Follow us on Pinterest
Welcome, Guest! Log In  |  Join Now
Guide to Woodworking Glues
Elmer's Woodworking Glues

What's What in Woodworking Glues

Glue Type Open Time Minimum Clamp Time Cleanup Color When Dry Shelf Life Approximate Cost Per Ounce Key Properties Typical Projects
(Aliphatic Resin)
5 - 10 min. 30 min. Water, damp cloth. Yellow* 1 year $  .36 Fast tack time. Excellent for general use. Indoor furniture and cabinets.
(Polyvinyl Acetate)
10 - 15 min. 60 min. Water, damp cloth. Clear 2 - 3 years .24 Longer open time than yellow glue. Inexpensive. Cribs, galley rails, and complex casework.
WATER-RESISTANT 5 - 10 min. 60 min. Damp cloth before setting, scrape or sand after setting. Yellow 1 year .37 Fast tack time. Water-resistant. Sheltered outdoor furniture and outdoor riding toys.
POLYURETHANE 30 min. 4 hours
(less in high humidity)
Tools: mineral spirits. Hands: some and water before cured. Yellow 1 year unopened;
6 months opened*
1.11 Waterproof. No mixing required. Gap-filling. Exposed outdoor projects and planter boxes.
EPOXY 5 min - 12 hrs.
on formulation)
Varies Tools: acetone Hands: Nitro-Kleen*, rubbing alcohol. Clear (can be changed with filler) 1 year 1.25 Waterproof. High strength. Bonds even oily woods such as teak. Excellent for end-grain joints. Gap-filling. Boat building, threaded parts on shop jigs, and furniture repair.
15 sec. 0 - 1 min. Acetone Clear 1 year unopened;
6 months opened*
5.00 Bonds instantly (with accelerator). Works well for bonding solid-surface materials. Model building and fragile carvings and turnings.
HOTMELT 2 - 45 sec. 0 - 15 sec. Let harden, then gently scrape. Remove residue with mineral spirits. Clear or yellow 2 years .53 Excellent for crafts. Sets quickly without clamping. Good temporary bond. Crafts, temporary fastening of parts, and holding small parts for routing.
CONTACT CEMENT 15 min. - 3 hrs. Clamping not necessary Mineral spirits.**  Soap and water when wet, xylene solvent when dry.*** Clear 1 year .16*
Adheres large surface areas. Plastic-laminate countertops and flexible veneers.
1. Open time refers to how much time you have before the glue sets up.
2. (*) A citrus-based hand cleaner
(**) Solvent-based formula
(***) Low-solvent, water-based formula
3. (*) also available in dark-colored formula for use with darker woods.
4. Assuming proper storage and handling.
(*) Air exposure quickly reduces shelf life.
5. (*) Solvent-based formula
(**) Low-solvent, water-based formula
Back to Previous Page