Waiting is one of the hardest parts of a glue-up, and that’s especially true for those glue-ups where you need to keep a hold of the project yourself.
In those moments, it feels like it takes forever for your glue to actually dry. Plus, it’s incredibly frustrating waiting for the glue to dry on pieces that will be used to connect or when a repair is halted while you are waiting for pieces to dry.
This can leave you sitting around for ages, not able to get on with anything, and essentially prolonging the project.
Thankfully there are ways to speed up the process to make glue dry faster, which means you’ll complete your project much more quickly.
How to Make Glue Dry Faster
Use New Glue
New glue is much better than old. You always want to make sure to use glue as soon as possible. If you want your next job to glue up faster, make sure to use a new bottle of glue, or at least a glue that is relatively new. This is especially true for super glue. New glue tends to dry faster than old super glue.
While glue doesn’t age so well, this can be helped by storing it properly. Excessively warm temperatures aren’t the friend of glue; in fact, high temperatures can cause a glues freshness to be lost faster. So if you want the best for your glue, so it drys faster, be sure to store it in a cool, dry place.
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Just how you don’t want your glue to be exposed to high heats, you also want to keep it away from excessive moisture. Water will dilute your glue, which his turn increases the drying time. So if you want your glue to adhere quickly, then you must store it in a cool, dry place.
Ventilate the area
If you are using gorilla glue, super glue, or a similar extra-strength adhesive, you should be doing so in a well-ventilated area. The fumes that rise from these glues can be quite strong, so you should make sure that you do not inhale an excessive amount of them, which is why I suggest using these in a well-ventilated area.
Should you inhale too much, this can lead to serious respiratory side effects. Though, for the most part, you will need to purposely inhale these fumes to lead to long-lasting damage.
Leaving aside the health benefits, making sure the area is well ventilated, is also beneficial in speeding up a glues drying time. The reason for this is that cool air helps glue set.
Whether it’s a natural breeze, fans, or an air conditioning unit, the cooler the glue, the quicker it will dry.
Less Is More
When it comes to applying glue, and this is especially true for wood surfaces, less is more. You don’t want to cake the surface in glue.
Applying a whole glob of glue is just asking for it to take an age to dry. If you slather our wood with wood glue, then you might as well come back a few days later, as it will take that long for the glue to dry.
That said, you also don’t’ want to be stingy with your glue. You need the right balance of glue to the surface area to ensure a good strong hold, while also ensuring it the glue dries faster.
Accelerators and Compressed Air
If you are looking to dry super glue faster, there are some tricks you can use that will ensure that your super glue sets quickly. For one thing, the same super glue companies that sell glue, also sell special accelerating agents which are designed to accelerate the rate in which your super glue will dry.
Make sure you read the instructions of any accelerating product before you use it, as you don’t want to cause yourself any problems by using too much accelerator, or using it too soon, so your glue cracks and don’t glue the pieces together correctly.
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You can also use compressed air. This is the same as ventilating the area, following that cooling principle. But it’s more directed at the glue rather than the entire work area.
Whether you are new to woodworking or been at it for years, there’s a high chance that you’ve used clamps when working with the wood. These come in handy when it comes to helping your glue to dry.
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The idea behind this is that the more pressure applied, the quicker your glue will dry. I’ve found that to be certainly true, every time I’m glue laminating, I find that my glue will dry quicker when I’ve clamped it up.
If you are using a hot glue gun to apply glue, rather than super glue, then clamping may not help but cool air will.
There are many different approaches to getting your glue to dry more quickly. Which option is best for you, entirely depends on what you are gluing up, and your environment and the amount of glue you are using to the types of surfaces you are gluing together.
With a little patience and the right fast-drying solution, your projects will be glued up in no time.