- Q. We use a yellow carpenter’s glue for wood-to-wood gluing chores. Every winter, I invariably leave the container in my truck overnight, and the glue freezes. Can this glue be thawed and used after it has frozen?
A.Carl Hagstrom responds: "Carpenter’s" glue generally comes in two flavors: polyvinyl acetate (better known as white glue) and aliphatic resin (yellow glue).
When I spoke to Mark Roberts at Franklin International, manufacturers of Titebond wood glue, he said that their white and yellow glues can undergo five freeze/thaw cycles before they should be discarded. Frozen glue often thaws to a thicker consistency, and Roberts mentioned that up to 5% water can be added (by volume or weight) to thin their glues.
Jeff Pitcher of Custom-Pak Adhesives notes that not all glues are freeze/thaw stable, but those that are should be allowed to thaw completely and stirred thoroughly before use.
If you’re uncertain about the number of freeze/thaw cycles a glue has undergone, Eugene Wengert, an extension specialist in the Department of Forestry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, offers this advice: If the glue appears to be the same in color and consistency after thawing, chances are it can be used. But keep things in perspective. By using questionable glue, are you risking costly callbacks in an effort to save a few dollars? If the glue is lumpy or differs in consistency, then toss it.
Carl Hagstrom is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Light Construction.