Picture this: It’s the middle of your woodworking project, and you’re nearly done.
All that’s left is to attach the metal bracket to the wood using screws. But then you realize you’re out of screws! What do you do?
If you’re in a bind and need to use wood glue on metal, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that it’s possible to do so in a pinch.
The bad news is that it’s not the ideal solution and likely won’t hold up in the long run, as wood glue is designed to bond two pieces of wood, and it won’t work well when joining metals to wood.
So, what option do you have when you need to attach the wood and metal together without screws or nails?
Gluing Wood To Metal – What’s the Best Option?
While standard wood glue won’t work well in bonding wood to metal, there are specialized adhesives that can do the trick.
Because the two materials are so diverse in density and porosity, gluing wood to metal may be difficult.
Polyurethane-based adhesives, on the other hand, have more than enough strength and flexibility for the job and can be used.
So, if your project requires gluing these two surfaces and getting robust bonding, metal can be attached to wood using a polyurethane-based glue like Gorilla Glue or Gorilla Wood Glue.
These glues are designed to take the challenge up. And they do so by filling in the voids and creating a bond that is stronger than the wood itself.
Just remember to use them in well-ventilated areas as they can produce fumes.
If Gorilla Wood Glue isn’t available for any reason, you can also use two-part epoxy or acrylate glue to accurately position and glue metal to wood.
Loctite Super Glue and Liquid Nails are the two other options you can explore for attaching the metal bracket to the wood without using nails.
How Strong Will the Bond with Gorilla Wood Glue Be?
The required strength of your adhesive is the most important thing to think about when you are gluing metal to wood.
The thing you need to understand is most adhesives work fine when there isn’t much lateral or pulling force.
For example, you can use Gorilla Glue or Superglue to attach wood veneers to aluminum or steel without any issues.
However, if you try attaching a hinge or door latch with super glue, it will not hold for long.
Another scenario where you need to be careful is when the fitting is done in an area where there will be a lot of vibration or movement.
In such cases, even the best glues and epoxies may not work as intended.
Also, make sure you select an adhesive that can withstand extreme temperatures.
For example, if you’re attaching a metal bracket to wood near a fireplace, the heat may cause the adhesive to fail.
So, keep all these things in mind before you select your adhesive and start gluing.
Considerations When Buying an Adhesive for Gluing Wood to Metal
As I said before, metal-to-wood bonding cannot be achieved with common wood glue – you’ll need a specific glue designed for the purpose.
So, consider the following points to assist you in deciding on the best adhesive for connecting metal to wood based on your specific requirements…
To reduce any waste and to save money, you should generally pick an adhesive that may be used on multiple surfaces.
For example, invest in versatile glue that can be used for bonding metal, wood, ceramics, and other materials.
This is a great technique to cut down on waste and money if you are working on a larger project.
To assure the longevity of the bond, invest in an adhesive that can stand up to high heat. Check the label on the can to see if the glue is temperature resistant.
Waterproof glue is the best type for ensuring that your projects stay in place if you will be using it on the outside.
Parts left outside are constantly exposed to weather elements such as rain, UV rays, snow, and so on.
If you use an adhesive that cannot withstand the aforementioned conditions, the project will come apart.
d) Tensile Strength
Choose a glue with an incredibly high tensile strength to keep your project together, even under pressure.
Check the product label to find out the measurement of tensile strength.
What’s the Option for Sticking Wood to Metal Without Glue and Screws?
Glue can be messy, difficult to control, and uneven. This is especially true for quick-drying adhesives like superglue.
These issues can affect the quality of your work, especially when you are trying to attach thin wood trims to metal surfaces.
So, if you aren’t careful enough, the whole thing may come out looking messy and amateurish.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid all these problems, as you have an alternative to using double-faced gum tape.
This will work like an adhesive and will hold the wood to the metal without any screws or nails.
Moreover, it is easy to work with as you just need to peel off the tape and stick it on the surface.
Just make sure you use good-quality tape so that it can hold the wood securely in place.
Also, ensure that you do not use heavy or thick wood that needs to be glued – these may not stick well to the metal surfaces.
A double-faced gum tape tends to work fine for smaller projects that involve veneers, inlays, or thin trims that need to be joined to aluminum or thin steel sheets.
The Bottom Line
Wood glue is not the best option when you need to attach metal to wood as it is designed for woodworking to join various wood surfaces like wood joints.
In other words, because metal and wood have distinct porosity and flexibility characteristics, using normal wood glue would result in difficulties.
So, make sure you use Gorilla Wood Glue or other similar products that are designed for the purpose. These will help you get long-lasting results that wouldn’t fail very easily.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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