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    Five Minute Guide to Glue-Ups

    Furniture glue-ups can be one of the most stressful times for any woodworker. Once the glue goes on your components, the clock starts ticking. If you haven't prepared well ahead of time, all that work cutting and fitting joinery could fall flat on its face. In this short video, Fine Woodworking editor Asa Christiana and senior web producer Ed Pirnik demonstrate the right way to glue up your furniture projects—from dry-fitting and sanding, all the way through glue application and clamping.


     How to Choose the Right Glue

    All glues are not created equal. When selecting a glue for your woodworking projects, you should select your adhesive based on a few criteria: working time, color, and exposure to moisture.

    Standard wood glues will suffice for the majority of projects. Commonly available adhesives like Titebond original and Titebond II are the go-to glues for most furniture projects that won't be exposed to the elements. These glues dry with a transparent glue line. But be careful, they begin to set up within 5-10 minutes, so you've got to work fast.
    If you're looking for more working time, you could consider a specialty glue tailor-made for tough glue-ups that demand a slower pace. They're usually marketed with a term like "Extend" in the brand name. A glue like Titebond Extend has a working time of approximately 20 minutes, and that's great for complex glue-ups. Plus, they dry with a clear glue line.
    Waterproof wood glues like Titebond III are perfect for any project that will be exposed to high humidity or moisture—think outdoor furniture, humidors, and cutting boards. They also give you a bit more open time than a standard wood glue--about 20-25 minutes. But be careful, they often dry with a tan glue line, not so good for projects made from light-colored woods like pine.