Laminated Island Top


From original questioner:

We're planning to laminate a 1 3/4" thick walnut island top and looking for recommendations on the best adhesive for the job.

From contributor Le

Depends. Is this going to be a normal use countertop in a kitchen? TiteBond I will be more than adequate. Gonna have a lot of liquids spilled on it, TiteBond II should be adequate.

Do you want it waterproof? Then you want an epoxy, maybe West System or MAS Epoxy.

From contributor ji

Thanks Leo,
There is no sink and it's not an eating island. Sounds like the Titebond ll should be more than enough. Thanks for your response.

From contributor Da

Titebonds 1,2,3 - or any yellow type glue - will all telegraph on the glue line over time. Sand it down, and it will be back in a week or a month or a year. Some customers think this is the 'the grain' they are feeling, but I see it as a defect.

I have seen several tops I have lost to the low bidders, and they all have this problem, same as I had on our first tops. I enjoy pointing it out. I made samples way back when, with yellow glue, and they all did the telegraphing.

I don't know how to make it go away and stay away, so we use plastic resin glue or urethane.

From contributor ji

Thanks Dave,
We do have the option of using a powdered urea that we use for veneer work. Is this the plastic resin you're refering to? Thanks

From contributor Le

One of the biggest errors woodworkers make is to rush the glue. And I don't mean taking out of the clamps to soon.

With any water based glue you need to give the wood time to get rid of the water you introduced into the grain structure.

If you glue a pc up and take it out of the clamps, sand it and finish it in the same day then you will have that happen, guarantied.

If you do like I do, remove from the clamps and then do your initial sand and then let the pc sit for 3 days to let the water come out of the wood and then do your final sanding then you won't have that problem. Most of the time it is feasible for me to do. Making a kitchen you do your glue ups early on and by the time you get to the final sanding you have an adequate amount of time passing that the water comes out. And then you do your final sand and things stay that way.

From contributor Da

Leo - I respect and appreciate your work and experience, but I have had different results than you with the yellow glue creep. I have mentioned it here - and other places - several times and some folks have the same outcome as I, others do not.

I have no idea why things are different.

My experience is most notable with pieces several months old to several years. Scrape the seam down, re-oil the top, and then anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks, it is back. Usually less prominent, but there just the same. This is true of a hard Maple kitchen table I eat on daily. It gets a good sanding and cleaning every few years, and the glue lines are leveled, and then they return. This has been going on for close to 20 years.

When we first made these tops - laminated strip tops - we made a batch of samples, all with yellow glue. Sanded and oiled, then the seams came up. Leveled, sanded, oiled and then again..... Did this by hand, by machine, standing on one leg: any way we could think of. We finally used the samples to explain to new guys why they could not use yellow glue for this work.

So we use plastic resin (like the old Weldwood glue) mixed with water, or the more pricey Unibond 800, or urethane glue. The urea resin glues like heat, must be above 70 degrees.

From contributor Le

I find that TB I is the best for not having creep. TB II definitely has more and I don't use TB III so I don't have any experience with it.

But the Unibond will work great as it is a stiff glue.

From contributor ji

Thanks for your help guys. Best regards.