Best Glue for Bent Laminations
I am interested in making bent laminations for furniture. What type of glue should I use?
Gary Herber, Langley, None
There isn’t one adhesive ideal for every application.
With domestic wood laminations, the simplest and least visible glue is PVA (polyvinyl acetate) yellow glue. Unfortunately, it is not particularly rigid and does not have much open time. Adding a maximum of 8% powdered cornstarch by volume makes the glue more rigid and controls springback. Using a PVA glue like Franklin’s Titebond II Extend or Titebond III gives you a longer open time.
A two-part urea/formaldehyde adhesive like Unibond 800 has an open time of 20 minutes. However, you must use a good respirator when mixing it. Powdered formaldehyde glues have similar characteristics to Unibond but are mixed with water.
With oily exotic woods, go with slow-set epoxies. But don’t rush. The laminate faces should be scuff-sanded to remove any oxidation immediately before gluing. Carefully measure and thoroughly mix the Industrial Formulators’ G2 epoxy (www.leevalley.com), and let it sit for 10 minutes before liberally coating both laminate faces. After 30 minutes, recoat any dry spots, and do the same after 60 and 90 minutes when the epoxy has started to gently gel up. This avoids starved gluelines. Only then, begin assembly.
Epoxy leaves dark gluelines, so it’s a poor choice for light-colored woods.
Photo: Kelly J. Dunton