Can This Super Glue Work for Woodshops?

By Bill Esler | Posted: 06/25/2013 11:01AM


The wood adhesive business may seem like an unlikely place for a venture capital start-up.

But Cincinnati-based Bioformix has decided to start there, launching a business in 2010, and bringing the first product to market - Nexabond 2500 Instant Wood Adhesive - late last year.

Bioformix describes Nexabond is a high viscosity, water-free adhesive for assembly of materials that require uniform stress distribution and high strength. But in layman's terms, it's a Super Glue for wood.

The intellectual property behind Nexabond stems from a high-powered team of scientists who originated at Dow, Loctite and other chemical companies - notably Bernard Malofsky, chief technology officer. His array of adhesive related patents includes microwaveable hot melt dispensers, and developments in the methylidene malonate process that makes this glue possible. 

We had a chance to visit the Loveland, OH labs where development and small scale production is carried on. 

A team of dozens of researchers were hard at work in development and testing. Matt Ellison, Director of Reactive Tehnology, gave us a tour, where we saw various wood species in a number of different cuts being glued together and pulled apart in controlled settings. 

We also spent time with Bioformix's team of wizzes - in both finance and science - and the presentation was impressive.

Bioformix Nexabond wood adhesive So how does this glue behave differently? It is made without any solvent - water is the solvent in white glue. That means components glued with Nexabond achieve high bonding strength in minutes.

But it also means wood joints don’t swell, eliminating long dry times before finishing. On the plus side, this means Nexabond 2500 can bond even oily woods. And to a large extent, it either reduces or eliminates the need for clamping.

But in practice, this means you may be cutting joints and setting dowels differently. Over centuries the projection of how a dovetail might swell then contract as the glue cures is part of the art of the woodworking process.

With Nexabond, as we saw in the lab, you glue just one side of a joint, not both - then push the pieces together. If the workpiece isn't too large, you can hold it steady for a minute while it presets. And within 3 minutes it's at nearly full strength.This means its open time is much shorter than carpenters glue.

So using Nexabond means cutting tighter joints. And it means planning that the glue will set much faster than you are used to. Is this practical? In many cases, yes.

Innerwood, a commercial cabinet company in Cincinnati, has been working with Bioformix - part guineau pig, part research partner. This company provided feedback that affected the current state of the Bioformix - giving it a thicker viscosity so it won't run and drip; slowing its set time to allow adjustments to the joint. We're planning a site visit to see them using the glue in production.

Bioformix also says Nexabond 2500 accepts most stains and finishes, and because there is no water in it, bonds regardless of humidity and temperature variations. We saw it tested on multiple wood species, and like Super Glue, saw its application in attaching non-metal pieces to wood.

You can buy this glue - though a start-up, Bioformix is selling product as it grows. Atlantic Plywood is a distributor in the Northeast. And U.S. residents can buy it at on online store.

unique, water and solvent free formula, dramatically cutting assembly times. Components glued with Nexabond 2500 adhesive achieve high strength in minutes, compared to the typical hours to 24 hours required for water-based carpentry glues. Because Nexabond 2500 adhesive does not contain water, wood joints don’t swell, eliminating long dry times prior to finishing. Without water, Nexabond 2500 adhesive can bond any wood, even oily woods. Nexabond 2500 adhesive’s quick bonding chemistry also reduces or eliminates the need for clamping.

In addition to fast, flexible glue-up, Nexabond 2500 adhesive accepts most stains and finishes. It bonds regardless of humidity and temperature variations. Nexabond 2500 adhesive also works with most wood species, and like an all-purpose adhesive – but unlike most conventional wood glues – can be used to attach metal, ceramics, glass, plastic, foam and more to wood.

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About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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GA  |  June, 27, 2013 at 07:49 AM

Let's do that math on this... There are 16 oz in their largest bottle at $54.96. If you wanted 5 gallons it would cost you $2198.40? Even the most expensive Titebond only costs $200 for five gallons. I think they need to figure out how to make this less expensive. That time savings don't mean doodly if it costs that much.

Cincinnati  |  June, 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Jim, Hi! I'm the President & CEO at Bioformix. Your point is on target and the math does work - it's why the biggest cabinet companies in the world are putting our products into their programs. First, you use about 80% to more typically 90% less adhesive versus white glue in kuch tighter joints than for white glue. Right there I'm down to $219 to $400. Next, though, are the process savings, where the real money is. No water means no waiting - immediate finishing, no swelling, no sanding, no work in process. At one shop, the time to build a door dropped by over 80%, but to finish it completely by over 90%. For a joint using 5 cents worth of our adhesive, the time savings is in the 50 cent to a dollar range. Now your cost is NEGATIVE!! Now you are making money. White glue cannot do that - ever. In the end, the cost of the glue should be irrelevant as it's a minor cost in a piece - it's what the glue enables that is key and we simply take a small part of the value created. White glues simply cannot do it. I myself do not want to pay for water and then have my whole process delayed because of said water. It's why we have companies with over $500 billion in revenue invested in us - because our saving vastly outweigh our products costs.

GA  |  June, 27, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Adam, Thanks for the response. Is this a cyanoacrylate glue?

Adam Malofsky    
Cincinnati  |  June, 28, 2013 at 08:46 AM

Jim, Yes, it's a cyanoacrylate, but very different than anything out there before. Generally, it will cure the same on most woods at virtually any humidity. No primers either. How? Our CTO, Bernie Malofsky (yes, my dad) is one of the fathers if all cyanoacrylate chemistry and even worked with discoverer Harry Coover. It's his now very rare, deep knowledge coupled with working hand in hand with a well known, large shop, that led to developing a new adhesive just for wood working. We will soon have three speeds, not viscosities, for providing variable working times. 30 seconds to minutes depending upon the product, not instant oh my god it's wrong now what. Finally, next year our truly new technology will emerge, capable of being used outdoors under almost any weathering condition. Take a peak at what we are about by googling us!

GA  |  June, 28, 2013 at 09:52 AM

As a woodturner since 2004, I've been using superglues for finishing pens, as well as gluing layered bowls. I've been hearing that turners who sell their super-glued work in galleries have had pieces returned to them with failed joints. In other words they get a pile of parts back. And now galleries are refusing to take any work that is bonded with superglue... How will you assure woodworkers in general, and woodturners specifically, that this glue is different? How long have you been testing this so that we can be assured that this bond will not deteriorate after time?

Adam Malofsky    
Cincinnati, OH  |  July, 07, 2013 at 09:05 PM

Turners are using the glue for a purpose for which those brittle adhesives were never intended. These NEW cyanoacrylate adhesives have and are continually undergoing extensive humidity and thermal cycling testing. So far, the results are excellent versus conventional cyanoacrylate and white glue adhesives. This is the first time such adhesives have been formulated specifically for wood and for how wood workers assemble joints. In fact, the products were developed in conjunction with Innerwood & Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. We are working with well known turner, David Heim. His results are outstanding.

Stephen Ellis    
Louisville, KY  |  October, 19, 2013 at 09:11 AM

What is the average shelf-life of the glue, if known?

pooja late    
India  |  March, 26, 2015 at 06:41 AM

I like to blog and Super Glue for wood is nice and I am using the super glue.

nita paste    
India  |  March, 26, 2015 at 06:45 AM

I like to blog and Super Glue for wood is nice and I am using the super glue. ( )


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