All You Need To Know About Wood Glue – The Ultimate Guide

Wood glue is not as simple as you might think. While the main purpose of wood glue is to help you to glue pieces of wood, there is a wide selection of types and brands that you can find on the market Each types of wood glue is made from different materials. As a result, their characteristics of these glues are different. There are different pros and cons for each type as well.

In case you are looking for a guide on how to use wood glue or seek for some questions such as “How long does wood glue take to dry”, the answer would not be the same for all types of wood glue. In fact, different types of wood glue would have different time for it to dry. In addition, other factors such as the weather and the humidity of the wood can affect the time a type of wood glue takes to dry.


It is important to understand how to use wood glue well as gluing is one of the main important steps in many woodworking projects. Scroll down for the ultimate guide below where I will tell you all of the most essential things that you need to know about wood glue, what it is made of and how long you have to wait for glue to be completely dry. In the end, there are some extra tips for you on how to choose the right type of wood glue for your upcoming projects in the future.

1. Hide Glue

This type of glue is made of animal hide (which you can get the idea from the name of this type of wood glue). The granules of the animal’s hide are heated with water. When the mixture liquefies, it is then let to cool down a little bit and becomes thicken.

You can use a brush, dip it into the hide glue and then brush it in the area where you need to glue pieces of wood together. This type of glue is suitable for almost all types of woodworking project.

This type of glue will not cause damage to the structure of the wood over a long time. However, it is not waterproof.

How long does this wood glue take to dry? This type of wood glue takes the longest time to dry. The time could be of more than 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Epoxy

This type of glue is made of resin and hardener. These liquid materials, when they are mixed together, become thicker.

Two main advantages of this type of wood glue are that it is waterproof and it can fill the small gap between two pieces of wood effectively. The other types of wood glue wouldn’t be able to stick two pieces of wood together when there is a gap between them but Epoxy can handle this problem easily.

How long does this wood glue take to dry? Normally, it would take about 5 minutes for Epoxy to dry. However, if you wait for a longer time, the bong this glue can create will be stronger. So if you are not n a rush, it is worth waiting for a few more minutes for this glue to be completely dry.

3. Cyanoacrylate glue

Cyanoacrylate glue is also known as Super glue.

This type of glue is a great choice if you want to join two pieces of hardwood together. It can become dry in a short amount of time as well. Why the joint that the glue can create is very hard, it is also the drawback of this glue. Since it is hard, these two pieces of wood which is glued together can become fractured in case of a strong and powerful impact.

How long does this wood glue take to dry? It would take about 3 to 4 minutes for Cyanoacrylate glue to dry. If you apply accelerant, it would even take a shorter amount of time.

4. Polyurethane glue

This type of wood works with moisture to become thickened, swell and then eventually dry. When this type of glue is dry, it is very hard and tough. It is also waterproof.

However, since it is quick to dry and since it dries hard, it is a little bit troublesome if you want to clean off the glue. You have to act quickly or it will leave dirty mark on the surface of the pieces of wood.

How long does this wood glue take to dry? It would take a very short of less than 3 minutes for this glue to dry.

More information on time for wood glue to dry:

The type of wood is only one factor that determines the time it takes for a piece of wood to dry. There are several factors that can influence how quick or slow it is for the glue you apply on pieces of wood to dry.

  • Wood porosity: The type of wood which is more porous will be harder for glue to stay on its surface and create a wet layer. Hence, it will take longer time for wood glue to dry. On the other hand, if you have a very dense piece of wood, the wood glue wouldn’t be absorbed onto the wood. When a layer of wood glue can stay on the surface, it would be able to thicken and attach two pieces of wood together.
  • Level of moisture inside the wood: Just like the porosity of the wood, the more moisture a piece of wood has, the slower it is for any type of wood glue to dry. The reason for this fact is quite simple. When a piece of wood is very moist, it couldn’t be able to absorb any particle of water. Hence, the water from any type of wood glue needs to evaporate naturally, taking longer time for that wood glue to dry.
  • Temperature: If you handle your woodworking project in the summer, you will realize that it would take a shorter amount of time for any type of glue to fry.
  • Humidity: If it is humid outside, it would take longer for wood glue to dry. Just like when the piece of wood is moist, when the air is high in humidity, it couldn’t absorb any particle of water from the wood glue. As a result, it would take longer for a wood glue to dry,

How to choose the right glue

As you can see, there are 4 most common types of glues that you can find on the market. Each of them has different pros and cons. Hence, it is understandable that different types of woodworking projects need different types of wood glue. Here are a few factors that you need to consider in order to choose the right glue:

  • Waterproof ability: Do you need your piece of woodworking project to be waterproof? If yes, then most of the types of wood glue are waterproof, except for the hide glue.
  • Strength: All of these types of wood glue mention above would be strong enough, even for your heavy duty projects such as furniture projects.
  • Size of the project: Normally, any type of wood glue that takes longer time to dry will be more suitable for larger projects and for bonding larger pieces of wood.
  • How long do you want to wait? If you want a type of glue which is quick to dry, go for either super glue or polyurethane glue. They can dry in a very short amount of time, from around 2 to 3 minutes. Other types of glues including Epoxy and hide glue also take no more than 5 minutes to dry.
  • Do you need to fill a gap between two pieces of wood? If you need to do so, go for Epoxy.
  • Can you work quickly? The thing is, as super glue and polyurethane glue are quick to dry, you need to act quick to clean off the mess that the glue left behind on the surface of the pieces o wood. On the other hand, you can still easily clean off the hide glue from the project, even when it is dry.

That is all about wood glue. I hope that after reading this article, you will know about how long wood glue takes to dry as well as how to choose the best types of wood glue for your woodworking project. Keep in mind that different types of wood glue have different materials and characteristics. Factors that affect the time a wood glue take to dry including the type of wood glue, the characteristics of wood as well as the conditions of the environment and weather at the moment.

As long as you remember these helpful tips and advice above, I am sure that you can master the act of using wood glue for all kinds of your woodworking projects in the future.

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