Woodworking Tips: How to Gluing Wood Together

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Choose the right glue for your wood and joint

Two factors contribute to the success and longevity of a glue joint: the gluing process and the type of glue. To explore the types of glue used in woodworking, read on.

The Gluing Process

1. Flat Surfaces and Clamping

Glue molecules bond only with wood, not with other glue molecules. The tighter the space between the boards, the stronger the joint will be. Because smooth, flat pieces will fit together more tightly, make sure the wood is smooth and flat before joining. Use clamps when gluing to reduce the space even more. Apply enough glue to cover the surface, and clean up any squeeze-out before you finish the project.

2. Finishes and Oily Woods

Raw wood glues best to raw wood, so for the strongest glue joints, glue the pieces together before applying any finish, or use tape to mask off the areas that will be glued. Naturally oily wood, such as teak or ebony, does not bond well. Before applying glue to these types of wood, wipe the mating surfaces with acetone and quickly apply the glue and clamps.

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