Gluing Wood Together without Clamps: 10 Simple Methods to Bond Wood

Practicing how to glue wood together without clamps may seem like a pipe dream to some newbies or seasoned woodworkers. 

Most of them attest to the common comment that “you can never have too many clamps.” 

Knowing how to stick pieces of wood without clamps is crucial, especially when one needs one more clamp than whatever they already have. 

Besides, clamps are expensive, so learning how to operate your woodwork without needing one would be cost-effective. 

Wood glue is an adhesive specifically designed to bond pieces of wood together. 

clamp serves the same purpose as glue, except it is not an adhesive. 

It is a tool, mostly made of rigid material, specially designed to strengthen, fasten or support objects together.

This article gives insights to jumpstart a woodworker’s operation of fastening wood together without using the clamps device.

Gluing Wood Together Without Clamps

There are several practical ways a woodworker can glue wood without clamps. 

The information provided here are alternatives for clamps such as the C-clamp, F-clamp, steel bar clamps, and hand screw clamps, among others that one can purchase at a store.

Tools needed for this activity may include DIY clamps, heavy objects, super glue, wood glue, ratchet straps, rubber bands, carjack, gloves, masks, wind glass, brad’s nails, and a caulking gun.

Woodwork will need one or two tools from the items mentioned above, depending on the method one chooses. 

Below are some tips helpful in wood sticking operations:

Super Glue

Super glue can stick wood together instead of clamps. 

It is a versatile product that can effectively hold intricate wood joints together. 

Unlike other tools, super glue is more readily available and easy to use.

The Steps

The first step is to lay the pieces of wood you want to glue together and have the super glue ready.

Apply the wood glue, leaving small gaps between the wood glue dabs.

Now add the glue to the small gaps left earlier. A few drops are enough.

Press and hold the two pieces of wood together; time the pressing for a few seconds. 

These seconds are enough to stick the wood together until the wood glue wears off.

Tempting as it is, super glue alone may not be enough to hold the wood together as it sets fast and breaks off easily. 

Therefore, this is such a temporary solution.

Masking Tape

A masking tape is also efficient in sticking tiny pieces of wood together without a clamp. 

The tape may not apply the desired pressure to hold the wood as tight, but it will be enough to make a reasonably tight joint.

The Steps

The first step should involve laying out the wood pieces, wood glue, and the masking tape you are about to use.

Apply a generous amount of glue on a single side of the wood.

Press the remaining piece on the glued side to hold them together.

Using a masking tape, tape the two pieces of wood together as tightly as possible, then allow the wood glue to dry up.

Using Heavy Objects

You can also glue wood together using heavy objects such as books, weights, paint cans, cement blocks, bottles filled with sand or water, and anything heavy you can access within your surroundings.

The Steps

Arrange your pieces of wood flatly and stable on a surface, especially when working on larger pieces. Wood glue is also necessary for this first stage.

Generously apply your wood glue to the first piece of wood, paying keen attention to the alignment of the edges.

On the upper piece of the wood, place your preferred heavy object. 

Also, ensure that the weight is balanced across the wood to ensure an even distribution of the wood glue.

Glue With Brad Nailer

Image of finish nailer in use but What Is the Difference Between a Brad Nailer and a Finish Nailer?If you can access a brad nailer, you can glue your wood together using brad nails.

 Nail guns are the fastest and most efficient way to insert nails. 

It is handy in temporarily holding your wood together while your glue dries up.

The Steps

Arrange your wood on a firm surface.

Evenly distribute your wood glue on the surface.

Place the second piece of the wood on top of the one smeared with glue, then press them together.

Nail the pieces together and set them aside. The nails will permanently remain in the wood.

Use Bungee Cord for Gluing 

Bungee Cords also hold wood together, especially when dealing with a huge structure and you can’t find a clamp big enough to hold your structure together. 

One should ensure that the Bungee Cords are not stuck with the glue.

The Steps

Spread your wood glue on the parts of the structure that you want to glue together.

Hold the pieces together and apply firm pressure on them.

Ensure the edges are aligned, then wrap the bungee cord or rope around your wooden structure.

If you use a rope or a plastic cord, stretch and tighten it around the wood structure. 

The knot should be tight enough to hold the structure as the wood dries up.

Glue Wood Together With Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps can also work like bungee cords. 

However, ratchet straps have a more advanced feature that allows the woodworker to apply pressure to the glue joint.

The Steps

Generously apply your wood glue to the joints you want to put together.

Slowly ratchet your pieces of wood together, then apply enough pressure to hold the wood joints together.

A belt can be improvised for a ratchet strap, mainly when working with small pieces of wood.

More methods:

  • Another way of gluing your wood without clamps is by using a windlass. This method involves using a rope together with a stick(s) and pulling the wooden structures standing on opposite sides. 

You will need to wind the rope around your sticks on either side of your glued joints. Insert the third stick into the length of the rope and twist it. 

Doing this will apply enough pressure to hold your pieces of wood together as the wood glue dries up.

  • PVC pipes also work amazingly to attach your wood pieces without clamps. 

This method would help cut the PVC pipes into a quarter or half an inch thick. 

Slice around the pipe to achieve some C-shaped pieces, then proceed and glue the wood pieces using the improvised C-clamp.

pipe clamp is an excellent example of a long clamp. 

Using a long piece of timber between the block and your wood joints will prevent your structure from falling due to intense pressure.

  • When a woodworker finds themselves with one free hand during working, a caulking gun can work best instead of clamps. 

Ensure that the gun’s cartridge is unloaded, then use the two faces of your caulking gun to clamp the edges of your wood.

  • Rubber bands can also be used, especially for small wood projects. 

Begin by generously spreading your wood glue on the wood, then place the other piece of wood on top. 

Rub the two pieces together, then wrap the rubber bands around the glued joints. 

  • Kreg Jig Screws, the pocket hole screws, can hold your wood pieces together while the wood glue dries off. 

First, you need to drill screw holes on one of your boards, then attach your joints, driving the correct screws into the holes you have created. 

The clamped boards should then be set aside to allow the glued wood to dry up.

  • You can also quickly develop a DIY clamp rather than spending a fortune on it. 

To do this, you will need some scrap wood to make the main clamp part and a wedged piece of wood.

  • You can choose to screw or nail the pieces of wood together, ensuring that they are larger than the wood and joint you intend to make.

Apply glue to your joint areas, then place it in the clamp. 

Use a mallet to tap your wedge until it perfectly fits between the pieces of scrap wood and the joint you are trying to glue. 

Wait for your glue to dry, and voila! You have your pieces of wood held together.

  • Consider using the carjack method when applying downward pressure on your glued wood. 

It would be like using a big flat clamp. 

Carjacking requires you to align the pieces of wood that you want to glue. 

Use a block wood to apply equal pressure to the carjacking. Be keen not to damage the clamping site.

We have frequently mentioned the use of wood glue in your woodwork projects. You may be wondering, what is the best glue you should use? 

Most wood glue will do the work you need. However, choose the glue you want depending on its curing time, the type of project you are working on, and its intended purpose.

Wood glues can be classified into polyurethane glue, Epoxy-based, Hide glue, Cyanoacrylate (CA), and Polyvinyl acetate (PVA).

Polyvinyl acetate and polyurethane glue are made of waterproof substances. They should work best for both your interior and exterior projects.

Epoxy and CA glue are excellent when working on small projects.

Lastly, the Hide glue is the best go-to option when fixing antiques.

Here a Video On How to Glue Wood Without Clamps

Can You Glue Wood Together Without Screws?

Image of Zinc Coated Screw but Can You Use Zinc Coated Screws In Pressure Treated Wood?Whether we should use wood glue or screws for joining wood has been a bone of contention for the longest time. 

For some woodworks, glue alone is not enough to hold the wood pieces together. And that additional screws are necessary for maximum strength.

However, it is possible to use wood glue without the screws as the glue has, over time, proven to be much stronger than a screw bond. 

This claim is valid because, in applying glue to a wood plank, you need to evenly spread it on the wood surface for a continuous bond. 

The more the glue, the more the wood bond, and the stronger your wood attachments are. 

Can Super Glue Hold Wood Together?

Super glue is well known for creating solid adhesive bonds that rarely break. 

For this reason, super glue works incredibly well on wood, especially when you are working with small pieces of wood. 

Smaller woodworking projects include making wooden toys and other models with intricate parts that work well on quick dry times. 

The glue possesses quick-drying properties that allow your pieces of wood to bond instantly. 

Glue is versatile as it has proven to work well on several materials such as plastic, glass, stone, ceramics, rubber, and metals.

Which Is Stronger Wood Glue or Superglue?

Unlike wood glues designed explicitly for wood material, super glue is more well-rounded as it can be used in different materials. 

Some people argue that super glue is technically stronger than wood glue. 

However, most people resort to wood glue as super glue is often more object determined.

Super glue tends to become brittle after curing. 

It is also more susceptible to damage from dropping and shaking; hence users are advised against using it in objects that break easily.

Superglue can also lift automobiles, hence the widespread view that it is more potent than wood glue.

Contrary to popular opinion, super glue does not work well in establishing permanent bonds in woods. 

It is a surface type of glue because it’s not easily absorbed into wood fibers, thus lacking the much-required characteristic of a good glue joint. 

For this reason, some people prefer wood glue, which is much stronger than wood. 

If you deliberately broke a joint attached using the wood glue, it would break on one side or the other of the glue. 

It is impossible to achieve this type of strength with super glue.

Gorilla Glue Vs Wood Glue, Which One Is Better?

It is practical to have one preference over the other when comparing two things. 

Gorilla glue and wood glue are both excellent adhesives used in woodworking projects. 

The question of which one outdoes the other depends on the use case.

Gorilla glue stays longer once opened. 

Gorilla has a highly slippery feel. It is waterproof and holds your material firmer for longer. 

It can last approximately six months since atmospheric pressure cures the glue. 

The glue also foams; hence needs to be clamped to work efficiently. 

Gorilla works well with outdoor activities and is well known for complex glue-ups and veneering.

Removing the gorilla glue and squeezing it out using a chisel upon curing is easy. 

The formula fills quickly but is not strong enough to strengthen poor, gappy joints. 

The glue can be used on moist timber, making it even more preferred. 

Cleaning the gorilla requires acetone, a non-toxic product but quite foul in its smell. 

If this glue sticks on your finger, it will take approximately one week to wear off.

Polyvinyl acetate (PVA), commonly known as wood glue, doesn’t last as long as the gorilla.

 It has a short open time as it dries up quickly. The glue can sometimes be water-resistant but not exactly waterproof.

It has a clear dry, and unlike gorillas, super glue is not slippery and does not expand in any circumstance. 

This characteristic is advantageous because the super glue will not fill the gap with the ugly yellow foam if the wood joints are not perfectly fitted.

Super glue is limited in its use as it only works best in dry timber. 

Unlike gorilla, which requires acetone to clean up, you use clean water readily available around you to clean up the super glue.

While the gorilla glue can take up to a week to peel off the fingers, you can peel your super glue out in hours, and you will be good to go.

 Also, once opened, your super glue will last you up to a year; you only need to remember to cap it after use.

Both types of glue are efficient in their work as they are much stronger than wood. It may prove not easy to choose one above the other.

Generally, both types of glue will serve your unique woodwork requirements. 

However, super glue has a few advantages over gorilla glue. 

Superglue overrides gorilla glue since the latter is messy and should be used preferably in outdoor activities.


Woodworking is an incredibly creative field; more often than not, you need to improvise material to deliver the quality you desire. 

In our case, we have learned…

How to Glue Wood Together Without Clamps

We know clamps offer a great way to hold your pieces together. However, we will not always have the cash to acquire one from the stores.

And this guide has provided insight into several ways of gluing the wood without clamps.

Some ways to glue without clamp include using PVC pipes, carjacking, caulking guns, pocket screws, brad’s nails, windlass, and heavy objects, among others.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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