Glue Choice for Fabricating Stave Core Doors

      Many different glues will work for this relatively simple task. March 18, 2006

What is the best glue to use for gluing 3/16" solid wood skin to stave core for door construction? Was going to use a PVA or cold press glue, or just Titebond II or III. Are urea glues better than a cold press PVA? We will be vacuum pressing skins to core.

Forum Responses
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
All the adhesives you list are good choices and will develop a joint stronger than the wood if properly applied. Cost is the major factor that you should look at. If you need waterproof glue (exterior door) or a glue that can withstand solar heating, Titebond III offers good protection. But I wonder why you did not suggest a polyurethane? For an exterior door, it would be my choice.

From contributor K:
I use Titebond II, and I clamp in an old Black Brothers Clamp Carrier. Even white Elmer's glue and some pipe clamps/dunnage will prove sufficient.

From contributor C:
I am in the process of using Titebond III and am very impressed with it. Do you tongue and groove the veneers or are they butt joined?

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
In my experience, they are always butt joined.

From contributor X:
If you want a glue line to show up, use white glue. If not, use yellow.

From contributor K:
The Artisans in Kalispell, MT manufacturer some of the finest doors in the world. They use white glue, and there are no witness lines. I use white glue for mouldings, because it is so thin in viscosity that it doesn't interfere with the tightness of the joints, and it allows a long open time so as not to interfere adversely with the biscuits (which I always use for trim applications). For what you're doing, white glue is fine. White or yellow glue, properly applied and fixed, forms bonds stronger than the wood itself. WX resistant = Titebond II or equivalent; WX PROOF = Titebond III.

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