Best glue for cold-clamped edging?

Adhesive options for gluing and clamping edges on panels, with an eye toward time-efficiency. September 26, 2000

My very basic question: What types of glue are available to edge-glue panels and cold clamp?

More importantly, what are the clamp times, and time required between application and machining?

I am specifically interested in panel glue-ups and raised-panel door cope-and-stick joints.

Forum Responses
I assume you have used yellow carpenter's glue, available everywhere. Fixture time is about 1 hour, and there's a 12-hour minimum before milling.

I recently began using some of the new urethane glues like Elmer's or Gorilla glue. These give you a very strong, waterproof bond (cure time about 24 hours.) They are very messy, will stain your hands black and will not wash off for a long time -- so wear gloves!

From the original questioner:
Yellow glue I've got. I guess I am looking for a glue with a shortened cure time prior to machining. Are there any out there?

You need to look at some other PVA formulations. There are a number that can reduce your time in the clamps.

Technically, full cure with any PVA is 24 hours. As with all glues, there is also a downside to faster-setting glues; it can be cost, shortened open time, or even strength.

I would take a look at how you are set up for production. Often, you can work around the parameters of your adhesive by changing your production flow.
Jeff Pitcher, technical advisor

The only way I know to achieve a quicker bond that you can machine almost immediately is by high-frequency gluing.

You can purchase a Workrite welder for a couple thousand dollars, and with a special glue for high-frequency gluing, you can achieve what you are looking for. We use it to glue wood edges to laminated tables.

There are tradeoffs to this, though.

First, high-frequency gluing is not without safety hazards. You must be careful with the hand-held gun. You can burn the wood and also yourself. The Workrite people should tell you everything you need to know about this.

Contact Franklin to learn about the special glue. There is a difference in the cost.

There are many pros and cons to this method. I particularly don't trust it, but I know other companies that swear by it. Find someone who uses the method and ask them to run a small job for you; then you be the judge. But talk to others who use the method and ask them a lot of questions.

Don't sacrifice a quality glue joint for expedience. You will spend more time fixing the problem.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the need to allow enough time after gluing to allow moisture to migrate out of the joint area.

Machining too soon after gluing can result in sunken joints. Usually this is not a problem, but in flat panels -- and especially with high-gloss finishes -- these sunken joints are really visible.