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Thread: Is Titebond III worth it, and can it be your only wood glue?

  1. #1

    Is Titebond III worth it, and can it be your only wood glue?

    My apologies in advance as I'm sure this topic has been covered elsewhere in the forum, but since the terms "glue" "wood" "best", and even "titebond" are used so much in this forum, I was unable to find a specific thread on this topic despite my attempts to search one out.

    So I'm looking to purchase my first gallon of wood glue in preparation for building my first woodworking bench. Some future projects I plan to make also include cutting boards, pizza peels, and possibly some other items that would come in contact with food. Titebond II and III are both water resistant and FDA approved for indirect food contact and so I assume they are what most experts recommended for using to make cutting boards and peels.

    My questions are:
    1) Why is Titebond III $10's more than Titebond II?
    2) Is Titebond III worth the premium?
    3) If I get Titebond III will I ever run into situations were I wished I had Titebond II or Titebond Original instead of Titebond III?

    One of the main reasons to buy glue in bulk, other than the obvious anticipation of needing a lot for my workbench, is that it's an efficient way to reduce hobby cost in the long term. While I like efficient cost cutting and making sure my hobby budget goes as far as it can, I do not mind spending money where it is used well, or reduces the clutter of having multiple types of very similar products.

    I'm sure there are multiple opinions on this, but if a few of you experts could part with some wisdom in this area, I would greatly appreciate it.

    -Jon
    Last edited by Jon Crafting; 02-11-2019 at 4:37 PM.

  2. #2
    One of the main reasons I use 2 over 3 is for the longer open assembly time... for titebond II it's 3-5 mins, and for titebond III it's 8-10mins. If you're doing a big glue up then having a longer open assembly time is essential. My guess is your bench build will be a pretty big gluing effort so I would lean toward a longer open assembly time.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Day View Post
    One of the main reasons I use 2 over 3 is for the longer open assembly time... for titebond II it's 3-5 mins, and for titebond III it's 8-10mins. If you're doing a big glue up then having a longer open assembly time is essential. My guess is your bench build will be a pretty big gluing effort so I would lean toward a longer open assembly time.
    I think you meant 3 over 2 and I agree — the open time is a big deal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Central Missouri, U.S.
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    I usually use III, but II has worked just fine as well.

    I'd be careful about buying in bulk, though. Both versions will go bad in about a year after opening. I just threw out a couple of smaller bottles of III the other day. Both were about a third full, but were a much darker brown than when first opened.

  5. #5
    I like regular Titebond because it washes out of my pants, which is where I wipe my finger after spreading the glue
    Mark R

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    19,386
    TB-III is generally the only PVA in the shop.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Cumberland, Maryland
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    I believe the biggest difference besides open time is that III is waterproof for outside use.
    There is/was a version of II called Extend that an even greater open time.
    You only need 2 tools in life. If it's supposed to move and doesn't... use WD40. If it moves and shouldn't... use duct tape.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Northern Oregon
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    This thread could reach a " sticking point"
    I use Titebond III if water resistance is needed. Titebond Extend for most things. I test glues often before I use them.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right."
    - Henry Ford

  9. #9
    Whoops... yes... 3 over 2!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    I hardly ever use titebond 3 anymore. I’ve actually found Elmer’s Glue all white glue to do most of my needs. It has a very long open time it’s translucent dry and inexpensive.
    Aj

  11. #11
    The answer is no, and no. Do your own tests and you will find that TBIII is not the best glue for most applications and is far weaker than each level below. Straight titebond or titebond super is far superior to tbIII. Again. Take the time to do your own torture tests and you will see it for yourself. If your looking for water/weather resistance again it will fail and you'll find yourself using epoxy or urethane.

    People default is if tite bond is good, 2 is better, and III (or ULTIMATE) has got to be best.

    Glue yourself up several test pieces identically with the different glues and torture test them. The results will be clear.
    Last edited by Mark Bolton; 02-11-2019 at 7:15 PM.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  12. #12
    In regards to your question, experience and project, I think Titebond III would be your best choice mainly for the extra open time. I built 2 workbenches last year and used Titebond II, but I have been doing this 40 years. It was often a rush to get the clamps on in time with II even with experience. Therefore I recommend III for your first bench.

    P.S. for gluing the top, I would glue one or two pieces at a time so you have less going on and more time to get clamps on.

    P.S.S. No it should not be your only glue. Tietebond II is my go to glue mostly. I gotta say for longer open time for projects with no moisture exposure I still like good old Elmer Glue All. I have 7 or 8 pieces of furniture built 30-35 years ago with Elmers and no failures yet.

    My 2 pennies
    ron
    Last edited by Ron Citerone; 02-11-2019 at 6:14 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Houston, TX
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    Titebond has a shelf life of one year , might last a bit longer that. Once the glue separates that say it is no good. A gallon of glue is a LOT of glue to use up in one year

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Northern Michigan
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    By no means do I build heirloom furniture for the ages but if you see yourself doing that then glue selection becomes very important. Many glues like Titebond II and III are permanent glues meaning future repairs are extremely difficult or impossible. Basic Elmer’s white glue works very well and is cheap - but has minimal moisture resistance. I use the stuff a lot for it’s long glue-up time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    I pretty much only use Titebond III at this point because if covers all my bases. The only time I regretted it was when a mistake was made in positioning an appliqué on a client's project and it was major, major hard to get it off without damaging what was under it. In fact, there was damage, but I found a creative way to get around it. (this is specific to Peter's point...which is spot on!) I have nothing against the I and II versions...I just don't like to keep a lot of glue around at one time and it's simpler to use just the one version for me.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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