Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to add a small part to a project, such a piece of trim, and you didn’t want to drive a brad through it, but you couldn’t hold it for 10 minutes until the glue set up? The Nexabond glue product, Nexabond 2500S, provides a great solution to this common situation.
Nexabond 2500S is a cyanoacrylate based adhesive that is optimized for bonding wood (even oily species). When using it, I have found that I only need to hold an item in place for about 10-15 seconds before I can reliably let go and allow the glue to hold the piece in place. After about two minutes, the bond has achieved enough strength to allow moderate machining to take place. This chart from the manufacturer’s web site shows the bond strength compared to typical water based wood glue at various time intervals. As you can see, the initial set time with Nexabond 2500S is dramatically faster, and at full cure, it delivers equivalent bond strength.
I put the product through a couple simple tests in my shop. First, I glued a small piece of walnut onto a cherry board.
After holding the piece in place for about 15 seconds, I let it sit for 2 minutes so that the glue had time to form enough of a bond to withstand some pressure.
Then I used a belt sander with 80 grit paper to apply a reasonable amount of stress to the joint.
I continued to sand until only a small portion of the walnut remained. Not many wood glues would hold up to that torture after only 2 minutes of set time!
Will it take a stain?
Yes, and no. Yes, it does take a stain in the sense that it does not repel it, causing the stain to bead up or adhere poorly. In this simple test, however, in which I smeared the wood with approximately equal amounts of typical water-based woodworking glue and Nexabond prior to staining, the two glues appear to take the stain in a similar fashion and both leave a noticeable contrast with the surrounding wood that was not coated in glue. Therefore, as you might expect, we still need to be diligent in cleaning up glue squeeze-out before applying a finish. One advantage of Nexabond in a real world application is that it requires a smaller volume of glue to achieve a bond, so that squeeze out is less likely than it is with traditional wood glues.
Time to throw out my water based woodworking glue?
Me thinks not. I believe that most of us will continue to use water-based wood glue for most joinery applications. The quick set time of Nexabond is great for some situations where typical wood glues don’t work well, but in general I prefer to have longer open time for most joinery applications to keep my blood pressure lower while I tackle complicated assembly work. But, wherever extremely fast bond time is desired, such as repairs and fastening small parts, I will use Nexabond 2500S. For slightly longer open times, Nexabond comes in two additional formulations, 2500M and 2500L which have open times of up to 3 minutes and up to 8 minutes respectively (The ‘M’ stands for medium bond time, the ‘L’ stands for long bond time, and of course the ‘S’ in 2500S stands for short bond time). But when I’m turning to Nexabond, I will likely want the quickest bond time which is delivered by 2500S.
Nexabond 2500S Wood Adhesive, Short Handling Time, 1 oz., $7.99
Nexabond 2500S Wood Adhesive, Short Handling Time, 4 oz., $16.99