There arc more than a dozen different types of glues and adhesives available, from library paste to the new instant adhesives that will glue your fingers together if you aren't careful. Only a couple of these are suitable for furniture work. The old timers used hide and fish glues. Antique restorers who are purists still use them. Modern adhesives for furniture work include the polyvinyls, resorcinol resin and formaldehyde glues, contact cement, and the epoxies. The chart on the next page gives a good bird's eye view of glues and when to use each type.
Selecting the right glue is one half of the job. Applying it properly is the other half. But neither the right glue nor the proper application means much unless you clamp the work and give the glue all the lime it needs to dry. A well-made glue joint is strong, neat and durable. A poorly made joint is sloppy looking and comes apart quickly under stress.
It may sound like gratuitous advice, but always read the label on any new adhesive you buy. Most of us have been using glues so long that we think we know how they all work, so we rush ahead to use a new glue as we used the older ones. But newer glues sometimes require different application techniques. Read the label to find out. The manufacturer wants you to get good results with his product, and his instructions are designed to help you get those results.
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