Bob Vila Radio: Adhesives

By Sarah Monzon & Bob Vila | Updated Nov 7, 2012 1:33 PM

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To get the job done right, you need stick-to-it-iveness. Here’s how to choose the right glue for your next woodworking project.




Listen to BOB VILA ON ADHESIVES, or read the text below:

There are three or four kinds of adhesives that work best on wood. Polyvinyl resin glue, or white glue, works for china and paper as well as wood, but it’s not waterproof. Aliphatic resin glue, also called carpenter’s glue or yellow glue, isn’t waterproof either, but it’s quick-drying and stronger than white glue. Both of these only have a shelf life of about a year, so make sure you’re using a fresh bottle.

For outside projects, there’s resorcinol glue, a two-part adhesive that’s works better on wood than epoxy. It’s popular for industrial-grade projects and boatbuilding. There are also the new polyurethane glues, which are super-strong and waterproof but can be a little hard to work with, so read the directions. It’s a good idea to dampen the surfaces you’re adhering first, since the polyurethane needs moisture to set. A bottle will last three years, and can even be frozen to stick it out even longer.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on tools, consider:

Tool Tip: Pliers
How To: Clamp a Glue Joint
Quick Tip: Working With Wood Glues