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

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    226
    Too many things in woodworking I over think. Glue however is not one of them. Maybe thatís bad...I use III on everything. Never had a problem and even though they say itís water resistant I wouldnít use it outside. Iím not saying it wonít work outside, but if I wanted real water resistance I would use a plastic resin of some kind like Ultra Cat to help avoid glue creep.

  2. #17

    Mechanical Properties of Wood

    Thank you all for the many responses.

    I do think the longer open time for III would work better for me than the II, especially on a larger projects like a workbench, and it appears that the majority agree. That said, I'm curious to know more about the conflicting points that Mark Bolton brought up, as well as the Elmer's Glue option that Andrew Hughes mentioned.

    If I had all the time and money to play with, I'd love to construct my own experiments and torture test glue layups, but as my time and hobby funds are limited I'd much rather accept expert advise. Has anyone else other than Mark performed torture tests (on wood of course!) and come up with similarly conflicting results? According to the specs of each of the Titebonds the psi strength increase along with the price, but this strangely conflicts with Mark's hands-on experience.



    While doing some additional research online I noted several comments that claimed that the bond strength of all PVA glues exceeded the strength of the wood itself, and therefore if the edges were properly jointed and prepared than the failure in the joint would happen in the wood and not within the glue layer. (i.e. wood would rip out from one or both boards)
    I was unable to find a psi or kPa (kilopascal, metric equivalent) for Elmer's white glue, I did find a wonderful document (Mechanical Properties of Wood) with strengths of many many types of woods and 3,600 psi (24821 kPa) does appear to be far greater than any wood I saw on the list (attention to shear parallel to grain and tension perpendicular to grain properties). This would suggest that rather than "strength of bond", it's the other properties that you need to look at when comparing glues such as open time, dry time, viscosity, sand-ability, color, etc.

    While I did not manage to find a similar thread using this forum's search function prior to starting this thread, Google finally did, so I will leave a link here a somewhat similar thread (Titebond vs Elmers).

    -Jon

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Leawood, KS
    Posts
    2
    The major reason I use III over anything else is that it accommodates a lower temperature. IIRC, it holds it's strength down to 47 degrees ambient during glueups. Titebond 1 & 2 are 52-55 degrees. It seems like a small difference, but for an attached (but unheated) garage during winter, it gives me a lot more days where the shop is in-play.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    425
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryce Walter View Post
    The major reason I use III over anything else is that it accommodates a lower temperature. IIRC, it holds it's strength down to 47 degrees ambient during glueups. Titebond 1 & 2 are 52-55 degrees. It seems like a small difference, but for an attached (but unheated) garage during winter, it gives me a lot more days where the shop is in-play.
    Yep. Titebond III is hardly the only glue I use (I like CA for many things, and use epoxy where its gap-filling ability is important) but it's my primary go to. The fact that it's reliable at 50F, rather than "almost there" is pretty handy on the days I'm starting from a 35F shop.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
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    425
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Decker View Post
    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.
    While I agree that sticking with quantities you'll use in less than a year is wise, I am skeptical of the "it goes bad after a year" claim though. I've used quite a bit of 2-3 year old Titebond III over the years and never had a failure. I test the glue when it gets "over the hill" and if it is makes a joint stronger than the wood, consider it good for another 3-6 months.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    5,571
    TB III and all PVA glues suffer from creep so they are a poor choice for bentwood laminations or gluing down shop sawn veneer; UF or epoxy are far better choices. TB III looses a lot of strength at high temp.; UF and epoxy again are better choices, even TB II is better. I mostly use TB II these days for general use, but UF or epoxy where PVA's fall short.

    John

  7. #22
    I ,again, disagree that all PVA creeps. White glue creeps. Lack of creep with yellow was recognized early on as an advantage over white. Many times I was summoned to retrieve a piece from the finishing room to re sand a joint that had
    moved and was not flush. Never happened again after we switched to yellow. I concede that that an overly loose fitting mortise and tenon joint might creep a little even with yellow glue.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Northern Oregon
    Posts
    1,569
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Crafting View Post
    Thank you all for the many responses.

    I do think the longer open time for III would work better for me than the II, especially on a larger projects like a workbench, and it appears that the majority agree. That said, I'm curious to know more about the conflicting points that Mark Bolton brought up, as well as the Elmer's Glue option that Andrew Hughes mentioned.

    -Jon
    You can test samples for yourself. In your environment with materials and temps you'll have at the real glue-up time. It's fast and cheaper than a bad glue up. I do this often.
    I have found
    I like Titebond extend glue the most. It works @ 40 degrees and above by Titebond's specs. I've tested samples at 40 degrees for an hour than put clamped samples in the freezer over night to simulate the worst cold I'd ever get in my shop. The samples break the wood not the glue line. I trust it.
    I didn't test Titebond III for cold. I did find it to be not as strong as other yellow glues. The first bottle of III tested was dated properly but failed my normal strength tests. The second bottle tested OK but it does seem slightly weaker than yellow glues. Yes, it's stronger after soak tests but not by a lot. Even white glue breaks the wood after being in the shower a few days. I tested III a lot because it was new to me.Then it seems everyone raves about it so I kept testing. I'm not raving. Mark Bolton has even more experience that I tend to agree with.
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you canít - youíre right."
    - Henry Ford

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    249
    True, a gallon is a lot of glue. But, at least at the blue Borg, 4 pints costs a little more than 1 gallon.

    i store mine in a cool, dark location. I shake it well whenever I decant a usable portion into a smaller bottle. Seems to be usable well beyond a year.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
    Posts
    2,297
    I am another person who has a bad habit of wiping glue off my fingers onto my pants. Sadly I didn't realize the Titebond III doesn't wash out like Titebond I and II. I now have several of my better jeans as workshop jeans. I will only use Titebond III now when I need water resistant glue.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Helensburgh, Australia
    Posts
    2,180
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave VanDewerker View Post
    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
    I have some that is at least 3 years old and apart from needing a bit of water for thinning it still sticks stuff together ok. Having said that I will go back to using a conventional PVA because I see no advantage in paying premium prices for a glue that is doubtfully any better for straight forward work. Sacralidge I know bit apart from TB blocking up the glue bottle tip I don't see any advantage that TB has apart from external use.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX (NW Austin)
    Posts
    286
    If I could only use one glue it would be TB III and it is really the only PVA glue I use. As a hobbyist the price difference of glue is insignificant compared to other material costs.

  13. #28
    Hi,
    Open time/Assembly time is an important factor when dealing with a complex glue up. For this reason, Elmer's Glue-All white was advocated to me by a well known master woodworker named Frank Klausz. I did some of my own tests, edge gluing 1/4" pieces and I found that Titebond was stronger but we're talking shades of grey and Frank's point was if the joint is well fitted and/or if there is a lot of glue surface area, any glue is going to be strong enough. So I keep Titebond II, Titebond III, Elmer's Glue-All and a couple of other specialty glues on hand, and use the one best indicated for the job at hand. I'm not as big a fan of Titebond III as some, but if it is a project that needs water resistance, I use it. For things like dovetails, box joints and face gluing, I use Elmer's, and Titebond II for most other tasks. I would not feel the need to use Titebond III for a workbench.

    Here is an article that talks about assembly time of various glues that you might find useful given your questions - https://www.wwgoa.com/article/measur...assembly-time/

    Best of luck,

  14. #29
    I use 3 if I need longer open time. Anything else I use 2. 3 seems to be more runny as well if thatís a consideration. 2 seems thicker to me

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    66
    I use TB III for most projects, but have a gallon of partially used TB that is at least 8 years old, and to paraphrase the Energizer Bunny, still gluing strong. I store it in a cool dark place. The only woodworking glue I've ever had go bad is a pint of Gorilla Glue, which completely hardened in the unopened bottle in less than a year. I can't remember why I bought it, but never will again.

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