Curious about Wooden Canoes
I am getting ready to start my first canoe and realized I don't know what type of glue to use. I was going to use gorillia glue but that seems like overkill in addition to the cost. Any recomendations.
Most people just use a yellow carpenters glue between the strips. I modify that a bit and use the "filled" stuff, it's a light tan or brown color, because it doesn't run off like the regular yellow glue.

Glue for strips

Carpenter's glue works just fine.


Another glue question

Hello All

New to the forum, and rather than start a new thread, I thought I would post my question here as a continuation - since it is glue related.

My stripper plans are to build bead and cove, but so many articles, books and magazines indicate the length in time to build has at least some direct bearing on how long it takes glue to dry before moving further up the hull.

While I use wood glue (Titebond) for many wood projects, I also have a hobby of building radio controlled sailboats. Since these are laid up using strips in a manner similar to a strip canoe, I am wondering if anyone has tried or successfully used CA glue to "tack" strips to adjoining strip, but only spot gluing in the areas with little or no major twists?

CA glue can be purchased formulated for wood construction, and has a propensity to cure very quickly - even without the use of a "kicker". Since the process is to hold strips in place long enough to fair and glass, and since the first coat of interior and exterior epoxy will fill any small seam voids, the ability to work upwards quickly and only use a slower drying glue in the bow and sterns where strips take on a major torsional twist is of interest. While CA glue does a good job of holding, it is by no means as strong as epoxy, and probably as strong as water based wood glues.

It would be appreciated if anyone has had experience using this type of glue up for a strip build and can post experiences and opinions relative to this form of gluing? Note that I do not intend to CA glue the entire cove, only "spot glue" along the seam at/near stations and perhaps midway between stations.

Thanks in advance for comment or opinion.
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Use Titebond! If you lay a strip on one side, then one on the second side, the first side will be tacked by the time you are ready to lay another on the first side. I don't use staples, so it takes just a bit longer to set the strips in place. If you are using staples, set time is not an issue. DON'T USE GORILLA!!! You will end up with a real mess!
I've always used Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue. It's a tan powder that you mix with water until it's about like pancake batter. It's cheap, works great and dries fairly hard. Unlike Tightbond and other carpenter's glues, it doesn't heat up and smear when you sand the hull with power sanders.
Max - Thanks for suggestion. Todd (below) hit the nail on the head when he reccognized the softening of the glue when sanding.

Todd - I also caught your comment/post on the Wooden Boat forum. Thanks as well.

Contrary to opinion, I'm not trying to make something more difficult than it is, I am trying to establish if CA glue will hold strips long enough to give an epoxy coating the opportunity to "wick in" and hold strips. I do understand the pressure and stress on the strips during initial shaping/sanding/fairing, and was why I asked the question. Since the thread was started in 2008, I would have laid money that "someone" would have tried the CA in the last couple of years. Was mainly looking for a thumbs up or down, based on experience. Looks like both here and on Wooden Boat, no one has responded that they have tried it. Since I have a couple of ties to a major US company that has a habit of manufacturing adhesives as one of many product lines, I guess I will proceed and give it a try and then report if it works or doesn't.

I do appreciate your responses. Thanks again.
"Wicking in" raises an eyebrow that might call for making a test panel before trying it on a whole boat. Epoxy wicking into wood usually means that it is "wicking out" from something else and that's a condition that we tend to avoid, especially if there is fiberglass involved. Situations where glass has been applied and then for some reason the resin wicked out of it and into the wood often make for some really serious structural and cosmetic problems. The other thing to consider is that glue and resin (even thin stuff like varnish and oil) don't soak anywhere near as far into wood as most people think they do. For proof, all you need to do is take a sander to it and see how quickly you're back down to bare wood.

I think the obvious reason that nobody has tried stripping with CA is that it just doesn't make good sense. The bond from a spot-weld job isn't likely to be as good as with other glues, the handling is more difficult and the cost is off the charts when compared. If you've never built a stripper, you may also not yet understand that the more solid the unglassed core is, the easier it is to handle it and do some of the post-stripping, pre-glassing work. There is a constant stream of posters (and has been for a decade or more) thinking about building their first stripper and while still in the planning stage, re-writing various parts of the process. There is certainly nothing wrong with new ideas, but I have yet to see one build a better boat and all too often, their new method just gets them in trouble when all they really needed to do was follow existing directions.
Hi Todd -
I understand the points you are making. While I didn't go deeply into my background - as a big boat sailor, I "played" in a catamaran class that was considered "developmental". Several boats in the class were strip built, but there were also several built using two plywood panels joined along the keel and "bent" into a semi-circular below water line shape. At the time (mid-late 1980's) these 1/8 plywood hulls - some glassed both sides, some with a plastic honeycomb core, came in at weights well below 300 lbs. all up except for skipper. Today, similar boats, 8 foot wide instead of 11 feet, and full carbon fiber composites are seeing weights now below 200 lbs. ! Thus having been involved in high speed multihull racing in a class where new ideas had to be tried to stay ahead in the weight race also made new technology and new methods very critical. All that said, I am only pointing out that a "strip build" is new for me - but only at full size. Epoxy is a product in which I am well versed - both in repair as well as in new construction. I use exclusively WEST System products since being introduced to them in the mid/late 1970's.

When I referenced "wicking" - I have used a method where "neat" epoxy (straight from the cans), is thinned using alcohol or acetone to a near-water consistency. This thinned product (NOT recommended or endorsed by the Gougeon technical squad ) is brushed liberally on the raw/bare wood or plywood. Preheating the wood first, then applying such a thin coat, results in a fast and pretty through saturation and penetration - without any unnecessary weight. As the wood cools, it also helps pull the thinned epoxy into pores and voids. Again I note for anyone reading this post - thinning epoxy in this manner is something that Gougeon's technical staff (WEST System) does NOT subscribe to or recommend. I only make it a point here to further explain that both the proposed CA glue, followed by a water-thin epoxy coat after fairing is what I was considering.

Since there hasn't been any first hand experiences posted, I would obviously do up several test panels made up of strips using this method over a three station set of molds. I do plan on looking for a local source of supply for the Weldwood Resin product you have posted, as I have not heard of the product and it sounds like it is something else I need to try. My apologies if I have led you astray with my previous post. Please be advised should I proceed, I will most surely post the outcome of my tests. My primary concern was if the cedar was so porous, that the glue was pulled into the pores of the wood before it had time to grab, cure and hold both mating surfaces - but that part will be easy to test as well.

Thanks again - I appreciate your observations and cautions.
For anyone interested, there is a good article, complete with test results on the Gougeon "Epoxyworks" website on the subject of diluting epoxy: - click "Epoxy Techniques & Materials" - scroll down to "Thinning WEST SYSTEM epoxy"

As noted in the article, solvent dilution of the resin resulted in a dramatic loss of strength (35% decrease after only a 5% dilution), possible potential shrinkage of the cured resin, a change in resin color from slightly amber to very dark amber, increased flamability and health hazards and no increase in water resistance or strength due to increased penetration. So, I'd say that the Gougeon technical staff has a pretty good reason for their feelings about diluting their epoxy and I would be very surprised if you can furnish any data that proves them wrong.

"Penetration" at least when it comes to boating woods like cedar, spruce and fir is highly over-rated. You can put just about anything you want on a piece of wood to "penetrate" it, let it cure or dry and I can probably take it off with one quick pass of the disk sander, down to bare wood. With the exception of end grain, most sawn and sanded wood is not a sponge with exposed, deep passages running through it for these things to flow into. You may be able to get thinned substances to flow a bit farther in than they would at full strength, but you're deluding yourself if you are under the impression that this is really going to improve the strength or water resistance over something like plain epoxy. Solvents evaporate out, leaving holes in the coating and as noted, also greatly reduce the physical strength of the substance. Strength-wise, on a wood like cedar, it's all a matter of the grain strength of the wood itself. Any decent wood glue is capable of exceeding the grain strength of the cedar. That's all the strength you can, or will ever, get out of it - no matter what you apply to it.

So in this case, the question then becomes "Can your CA spot welds and highly diluted epoxy even exceed the grain strength of the cedar?" ...and more importantly, is all that stuff worth bothering with when you can certainly exceed grain strength and quite possibly get better and more consistent glue bonds with a $4 bottle of Tightbond or a tub of Weldwood for less than $10? Even if they can achieve grain strength, they won't make the boat any lighter or stronger. You might save a few days of stripping or watching glue dry, but what's the rush? It's supposed to be fun and many of us enjoy building boats as much as using them. Personally, I always found it kind of depressing when there was nothing left to do after a build but sit in the garage and stare at it. The other obvious question would be how do you plan to fair a boat when the strips forming the hull are only tacked together in certain places? Most tools, whether sanders, planes, scrapers or even longboards exert a certain amount of pressure on the hull as they work. It's difficult to fair a surface that's moving and not solid.

I must be a crusty old curmudgeon, but I've seen so many first time strip canoe builders shoot themselves in the foot and screw-up perfectly good boats because they just can't follow simple directions and at least get one good boat under their belts before they start getting creative and re-inventing the wheel. There are some really amazing first-time stripper canoes out there, and there are some really bad ones. Most of the good ones were built by folks that stuck to the plans and simply followed the instructions.
In addition to what Todd said,

IF you want a very low viscosity resin, instead of diluting a high viscosity resin with solvent, and reducing it's strength, why not just use System 3 Clear Coat, it's almost water like in viscosity when mixed w/o solvents.

It does need to be mixed in small batches or applied fast as it starts thickening fairly fast.

So --- the short answer to my original question (in the past 2 years since the post of this thread, has anyone attempted to use CA glue to try to "tack-weld" strips?) seems to have been/should be a simple "NO" - or no response?

Seems sometimes, the answer to a question must be hedged in a long post that never really answers the question. Not a rant - only an observation:

Titebond gets sticky when sanding.
Weldwood Resin might be a better product
No one has tried the CA glue to "tack" strips together

...... simple answers - no? ..........

Just what is CA glue, I've never hear the term?

Also note that the thread kinda took a side turn for a bit.

Hi Dan

"What He Said"
- and used quite often in model building (boats, planes, trains, crafts, etc.) and appreciated for it's tendency to quickly bond (a few seconds compared to minutes or hours) and hold materials. NOT just limited to wood. It "is" usually stronger than the wood fibers which it is gluing.
Thanks Todd, and Square,

I have heard of Krazy Glue and Superglue. :)

I can't say I've used them much, or had much success using them.
Except for glueing my fingers together. They never seem to work on broken ceramics for the wife.


see what happens when I get distracted during a response. :)
I've never had a problem with Titebond getting "sticky" when sanded. As you lay up the strips, wipe off the drips and heavy squeeze-out with a damp rag (it won't harm the finish because you are going to scrape and sand). I then scrape the strips to basic shape (only a few swipes needed in most areas) and fair with soft pads on my random orbit sander and fairing boards. I don't generate any significant heat, and have never had a problem with sticky glue lines. As Todd has said repeatedly, don't experiment on your first boat. Build one and find out what works. You then might think of a few improvements. Building a full-size boat is much different than building a model.
i used regular elmers wood glue and mixed it with the sawdust of my strips. it make for a pretty color.
Be careful with Weldwood Plastic Resin has a 6 month shelf life from the date of manufacture, and that date is cryptically encoded on the tubs with a white sticky label, usually a 5 digit number: the first two digits the year of manufacture, and three remaining digits the day of the year. Most retailers are not aware of this, and being a low turn-over item it is really easy to get an outdated tub of powder.

I got burned bad on an expensive mast glue-up where the glue was over two years old. It mixed up like curdled milk - but it had been so long since I'd used this product that I couldn't remember if this was normal or not

...It aint!

Called Weldwood to explain my dismay (where I learned fo the cryptic date code) and they were rather disinterested.

Incidently, they haven't made resorcinol in a long time, so any weldwood resorcinol you find is long expired.

Just sayin'