Adhesive for your furniture projects

Some of the common search terms that bring traffic to Woodooz are :
  1. Can I use fevicol as Mod Podge ? (In short, NO. However you can make Mod Podge out of Fevicol sans the quality of a decoupage glue)
  2. What glue to use for furniture making ?
  3. Is white adhesive same as Mod Podge ? (In short, NO)
I have never been sure if my earlier posts have addressed these queries convincingly. So, today I thought I would spend few moments writing about the adhesives that I use for my projects and in a way try to answer the above questions. Before you go any further, it is important to understand that I was neither contacted by Fevicol / Pidilite nor is this post sponsored. Much like the various woodworking tools that I use and write about, am writing about one other tool / accessory that I love working with.

Fevicol MR (White Adhesive)

Because of the various tutorials on the net on how Mod Podge can be made out of white adhesive, it is very common to think Fevicol MR is an alternative to Mod Podge. The truth is, it is not. Fevicol MR is viscous much unlike Mod Podge and though they dry to form an invisible layer, they hardly offer the glossy "protective" finish of Decoupage glue.

This is highly recommended and used for arts and crafts projects. It can be used for joining thin and light weight materials that are less likely to exert too much of opposing force. These are also materials that are mostly handled gently with care.

Papers, cloths, buttons, Sequins, are just about some of the examples.
Fevicol - MR and SH
Fevicol synthetic resin for woodworking / Furniture projects

Fevicol SH (Synthetic Resin Glue)

When you need glue for your wooden joineries, it is better that you use one that is touted as the carpenter's glue. This synthetic resin glue is what I use for all my woodworking projects. Be it for gluing laminate or a 4mm sheet of teak, this has always worked wonders for me. 

It does not offer an instantaneous bond and hence you may have to provide the necessary pressure on the glued surfaces for a while. But once the glue dries, the bond that it creates is very strong. Since I also use only butt joints (apparently the weakest) for my projects, the glue helps prevent the wobble that might otherwise be missing in other strong joinery techniques.
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Though there are other adhesives like hot glues, contact adhesives that are available, these are the only two that I currently use. And since they serve my purpose for the moment, I have not tried exploring other options that are available.

Update from reader comment:

Here's  the gist of what Kittu, a woodworking hobbyist for 6 years from Deccan Woodworking, had to say about the other types of adhesives available:
  1. Normally wood glue used in US and Europe is called PVA glue. This is  similar in texture to the white adhesive, only it is pale yellow in color. In fact it is referred to as yellow glue in general. Titebond is the most popular brand. Some of the PVA glues have newer versions which are considered water proof.
  2. The other type used is Polyurethane which gives out lots of smell and fumes but it is considered water proof and a must for outdoor applications.
  3. Then we have epoxy glues which are two part resin and activator and mixed just prior to application.
  4. Cyanoacrylate glues are the instant bonding type and occasionally used in wood working. It is more popular with wood turners to seal the surface.
Thanks Kittu for sharing your views. Check out the entire update from Kittu in the comments section.

What do you use ? Think I should try using something else for the bond am looking for ? Leave a comment.

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- Somu

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  1. Manufacturers of High Quality Modern Furniture. Most of us dream for a Beautiful house with the best equipments looks.

    1. Thanks for the comment... But it has absolutely no relevance to the post I have made. Time to think of comment moderation I guess !

    2. How to use this glue ??
      Should it be mixed with some other products or as it is ??

  2. I admire your patience and creativity! Im an Indian living in US. The woodworking bug bit me a few decades back. After watching the craftsmen in India I realised that it was a very long haul to learn anything much from them. Most were not very skilled. Those rare few who were skilled could not explain what they were doing. And even if they did working with improper tools and techniques promised to take the fun out of every thing.
    So I took up the long forgotten dream when I moved to US. Been working in this field as a hobbyist for last six years or so.
    Now Im planning to move back to India in a few months. Along the way I came up with the idea of moving my tools and almost whole workshop!! Took quite some effort to convince my wife. Anyway Im planning to start a custom kitchen cabinet business in India if all goes well.

    On the topic of adhesives. In dont remember if many carpenters used glue in India for joinery. Mostly I remember them using glue to laminate veneers and what is called Formica. That is usually a what looks like a form of polyurethane glue. It smelled quite toxic.
    Traditonal woodworkers in europe used to use what is called Hide Glue. This as the name says was made out of the extracts of animal hide. It is still avaiable here though it takes a bit of searching. I do not know what was used in India traditionaly in India.
    Normally wood glue used in US and europe is called PVA glue this is a similar in texture to the white adhesive only it is pale yellow in color. I fact it is refered to as yellow glue in general. Titebond is the most popular brand. The other type used is Polyurethane which gives out lots of smell and fumes but it is considered water proof and a must in outdoor applications. Some of the PVA glues have newer versions which are considered water proof. Then we have epoxy glues which are two part resin and activator and mixed just prior to application. Cyanoacrylate glues are the instant bonding type and occasionaly used in wood working. It is more popular with wood turners to seal the surface.
    Yellow PVA Glue most popular in US is Titebond followed by Elmer's(who are more known for white PVA glue or school glue)
    Gorilla Glue brand is more prevalent in Polyurethate glues.

    In non oily woods yellow glue forms a very strong bond between the wood surfaces. So strong is the bond that the the joint fails with the glue area between two surfaces still intact ie. the wood fibers surrounding the joint fail before the glue joint fails.
    In oily woods one cannot use yellow glue easily because the oil in the wood surface prevents proper bonding. The soultion to that is use alcohol(industrial) to rub the surface the joint just prior to applying the glue.
    This is how teak is joined if one uses yellow glue. I have to look at adhesives availbility in India. I like to use a version of PVA glue which has longer open time than the typical 10 minutes. I have to see what is available in India. May be I should think of a small import business for hobby woodworkers along with my woodworking business

    I have just started my blog and have taken the liberty of adding your link on my blog. Do visit and if possible add my link on your website.

  3. Hi Kittu, first and foremost, thanks for your comment. It is really nice to be appreciated by like minded people. I had a look at your blog, and work that you have so far showcased is fabulous. I am now really looking forward to seeing all your work.

    A 30 year woodworking hobbyist ? It is very evident from your knowledge on adhesives. Am a fledgling in this hobby and am still taking baby steps towards indulging in bigger projects... and to have found your blog is quite a boon.

    PVA and Epoxy adhesives are available in India... However, I have not researched them enough to understand and use them for the specifics of a project, and so I use what is generally accepted as a furniture glue. But now that you mention these, it triggers my interest to explore them. Also, I do not have the skills at this point nor the tools to make sturdy joinery and so I use glue for that added strength for my butt joints.

    Kitchen Cabinetry is indeed a booming business here in Chennai, if not in the rest of India. And to have a hobby that translates into a business is a wonderful thing. I wish you all the very best in what you are pursuing.D

    I am taking the liberty to add the gist of your knowledge on adhesives on my actual post and hope you don;t mind that. Do keep coming back and share your thoughts. I only stand to gain from such insights. Thanks again. I am having you added to the list of feeds I follow just so I don;t miss your next update. Thanks again :)

  4. Im afraid I should have been a bit more clearer I have not been wood working for 30 years I have had the desire to do so!! I have really been involved in it properly last six years or so. Yes I did do the few odd projects early on or hung around some carpenters trying my hand at things.

    I remember one of them. I had a 50+(nobody remembered when it was actually made or purchased as everyone involved seems to have got it as a gift from someone else) years old Almiriah (belonging to my mother which was given to her by my grandmother right after marriage) stashed away at my grandparents house disliked by everyone becuase it was huge and dark all the polish had dried out it was completly dusty. It was really huge about 4 feet width and more than 7 feet high.

    Needing an almirah when I took up my frist job after college in a diffrent city I some how hauled it in a truck and got it home. After using it for a few months it stuck me that It might be salvaged by sanding it. Oh boy I spent nearly 3 months sanding away a few hours every week. Those days I did not know that one should use a heavy grit sand paper I used lots of fine grit sand paper for months!! End result was terrific. Before I could think about putting any finish I had to move to another city. Seeing that I would not survive another move I dismantled it thinking I can salvage something out of it if I cant put it together.

    A few years later I did put it to use. I took apart the doors and had a carpenter(I helped him cut and plane it where he would let me!!) make a bookshelf and a center table with glass top and shelves(As the amount of wood was less.) Since then the wood is still moving house to house. Right now it is with my father. I now have the confidence to make something good out of it on my own when I move back. These are still being used by my father I will see if I can get some photos in a few weeks.

    1. Hi Kittu, I will correct the number of years in the post. I should have read your bio another time :) An old almiriah being reused is like passing on the legacy of the previous generations. Rather than throwing it off, it is great that you managed to make something out of it !

      I remember having one such almiriah and I am not sure what happened to it now. Only I wish I was into this much earlier... :)

  5. Your comments on glue are useful since I am not terribly clued up on this. You might want to try out a wood glue that 3M has introduced in the market. I used it to good effect. I wonder if you know anything about several other wood glue products made by Pidilite including Woodgrip, Woodlock, Marine Fevicol and so on? There is some information on their website.

    1. Hi Indranil, thanks... As I mentioned I have really not explored the other options because SH was serving the purpose. Now for atleast the sake of research and comparison, I will have to certainly try everything that is there. If you do get to use any of these products, do let me know. Would love to hear your views.

      On my next trip to the hardware store, let me get hold of the 3M glue. I have a project in the pipeline. Shall give it a shot.

  6. thanks for this post...really helpful. can you suggest any brand of modpodge that is available in India? also need to know what brand of masking tape you use? loved your post on uses of masking tape and now that we would be moving to our own pad soon would need piles of masking tapes for various reasons.thanks in advance

    1. Hi Sayantani, First and foremost, Welcome to Woodooz. Thanks for your comment. In India, Pidilite s their brand of Mod Podge which should be available, depending on the city you are in. It is unfortunately not available in Chennai. I have addresses listed here for Mumbai and Bangalore. You can check it out. You can even write to them here. They have been very friendly in my earlier interactions with them.

      As for the masking tape, the ones from 3M (The blue tapes) are highly recommended. My projects were small time and so I settled for a local brand which pretty much served the purpose.

    2. Thanks a ton Somu for the reply. would look for the 3M brand. i got some which were very expensive but of very bad quality.

    3. Hi Sayantani, always a pleasure. Do let me know if you manage to get the 3M tapes. The blue tape is what is predominantly used while painting walls.

  7. Gosh.. the detail in this post is impressive.. and thats why I totally love your blog.. so much information.. with so much of love and enthusiasm for the subject matter.. and for beginners like me.. who live to learn and play around with these things.. Your blog is like the bible.. It really is..

    Thanks for this post.. on adhesives and mod podge.. :) Have you tried decoupage.. I once got glue and wanted to make mod podge (or similar out of it).. and failed miserably.. Then hunted all stores to find mod podge.. I must do a post on decoupage.. It was a lovely experiment.. :)

    1. Hi Patricia, Always humbled by your comments about our blog. I am always divided between providing more information or just enough information. And i am glad that sometimes comprehensive inputs work well.

      We have tried mod podge once on a wine bottle and we so loved it. Unfortunately it is not available anymore in Chennai and so have not been able to pursue further projects. You should do a post on decoupage. Am sure I would love it :)

  8. Thank u Somu for sharing such a technically detailed info :)

    1. Hi Aparna, thanks a lot :) Hope the technical inputs are purposeful :)

  9. This is an awesome post..though I am an ENT Surgeon I love to dabble in all sorts of crafts and have been tempted to try working with wood too--such an informative post and especially love the info about modpodge and yes I was able to get it from Staples Garuda Mall Bangalore
    Cheers from Bangalore, India

  10. Your blog are impressive to each other.I read your blog its very good and friendly, Help ful for all.

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  11. This information is very helpful, Thanks for sharing.

  12. what does MR stand for in 'Fevicol MR'and what does SH stand for in 'Fevicol SH'?

  13. Sure in most of the furniture project using adhesive act as an important role on the project it is mainly used to join broken or two pieces.

  14. Given information are very helpful,did you give me some explanation about
    Instant Adhesive Glue


  15. That was really a nice share.. Thanks.. It was very useful....Super Glue or Cyanoacrylate.

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  18. If you are looking for the adhesive supplies, you must confirm about the category of adhesive you want to buy, because there is a huge difference between the glue used for industrial, domestic, and medical purposes.

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  20. Thanks for the tips! super helpful! I love your style and how adventurous you are in your make-overs

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  21. Hi could you plz plz plz share the info on glue that can be used to fix glass top to the wooden legs

  22. Nice to see you all! I too crazy on wood & wood products. After a long dream, now I have started wood working on my own with modern power tools. Reading lot of magazines. But the ease of doing carpentry is some way tough in India. Your sharing is most important for me, guys....!

  23. there are diffrent kind of the glue used for industrial, domestic, and medical before buy the Acrylic Adhesive glues you should research on it which will be suitable for your purpose

  24. Is there a food grade/safe glue in India. If not what r cutting boards made with?

  25. Was looking for woodeorking/wood turning hobbyists in Bengaluru and came across this blog. Thanks @somu and everyone else. To glue segments for segmented wood turning which glue is best ? Titebond or gorilla or fevicol which is locally available... Please help me understand. Will visit @kitty,s and @Dr.Sinia, s blog. Thank you all

  26. Sorry. It was supposed to be @kittu. And @Dr.Sonia SV.

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  33. What is the Titebond equivalent which is available in India? I am repairing a guitar and most people recommend Titebond to fix a fretboard of a guitar, but that's not easily available here or at a reasonable price. I am based in Bangalore if that helps for a suggestion.

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