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Woodworking Tips: Glues that Bind

When I started woodworking, it was not because I wanted to make great art. It was because I wanted to make a living at something that I liked to do.

I thought – I can make a cabinet or a table – It’ all about getting each individual part to stick together in the way that I want. All I have to do is cut the parts to the right size and glue them together with wood glue!

What I didn’t think about is:
•Glue requirements for different types of wood
•Dealing with joints that left a little bit to be desired
•Working with surfaces that needed to bond with the strength of a ‘wood-welded’ joint like a mortise and tenon

Wood glue, in my mind, was just like paper glue – you only needed to add some between the two pieces and stick them together until it dried. I could not have been more wrong than if I had used spit and friction…

Wood glue technically melts and compresses the cellular walls contained within the surface of each stick of wood, bonding them together by filling the cells between the two.

This functional detail can mostly be ignored, except when you want to glue one type of material to another and you have gaps to fill at the same time, or, you are working with wood grains that do not align parallel, but angled or perpendicular.

In these cases, there are a number of glues out on the market today that can help to translate what you have in your mind into reality.

Read about choosing the right glue.

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