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Old 09-13-2009, 07:18 PM   #1
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


I am installing trim pieces on a wood coffee table. Which is better to use; wood glue and then clamp OR liquid nails and then clamp?

I am getting mixed answers from the people at Home Depot and Lowes. Some say LN is "temporary"?!? Others say LN is stronger and permanent.

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Old 09-13-2009, 07:35 PM   #2
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


I use Titebond wood glue. Works very well IF the wood you are attaching to is clean, i.e. does not have any stain, varnish, shellac, or polyurethane on it. If it does, you need to get it all off before glueing and clamping. I have never liked liquid nails, does not seem to provide a good long term bond.

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Old 09-13-2009, 07:56 PM   #3
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


Clean connective areas and use wood glue on wood. I use Titebond II. Try to pull it apart and you will break the wood before you break the glue bond.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:28 PM   #4
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


I would use TiteBond for what you are doing.
Liquid Nails is more of a construction adhesive.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:52 PM   #5
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


Not a coffee table, but I used Liquid Nails adhesive to glue a small piece of siding to my storage shed. I couldn't get a nail gun or hammer in there to nail it under the fascia and in the lower corner on the front of the building (10x12). That was in 2002.

So far that building has been through Hurricane Rita and Ike. Ike came right over our house. That piece of siding is still intact as is the rest of the building! The insurance adjuster was impressed that there was no damage to the building; not even a shingle out of place! :-) I must have done a good job.

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Old 09-14-2009, 12:02 AM   #6
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


For out-of sight construction applications liquid nails is fine. It isn't the right product for working on a coffee table however. No way to use it and get a tight joint because it is too thick. I'd also recommend Titebond I, II, or III. Any of those would work equally well.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


Tightbond II or III, polyurethane glue, Type II polyvinyl acetate emulsion, Fish Glue, or Hide glue are all appropriate for the intended application. Liquid nails is not a good choice for fine woodworking and is not intended to be used for such applications.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:01 PM   #8
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


It looks like TITEBOND has it. I will try LOWES to see if they carry it.

The coffee table has a clear stain on it, do I have to sand the area where the trim is going, in order to provide a better bond?
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:57 PM   #9
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


I agree with KC I, II, or III

Type I strength specs are as good as Type II but then Type II is more moisture resistance. I use Type II most often.

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Old 09-15-2009, 06:26 PM   #10
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


In general I agree with the use of TITEBOND or any quality wood glue when the pieces are clean (no paint or finish) and fit tightly. You will need to remove the finish for any glue to work well. You may want to consider using a polyurethane glue (Gorilla glue) if there are any voids. Polyurethane glue is also more forgiving if you do not get all the finish off. Be sure to practice on some scrap so you get a feel for how much to apply. If you apply more than necessary it will make a mess because it expands as it cures.

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Old 09-16-2009, 02:02 PM   #11
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Which Is Better - Wood Glue OR Liquid Nails?


Here is the end result:



I broke the glass table during my move and the replacement was $150.00.

So I bought a $15 piece of birch, cut it down, stained it, and then added the trim work, for a total of $25.00.

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