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Understanding the Big Three


Woodworkers know one thing for sure: They want to use Titebond wood glue. But which one of the big three – Titebond Original, Titebond II or Titebond III?

We asked long-time glue guru Dale Zimmerman, who recently retired from Franklin after 36 years (including 21 years as a top technical service specialist), to share his view on which of these three glues to use for woodworking projects.

Dale made the wood glue selection as easy as one, two, three.

According to Dale, Titebond Original, which was introduced in 1955, is adequate for most interior projects that do not come in contact with dampness or water. Although Titebond II Premium and Titebond III Ultimate also could be used for interior woodworking projects, Dale recommends the use of these two water-resistant adhesives for exterior projects – outdoor furniture, birdhouses, mailboxes, planters – that will be exposed to the elements.

Titebond II Premium came to the market in 1991 and was the first – and for a long time, the only – one-part water-cleanup wood glue to pass HPVA/ANSI Type II water-resistance specification.

Titebond III Ultimate, introduced in 2006, remains the only glue of its type to pass the more rigorous ANSI Type I water-resistance specification. Both formulations will meet requirements for exterior woodworking projects. (Note, neither Titebond II nor Titebond III is recommended for marine use or immersion in water. Dale points out that, although the glue itself likely will hold up under water, the water-logged wood eventually might come apart, perhaps at the glue line.)

 
   
Strength*
4,000 psi   3,750 psi   3,600 psi
Open Time
10 minutes   5 minutes   5 minutes
Chalk Temperature
47° F   55° F   50° F
Viscosity
4,200 cps.   3,200 cps   3,400 cps
Exterior Use
Yes
Passes ANSI/HPVA Type I water-resistance
  Yes
Passes ANSI/HPVA Type II water-resistance
  No
*Maple to maple (ASTM D-905)

When might a woodworker prefer Titebond III to Titebond II? "Titebond III doubles the working time of its predecessor and has a lower application temperature," explained Dale. Titebond III nearly doubles the open time of Titebond II, to ten minutes, and can be applied in temperatures as low as 47°F. The minimum application temperature for Titebond II is 55°F.

Woodworking Glues


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