Gluing UV-Prefinished Plywood

Scuffing might help (with the right glue), but you're probably going to need screws. October 9, 2006

I'm working through my first experiences with UV prefinished ply. At first glance I was pretty sure none of my normal glues were going to stick to the UV coating, and I was right. I was able to get around this but would have been a lot happier if I could have just slathered something on and had it stick. Does anyone have any thoughts, other than trying to sand the UV coating off?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
Glues do not stick to the UV finish. Gorilla poly sticks if you scuff it with sandpaper. At the end of the day when you break the joint it simply peels the finish off the plywood. Most people either take one of three approaches: no glue/screws, biscuits, dados. The only screws approach is probably sufficient for kitchen cabinets. We use dados for many reasons.

From the original questioner:
You just confirmed what I suspected all along. The dado/screw route is the way I went and I'm sure it will be fine. I guess for each new solution there has to be at least one problem.

From contributor B:
In some very unscientific tests in our shop, we found that by scuff-sanding the UV finish and using RooGlue, we were able to get surprisingly good adhesion. Without scuff sanding, the glue was almost worthless; with it, it took chunks of the particleboard with it when the joint was broken apart.

From the original questioner:
Thatís exactly the procedure I followed when I did the glue-up for the second time, and I took the extra precaution of putting some screws into the joint also. The first time, the joint broke very easily, and the second time it held much stronger, although I didnít have any real precise way of measuring the force I was putting on it. I scuffed it with 180 grit but I think in future I'll be using something much coarser.

From contributor C:
We use a fair amount of UV prefinished maple plywood, and have found that Roo Clear (melamine) glue works fairly well. It has a longer set time, but if you use it in conjunction with nails or screws, it works well. It dries clear, and looks a bit like a bead of silicone. We have had difficulty breaking joints apart when glued with Roo Clear.!