Does Hot Glue Work On Wood?

Does hot glue work on wood? I wasn’t sure how to answer this basic question. So, I did a little research. Here’s what I found out:

Hot melt glue does work on wood. It comes in many forms. Hot melt glue can be used with many woodworking projects. These include cabinets, tables, chairs, and bookcases.

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What is the best glue to use on wood? What can hot glue be used for? These questions will be answered in the sections below. So, let’s get started!

What Is Hot Melt Glue?

To see if this glue can be used with wood, we need to find out what hot melt glue is, and see what its properties are. Traditional hot melt glue is a thermoplastic adhesive. Generally, this type of glue is solid and is in the form of a cylindrical “glue stick”.

Hot Melt Glue Pros

  • Hot melt glue dries quickly. This helps when assembling the project. You don’t need clamps. You can put pieces in position, hold them for a few seconds, then move on to the next step in construction.
  • Hot Melt glue is also easy to store. By contrast, liquid glue can often dry in the container and obstruct the opening.
  • Hot Melt glue has a long shelf life. This makes woodworking more enjoyable and more economical.

Cons To Hot Melt Glue

  • The pieces need to withstand the high heat. Materials like plastic may melt if the temperature is high enough.
  • Thermoplastic hot melt glue is not waterproof. Also, the surfaces should be clean.
  • The glue is hot and can burn the skin.

Polyurethane PUR Hot Melt

Polyurethane PUR is a type of hot melt glue. Also, it’s much stronger than thermoplastic hot melts. Commonly, it’s used in woodworking. 

PUR hot melt comes in sealed cartridges. The table below shows some of the more common cartridges and gives the materials they work with:

1. Infinity PUR WW30Wood and Similar Substrates
2. Infinity PUR WW60Wood and Similar Substrates
3. Infinity Bond SuperPUR 180Wood, Furniture, Cabinets

1. Infinity PUR WWW30

This glue is great for wood to wood joints. It has an open time of 30 seconds and sets in 30 seconds.

2. Infinity PUR WWW60

This is like the one above. However, the open time is 60 seconds. So, you have a little more time to put the project together. Also, it sets in 60 seconds.

3. Infinity Bond SuperPUR 180

This glue is great for woodworking, furniture assembly, and automotive manufacturing. It has a 180 second open time! So, this gives you extra time to arrange items during assembly.

Save On Construction Costs

Hot melt PUR glue forms very strong bonds. It’s easy to use and saves on other construction costs. For example, you can avoid the need for wood screws. Also, you might not have to drill the holes for them. So, you can take less time to put your project together. Also, this is important if you need to repeat an operation over and over.

Hot Melt Glue and Moisture

Thermoplastic hot melt glues are not waterproof. Moisture can cause the bond to weaken and fail. 

On the other hand, hot melt PUR glues can get wet. Actually, moisture makes the bond stronger.

Should You Use Hot Melt Glue For Wood?

Hot melt glue makes it easy to put wood projects together. However, are there other types of glue for wood? Should you be using them, instead? Here are some other types of wood glue:

PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) Glue

This is the common yellow woodworking glue. You can clean up the glue with a rag soaked in water. Also, you can clean the glue off your hands with water. So, PVA glue is very easy to use.

There are several types of PVA glue:

  • Interior use only – These should only be used inside where the temperature is controlled. So, it does not change too much. Also, exposure to moisture is limited. An example of an interior PVA glue is Titlebond Original.
  • Water Resistant – These can have limited exposure to water and can be used outdoors. An example is TiteBond II Premium. It’s water-resistant and can be used for outdoor projects such as picnic tables, birdhouses, etc. Also, you might want this type of glue for indoor projects in an area of high humidity like a bathroom.
  • Waterproof – Projects with this type of glue can take even more exposure to water. A PVC glue in this category is Titebond III Ultimate. It can be used for things like outdoor planters. 

PVC glues make very strong bonds in wood. However, you need to clamp the pieces and let the wood dry. This drying time should be something like 24 hours. However, the time varies from one glue to another. Also, this time depends on factors such as temperature and humidity.

Epoxy Glue

Epoxy glue uses a hardener and resin. These are mixed together to form the adhesive. So, this type of glue requires extra preparation time. However, it has several advantages:

  • It’s waterproof. So, it can be used in external environments.
  • The pieces you are joining need not fit together perfectly: There can be gaps. However, the glue will still dry and form a strong joint.
  • Epoxy can join dissimilar materials such as wood and metal.
  • You can control the time it takes for the glue to cure. To do this, adjust the proportion of hardener to resin when the glue is mixed. This can give you more time to put wood pieces in the desired position. I wrote about this in another post.

Hide Glue

This can come in liquid and solid forms. The solid form needs to be heated. However, this is not the same thing as hot melt glue. It should not be confused with that type.

 Also, hide glue lets you “unglue” joints with heat and/or steam. It is often used with musical instruments like violins or guitars.

CA (Cyanoacrylate) Glue

This is often referred to as “Crazy glue” or “Superglue”. It can be used with wood. Accelerator compounds can cause it to bond very quickly. However, it’s not the same as hot melt glue.

Uses For Hot Melt Glue

Hot melt glue can definitely be used with wood. However, you often need to bond wood to other materials. The table below shows some common hot melt glues and gives some of the materials they work with:

1. Surebonder #601 Low MeltCardboard, Paper board, Wood, Foam
2. Surebonder #701 Fast-SetCardboard, Paper board, Wood, Foam and Cloth
3. Surebonder #702 Very Fast SetWood, Paper, Cardboard, Cloth
4. Surebonder #707 High Performance Glass, Leather, Most metals, Most plastics, Magnets, Ceramics, Wood, and more …
5. Surebonder #725 General Purpose Wood, Most metals, Most plastics, Fabric, Paper, Ribbons
6. Surebonder #738 Woodworking General Purpose Wood, Carpet
7. Surebonder #739 Wood Glue Sticks Wood, Glass, Ceramics, Painted surfaces, and more…
8. Surebonder #825 Low Melt High Performance Styrofoam, Paper, Fabric, Ribbons
9. Surebonder #925 Acrylic High PerformanceConcrete, Vinyl, Metal, Plastics, Rubber, Tile, Stone, Ceramic, Leather, Melamine, Coated papers, Foil, Wood, Nylon, Fabric, and Glass
10. Surebonder #3140 Extra Firm Woodworking Wood and Wood Composites

1. Surebonder #601 Low Melt

This can be used at low temperatures of 250 – 300 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the liquid glue is still hot enough to burn the skin. The glue is great for sealing cartons and working with cardboard.

2. Surebonder #701 Fast-Set

This much like the glue above and has an application temperature of 250 – 380 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this glue sets in only 2 seconds!

3. Surebonder #702 Very Fast Set

This also requires a temperature from 250 – 380 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the glue sets in only 1 second!

4. Surebonder #707 High Performance

This glue should be applied at 380 degrees Fahrenheit. It has an open time of 30 – 40 seconds. Also, it bonds a wide variety of materials.

5. Surebonder #725 General Purpose

This versatile glue can be used at low temperature (250 degrees Fahrenheit) or high temperature (380 degrees Fahrenheit). It can bond to a wide range of materials. Also, it has an open time of 40 – 65 seconds.

6. Surebonder #738 Woodworking General Purpose

This glue works well with wood. The application temperature is from 250 to 380 degrees Fahrenheit. The open time is about 15 – 40  seconds. When the wood is compressed, the glue sets in about 6 seconds. So, clamps are not really needed. 

7. Surebonder #739 Wood Glue Sticks

This versatile glue makes a strong bond with wood. Also, it is used for auto body dent removal. It has an application temperature of from 325 to 380 degrees Fahrenheit. The open time is from 25 to 40 seconds.

8. Surebonder #825 Low Melt High Performance

This hot melt adhesive is designed to be used at low temperatures (Approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit or so). The open time is from 25 to 65 seconds. The glue bonds to many materials, including craft supplies.

9. Surebonder #925 Acrylic High Performance

This glue works with many “hard to glue” materials. The application temperature is from 350 to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the open time is medium at 60 seconds or so.

10. Surebonder #3140 Extra Firm Woodworking

This glue is very good for woodworking and cabinet making. The application temperature is from 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The open time is 45 seconds and the glue sets in only 7 seconds!

Does Hot Melt Glue Work On Wood: Chair Construction

This video below shows how hot melt glue can be used. In it, Hot Melt PUR glue is used to fasten the corner blocks of a wooden chair.

See a Hot Melt PUR glue gun on Amazon.

Does Hot Glue Work On Wood: Conclusion

Does hot glue work on wood? The answer is a definite YES!

We have looked at some of the properties of Thermoplastic as well as Polyurethane hot melt glues.

Also, we have looked at other types at many other types of glue used for woodworking. While this helps to find the best glue to use on wood, it also shows us that the answer to this question depends on what someone is looking for, what environment the glue will be in, as well as many other factors.

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