Water-Resistant Glues for Butcher Block

Woodworkers share experiences with wood glues and water. August 21, 2006

Can anyone give me advice on waterproof glues used for butcher block tops?

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor L:
Tite Bond II - highly water resistant, designed for exterior projects - inexpensive.
Tite Bond III - waterproof - inexpensive.
West System Epoxy - marine grade, 2 part structural epoxy - expensive.

Tite Bond II should suffice. But it does have a quick tack/dry time. You will need some sort of an applicator to roll the glue on quickly because butcher block has so many laminations.

From contributor C:
Dad made one of red alder (more food preparation than chopping on this one) in the 70's with Titebond; no joint failure to this day.

From contributor R:
I've been making end-grain butcherblock cutting boards and flat grain cutting boards for several years now. I use TB II for everything. I've not had any failures brought back to me to date. At one of the woodworking shows I attended, the Franklin glue folks had a piece glued with TB III that they had run through a dishwasher. I inquired if they had tested TB II that way. He said that TB II should work about the same, so I came home and did my own dishwasher test on my stuff. I use a piece that I run through two cycles in the dishwasher as a sales tool now. Two cycles did not even start to break down the wood or glue. I didn't run more than two cycles to see where the point is that it starts to break, but I plan to someday just so I know.

From contributor T:
Titebond II is not waterproof. It is very water resistant. I had a bowl with the segments glued with TB II. One trip through the dishwasher and I had several clean pieces of wood. Called Franklin, and this is when I was advised that TB II is not waterproof. This was about the time TB III was coming out. Have been using it with no problems. Used it to fix the bowl. It has survived the dishwasher! I know a bowl is a lot different than a cutting board. Just thought you might want to know. Be careful.

From contributor W:
Whatever you decide to use, make sure it is FDA approved for food contact if you are planning on selling what you make.