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Tools And Materials

Glue Guide

Glue is glue, right? Wrong. There are different types of glues for different surfaces. Using the wrong type of glue may mean your repairs fall apart or, worse, you ruin what you were trying to fix. Use this guide to help sort out which glue will be best for the job you need to do.

Before You Get Started
Before you get gluing, you'll need to preapre the surfaces you're working on. Clean both surfaces thoroughly. Any dirt or oil may prevent proper bonding. You'll want to wipe metals, glass and other nonporous surfaces with a degreasing agent, such as alcohol. If you're gluing wood, strip it free of any paint, wax and varnish.

Tip: Most glue applications require clamping and in some cases nailing. Be sure to allow time for glue to cure. Curing time may differ from drying time.

White Glue
polyvinyl acetate
Strength: Moderate
Drying Time: Several hours
Moisture Resistance: Poor
Heat Resistance: Poor
Hazards: None
Cleanup: Soap and water
Wood
Paper
Cloth
Two-part epoxy
epoxy
Strength: Excellent
Drying Time: Varies by brand
Moisture Resistance: Excellent
Heat Resistance: Excellent
Hazards: Toxic fumes/flammable
Cleanup: Acetone
Wood
Metal
Masonry
Glass
Fiberglass
Hot Glue
hot melt
Strength: Varies by type
Drying Time: 60 seconds
Moisture Resistance: Fair
Heat Resistance: Fair
Hazards: Hot application
Cleanup: heat/acetone
Glass
Plastics
Wood
Cyanoacrylate Glue
Instant glue/Super glue/Krazy Glue
Strength: Excellent
Drying Time: Seconds
Moisture Resistance: Excellent
Heat Resistance: Excellent
Hazards: Instant bond/flammable/toxic
Cleanup: Acetone
Glass
Ceramics
Plastics
Metal
Contact Cement
Strength: Good
Drying Time: Bonds instantly/Cures in 1 hour
Moisture Resistance: Good
Heat Resistance: Excellent
Hazards: Flammable/toxic fumes
Cleanup: Acetone
Laminates
Plastics
Plywood
Flooring
Yellow Glue (carpenter's glue) Strength: Moderate
Drying Time: Several Hours
Moisture Resistance: Moderate
Heat Resistance:
Hazards: None
Cleanup: Warm water
Wood
Paper
Cloth
Hammer Have a questions about glue? Visit our forum to find the answers that stick.