Friday, 5 June 2015

Glue and kit

As I keep saying this blog is my record of a build but I hope newbies find it and find stuff useful.  I know I hunted around a lot for help when I first started.

I thought it might be useful to think about wood 'glue'.  By year four we will have all settled into our choices but I know when I began I tried all sorts of stuff - all kinds of PVA, super-glue, even a hot glue gun - don't even go there!

Common sense should dictate you should buy something called wood glue if you are gluing wood - but then when have I had any common sense.  I am always tempted to use 'what I have', 'whatever is the cheapest', 'what I think best'.  Some people never learn.

wood glue
The large one on the right is white and looks and smells like any old PVA glue.  Don't confuse this with all the craft ranges of Tacky Glue - they make a somewhat flexible bond so pieces could get 'deformed' or squished if handled a lot.

It makes a fairly quick grip so you can get on with stuff, says it dries in 3 - 4 hours and claims to be stronger than wood itself.    It cleans up easily with water.  I have no idea how it says it can be used on outside projects when it seems water soluble even after it has set.  When I clean up my knife and tile etc it only takes a short while under a running tap to soften the glue and remove it.  It also seems to set to a slightly rubbery hardness so again I have no idea why it is an improvement on any other PVA based glue but it is.  I can only assume it is more about how it behaves with wood than on a tile.  It dries clear and doesn't take varnish so if you make a mess with it on your item you'll have to sand it down (!).

The theory behind wood glue is that it raises the nibs (rough surface/top cells) on the two pieces of wood and they mesh together in the glue so, almost, forming one piece of wood.

The glue in the smaller bottle is orange in colour - supposed to look like wood?  It runs slightly thinner than the other so I find it marginally harder to control.  It claims it can be painted or varnished.  This dries to a hard glassy finish (not clear) on my tile but can be removed with water, after a bit of a soak.  Says it takes 24 hours to dry.  It doesn't tack up as quickly as the other one so you need to hold on to the pieces a little longer.

I slightly favour the white one but not enough to matter and have used both on this cupboard to see if I spotted any difference.

The message is - use wood glue for wood.

The kit on the right of the photo is my gluing outfit.  A tile so I can put a little glue out at a time, a cocktail stick and completely bald very fine paintbrush that has a nice fine tip where the hairs should be to get the glue on to fine edges and a palette knife to ease the pieces off any surface I make have inadvertently stuck them to!

Little Greene

This is the paint I am using on the cupboard.  I am showing it to you because it is from a smashing company called Little Greene (paint and paper).  Lovely quality paint, delicious choice of colours - the greatest colour chart with flappy bits of paint chip colours so you can slip wallpaper and fabric and stuff under them to see how they work together.  It really does cover in one thin coat and will smooth off nicely.

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