Plywood is a product of thin wood veneer plies glued and pressed together. Every wood layer is perpendicular to the preceding plywood’s grain, making the material reliable for building more robust, thicker, yet lightweight structures. So, it is best if you knew how to glue plywood together.
Knowing how to glue plywood together gives you an upper hand on future projects that might require the application of similar skills like create a DIY plywood or rejoining plywood boards that might have separated during transportation or more. So, here’s how to go about gluing plywood together:
Lay the plywood sheet on a flat surface or a sawhorse. Apply and spread the glue using a sponge or roller and place the second plywood. Then, align the edges and clamp them in place using a veneer or cauls press. Finally, screw the wood together for additional support.
Successful plywood gluing depends on your ability to get the correct plywood grade, the availability of the required materials and tools, and ultimately, the chosen application strategy. Fortunately, this article gives you all the information needed to get a successful outcome. Keep reading for more:
Table of Contents
Step By Step Guide To Gluing Plywood Boards
First, you need to get the correct glue for this task. Generally, the best option would be polyvinyl acetate or PVA glue. You also need some newspapers or sheets to keep the workstation clean, clamps, a screwdriver, some screws, sawhorses, a drill, a plastic putty knife, safety glasses and mask, work gloves, two to four cauls, and clamping cauls.
Then, follow the procedure below to complete the project.
Prepare the Work Station
This step is crucial before beginning the plywood gluing project. It involves ventilating the workstation and positioning the lumber for a convenient and comfortable working session.
In addition, you’ll require more space for full plywood sheets. So, ensure that the area is free of debris and obstructions before laying down newspapers. Then, position the sawhorses and space them uniformly.
The newspaper covering will catch any glue or adhesive and facilitate an easy clean-up session, while the spaced saw horse evenly distribute the wood weight.
Alternatively, place the sheets on 2′ x 4′ scrap pieces. Remember that the aim is to leave room for air circulation, which helps the adhesive dry much faster. Even better, the sawhorses will keep you from staining your back as you do not need to bend.
The sawhorses also provide sufficient support to the structure. Only ensure that you position them firmly on a stable and flat surface and space them enough. In addition, please confirm that you have the correct glue, plywood sheets, and all the other materials listed above.
On top of that, seal off the floor and neighboring areas using a plastic sheet or newspapers. This way, you will prevent excessive glue and adhesive from staining other parts of the workstation.
Lastly, wear your safety mask, safety glasses, gloves, and overall, as you never know where the adhesive will stick.
Prepare the Plywood
Wipe the wood with a slightly wet rag to remove dirt and debris. Otherwise, the particles will prevent the glue from adhering correctly to the surface and compromise the project’s longevity.
Select which side you’ll be applying the glue to once the lumber is ready. However, check whether the plywood has a better side than the other. Then, pick the side that looks worse and use it as the gluing area.
Lay the First Plywood Sheet Onto the Sawhorses
It is best to decide the board that will stay on the structure’s underside and the one ideal for the upper sheet when working with full plywood sheets. Then, lay the top one face down onto the sawhorses.
Position the second sheet over and create a drill pattern for screwing them. However, it is advisable to space the sheets further apart for epoxy or drill screw the screws closer for PVA glue.
Finally, use a pilot drill to create the screw holes. Then, separate the plywood sheets and countersink each screw hole. This way, the screws will not dislodge or displace the debris as it pokes through the other sheet.
Apply the Adhesive on the First Plywood Sheet
Pick a squeegee, a roller, or a brayer and apply the glue on the wood. Ensure that you deliver enough coverage and a uniform layer to ensure that you have enough adhesive to hold the structure together.
Put the Second Plywood Sheet Over the First One
The second sheet is usually the side that will eventually be at the bottom. Also, place it while the glue is still wet if you can handle it. If not, it would be best to have someone lend you a hand.
Unfortunately, there is a likelihood that you’ll introduce air into the structure when you place the second plywood layer. Prevent this occurrence by placing scrap sticks on the glued area and positioning the second plywood sheet on them.
Then, gently remove the bars, so the sheet lands on the glued surface and minimizes the amount of trapped air.
Clamp the Two Plywood Sheets
It is now time to press and clamp the glued plywood sheets together. However, carefully assess the planks and correctly align them before clamping. Then, use the most suitable clamp to hold the pieces together as the glue dries.
Alternatively, you can go for cauls to apply pressure to big plywood sheets. Place wax paper between the plywood and the cauls to prevent clamping marks from showing on the lumber’s surface.
Also, consider clamping the sheets at the center first before gradually moving to the outer sides. You can use more clamps to increase the likelihood of the sheets bonding up well without gaps.
However, you can learn how to apply the wood glue without clamps if you do not have the accessories and do DIY jobs.
Drive the Screws Into the Plywood Sheets
It is okay to screw glued plywood sheets together as glue cures. In addition, you can either use drywall or wood screws as they will all give you an excellent outcome.
Fortunately, driving screws into the holes is all you need to do in this step, as we had already prepared a drill pattern. So, push the coarse-thread fasteners slowly and bump the trigger to pull up once they feel tight.
You can also weigh down the glued plywood structure. But the process will not guarantee you enough clamping pressure. Thus, sticking to the glue and screw strategy is advisable when gluing plywood sheets.
Remove Excess Glue
Use a slightly damp rag to wipe away excess glue after securing the plywood pieces together. Do not panic if the exercise does not eliminate all the glue traces. It is easy to peel off the remaining dry glue from the project by pushing plastic putty against it.
Allow the Glue to Cure
This step is as essential as all the others as it is the key to the project’s outcome. Therefore, it is prudent to allow enough time for the adhesive to form a tight bond with the glued plywood sheets.
Generally, the manufacturer specifies the curing duration on the user guide; follow that. Also, the longer the drying time you give the project, the stronger the structure. Therefore, be patient for the best result.
Even better, you can switch on a fan to facilitate unrestricted airflow in the workstation. This way, you significantly speed up the drying time.
Finish the Project
The last step in this procedure is to finish the surface with a protective coat once the adhesive dries. In addition, although plywood is a firm surface, it is susceptible to wear and tear over time. Thus, it needs a topcoat for added protection against elements.
Flip the structure over such that the bottom layer becomes the top part and sand it to deliver a smooth surface. Then, clean the dust off with a shop vacuum before staining or painting the wood.
Remember to finish the plywood edges to deliver a professional-looking structure. But, again, you can utilize a few techniques to complete the task—for instance, power sanding the lumber or applying wood filler.
Interestingly, it is possible to make wood filler by sanding a plywood piece and mixing the dust with the carpenter’s glue. Next, apply the mixture to the edges and spread it evenly. Then, rub it to deliver a smooth, finished result once it dries.
You do not have to hide the lumber patterns if you like the plywood edge’s appearance. So, power sand it to maintain a smooth and even trim.
What Is the Best Glue for Plywood?
There are various types of glue to use for plywood; Melamine, Urea Formaldehyde, Phenolic glue.
Melamine glue is a solid, thermosetting plastic material, similar to laminate. It comes from formaldehyde and melamine and is perfect for strengthening Urea Formaldehyde glue.
In addition, the adhesive increases the structure’s resistance to weathering and works on doors and cabinets. But it does not have the ‘real wood’ feel and has a particleboard edge, making it weaker than solid wood pieces.
Urea Formaldehyde or plastic resin glue is common in hardwood plywood production. It is a synthetic resin and comes from combining urea and formaldehyde. In addition, you can use it on wood panels, particleboard, and plywood sheets.
The formula sets hard, is moisture resistant, and has an impressive history of reliability. But it is advisable to use it in well-ventilated areas as it can be toxic and has a short shelf life of about a year.
Phenolic glue is a synthetic polymer and is a phenol-formaldehyde combination. It functions as a bonding agent and binder for plywood sheets, oriented strain boards, particleboard, and hardboards.
In addition, the glue is helpful for waterproofing, making it a perfect alternative for beams, marine plywood, and construction panels. It also sets rigidly and proves to be moisture resistant.
However, phenolic glue needs more heat and pressure to cure. Therefore, it is not ideal for armature woodworkers because of the machinery required to dry it and the irritation it causes in poorly-ventilated spaces.
Other wood glue options include yellow exterior glue, white and yellow interior glue, liquid hide glue, polyurethane glue, and epoxy.
- Yellow Exterior Glue is standard for outdoor applications but not continuous submersion. In addition, it is water-resistant and delivers a tight bond.
- White and Yellow Interior Glue is usually the preferred workhorse wood glue. But it is not ideal for outdoor use.
- Liquid Hide Glue is suitable for furniture repair and features a long open time of up to 30 minutes. However, it requires a longer curing time after application.
- Polyurethane Glue is waterproof and also glues metal and some plastics. In addition, it features a long open time of up to 15 minutes and a curing duration of up to five hours.
- Epoxy is perfect for filling wood gaps and delivering strength to various structures. It is water-resistant and glues most materials.
That said, you can consider one glue type or a combination for your project, mainly when producing plywood sheets. Also, remember that safety comes first as the products have potent chemicals. So, wear protective gear and work in a well-ventilated area.
How Do You Glue Large Plywood Together?
The first step is to prepare the work area by ventilating it and removing any obstructing objects. In addition, remove dust, debris, and any junk that would compromise proper adhesion.
Then, lay the first plywood sheet onto the sawhorses. This way, you can tell which sheet to lay face down on to the sawhorses. But it is advisable to decide on the board that stays on the structure’s underside.
Place the second plywood piece over the first one and design the drill pattern to follow during screwing. Also, space the screws farther apart for epoxy or drill them closer together for PVA glue.
The next step is to apply the wood glue. Please note that there is no specific way of gluing plywood sheets. The only focus point is holding the pieces together and covering the entire surface.
Use a paint roller, a brayer, or a squeegee to spread the adhesive on the plywood. In addition, ensure that you have enough glue to deliver an even layer on the surface. This way, there will be enough formula to hold the structure together.
Next, place the second plywood sheet over the first one. Ensure that you position it on the surface while the glue is still wet. This exercise guarantees a tight bond between the pieces and the project’s durability.
Press and clamp the two plywood pieces together. Also, there are several accessories you can use to hold the structure as the glue dries. But it is best to align the edges before clamping them.
Drive screws slowly into the preset drill pattern. In addition, you can use wood or drywall screws for this project. Only ensure that you fill every screw hole and bump the trigger to pull up when the fastener feels tight.
The next step involves removing excess glue using a damp cloth once you’ve secured the plywood pieces together. Further, ensure that the adhesive cures before using the structure to facilitate a tighter bond.
Finally, finish the plywood with a protective coat to enhance its durability. You can also sand it using fine-grit sandpaper to get a smooth, professional surface.
Here’s a Video On How to Glue Plywood Together:
Can You Glue Wood to Plywood?
Yes, it is possible to glue wood to plywood and edge-band. However, please take care not to show the plywood. Also, glue veneer, the same species as the 4/4 wood, to the bottom side and the edge band later.
Fortunately, you can use various glue types for this project; PVA wood glue, Epoxy glue, Polyurethane glue, or Gorilla glue. They provide the required adhesion needed to hold the structure together.
Can You Use Gorilla Glue On Plywood?
It is okay to use gorilla glue on plywood. The adhesive is a water-activated polyurethane glue that bonds perfectly to wood. Moreover, it is similar to PVA glue and will deliver excellent adhesion.
Carpenters, woodworkers, and hobbyists prefer Gorilla glue for most woodworking applications as it is a water-based adhesive and is easy to use. The product is also incredibly water-resistant and dries to a natural tone, offering an invisible bond line for your work.
Gorilla glue needs only 20 to 30 minutes of clamp time and cures in 24 hours, making it perfect for a quick gluing project. In addition, you can use the adhesive indoors and outdoors and on softwoods, hardwoods, and natural wood composites; thus, it accommodates a wide range of applications.
Finally, Gorilla glue is readily available as the brand has an entire line of glue products, including Epoxies, Super Glues, and PVA wood adhesive.
Is Gorilla Wood Glue Better than Titebond?
Gorilla wood glue is better than Titebond as it adheres to more surfaces. In addition, though the product does not deliver a strong bond compared to Titebond, it works better when you need to fill a gap but requires no strength.
Conversely, Titebond is easy to clean up with water compared to Gorilla glue, which is hard to clean off your hands. Thus, it is prudent to wear protective clothing for a comfortable clean-up time when working with the latter.
Gorilla glue foams excessively after curing and forms a gap-filling foam. On the other hand, Titebond does not foam, and you can wipe off any excess with a damp sponge or rag. So, unless you need to fill a gap, Tiebond is a better choice. It is much easier to work with lumber to lumber gluing.
Nonetheless, it is advisable to examine your project requirements since products have various strengths and drawbacks. This way, you’ll get the most suitable adhesive for your wood.
Which Is Stronger Gorilla Glue or Wood Glue?
PVA or wood glues are stronger in joining wood than polyurethane glues like Gorilla. In addition, they are easy to clean up and inexpensive, and thus perfect for woodworking DIYers.
On top of that, wood glue is waterproof and ideal for outdoor use. Moreover, the bond created on well-prepared lumber is stronger than the wood itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most common questions on the subject of discussions are:
Is There Glue for Pasting Aluminum and Plywood?
Yes, there is a suitable glue for pasting aluminum and plywood. The main one is epoxy glue, ideal for small and large-scale applications. Only ensure that you mix the two-part adhesives in a syringe for a better result.
How Strong Is Glued Plywood?
Glued plywood is more robust than natural lumber. The gluing process utilizes the cross-graining process, where you press the wood under high pressure. And as a result, the lumber is resistant to shrinkage, warping, cracking, and expansion.
In addition, gluing plywood delivers a thick piece that features double mechanical strength.
What’s the Difference Between Plywood and Laminate Wood?
Plywood and laminate lumber are products of thin wood veneers glued together. However, they differ in their wood grain orientation. For instance, laminate wood has a parallel pattern, while plywood’s grain of alternate layers appears at right angles.
Also, the upper layer of laminate lumber has a matte or glossy print, whereas plywood is a plain wood finish.
What Glue Is Best for Laminating Plywood?
Polyvinyl acetate wood glue is the best for laminating plywood. It is available in white and yellow colors, suitable for multiple applications. In addition, you can use urea-formaldehyde and polyurethane glue and clamp the wood till the adhesive dries.
Remember that laminating woodworking means gluing wood adjacent to one another, applying a veneer on a flat surface, or gluing wood to form layers. Therefore, it is prudent to pick a durable and water-resistant adhesive.
Plywood is an excellent material for both interior and exterior construction applications. However, it would be best to learn how to join plywood sheets before considering them for your project. Therefore, check out the above discussion on;
How To Glue Plywood Together
Gluing two plywood sheets is quite simple. Prepare the work area and position the wood pieces on a sawhorse or flat surface. Then, spread the glue and align the edges. Finally, clamp them in place and screw the wood together for support.
Lastly, it is all about paying attention to the details. Ensure that you properly prepare the lumber and use the correct application technique to ensure the plywood sticks.
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