Application Tips

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When gluing, use masking tape to cover parts of your piece that will be stained later.

Glue joint "squeeze out" may make the area around the joint difficult to stain.  Use masking tape to cover the areas that you do not want  glue to soak into.  The sections that were masked will be free of stain-resisting glue when the masking tape is removed.


Determine the optimum clamp time of Titebond Liquid Hide Glue.

Titebond Liquid Hide Glue is very sensitive to humidity, therefore it is often hard to tell when to take off  your clamps.  The best way to determine your clamp time is to place a scrap piece of wood with Liquid Hide Glue spread on it next to your newly glued and clamped piece.  When the glue on the scrap piece of wood is dry, you can take your clamps off.  Be sure to wait at least 24 hours before you stress the joints.


Special consideration must be given to projects involving different wood species.

When different wood species are used in a project, it is important that all woods have the same moisture content.  Storing all the wood together in the same warm, dry location before beginning the project will help all the wood reach the same moisture content.


How to properly add dye to Titebond Wood Glues.

It is possible to change the color of aliphatic resin glues by using aniline-based dyes.  Using a drop or two of water, work the powdered dye into a paste before adding to the glue. This helps to prevent lumps in the glue.  Start by adding a small amount of the dye because a small amount can significantly alter the color.  Before making your final color decision, be sure to let a sample of the dyed glue dry.  When the mixtures dry they may look different from the wet state.


Get good results gluing end grain joints.

Although good joint design minimizes the need for gluing end grain, sometimes end grain joints are unavoidable. The strength of end grain joints can be improved if the "open" end grain is first sized.  A sizing mixture may be made by mixing one part to two parts water to one part glue.  Place the sizing mixture on the end grain.  Let it soak in for no more than two minutes, and then continue with a regular application of glue.


Ensuring that homemade wood fillers adhere to the surface.

Use a small artist's brush to coat the surface with glue before applying homemade wood filler.  Doing this will assure that the surface is wet enough to encourage adhesion.  Otherwise the wood filler mix may be too dry to adhere well to the surface to which it is being applied.


Decrease clamping time using a vacuum press.

To decrease the clamp time in a vacuum press, put a thick piece of wood into the vacuum bag to help absorb the moisture from the glue.   This technique is best utilized when laminating many thin veneers together because the water in the glue saturates the veneers.


Get better results gluing woods that are oily or high in tannic acid.

When working with woods that are high in tannic acid or are considered oily, wiping the joints with acetone before gluing them up ensures a good bond. Acetone clears the contaminants from the wood's pores on the bonding surface and dries quickly without leaving any residue.  A good bonding surface can also be achieved by sanding or planing the wood just before gluing the joints.


Prevent "stepped" joints in your projects.

Stepped joints typically result when pieces of wood of different moisture contents are edge glued together in making a tabletop or cabinet door.  It is important to be sure that all the wood for a given project is at the same moisture content before beginning a project.  Allowing the wood to acclimate or sit exposed in your shop for a week or two is one way to be sure each piece of wood has a similar moisture content. 


Prevent sunken joints in your projects.

Water-based wood glues such as Titebond Original or Titebond II build strength in a joint as they lose moisture into the surrounding wood.  This moisture causes the wood on both sides of the bondline to swell slightly.  If the project is planed or sanded before this swelling disappears, the high moisture wood near the joint will continue to dry and will shrink slightly compared to the rest of the wood. Allow your project to dry for several days before sanding or planing.

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The trowel that is used to apply an adhesive can have a very large influence on the success or failure of the job.

The recommended trowel has been selected to provide sufficient installation time along with an appropriate amount of adhesive and to bridge irregularities in the bonding surfaces.  Please click here for approximate square foot coverage according to the recommended trowel size.


Contact cements must be applied to each surface and be able to dry before the surfaces are put together.

Contact cements are unique in that they are applied to both surfaces and must dry before the two surfaces are put together.  The bond is then immediately formed when the two layers of dried adhesive are pressed together.  Contact cements can only be successful when at least one of the materials being bonded is somewhat flexible.


Be aware that a multi-purpose flooring adhesive designed to install vinyl needs to dry after the materials are positioned.

Aside from certain thin spread, pressure sensitives, most other adhesives need to dry after the materials being joined are positioned.  This requires that one of the materials being bonded be porous.  This means that a multi-purpose flooring adhesive designed to install vinyl cannot be used to install vinyl over vinyl because neither of the surfaces is porous and the adhesive will not dry.


Read all label information very carefully.

For any successful project, using the appropriate product is critical.  Be sure to review the label for product applications, instructions, helpful hints and cautions.  If you have any questions regarding product labeling, please call 1-800-347-4583.


Brace or block large panels for the first 24 hours after installation.

When installing large panels such as tub surrounds or sheets of FRP, bracing or blocking the panels for the first 24 hours provides assurance that a good bond will be achieved even if the panel is somewhat warped or the wall surface slightly irregular.


Bonding two non-porous materials is a special situation.

Polyurethane based adhesives cure rather than dry, and thus, can be used for bonding one non-porous material to another. When using a polyurethane based product like Titebond GREENchoice Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive for bonding two non-porous materials, it is beneficial to apply the adhesive and allow it to remain open to the air for perhaps fifteen minutes before positioning the second surface and closing the bond.


Be aware of temperature guidelines for each of the Titebond Construction Adhesives.

While some of our adhesives can be applied at temperatures as low as 0°F and still achieve good bonds, other adhesives or applications are limited to higher temperatures.  Finally, while some water-based products may perform well when applied at very cold temperatures, the adhesives in their containers must be kept above freezing to retain the consistency required for application.  If cold temperatures are involved, read the label.


Determine the porosity of substrates before you begin your project.

Both solvent based and water based adhesives need to dry to develop strength and perform properly. They must dry by losing solvent or water through one of the surfaces being bonded. Non-porous materials such as painted surfaces, glazed tile, metal, plastic or foam all serve to prevent these products from drying, so neither water nor solvent based adhesives can be used to bond two non-porous substrates together. Polyurethane based adhesives cure rather than dry, and thus, can be used for bonding non-porous materials to other non porous materials.

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