I’m not a woodworker but I’ve done plenty of working with wood. And the million dollar question always is…
What glue to go with?
Wood to wood is easy, you use wood glue.
Wood to fabric – mostly tacky glue.
But wood to other things gets complicated, because what sticks to wood doesn’t always stick well with other things.
After years of experimenting, I’ve learned a thing or two about glue. Here are the insights that stuck with me (ahem, please note that brilliant pun).
Wood glue dries in a wooden-beige color and lasts a LONG time. But it also takes a rather long time to fully set (at least an hour, sometimes even hours). There are a couple of methods you can use during the drying process:
- The hand-held method: This is the most reliable but also the most annoying way, where you hooooooooold the two pieces together until the glue dries. I usually walk around with the project in one hand; at least the other hand is free for mixing the soup or something!
- The self-held method: Leave the not-yet-dry pieces leaning against something, tell them “sit!” and hope they listen nicely. Warning: this method is not foolproof. The pieces sometimes slide and get glued together at funny angles.
- The clamp-held method: When you’re working with flatter parts, you can secure them together with clamps. In fact, when I once toured the Martin Guitar factory, everything was glued with wood glue and held together with clamps and clothespins!
What is the best wood glue?
Our favorite wood glue is TiteBond. (See photo above) They are the king of wood glue – it’s WHAT THEY MAKE, and they make it well.
How strong is wood glue?
It’s practically permanent. Wood glue acts as though it’s part of the wood, and makes your pieces into one continuous piece.
A craft I used wood glue for:
(Making that deer stand on 4 legs was not easy!)
Tacky glue dries clear, and it works nicely for gluing fabric and onto other embellishments on wood.
Aleene’s Fast Grab (See photo above) is a good choice for things you don’t want to hold – it grabs right away and doesn’t slide. For a fast final set, Aleene’s also has Quick Dry tacky glue that can be pretty much done in half an hour. But for rounded or slippery surfaces I leave it overnight before I even dare moving. (In my family tacky glue is known as “gold glue” because of the gold Aleene’s bottle. )
A craft I used tacky glue for:
Yes, those are wooden candlesticks painstakingly wrapped with twine. And tacky glue is holding it on!
Glue Gun / Hot Glue
I don’t usually use hot glue, because even though it works easily and dries quickly, once dry it often peels right apart. Still, it’s sometimes the best option. In this project, I used it to combine eggs and a wreath (which don’t have too many glues in common!)
A craft I used hot glue for:
The big question: does krazy glue/ super glue work on wood?
Officially, krazy glue can be used for anything, and I’ve tried many different brands. What I found? It’s not ideal for two pieces of wood, especially if they’re not totally flat. Holding it together for long enough to stick is difficult, and you end up with more of it on your hands than the craft. (Er, at least I do. Maybe it’s just me?)
Best glue for wood to wood = wood glue (Titebond!)
Best glue for fabric to wood = tacky glue (Aleene’s)
And for more gluing fun: https://www.thistothat.com/