you use a microwave instead of a glue pot boiler.
cheers Jacob
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I had wondered about that. What's your method/timing for the microwave for this? Is there no problem as the pot cools once you take it out?
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Basically just guess work, but it's more convenient to handle and quicker to warm up from cold. Then you just pop it in at intervals to keep it useable. Free old microwaves available on freecycle if you ask. Better would be dual function with temp control and fan heat.
cheers Jacob
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Ah - Ok then
Repairs
First things first. Get a copy of the SPAB Technical leaflet 13 (13 Spital Square London E1) "The repair of Wood windows" A Townsend M Clarke. This is the best technical description for purist repairs for listed buildings but you may need to be a bit more commercially practical - I know I had to be! Provided you are sensible in interpreting the repair the very best product I have found in 35 years of conservative repair ON A PRACTICAL BASIS rather than a purist basis is with an epoxy resin glue called "WindowCare". There are three types of resin with this system - a primer - a filler/glue and a surface defect body filler. Ignore the last one. I use this product as a glue and gap filler to maximise on the retention of old original wood. To do just carpentered repairs as a purist often means cutting off too much original wood to effect a carpentered joint which can just as well be done by forming in windowcare. As the product is expensive, I suggest it is not used as they suggest for replacing large volumes of wood but that it is used as a gap filling glue. http://www.wincareang.co.uk/ is one source for the system but not the original suplier I think It is a Dutch product http://www.bedrijvenbode.nl/main.php?subcat=514&expand=full&type=link In 35 years of repairing windows it is the only one I recommend but don't buy any of the special tools - just use normal ones! If you wish to have a permanent glue that won't rot use a phenol/ resorcinol type one that is the sort that is used in external Glue Lam structures. I use for window repairs Bison from a place down in Sussex (cant remember the name) but it is a twin pack product from Germany - a red goo and white powder and I has never failed me. Takes quite some time to set.
For new windows I can only cover some very basics
Step 1 make the whole window and prefabricate all parts with all joints wedges etc and any horns cut off 2 some tips have 10 degree slope on sill 10mm radius rounded arris on outside of sill all other arrises rounded as appropriate for paint good slope on any bottom sash rails or casement rails lots of drip grooves wherever possible dont use hardwood sills unless Grade 5 (extremly durable BRE Digest) but do use TREATED Scots pine once the whole window is fabricated take to a double vacuum treatment plant and bribe the man a 10 er to leave it in the bottom of the plant for all his runs that day take it out and if d/vac let solvent out for 7 days in warm atmosphere well ventilated If Aquavac should be ok in a few days once dry and fit for gluing use the Bison or a similar resorcinol It will all last long enough to see out your grandchildren If you really want to improve the specificaton paint lead based (only available on special listed licence) paint on all endgrain prior to glueing (Victorian trick) Failing that, use another heavy metal primer!
If the client (as sometimes happens) insists on "hardwood" sills such as (European) Oak - warn him that it is only a grade 3 (moderately durable) timber and American oak is less at grade 2. Treated (properly) Scots pine is better performing. You can put them on notice of this and let them take the liablity for insisting on the hardwood specification.
Needless to say all timbers when put back in are best isolated with a suitable dpm. Hope this helps chris
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Chris George wrote:

Sounds like car body filler to me.
Apart from the colour, this makes a damned fine gap filling adhesive.
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

The fast setting is a drawback on fiddly work though
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Thanks Chris - I'll print it off and study at leisure! I agree about hardwood cills - they rot fast. I've taken perfect softwood stiles out of very rotten oak cills many times. Have used ali primer to date but am now looking at http://www.holkham.co.uk/html/linseed_paints.html Any experience? Not too bothered about preservatives, these windows are 131 years old and preservative free - it's the lack of paint during the last 30 years which finished them off. Don't want to poison myself, the environment etc. Properly detailed and maintained trad joinery lasts forever, even without preservatives. Logically I should use hide glue in that it seems also to last forever (131 years in this case) and I wonder how modern glues can out perform them?
cheers Jacob
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It is very good paint, with two provisos
Follow the instructions on the we page especially the bit about cleaning off all modern paint.Tedious but essential
It takes forever to dry as lead is no longer added :-( Fastest drying times I've had is about 1 week in a warm sunny conservatory. Any outdoor painting should definitely be done before the end of August
Anna
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None - but look at the science.... linseed oil is the solvent - what is the "active" ingredient (pigment) of the paint? HOW does it last 3x longer than "other" paints? I do not know but suspect it is the way that the solvent "evaporates" leaving a residue of pigment and solvent combination that is quite flexible and naturally hydrophobic. The key to its performance I suspect is the key! - the interface with the wood. How it works on part previously painted and part new would concern me.


I was NOT suggesting preservatives for the existing windows - as you so rightly say a waste of money. It is only using modern grown softwood with a high percentage of fast-grown sapwood where preservative treatment IN A PRESSURE PLANT is essential. IF you can however find some slow grown HEARTWOOD of a natually durable soft wood perhaps some Riga pine dating from the 18th century you will have a decent product! For sure if you are not going to treat the wood you are using to replace with then you must chose by natural durability of the heartwood. Look this up in the BRE digest that is relevant (Used, I think, to be 296 but has been updated) and get that but it is much much easier to use vac vac treated Scots pine for soft wood repairs and new build.
these windows are 131 years old

So they will have been sourced from timber that is slow grown and sapwood has been removed - a product that is difficult to get these days if at all!
it's the lack of paint during the last 30

agreed
Don't want to poison myself,
None of the products issued by wood preservers is toxic (at worst they are classified as irritant) If you are using vac/vac treated timber the uptake of preservative in the wood cells that are treated is circa 0.1 percent. Only the outer cells are treated so that is a further 1% so as a % of total volume of wood the active ingredient would have to be less than 0.001%! You have three means of contamination of your body inhalation, skin contact and ingestion. Unless you are very hungry it is onlylikely that the second one will be a route. After drying out of the solvent there is virtually no active ingredient on the surface. The LD 50s (lethal dose to kill 50% of a mammalian test organism) are high for any known vac vac treatment process so you would really have to work quite hard at eating this wood to get any damaged done to you. the

WRT the environment one has to consider the beneficial effects of treatment (the reduction in need to cut down any more trees to replace the wood) v the industrial costs. Now that Aqua vac is taking over from OS vac vac I think the balance has shifted in favour of the treatment process. (Using OS has significant enviromnental costs - using water :less so)

Naturally but we design to cater for all the idiots and busy people who think that they can get away without painting regularly

I assume (correct me if I am wrong) that this is a casein glue. If so it is a biologically easily degradable compound and only has logevity if protected by the paint. The glues I suggested are permanent chemical changes not subject to the same biological degradation in the environment of use
in that it seems also to last forever

You have a random sample of 1 I have no evidence to comment on why but if the glue is of animal origin it is likely to be casein and thus its survival in this set of windows is down to its particular environment there. Casein glues are not durable. Look at any furniture which has been left an item out in the rain for a while. Look at the biology of the product.
and I wonder how modern glues can out

By means of a permanent chemical reaction under the environment of use.

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No there are millions of items of trad joinery still in good condition today which were glued with animal glue, some of them 200 or more years old. My theory is that animal glue can survive a damp/dry cycle if it is not too severe. Am looking at your other comments, thanks.
cheers Jacob
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normanwisdom wrote:

Casein is derived from milk, hence the appalling smell if it gets damp. Animal glue is made from boiled bones. Not the same thing at all

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wrote:

Jacob You are quite right - casein is milk based and animal glue is collagen based Both are proteins and rely on the glue action by chemical bonding with hydrogen bonds Both susceptible to biological action both prone to chemical changes on humidification In fact, casein is a better performer in wood adesion than collagen. See http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-82530/adhesive
Collagen-containing glues form an elastic network with hydrogen bonds. The hydrogen bonds can be disturbed by water. Water will bond to chemical 'receptors' that would be there in the glue to hold it together and the structure can thus fail.
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Just re-reading this thread - doesn't seem to be any good reason offered for not using cascamite (or vegemite whatever it's now called). I'll buy some today.
cheers Jacob
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Except I seem to recall that it's no longer being made!
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<http://www.axminster.co.uk/product-Humbrol-Extramite-Powdered-Resin-Woo d-Glue-21688.htm>
This do?
Peter
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Easily said from behind a desk. Very different for a practitioner - "irritant" exposure every day can't be good, and if it irritates the skin it will surely be bad for the lungs. Inhalation and ingestion are very likely in a normal work condition via dust firstly (it's inevitable that some treated timber will get resawn, sanded, mishandled for whatever reason) and by transference from the skin. I know this from experience handling other peoples work - one of the first indications of the presence of preservatives is the tingly nasty taste on the lips (you don't have to actually lick the wood to get it) and the second is the irritation in the throat (and hence the lungs). Also the treated joinery may well at some point be removed, or modified, sanded, drilled, hot-air gunned, paint stripped etc at which time preservatives will be released. Also bearing in mind that the preservative industry have a terrible reputation and would say anything - even in the bad old days of arsenic, TBT, etc, I will not have anything to do with preservatives. If my clients want it I tell them they must apply it themselves when I am well off site. My health is more important to me than the longevity of their windows/doors.
cheers Jacob.
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Well understood and respected as one's health is clearly a matter for a personal risk assessment. All the exposure to which I referred above would have to be subject to a COSHH assessment and appropriate PPE and other measures. Clearly, using no preservatives is safest for you and quite within your perogative but not using them will without question produce a less durable end product for the client. I do feel that you may have been influenced by what was bad practice 20 years ago in terms of active ingredients in wood preservative and that, if you are as concerned as you are about wood-preserving chemicals as they are allowed today, you should also to look equally at other activities.... bleach under the kitchen sink, most organic solvent paints, every time you fill up a car with petrol, not to mention lots of the food we gaily buy from the supermarkets!
I would also like to add that my advice is not just from behind a desk and that (if it was not clear from the tenor of my advice - I apologise) I am also a "practitioner" that my advice is based on working on site (on and off) since 1975. chris
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