I took on a small project of straight-lining and gluing up some KD vertical grain 12/4 western red cedar beams. Other than getting the straight line on up to 18 foot lengths I figured this to be a routine operation. I bought a fresh gallon of Type II and clamped up the first set. After five hours (at 60degrees) the glue still wasn't set. On the next set I draped some tarps over and put in a small heater which raised the temp to 70 plus. It still seems like the glue is really slow to bite. I have used Titebond for 30 plus years in warm and cold environments and it's always been a quick bond/tack and usually I can pull clamps in a one hour max. Did I get a bad batch (old stock from the box store)? At this rate I could be at this for over a week!
From contributor P:
I suspect that your moisture content was abnormally high. Titebond II cures by losing moisture (as well as chemically). If the moisture of the cedar is too high it will drastically affect the cure rate. Also, I would question the use of this kind of glue in manufacturing beams.
“Years ago, I did some testing with Titebond and Titebond II on cedar. Both failed and I was advised by Franklin Adhesives to wash the surfaces with acetone prior to glue up. The acetone test also failed. Since then, I've used polyurethane glue on cedar and had no failures. When Titebond 3 came out I did a test with that and the joint held as the wood split apart. So TB3 is probably a good alternative. However, I will stay with the polyurethane. We do cedar jamb laminations with it on a regular basis.”