When it comes to gluing wood joints, there are two main options to choose from: standard wood glue or polyurethane glue. Each type of glue has its advantages and disadvantages. Standard wood glue was once a consumer's only choice, but now polyurethane glue is a viable option for many jobs, and in certain cases offers a stronger and tighter joint.
Standard wood glue, sometimes called yellow glue, is great for many wood projects and makes a joint stronger than the surrounding wood. Wood glue comes in varieties that offer waterproof protection and differences in drying times and strengths suitable for each project. If gluing end grain to end grain, standard wood glue is at a disadvantage. It contracts as it drys, which means it will be mostly absorbed by the end grain and make for a poor joint. Drying time is roughly 30 minutes, but clamped pieces need to remain clamped for 24 hours.
Polyurethane glues are great for strength and the efficient choice for outdoor projects. If gluing end grain, polyurethane glue will make a strong joint. It is more expensive than standard wood glue in addition to other drawbacks. Polyurethane glue expands as it drys, which means it should not be used in excess. Additionally, gloves need to be worn when using it and adequate ventilation needs to be available. Drying time is approximately 45 minutes, and clamped pieces need to remain clamped for six hours.
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