Hot New Tools: Issue 75

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Woodworkers don’t need a degree in theoretical physics to understand the relativity of time; particularly, how a clock spins faster as a deadline approaches. Waiting for glue to dry can be a major frustration. Titebond and DAP have recently introduced two new glues that can help you get to the finish line faster. To find your go-to glue the next time that time’s tight, here’s what you need to know.

Titebond’s Quick & Thick behaves much like other polyvinyl acetates (PVAs), but compared to regular yellow glue, this special blend can cut your assembly time in half. The only noticeable difference is in the viscosity of the glue; as the name suggests, Q&T is 3× thicker than regular glue. I noticed one advantage of this caulk-like consistency right away: The glue doesn’t drip, minimizing cleanup. Another plus: The glue’s higher solids content enables you to fill small gaps (up to 1/32").

Full cure is overnight, but I found that sample joints were solid enough for light handling after only 15 minutes of clamp time. Quick & Thick has admirable versatility. In addition to wood-to-wood bonds, this glue sticks to a host of other materials as long as one of them allows water to escape during the curing process (see chart). Add in “easy water cleanup,” and the result is a great multipurpose adhesive.

For crazy-fast assembly times, consider Rapid Fuse. In most cases, you can remove the clamps and proceed with light work in less than 10 minutes. In a half-hour, the joint is fully-cured and ready for planing, sanding, or finishing.

What makes this glue different from other fast-drying cyanoacrylates (CAs) is its woodworker-friendly formulation. For starters, despite a fast curing time, clamping isn’t a race against the clock. The glue remains wet for several minutes until the parts are joined together and clamping pressure is applied. Even after applying the clamps, parts can be repositioned for about 3 minutes before the glue sets. In contrast to other CA glues that are notoriously brittle (and get even more so in time), Rapid Fuse has additional flexibility that improves its initial and long-term bond strength.

Picking a winner depends on the nature of the race. Quick & Thick’s ability to bond all sorts of porous materials, to fill minor gaps, and easy water cleanup make it the more forgiving of the two. In addition, this glue costs less. It’s a great product to have on hand for woodworking projects, general repairs, and crafts—definitely my first choice when working on a project with kids.

Rapid Fuse is the clear winner when saving time is a top priority. When you factor in the glue’s water resistance, you’ve got an excellent option for making a last-minute cutting board, or an outdoor project. And, unlike PVA adhesives, CAs are not water-based, so there’s no risk of sanding joints and having them shrink and create divots later as the wood dries out. On the other hand, Rapid Fuse comes with a characteristic CA solvent smell, and the possibility of stuck fingers. Good ventilation and protective gloves are important when using this adhesive.

Bottom line: I think most woodworkers will find it helpful to keep both glues handy.



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