Stephen Enggass

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
What glue would you all recommend using. I’d prefer something that adheres quickly but cures completely a little more slowly. My technique currently is to clamp briefly then pin. Is Corner Weld still available? I searched but didn’t find much. Maybe it’s me... thanks.
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Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Your question hints that you may be dissatisfied with the strength of your glued miter joints. If not, then this reply may be overkill. In any case, maybe the information will be useful for some.

All of the PVA glues commonly used for framing result in bonds stronger than the wood, when properly applied to surfaces that are well-mitered and free of cutting oil, sawdust, marker ink, or other contamination.

Each brand of glue is different, so you should experiment and find the one that best fits your joining habits. Here are important considerations:

1. Open time is the number of seconds or minutes when you can manipulate the glued surfaces before the glue begins to set-up.

2. Set-up time is the period between open time and partial bonding sufficient to withstand light stresses. It is essential to leave the glued joint undisturbed during the set-up period, because any movement of the surfaces would permanently weaken the bond.

3. Drying time is the amount of time required for maximum bonding strength.

4. Temperature and humidity affect the performance of all water-borne PVA glues. Generally, warm temperatures and low humidity accelerate the set-up and drying time. Conversely, cool temperatures and high humidity extend set-up and drying time. These variables apply to the temperature and moisture content of the wood itself, as well as the room conditions.

5. Condition of the glue is affected by age and ambient conditions. Generally, if the glue is kept sealed, and stored and handled in climate-controlled ambient conditions, it will perform well for at least a year, but probably two or maybe up to three years. However, the glues we buy are usually stored for some time in warehouses that are excessively warm in summer and cool in winter.

Water-borne glue becomes useless if it is frozen for any period of time, which is why it is never shipped during winter weather (usually November-March). Also, distributors tend to buy in bulk, and if they do not carefully rotate their stock, it may be possible to receive a bottle of glue that could be deteriorated from age and/or extreme storage/shipping conditions.

Some framers fail to reseal their glue bottles when not in use, which accelerates the glue's deterioration. Also, plugs of dried glue pushed into the bottle will accumulate and eventually clog the nozzle from inside. Some framers complain that their glue becomes lumpy after they've used about half of the bottle, and that's probably why. Be sure to cap your glue if it isn't going to be used in the next few minutes.

I use Maxim glues; Raven (black), Dove (white), and Blue (translucent), because their open time and set-up time fit my joining habits. I usually glue and then fasten each corner within 10-20 seconds using a Cassesse underpinner.

However, when the miter joint needs to be securely glued before fastening - for example, difficult profiles or when the moulding is warped - I'll position the rails, lock the clamps on the underpinner, and allow the glue to set up for 1-3 minutes. Then, while still clamped in the underpinner, I'll drive the fasteners.

By this method using Maxim glue, open time is enough to allow me to manipulate & position the miters in the clamps without weakening the bond, and the setup time is fast enough to achieve bonding strength sufficient to withstand light handling and driving of the fasteners. Complete drying probably takes an hour or more, but separating the corners after ten or fifteen minutes is difficult.


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Staff member
I know Jim frowns upon this:
I put my glue in extremely well cleaned Dawn bottles. Just make sure there is absolutely no dish detergent left, I rinse mine excessively.
The bottles are fantastic for glue. I keep the caps from all Dawn bottles and have enough of them to replace once one wears out.
Have been doing that for years, tip learned here from I don’t remember who.

Sorry Jim! :cool:

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I have been using this...Has worked well to this point, I just wasn't sure if there was something more industry standard I should be using.
I haven't used that one, but it's probably a typical PVA. If you like it and the bond is satisfactory, then it's all good. Even so, you might want to try a few of the glues available from framing suppliers. They may cost less, they may be stored better, and you would not have to be concerned about shipping in winter. Aside from that, maybe you'll find one with open time & set-up time more to your liking.

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Have been doing that for years, tip learned here from I don’t remember who.
You got it from me - I've been doing that ever since I lost my first red cap many years ago and then transferred the remaining glue into the small Dawn bottle. When I gave it as a framing tip Jim stated he was a little concerned because he was worried about contaminating the glue with the soap residue, that is the only time I can remember that I didn't listen to what Jim had to say. After years I have never had a problem and I have never lost a little red cap again. :rolleyes: I remember you saying it was a great idea and was going to try it out and comment back.
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Staff member
Consider this the comment back. Hahahaha
I forgot who told me, but again, thank you for that great tip and hopefully others will find it useful as well.

I think that was the only time where I didn’t listen to Jim either. But he is right, you have to be very careful cleaning it.

I since have saved a few different sizes of Dawn bottles. Good thing is that all their caps fit. I have a preference for the very small size, which is under a dollar.
I find it easier to squeeze somehow.

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I keep the caps from all Dawn bottles and have enough of them to replace once one wears out.
Have been doing that for years, tip learned here from I don’t remember who.
Just another way the Grumble makes framers' lives easier.
:cool: Rick

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
When I was setting up MiterTiter Color Glues, I tried every sort of dispensing closure you can think of, and the Dawn soap bottles have my favorite kind of closure. My caution about fouling the bond with soap residue stands, but those are useful and free - if you don't mind washing them out with scalding hot water until the bubbles and the smell are all gone.

But there are other alternatives, and 6-8 ounces is a convenient size. Here's one from Amazon:1581627646798.png



Caps like these perfectly replace the pop up caps that come on Titebond pint bottles. Trim the opening to your liking. I guess I use enough glue that it never goes bad in the bottle so the little red cap doesn't mean much to me. If I get a plug of dried glue in the tip I don't push it down inside, instead I take a #6 or smaller wood screw and use it like a corkscrew to pop the plug out. Don't fill your bottle more than 2/3-3/4 full and when you pick it up squeeze some air out before you tip it, then when you set it down upright and let go a little bit of air gets sucked back in and clears the tip.

I use Titebond Original in my joints. If the joint fits well and I don't try and rush the process it works perfectly. White glue is more expensive but it does cure a bit faster and is good for blonde woods that will have a natural finish because it dries clear.