End Grain to End Grain Gluing

      In principle, gluing end grain results in a very weak joint. But in a pinch, there are ways to improve the bond. October 2, 2007

I'm looking for tips on gluing end grain. We don't often have to do it, but when you have to, you have to. Using yellow glues like TBII, are there any special procedures to use for getting stronger glue joints there? Sanding?

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
Gluing end grain without some sort of special joint (such as a spline) is next to impossible. It is like trying to glue the end of a bundle of soda straws to the end of another bundle. Contact area is quite limited.

From contributor B:
Poly glue (with a wetted surface) is supposed to work and also Titebond III, but the bond won't quite be up to the strength of a long grain to long grain joint. Epoxy is also usable and with greater adhesion. What is the joint on and how much adhesion is needed?

From contributor G:
I have a wood engineering degree and my response to this question has been for some time the same as the doc's... but I really believe it's all relative. Popular Woodworking recently had an article where they tested the strength of many types of joints. All of the miter joints actually ended up with mostly wood failure (good) instead of glue failure (bad). All in all, it's usually best to find a way to reinforce it, but if the strength demands placed upon it are not great, you may be able to get away with it.

From the original questioner:
Thanks all. There is no particular application I have in mind. I was just looking to educate myself on this one. I had a paint-grade cabinet the other day I was making and mis-cut one of the poplar stiles too short, and I didn't have any more poplar laying around long enough. I butt-joint glued another piece to it to make it long enough since I had no other choice (other than just not get that cabinet primed in time). I did make sure the butt-joined pieces were well attached to the carcass as I would have individual pieces (nail gun), so it's not coming off. Thanks for the help. Next time I'll likely dowel it (or just cut it right the first stinking time.)

From contributor P:
Next time you glue a butt joint to "stretch" a board, miter both ends 45 degrees first and use a cynoacrylate glue. If one side won't show, you can drill and glue some dowels in from the back side after the glue is set. It's a cheap trick, but I've been there and done that too.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Adhesives, Gluing and Laminating

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2018 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article