How Long Does it Take Wood Glue to Dry?

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The old jokes about watching paint dry can be equally applicable for a woodworker when watching glue dry. I’ve had more than a few days in the shop where all of my floor space is taken up by pieces in clamps, and I’m counting down the minutes until I can remove the clamps and get back to work.

How Long Does it Take Wood Glue to Dry?

Most PVA wood glues dry fast enough to remove clamps within 30 minutes to an hour and take another 24 hours to fully cure.

Although that all depends on the type of glue, clamping pressure, shop temperature, and whether you’re just looking for dry enough to remove the piece from clamps or fully cured and ready for the next step in your building process.

In my usual workflow, I’m using either Titebone I or Titebone III depending on whether I need the piece to be food-safe or not and they only require a 30 minute to 1 hour clamping time.

How Long Does it take Titebond 1 to Dry?

Open time – 4 to 6 minutes
Clamping time – 30 minutes to an hour
Fully cured – 24 hours

Titebond 1, or Titebone Original, is a reasonably quick-drying glue. On a typical, unstressed joint, your piece only needs to be clamped for 30 minutes to an hour before the glue is dry. With that said, the glue is not yet fully cured within that time so take care not to stress the joint for approximately 24 hours.

I typically leave my pieces in clamps for 2 hours to stay on the safe side and have never had a glue joint fail.

On more complex glue-ups, where it takes more than a few minutes to clamp your piece together, Titebone 1 has a 4 to 6-minute open time. This may sound like a lot, but larger pieces can get tricky and time-consuming in a hurry so keep that in mind when choosing the right glue for the job.

How Long does it Take Titebond 2 to Dry?

Open time – 3 to 4 minutes
Clamping time – 30 minutes to an hour
Fully cured – 24 hours

Titebone 2 has a shorter open time than Titebond 1 or Titebone 3 but requires the same clamping and cure time.

How Long Does it Take Titebond 3 to Dry?

Open time – 8 to 10 minutes
Clamping time – 30 minutes to an hour
Fully cured – 24 hours

For 90% of my woodworking projects I use Titebond 3 during glue ups. I love that it has a longer open time and offers the most water resistance of the three options. It is typically also the most expensive but over the long run that cost is minimal as I’m not doing huge projects.

Titebone 3 has an 8 to 10 minute open time and the same 30 minute to an hour clamping time.

One thing to not with wood glue dry times. Cleaning up your glue lines, either by wiping away the excess or scraping off the semi dried glue after 30 minutes, will save you a lot of headache when you start further milling or sanding your work.

Dried glue can be really hard on sharp blades and drips tend to take a long time to dry so you may think you’re working with a fully dried piece only to sand through drips that still have wet glue inside.

I love using a glue scraper or old chisel to clean up glue lines as I rarely wipe away the glue while it is still wet.

What is the Difference Between Titebond 1, 2 and 3?

The three biggest differences between Titebond 1, 2, and 3 are open time, water resistance, color, and price.

Open Time

Titebone 3 has the longest open time, followed by Titebone 1 and then Titebone 2. For simple glueups you can use any of these glues but with more complex glueups it is always a good idea to give yourself some wiggle room.

Water Resistance

I think that water resistance is the #1 reason woodworkers choose between Titebone 1, 2, or 3. Titebond 1 offers no water resistance, Titebone 2 some water resistance, and Titebone 3 offers the most. Note that none of these glues are rated for underwater use so don’t go building a boat with any of them.

I use Titebone 3 for all of my kitchen utensil an cutting board projects and have never had a glue joint fail after 100s of washes.

Color

Each of the Titebond glues dries with a slightly different color. For this reason it can be a good idea to avoid using Titebond 1 on really dark woods like walnut as it dries to a yellow color. Titebond 2 dries to more of a cream yellow color while Titebond 3 dries to a darker tan.

The nice thing about Titebond 3 is, in my experience, it will dry to a color that is almost unnoticable on both light and dark woods while Titebond 1 tends to leave a more noticeable glue line in darker woods.

Price

The price differences between Titebond 1, 2, and 3 can add up quickly if you find yourself doing a lot of large glue ups. Titebone 1 is by far the cheapest option at approximately 50% less than Titebond 3.

Right now on Amazon Titebone 1 sells for $.56/ounce, Titebond 2 $.61/ounce and Titebond 3 $.83/ounce.

How Long Does it Take Gorilla Wood Glue to Dry?

Gorilla glue started out with a revolutionary new product; their original Gorilla glue. This polyerathane based glue bonds to almost any surface, expands to fill gaps, and is 100% waterproof. I used gorilla glue for years to glue wasteblocks to the bottom of wet bowls when woodturning as the glue is water activated.

Gorilla glue foams as it dries which is great for filling gaps but not always as great when it comes to cleanup. It takes some practice to avoid using too much and creating a huge mess.

Original Gorilla Glue

The original Gorilla glue requires 60 minutes of clamping time and a full 24 hours to fully cure. This a glue you want to let fully cure is it makes cleaning up the glue lines a whole lot easier.

Gorilla glue is moisture actived so you’ll want to make sure to mist your clamping edges before applying the glue.

Gorilla Wood Glue

Gorilla PVA glue, or wood glue, is fairly close in comparison to TItebond 2 wood glue. It offers a medium level of water resistance, 30 minute clamp time, and 24 hour cure time.

Other Factors that Impact How Long it Takes for Wood Glue to Dry

THe conditions of your shop and age of the glue can impact your drying times significantly. In a hot shop in the summer it may take as little as 15 minutes for your glue to set to a point where you can take it out of the clamps. Conversly, if you’re working in a cold shop, adding a heater neear your glueups can really speed up the drying process.

The age of your wood glue can also be a factor in drying times. Most wood glues are good for around 2 years after they are first opened. If you start to see you rglue settling out give it a shake before using it. If it is really old then it is best to toss it and stat with a new bottle. The conditions of your shop will play a factor in how long your wood glue lasts as a shop that is to hot or two cold can lead to the glue breaking down faster.

How Much Clamping Pressure Should You Use with Wood Glue?

Clamping pressure can be a hotly debated topic amongst the woodworking community. Some folks will clamp just until they see the glue start to squeeze out while others will crank down their clamps as much as possible.

A few factors to consider when determining how much clamping pressure to use are the type of wood you’re clamping (soft vs hard wood), the types of clamps your using (trigger style clamps offer far less clamping pressure than parallel clamps), and the state of your glue edge.

I typically clamp until I see glue squeeze out and then give the piece an extra turn to make sure the glue faces are snug. I do this both with my F style clamps and parallel clamps although I have to be careful as the parallel clamps offer a whole lot more clamping pressure!

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