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What type of glue for a workbench?

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bp122

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Hi all

Thanks to some help from various sources, I am now rapidly approaching the time to start milling the timber for my workbench.

I recently re-watched Matt Estlea's split top roubo build (that's what I'm going to be building) and he recommended Cascamite over normal PVA. So I had ordered a tub from Axminster as part of another order to qualify for free delivery.

Of course after buying it I just went on the search to discover that people have had bad experiences with it recently and have moved to a few other options for "stressed" joints.

Considering I'm building a workbench, I'm fairly certain that thing is going to see some stress. So didn't want to make the wrong call before the biggest glue up of my life.

Thoughts, recommendations, welcome.

Thanks in advance.
Bp
 

Sideways

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I'm not a big user of cascamite. My dad was back in the day. He used it for all sorts and had a hanging balance in the shed for weighing it out; but he also used PVAs and when required a variety of industrial epoxy, urea formaldehyde and others.
My limited experience of cascamite is that it can become brittle. For this reason it's not what I would choose for a workbench that will be planed on, etc and the joints subjected to shock and twisting forces.
 

Ttrees

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Cascamite is worth consideration.
I have an axe handle which has a good section of a 5mm wide glue joint running the length of it.
Plenty of abuse it's got, so I'm a believer.
Not sure how well it holds up to outside or wet conditions compared to waterproof PVA.

Its an ash bench he has isn't it, ... can't see a fault with it.
One has to bear in mind that Roycotewood college, where he was a student, likely encourages as much good traditional methodology as possible.

I wonder if invisible joints can be made with it in all timbers.
Eager to see what others have to say,
bearing in mind temperature being in a suitable range for a suitable period,
and enough clamps should one be faster setting, as one will likely use every clamp they've got, regardless of what glue used.

Eager to see some negatives, apart from the whole thing with the last issue with quality which was seemingly addressed, although I wouldn't be chancing it for a long time as I don't have the likes of Axminster to get it from.

So apart from a bit of mixin, what's wrong with it?
Seems most suitable for the frugal minded.
 

Ttrees

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Can take a piccy of me aul axe handle, if that is of interest.
Doesn't seem brittle to me, although I've only half looked at the joint as it would need a good scraping to inspect.
 

bp122

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Cascamite is worth consideration.
I have an axe handle which has a good section of a 5mm wide glue joint running the length of it.
Plenty of abuse it's got, so I'm a believer.
Not sure how well it holds up to outside or wet conditions compared to waterproof PVA.

Its an ash bench he has isn't it, ... can't see a fault with it.
One has to bear in mind that Roycotewood college, where he was a student, likely encourages as much good traditional methodology as possible.

I wonder if invisible joints can be made with it in all timbers.
Eager to see what others have to say,
bearing in mind temperature being in a suitable range for a suitable period,
and enough clamps should one be faster setting, as one will likely use every clamp they've got, regardless of what glue used.

Eager to see some negatives, apart from the whole thing with the last issue with quality which was seemingly addressed, although I wouldn't be chancing it for a long time as I don't have the likes of Axminster to get it from.

So apart from a bit of mixin, what's wrong with it?
Seems most suitable for the frugal minded.
Yup, he has got an ash workbench with splashes of walnut.
Mine will be southern yellow pine.

Mine is an unheated garage workshop with concrete floor and a flat roof. So it gets cold in there (glue up or afterwards in service)
 

Craig22

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It isn't about the glue - it is about the joint. The two long quarter sawn beech boards I joined on my Klausz bench were tongue and groove. Well actually I routed two wide and deep channels and glued in a length of plywood in one board, and cramped it in. Then glued the channel and cheek on the second board, assembled and quickly cramped (having adjusted the cramps first!). Sort of a glued floating tenon.

So I just used white glue. That was well over ten years ago, the bench is used regularly, and the top has moved not at all.

And like the OP, mine is in an unheated garage.

Craig
 

Jones

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You are probably overthinking it. Cascamite ( urea formaldehyde) was widely used in exterior work and boatbuilding but now ready mixed glues are more convenient for most people, it's still used in gluelam production. Like all glues it has a shelf life , temperature range and also correct mixing.If you use it properly failure is very unlikely, it's not gap filling so brittleness is not really an issue in reality. I'd be happy to use it on a bench.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I believe Cascamite has been reformulated, but Semforite is probably more reliable and gives a good open time. PVA? I'd use Everbuild D4 if there are no complicated (time consuming) glue ups, Everbuild 502 gives you a little longer.
 

Adam W.

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My bench is southern yellow pine and I used titebond with the green lable. It has been OK for over 15 years and has enjoyed both heated and un-heated workshops. I have no experience with cascamite, but I'm sure you'll get some decent advice here to help you decide.
 

Jacob

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I use Evo stick white PVA for everything from my great heavy bench, now about 35 years old, to a lute, now 40 years old and still together.
Me no luthier I hasten to add - it was a kit with some preformed bits, but still a construction challenge including edge gluing 2mm sycamore bevel edged curved laths together over a curved former.
Must get around to learning to play it one day.
PVA is rumoured to creep under load, but it's just a rumour.
 
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Woodernhift

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I’d go for Titebond 3 for its longer open time with a few biscuits for alignment and an extra pair of hands.

I think the standard white PVA’s were/are prone to creep and would weaken when wet. However PVA’s like Titebond 3 crosslink as the cure producing a 3D matrix that is very resident to movement and has a good degree of resistance to water hence its external rating.
 
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deema

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Cascamite is a great glue with lots of applications. Waterproof, long open times and if kept away from moisture can be kept almost indefinitely. Does not need to be stored in a warm environment.
Was the go to glue for all exterior joinery, doors, windows, boat building etc.
Best mixed by weight, and when not used for a while / first time do a test mix / joint.

My workbench’s are glued up with Cascamite, one is over 30 years old and the oldest is now used for bashing metal stuff!
 

Jacob

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Evostik Resin W is a perfectly good glue ......... but it's twice the price of Everbuild and no better, as are many other PVAs.
Have had cheaper varieties of PVA and got a bit doubtful about some of them so stuck to Evostick. It's a tiny proportion of the cost of a job.
 

Hornbeam

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I gave up on Cascamite when they had all the problems and switched to Aerolite when I want a waterproof glue, long open time or for laminating
For your workbench I would use Titebond
 

Hanman-Tools

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I have used many types of glue over the years but I now use Wickes Weatherproof adhesive which has never let me down, also works well with biscuit joints.
 

Cabinetman

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Resin W for me, as Jacob said the extra cost is negligible per glue up, and I’ve used it repeatedly for tight laminations and it doesn’t creep, checked back on furniture laminated 9 years ago- good as the day I glued it. Ian
 

Droogs

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unless you are going to use it in the middle of the atlantic or only in the garden, then any wood glue will do the job as long as you have decent meeting faces and no gaps. I have made benches with PU PVA Cascamite Resin and even hide glue. It makes not difference as long as you have decent joinery.
 
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