Adhesives that bond, seal, and fill

Tubes of glue
A look at exterior adhesives

Hot melt adhesives

Because exterior glues can't overcome poor workmanship, build your exterior projects with the same care as when building fine furniture. Make tight-fitting joints, work the glue while it's still wet, provide even clamping pressure over the entire joint, and allow adequate curing time. Most adhesive manufacturers recommend at least 24 hours of curing before putting stress on a joint. For a look at the latest outdoor adhesive in action, see the photo below.

Glue gun with boards
The new polyurethane hot melt adhesives offer reliable strength and set up almost instantly. They're waterproof, gap-filling, and promise solid end-grain-to-edge-grain bonding. Their downside? They're expensive and hard to sand after being fully cured.

Consult the chart

No single glue can meet all your requirements, so determine how much moisture your project will be subjected to, the types of joinery you plan to use, and the level of bonding. Then consult the chart to pick a product suited to your needs. Note that adhesive sealants provide less bonding strength but offer great flexibility.

Glue gun with boards

Tubes of glue
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