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Adhesives

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
70
Tallahassee Florida
Okay so I am guessing it probably makes sense to use epoxy to glue stuff in boat building. The thing is that I hate mixing up tiny batches of epoxy. Is it reasonable to use wood glue in gluing up stuff like scarf joints, half lap joints in frames, and so on. I have often just used Titebond II for outdoor stuff around the house and never had a problem with failures in the glue joints. I realize Titebond III probably makes more sense but I don't usually seem to have it on hand, maybe I should.

So what do you use? Always epoxy? Something else? Sometimes something else? If you use different adhesives in different applications what do you use where?
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,341
104
77
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
I used epoxy on all my boats except one. *** I use glue on the red wood stripper pirogue. Only reason is all those individual pieces that had to be glued together. Cleaning any exposed glue from the strips was not the most fun thing in this world. As soon as they were done it was a epoxy bead along each seam just to make sure they stayed together.
*** I made sheets of striped red wood from the individual pieces so it was the same as working with one piece of wood. Then I made the pirogue like the plans called for.
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,707
43
I have used:
3M 5200. Very strong. Does not clean up well after it dries.
PL construction glue. Failed when I tried to laminate some white oak curved batter boards.
Gorilla Glue. Did not like the clean up.
Epoxy. Considered the best ,even necessary by some builders, certainly most popular. Necessary with fiberglass construction and most modern designs. I did not care for mixing, clamping time, pot life, $$$., or clean up.
Titebond 3. My favorite. Does not work with fiberglass.

Note; I think of these only 3M 5200 and epoxy are rated for "below the water line" usage. Don't mean they won't work they just haven't bothered getting their "diploma".
 

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
70
Tallahassee Florida
I have used:
3M 5200. Very strong. Does not clean up well after it dries.
PL construction glue. Failed when I tried to laminate some white oak curved batter boards.
Gorilla Glue. Did not like the clean up.
Epoxy. Considered the best ,even necessary by some builders, certainly most popular. Necessary with fiberglass construction and most modern designs. I did not care for mixing, clamping time, pot life, $$$., or clean up.
Titebond 3. My favorite. Does not work with fiberglass.

Note; I think of these only 3M 5200 and epoxy are rated for "below the water line" usage. Don't mean they won't work they just haven't bothered getting their "diploma".
Good info. I knew most of it, but how to apply it in our context is another matter.

I have used 3M 5200 in my years of sailboat ownership. Nasty stuff to work with and clean up. Tough as nails. Conventional wisdom was never use it on anything you would ever want to take apart again.

One follow up question. What do you mean by Titebond 3 "Does not work with fiberglass"? I wouldn't glue up fiberglass with it, but I figure you can glue up wood that will be glassed, right?

On the "below the waterline thing" I tend to draw lines between joints that are actually in the water and joints that are inside a glassed boat. Also gluing up the half laps for the frames in a pirogue that will be glassed is an entirely different matter than gluing up joints in a wooden boat. This is especially true if the pirogue doesn't live in the water. We recently mentioned how many days per year folks paddled. If a guy paddles a boat 8 days per year, even long days, and the boat lives indoors the rest of the time, I'd bet Titebond 2 would hold up well, not that I am recommending using it.

Still I guess using epoxy isn't that much of a hassle. It just is more convenient to be able to grab a bottle of glue and glue up a single joint at a time.
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,707
43
Titebond 3 not normally used to wet out fiberglass. Might work?

Mama's spit would probably work under glass.
Fasteners would relive any worries about non water proof glue failure. Lots of boats built without any glue.
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,707
43
When I stated Titebond 3 "Does not work with fiberglass." Only saying it was not used to wet out the glass. It will work on wood covered by epoxy/glass.
"Nama's spit" was reference to Titebond 2 being used under glass and epoxy. It has worked for many builders.
Fasteners will prevent failure of a joint should the glue fail. Water intrusion is a consideration in any boat. Choices have to be made about acceptable risk. If you believe fiberglass and/or epoxy resin is enough protection for your usage then plywood or joints with non water proof glue may work for you.
I have not used Titebond 2 but I think it is labeled water resistant. Titebond 3 is listed as water proof. Your choice.
In traditional built boats with tight joints and seams the glue probably acts more as a caulk than an adhesive. Screws and nails hold the boat together. Water intrusion was considered a good thing. The wood was rot resistant and the swollen wood tightened the joints to prevent leaks.
 

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,161
7
Denham Springs, LA
Before the invention of Titebond and epoxy, thousands of boats were glued up with Weldewood. A tan powder that you mix with water to whatever consistency you needed. Even though the label says for indoor use, it was better than anything else the old time boat builders had, so they used it. Not saying it’s as good as newer technology, but it was good enough.
 

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
70
Tallahassee Florida
Before the invention of Titebond and epoxy, thousands of boats were glued up with Weldewood. A tan powder that you mix with water to whatever consistency you needed. Even though the label says for indoor use, it was better than anything else the old time boat builders had, so they used it. Not saying it’s as good as newer technology, but it was good enough.
I remember using some red-ish colored powder that was mixed with water. If memory serves we called it red resorcinol or something like that. I may be wrong but I think it may have said weldwood on the can. The glue line was dark purple-ish red. We thought it was great stuff at the time.

I remember using it to lay up paddle blanks and never had a joint fail.
 

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,161
7
Denham Springs, LA
Resorcinol is a great glue, but it requires tight fitting joints and seams. Seems to me that most folks today don’t want to take the time to make a good fit and would rather throw something together and plaster over with some epoxy and sawdust “peanut butter”.
 

PeteStaehling

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
146
2
70
Tallahassee Florida
Resorcinol is a great glue, but it requires tight fitting joints and seams. Seems to me that most folks today don’t want to take the time to make a good fit and would rather throw something together and plaster over with some epoxy and sawdust “peanut butter”.
Yes my recollection is that it required good joinery. No gap filling. No fillets. Within those restrictions I recall it being nice stuff to work with.

I recall that some complained about the colored glue lines. I thought they were pretty, at least with some wood.
 

oldbuffpilot

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2014
478
19
78
Central Kansas and Central Texas
Good info. I knew most of it, but how to apply it in our context is another matter.

I have used 3M 5200 in my years of sailboat ownership. Nasty stuff to work with and clean up. Tough as nails. Conventional wisdom was never use it on anything you would ever want to take apart again.

One follow up question. What do you mean by Titebond 3 "Does not work with fiberglass"? I wouldn't glue up fiberglass with it, but I figure you can glue up wood that will be glassed, right?

On the "below the waterline thing" I tend to draw lines between joints that are actually in the water and joints that are inside a glassed boat. Also gluing up the half laps for the frames in a pirogue that will be glassed is an entirely different matter than gluing up joints in a wooden boat. This is especially true if the pirogue doesn't live in the water. We recently mentioned how many days per year folks paddled. If a guy paddles a boat 8 days per year, even long days, and the boat lives indoors the rest of the time, I'd bet Titebond 2 would hold up well, not that I am recommending using it.

Still I guess using epoxy isn't that much of a hassle. It just is more convenient to be able to grab a bottle of glue and glue up a single joint at a time.
I use tightbond3 to glue cedar strips for SS&G. Fiberglass over the strips