Carpenter's Glue or Epoxy ... Which One is Better?
Issue: Issue 286
Posted Date: 10/18/2011
use two-part epoxy (either LePage® or West System®) quite a bit for
joining things together on my woodworking projects, opposed to using
the standard yellow "carpenter's glue." I think my reasons
for using the two-part epoxy is because I've seen the carpenter's
glue dry out over time and it doesn't seem to hold up well in damp
environments -- particularly marine applications. Am I right or wrong
to be using two-part epoxy vs. carpenter's glue ? What are the pros
and cons between the two adhesives? - Jack Mellor
folks at Franklin International, makers of Titebond® glues, would
probably beg to differ on the issue of the integrity of modern
"carpenter's" glues and their ability to hold up in damp
conditions. In fact, Titebond II is formulated to be water-resistant
and Titebond III is actually waterproof. PVA (polyvinyl acetate)
glues have been around since the 1950s, doing daily service on
woodworking projects -- so I think the longevity of glue bond
strength need not be a concern. Still, epoxy has a loyal following
among boat-builders, and it is a much better gap filler than the PVA options when that solution is necessary. I think provided you are using fresh adhesive
formulated for water resistance or immersion, you could be fine using
either epoxy or today's one-part PVA or polymer-based wood glues for
projects exposed to some degree of moisture.
Inman: I use
epoxies myself. Other than the expense and inconvenience of using
them, I find them superior in most applications. They are probably
"overkill" in most circumstances. I restore furniture for a
living. I see hide glue lines that are in fine shape after a century
or more quite often. Still, "better living through chemistry,"
as they say. Epoxies definitely have a place in the arsenal, but so
do all the other "weapons" available to us.