Testing two new glues
February 1, 2012 | 6:00 pm CST

Glue is not a one-size-fits-all commodity. For both performance and esthetics, there are good reasons to have a few choices in your adhesive tool kit. Franklin, the makers of the popular Titebond brand of wood glues, recently added two new formulations to the Titebond family. One addresses mostly esthetic issues and the other addresses a performance need. Let’s take them one at a time.

Translucent wood glue

Titebond’s translucent wood glue is designed to dry mostly clear and therefore help hide the glue line. Coming out of the bottle, glue has the look and consistency of traditional white PVA glue and seems to perform about the same in the areas of glue-up and drying time. In our tests it did deliver a mostly clear glue line that was especially good for gluing lighter color wood.

Franklin says the new glue is heat resistant, sands easily, and is paintable when dry, although it is unaffected by finishes. Again, in our tests, the performance was about like traditional white PVA. Franklin recommends a heavy spread and clamping time of 30 minutes with no stress of the joints for 24 hours. This is not a waterproof glue and is not recommended for exterior applications. Cleanup is with water.

No-run, no-drip glue

Titebond no-run, no-drip glue has been specifically formulated for applications where you need the glue to stay put, such as gluing mouldings and other trim pieces. This glue comes out of the bottle in a much thicker consistency with a kind of beige or off-white color. It has similar handling and performance specifications as the translucent glue and similarly uses water cleanup.

In use, we found this glue did indeed stay where we put it. In a vertical test with the translucent and Titebond III glue samples, we put similar beads of each of the three glues down on a piece of wood and then oriented the wood on edge and in other directions off the horizontal. The Titebond III and translucent formulations ran into each other, but the no-run version stayed in place.

Special needs glues

While it’s nice to standardize on supplies for efficiency, you do need to have some ready choices for special applications. In my shop, Titebond III is the standard, but these two glues will definitely get some use when special jobs require their specs. You can obtain more information about them at www.titebond.com.

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.