Titebond make a few different wood glue products, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at the differences between them, so you can decide which one is right for you.
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Titebond has been a household name in the Carpentry space for over 65 years, ever since the introduction of Titebond Original Wood Glue in 1955!
Ever since then, the company has continued to iterate and improve their offerings, adding a whole range of adhesive products to their lineup, including the big sisters of Titebond Wood Glue, Titebond II, and Titebond III.
All versions of Titebond Wood Glue share many of the same properties, but with a few key differences. Let’s take a look at what makes Titebond such a trusted brand, and how to choose between the products available.
Pros and Cons:
- Bonds stronger than the wood itself
- Very fast bonding
- Sandable and Paintable
- Waterproof (v2 and 3)
- Available in many different volumes
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Good value, especially the large bottles
- Easy to clean up
- FDA Approved Food Safe
- Original version is not waterproof
- Not designed to bond to non wood materials
Titebond Wood Glue Differences: (What version should you use?)
There are three basic versions of Titebond available on the market today, here is a brief explanation of the differences between each one to help you decide which is right for you:
Titebond Original Wood Glue (the Red Bottle)
Titebond original wood glue is a standard PVA wood glue. It bonds very quickly, requiring minimal clamp time and once it’s dry it can be sanded or painted easily.
Titebond Original is not waterproof, so it’s best used for indoor projects and repairs.
Titebond II Premium Wood Glue (the Blue Bottle)
Titebond II Premium is similar to the original formula, but with the added benefit of being water-resistant.
This makes is perfect for outdoor projects such as outdoor furniture, sheds, mailboxes, fencing etc, and also for indoor projects where there may be moisture involved such as kitchen or bathroom furniture, chopping boards, knife holders, etc.
It has the same incredible bond strength as Titebond Original, the bond will be stronger than the wood itself so you can rely on it holding up.
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue (the Green Bottle)
Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is a further improvement on Titebond II, being fully waterproof and able to cope with extreme temperatures.
Titebond III has full “Waterproof” certification. (the first single solution adhesive ever to achieve this)
This means the glue will not deteriorate or degrade, even in situations where it is exposed to water constantly.
In addition, Titebond III has a stronger bond than both Titebond Original and Titebond II, but the tradeoff is a slightly longer clamp time.
Titebond III has a lower minimum application temperature, giving more versatility to tradesmen and DIYers who work in cold conditions.
Titebond III is perfect for outdoor and indoor projects, having the same food safety certification as Titebond I and II, and being just as easy to sand and paint.
Titebond Wood Glue Comparison Table:
The table below shows a comparison of each of the Titebond Glues.
Here is a short video from the company themselves explaining the differences:
Apart from the differences mentioned above, each version of Titebond has a common set of useful features, which help make Titebond one of the most popular wood glues on the market.
Although Titebond III has the strongest bond of the three variants, every version has a bond that is stronger than the surrounding wood.
This means if your project were to fail, you can almost guarantee it won’t be your joint that fails, but the wood. You can enjoy full peace of mind when using Titebond (or most other PVA Wood Glues) that the bond will hold.
Short clamping and drying time
Not unique to Titebond, but a great feature nonetheless. Titebond starts to bond almost instantly, making it easier and faster to finish your project.
There is a fairly short clamp time of between 30 minutes to one hour until the project will be strong enough to continue working on, and the glue will be completely cured in 6 hours.
Titebond III has a slightly longer working time, so if you need a little longer to position your surfaces together after gluing, go for this version.
FDA Approved food safe
If you’re creating a project for use with food, such as repairing or building a cutting board, a bowl or a knife holder, you can rest assured that should any food come in contact with your project, it will not pose any health risk to you.
Every version of Titebond has this certification.
How to use Titebond Wood Glue:
If you’ve used any other PVA wood glue, you’ll already know how to use Titebond. It’s easy and quick to use and easy to clean any mess or spillages.
1: Prepare the surface you are going to bond
Make sure the surface is clean and dry and free from any dust or oil.
A smoother finish will create a stronger bond, so sand or plane your surface if possible beforehand.
Remove any paint or varnish from the wood using sandpaper as PVA glues only work on porous materials.
2: Apply the glue in an equal thin layer to both surfaces
Apply the glue to both surfaces.
Both surfaces should have an equal amount of glue, spread thinly and uniformly across the entire surface.
You can use a glue brush to help you with this.
3: Clamp the pieces together
Your piece will need to be clamped for approximately one hour before you’re able to work on it further, but it may take up to 24 hours to fully cure depending on the temperature and humidity of your working environment.
The manufacturer recommends clamping an unstressed joint for 45 minutes, while a stressed bond has to be clamped tightly for a full 24 hours to ensure a strong bond.
4: Remove any excess glue with a damp rag
Wood glue is easy to remove while it’s still wet, so use this time to clean up any spills and any glue seeping out of the joint before it gets a chance to dry.
If you get any Titebond II or III glue in your clothes, make sure to clean it immediately with warm water as once it’s dry it will not come out.
Titebond Original will come out no problem, even once it’s dry.
What Materials do Titebond Wood Glues work on?
Titebond is a water-based PVA glue, designed to work on Wood only, but it will work on a few other porous materials as well, such as paper and natural fabrics like cotton or hemp.
Titebond is excellent for gluing two pieces of wood together, but it’s not useful for gluing non-wood materials to wood.
Take a look at the table below for a more complete list of what Titebond is good for.
Titebond works on:
Titebond doesn’t work on:
- Plastic of any kind
- Any other non-wood material
Titebond Wood Glue Ingredients
Titebond wood glue is a PVA glue, meaning the main ingredients are Water and PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate).
In addition, Titebond II and Titebond III have small amounts of other chemicals to aid with water resistance and bond strength, however, these are trade secrets and are not published.
Will it work on wet wood?
According to the manufacturer, where wood contains more than 10% moisture, the dry time may be impacted. Where the moisture level is above 16%, the glue may not dry at all.
PVA glue works by seeping into the pores of the material, so the less moisture clogging up the pores, the stronger the bond will be.
How to remove Titebond Wood Glue?
How to remove Titebond depends on what state the glue is in, and which version of the glue is used.
Titebond Original can be removed with water, when it’s wet, and even after it’s cured. It will wash out of clothes no problem with just warm soapy water (or in a washer).
Titebond II and Titebond III:
Titebond Premium and Ultimate glues can be washed up no problem while they are still wet, with a damp rag or sponge. If you get some on your clothes, make sure to clean it immediately with warm soapy water, as once it has cured there will be no way to remove it from your clothes without damaging your clothing.
All versions of Titebond can be sanded, planed, or scraped off wood surfaces if it’s allowed to dry.
Titebond Wood Glue Clamp Times
The manufacturer recommends a clamp time of “between 30 minutes to an hour” for their Titebond Wood glue products.
This is the time for an unstressed joint only, should you have a joint under stress then it should be clamped for a full 24 hours.
How long does Titebond Wood Glue take to dry?
After clamping, Titebond Wood Glue takes approximately six hours to fully cure.
This time may be longer or shorter, based on the temperature and humidity of your working environment.
What color is it when it’s dry?
Each version of Titebond Wood Glue has a slightly different color once it’s dry.
Titebond Original dries an opaque light yellow color.
Titebond II Premium:
Titebond II Premium is a translucent yellow color once it’s dry, similar to hide glue.
Titebond III Ultimate:
Titebond III Ultimate contains crushed walnut shells to give the finished product a nice, natural Light Brown color when dry.
Does Titebond Wood Glue work on Cedar and other oily woods?
Titebond works on Cedar, Teak, Redwood, and any other oily wood, however, you may need to take some extra steps in the preparation to ensure a good bond.
Make sure to sand the surface of the wood before application, to remove any outer layer of oil which may weaken the bond.
Make sure the wood is as dry as possible and the surface is as smooth as possible.
Titebond Wood Glue Shelf Life:
Titebond Wood Glues all have a shelf life of Two Years.
The manufacturer has created a useful list of all their products with the associated shelf life, which you can find here: http://www.titebond.com/App_Static/Literature/ff876_ShelfLife.pdf
Are Titebond Wood Glues food safe?
Titebond II and Titebond III are certified safe for indirect food contact by the FDA.
In practice, this means that they are safe to use for things like knife holders, cutting boards, wooden bowls, kitchen cabinets, bread boxes etc.
Titebond Original is not recommended for this type of product because it will degrade when exposed to moisture.
Safety Data Sheets
Here are the links to each of the safety data sheets for Titebond Wood Glue products:
Titebond Wood Glue Epansion
Titebond wood glues do not expand when drying.
While some glues (especially Polyeurathane Glues) expand or “foam” when curing, this is not the case with Titebond Wood Glue products.
The benefits of this are that you don’t need to clamp so tightly, and you don’t need to worry about the expanding glue weakening or moving your joint out of place.