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Thread: Another cutting board glue question

  1. #1
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    Another cutting board glue question

    It's been over 40 years since I made a cutting board. My woodworking activity is primarily woodturning.

    A friend wants a cutting board and chose Bubinga and Pau Marafim wood, glued up from strips roughly 1"x1".

    Searching through some of the numerous threads from the last couple of years it appears that either PU or epoxy glue is often recommended.
    I might make two cutting boards and try both type of glue. I have more experience with epoxy than polyurethane, using the latter only for a few outdoor applications.

    I'd appreciate any recommendations for specific glue brands/types.

    JKJ

  2. #2
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    I make MANY cutting boards every year. I use Titebond III which is touted to be food safe and strongly water resistant/proof.
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  3. #3
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    I’m sure either would work fine. I have boards that are used regularly that are many years old all made with Titebond three. No failures. This includes and green boards, edge green boards, and inlay boards. Everyone has their favorite but when you find something that works well for you you tend to stick with it.
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  4. #4
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    Titebond III here, only one that came apart and that was my daughter's room mate put it in the dish washer (Doh).

  5. #5
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    Titebond III also. I've made several dozen and never had a failure. One issue I might suggest is to wipe any exotic wood with MS or denatured alcohol to get rid of any oily surface right before glue-up. Some people may tell you that that doesn't work in the long run because the oils within still mitigate to the surface eventually. I'm not in that camp. I haven't had one fail yet.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Eure View Post
    Titebond III also. I've made several dozen and never had a failure. One issue I might suggest is to wipe any exotic wood with MS or denatured alcohol to get rid of any oily surface right before glue-up. Some people may tell you that that doesn't work in the long run because the oils within still mitigate to the surface eventually. I'm not in that camp. I haven't had one fail yet.
    Sorry...ignorant...what is MS?

    OK after a search I guess MS is mineral spirits?

    My bad...
    Last edited by Bill Space; 11-29-2021 at 5:46 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Space View Post
    Sorry...ignorant...what is MS?

    OK after a search I guess MS is mineral spirits?

    My bad...
    Yes mineral spirits

  8. #8
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    Another vote for TiteBond III here. "EPA approved for indirect food contact"... https://www.titebond.lt/titebond-iii...ate-wood-glue/

    I have worked a little bit with epoxy. Fully cured it is supposed to be benign, but clean up is not as easy as TB and less than fully cured epoxy is nasty.

  9. #9
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    I have made many hundreds cutting boards in the last thirty years. I have used original Titebond on every one. They all come with a lifetime guarantee and instructions on how to care for the board. So far the few that have come back had all been through the dishwasher more than once.

  10. #10
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    Another here that’s only used PVA for decades on cutting boards.

    I know the big manufacturers like BooS don’t use epoxy or PU on their blocks. Neither do the boutiques like Grothouse.

    I can’t think of a good reason to use epoxy/pu over PVA in this case.

  11. #11
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    "...I canít think of a good reason to use epoxy/pu over PVA in this case."

    Generally, I agree. Titebond III is, for all intents and purposes, waterproof and it is food-safe. It is THE go-to for these purposes. However, I can think of a case where I might use epoxy instead. Many are now making cutting boards from mixed media. For example, one end of the board might be cast resin and the rest wood. Titebond will work with some resins and metals, but I prefer to use epoxy when working with mixed media.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  12. #12
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    I'm making a couple right now. I'm going to use epoxy unless talked out of it. As a couple of people mentioned above, people can and do put them in the dishwasher. No matter how much you tell them not to, some people will eventually put it in the dishwasher. That's why I have to keep making some every year.
    Hobbyist

  13. #13
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    Dave and Stan,

    What brand/type of epoxy?

    I read several threads where people who used Titebond had boards come apart with user abuse and a few other problems. Several recommended polyu or epoxy. I wondered if that would be better for exotics. I have some SystemThree.

    JKJ

  14. #14

    glue

    I use TB III, too.

    From what I've read, exotics often fail due to the oils that are in the wood. One of the YT shows I follow said that you have to use mineral spirits to wash the fresh cut edges to keep the board from failing down the road.

    But, I've also seen some boards fail, due to poor construction methods, like an end grain glued to a rip cut.

  15. #15
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    John -- There are lots of different epoxies. SystemThree makes some of the best. Which do you have, their "General Purpose Epoxy"? That should work. If I were buying epoxy just for use with cutting boards, and if I were limited to choosing one of SystemThree's resins, I'd pick their G-2 epoxy. I'd pick G-2 over their General Purpose Epoxy for two reasons: First, G-2 is designed to be an adhesive. Whereas, the General Purpose Epoxy is not an adhesive, but can be used as such. Second, G-2 is specially designed for use with oily exotic woods. Once cured, the bond is waterproof. (It's used below the waterline in boat building.)

    While I really like SystemThree's products, my most recent epoxy purchase was from Polymer Composites, Inc. (theepoxyexperts.com). I bought their Max GPE Clear epoxy resin over SystemThree's resin because Max GPE is clear and SystemThree's resin is amber. (I'm making linen micarta for knife scales. I didn't want the color of the epoxy to alter the color of the fabric I'd been given for making the scales.) In addition, Max GPE contains UV inhibitors. SystemThree's resins do not. I doubt either of these reasons would apply to making a cutting board. The cutting board won't, hopefully, spend much time in the sun and the glue line won't reveal whether the epoxy was clear or amber in color.

    My point is epoxy resins vary widely and should be chosen for their application. For gluing exotic woods into a cutting board, I'd probably go with G-2 (assuming I wasn't allowed to use Titebond III). But, if I were making a 'river table' cutting board, I'd probably go with Max GPE -- simply because I'd want a clear resin for the 'river' and wouldn't want the hassle of using a different epoxy for the rest of the project.

    More than you wanted to know, I'm sure.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

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