Both professionals and DIY enthusiasts frequently use super glue for all kinds of projects due to its incredible versatility and bonding ability.
The glue works in seconds and forms unbreakable bonds, which can be ideal for mending your favorite pieces. But does super glue work on wood?
This post offers several valuable insights into using superglue in woodworking. Read along to learn if and how you could use this adhesive in your next project.
Does Super Glue Work on Wood
Superglue, also called cyanoacrylate glue, works on wood and can be used in plenty of different ways. Whether you are working on decorative wooden art or professional woodwork, super glue can offer a quick and cleaner way of attaching your wooden pieces.
Superglue on Wood Best Practices
When using super glue on wood, observing a few best practices will help you achieve the best outcomes. Here is what to keep in mind:
- The wood surfaces must make perfect contact to bond properly. Standard super glue is very thin and unlikely to fill any gaps. So you don’t want to leave spaces between the pieces you are attaching; your joint will likely fail if the parts are not in tight contact.
- Invest in a good quality superglue; otherwise, the outcome may not be durable. Ideally, you should expect to spend around $10 per ounce of a good-quality cyanoacrylate, such as the Gorilla Superglue.
- Allow the glue to harden for at least five minutes while holding the joint in place. If you want instant drying, you can apply an accelerant to one side and super glue to the other, then quickly join them and hold for about half a minute.
Wood Glue vs Super Glue: When to use Super Glue for Wood
Most wood glues are designed to last forever inside a joint, with some information indicating that glues can hold up for 75 or more years.
Meanwhile, exposing such joints to moisture can ruin them in less than a year unless you’re using the best waterproof glue for wood.
And in cases where you want to take apart joints with wood glue inside them, you may use a heat gun or denatured alcohol depending on the chemical properties of that glue.
In contrast, super glue may have a slightly shorter shelf life inside of a joint. Some gallery owners claim some joints held together with superglue start to come apart after fifteen to twenty years.
This is still such a long time as most wood types do not live much longer than two decades. So the chances are that pieces glued up with cyanoacrylate will have the same service life as the adhesive, aging simultaneously.
That said, super glue can come in handy in many woodworking projects. You can use it to fill gaps in the wood, mend wooden objects, reinforce wooden threads, assemble wooden models, and coat woodworking projects.
Here is a detailed look at some of the common super glue applications in woodworking.
You can mix super glue with sawdust to create a custom gap filling paste for holes and grooves in wooden blocks or pieces of wood.
Super glue alone is not dense or thick enough to make an adequate filling material. So, introducing sawdust helps create the solid suitable for use as a wood filler.
Some people also swap wood dust with baking soda, but sawdust should be better for filling wood with super glue. It creates a thick filler that hardens quickly and can be sanded and drilled, depending on your finishing needs.
You can also apply a wood finish or paint over the filled and sanded surface. This makes the glue-sawdust mixture such an excellent filling material.
Mending wooden objects
This is perhaps one of the most common uses of superglue in woodworking. The super-fast drying adhesive is particularly ideal for mending small wooden objects that have broken apart.
For instance, if you have a small broken wooden toy, you can apply some super glue on the broken part and patch it right back. This option can save you from having to drill and screw or nail the broken wooden parts. It can also be a cleaner way to mend wooden parts.
You could also use super glue as the adhesive for putting together a new model. Super glue boasts excellent capillary action. This quality makes it perfect for putting together wooden parts in a new wood project.
It is a handy adhesive to use when constructing a wooden toy that features separate wooden parts. One main advantage is that it will not matter whether the entire toy is made of wood or not.
Superglue works with nearly every kind of material, so it should stick together whatever different types of things you have in the toy. Because super glue typically comes in small tubes and applicators, it is perfect for small projects with intricate parts.
It will form strong, permanent joints. Some woodworkers prefer to create tighter and more durable joints by applying super glue to wood surfaces and rubbing them together.
This technique is called rub gluing and can create incredible bonds in wood joints.
Creating waterproof wood projects
Some types of superglue are waterproof. You can use such options to assemble wooden items intended for outdoor use. Given its water resistance, the glue will ensure the project does not fall apart due to precipitation, rain, or high humidity exposure.
Your pieces can get wet without worrying about affecting the joints. While shopping for cyanoacrylate glue, ensure you get a water-resistant option, as not all super glues are.
The label should indicate whether the glue you are purchasing is waterproof or not.
Coating woodworking projects
You can use cyanoacrylate to finish your woodwork. This is possible for small projects; coating large wooden surfaces with super glue would be inconvenient and pretty expensive.
However, super glue can be an excellent finish for tiny wood crafts, articles, or carvings. It can be a great way to coat the wood surface, creating a hard-wearing, waterproof, scratch-resistant topcoat.
These characteristics are especially suitable for surfaces likely to be subjected to constant wear and tear. The cyanoacrylate will form a glossy, durable protective coating over the wood surface.
How to Use Superglue on Wood
The procedure is largely the same when using super glue to fill cracks in wood or complete some other wood project. Here is a quick step-by-step procedure to follow when you glue wood with cyanoacrylate.
Step 1: Prepare yourself and the workpieces
Super glue bonds pretty quickly, so it is essential to prepare your workpieces by having them laid out and ready. Fit the pieces beforehand because you will not have much time to maneuver once you put the glued surfaces together.
The idea is to make sure all the surfaces to be attached match up.
Depending on your project type, you may also need clamps to hold the wood pieces together during their initial set time, unless you’ll use an accelerator.
Step 2: Clean and sand the surfaces
Clean surfaces form the best bonds when glued together. The bond is even stronger when the surface is scuffed up. So, clean the surfaces you want to join together, and scuff sand them with fine-grit sandpaper once they are dry.
Step 3: Apply the glue
Super glue comes in the form of a liquid or gel. We recommend a gel for woodworking projects. Once the surfaces are ready, put a drop to one surface and an accelerator to the other, then immediately bring the pieces together and hold firmly for 15–30 seconds.
The accelerator will ensure the joint is hard enough in that time. If you do not use an accelerator, you may want to clamp the pieces for at least 30 minutes.
You also need to leave the project undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours to let it cure fully.
Recommend Reading: Best Wood Glue Dispenser
Step 4: Clean up
Once done, use a caulking removal tool or razor blade to cut away any excess glue and residue from the surface to create a clean project. You can also sand the surface once dry to level it if you have filled a hole on the wood surface.
How Long Does Super Glue Take to Dry on Wood?
Different glue types take different times to dry, but how long for super glue to dry? Super glue generally dries within seconds.
However, glue drying time can be slower or faster depending on the viscosity. Gel superglue may take up to five minutes to dry.
As a rule of thumb, you should always allow up to 24 hours of cure time for super glue. In any case, the product label will always indicate the drying time of your specific purchase.
Does Gorilla Super Glue Work on Wood?
Yes, Gorilla super glue has the quickest bonding time and works on countless materials other than wood. This makes it ideal for various projects requiring quick, strong, and permanent adhesion.
Recommended Reading: How to connect two pieces of wood
Wood Glue or Super Glue – Which One is Better?
If used correctly, both wood glue and super glue create strong, permanent bonds on wood. The better option between wood glue and super glue will depend on the specific project.
Super glue is ideal for small projects such as building tiny wooden toys, while PVA glue or wood glue is perfect for larger and more complex wood projects.
Best Super Glue for Wood
- Impact Tough: Reinforced to increase impact resistance and strength
- Anti Clog Cap: Keeps glue from drying out. It's Gorilla Tough use after use
- Fast-setting: Dries in 10-45 seconds, no clamping required
- Versatile: Bonds plastic, wood, metal, ceramic, rubber, leather, paper, and more
The best woodworking super glue is Gorilla. The company makes various adhesive types spanning wood glues and CA glues. However, their super glue is the industry’s best in drying time and bond quality.
The Best Wood Glue for DIY Projects
- Provide a much stronger bond than the wood itself
- Offer excellent heat-resistance and are very easy to sand
- Are water cleanup while still wet
- Provide strong initial tack and a 30-minute clamp time
- Conform to ASTM D4236 – Non-toxic and safe to use
Titebond III Ultimate wood glue is the best for DIY and professional wood projects.
It boats the ultimate adhesive strength; it is FDA approved for being non-toxic, easy to use and clean, and waterproof. You can use the glue on indoor or outdoor projects, making it a true game-changer in the industry.
Best Glues for Wood Buying Guide
When shopping for wood glue, knowing what to look for when shopping for wood glue can transform your entire woodworking experience. Here is some help in that regard.
Consider the shelf life
Glues can dry up in their tubes, leading to a complete loss. You don’t want that, so ensure you go for one with the longest shelf life if you intend to use it far into the future.
You should find various glues with lids to secure the bottle after opening it for present use. Air is normally the enemy; you want a lid to keep the container airtight to last longer.
Go for the strongest
When buying glue, you want it to attach things. The best glue is one that forms a permanent bond that can withstand the greatest force.
A good quality CA glue, or wood glue such as Titebond or Gorilla should offer the best tensile strength for your projects.
Consider the quickest drying time
The quickest glue dry time is appealing, but you can get away with a slower drying adhesive with greater strength if you do not have any time constraints.
However, you will want the quickest drying glue in most cases because no one wants to take forever on a single project.
CA glues are typically the fastest drying. However, if you want the fastest-drying wood glue, you may go for Titebond Quick & Thick Multi-Surface Glue to speed up your project timeline.
Consider the color
Wood glues can be yellow or white. While some white glues will dry clear, yellow options typically retain their color. So ensure you check the glue color when buying to choose one that matches your project requirements to blend correctly.
Is gorilla glue stronger than super glue?
Gorilla wood glues are considered tougher than super glues since they are made from a polyurethane mix, whereas superglues consist of cyanoacrylates. The polyurethane glues are the more durable and robust material of the two main groups of adhesives.
Does Loctite work on wood?
Absolutely. Loctite is a premium quality adhesive specifically designed to work with all wood types for interior or exterior construction projects. In addition, it boasts a low-odor formula and cleans up easily with water.
Does Krazy glue work on wood?
Yes. Krazy Glue Fast Dry Wood Glue is one of the quickest-setting adhesives that work on various types of wood. The dry glue surface is sandable and washable, so it should suit most wood projects, fixes, and crafts.
Best CA glue for woodworking
MITREAPEL Super CA glue is considered the best for woodworking. It comes with its glue accelerator for instant bonding and professional results regardless of the project.
Final Thoughts – Does Super Glue Work on Wood?
Superglue does indeed work on wood. It is perfect for smaller woodworking projects such as making small wooden toys and models with intricate parts that thrive on quick dry times and strong, permanent joints.
We believe this article showed you plenty of ways to use super glue on wood for professional and DIY or decorative purposes.
Leave a comment to let us know your thoughts on the topic.
Additional Resource: Does Wood Glue Work on Plastic?