Gluing Dado Joints in Pre-Finished Cabinets

Lacquer in the dado may inhibit the adhesion of the glue. May 14, 2006

In our shop we build dado cabinets (cut on CNC). The panels are finished before assembly. We use mostly melamine and some MDF on custom stains and glaze. We use regular white woodworking glue and it takes at least 1.5 hours for our cabinets to dry. Sometimes we have trouble with the glue on finished interiors. Is there are faster drying glue that creates a strong join that we could be using?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
There are a few white glues with 20 min clamp times. I would buy enough clamps to keep you busy for 2 or so hours.

From contributor B:
I tried a bottle of Titebond III not too long ago and it dries clear. I don't use MDF but solids and ply are out of the clamps in 1/2 hour usually.

From the original questioner:
Is Titebond 3 costly glue? Does anyone know if spray lacquer is in the dado hole, will it affect the glue from joining the cabinet?

From contributor C:
Titebond will not adhere to the lacquer finish. Put masking tape in the dado before you finish it.

From contributor D:
Franklin, the maker of Titebond, makes a bunch of different formulas of PVA glue for different applications. If you contact them directly, they can tell you what you need to get. They have a couple of assembly glues that work well at lower temps that will set in 5-15 minutes.