How Long Does Wood Glue Take to Dry?

Different types of wood glue with varying drying times

Your wood project may call for the use of wood glue. While this can provide a strong adhesive to two wood pieces, the dry times can be affected by a range of factors. How long does wood glue take to dry? ​

Depending on the temperature, moisture levels, wood used, and type of glue, wood glue can take 20 minutes to several hours to dry.

We'll review the circumstances that play into wood glue drying time below. These tips can help you decide which wood glue to use and approximately how long it will take for it to adhere.

Different types of wood glue with varying drying times

Average Wood Glue Dry Times

Depending on the type of wood project you are working on, it may take as long as several hours down to a few minutes for your wood glue to dry.

Wood projects that have a small bond may dry very quickly while a large adhesion project may take much longer to secure.

The length of dry times is also dependent on the type of wood glue you are using. Some wood glues dry quickly but do not provide strong bonding properties that you can firmly rely on.

To determine how long wood glue takes to dry, start by determining what type of wood glue you are using, and read the label for the average dry time. Then, take into consideration the temperature, moisture, and type of wood you're using, in order to refine that wood glue time.  

We'll go through each of these considerations below. For the sake of this article, we are going to assume that you are using the first wood glue listed: polyvinyl acetate. This is the most common product sold under the name of wood glue.

Types of Wood Glues

There are a series of wood glue options on the market today. They all come with their own advantages for wood construction and adhesive. These wood glues are some of the most common choices of adhesives used in a wood project.

  • Polyvinyl acetate glue: This is the most popular of wood glues available today. You’ll find this type of glue in wood glues as well as white and yellow glue formulas.
  • Hide glue: This glue is made from the hide of animals and has been in development for many years. It is an ideal wood glue unless you are working on a waterproof project.
  • Epoxy: This wood glue uses both a resin and a hardener that come together to form a strong bond. It can fill wood gaps and be used in waterproof projects as well.
  • Cyanoacrylate glue: You may recognize this glue as "super glue". While it can easily adhere two wood pieces together, it is usually only used as a temporary bond until further fastening can be completed.
  • Polyurethane glue: This glue expands as it dries and creates a super strong bond that can be difficult to add a finish too. It is waterproof and can be recognized in brands such as Gorilla Glue.

Related: ​Its easy to get confused... if you need wood filler for your project (instead of wood glue), read our review on the best stainable wood fillers on the market.

how long does wood glue take to dry

​Temperatures and Wood Glue Dry Times

Your wood glue dry time is also dependent on temperature. Most wood glues dry ​quicker under high temperatures, creating a strong bond in a minimal amount of time. There are instances when extreme high temperatures make certain wood glues melt upon contact.

High temperatures can also create humidity problems for some wood glues and introduce unnecessary moisture into the product. Humidity prevents the moisture in the wood glue formula from evaporating into the air. This prevents the glue from drying and may take longer to cure.

Super glue takes a lot less time to dry than other glues. Super glue can take 5 seconds up to 10 minutes to dry, depending on the seal and other envioronmental factors.

Related: How to Thin Wood Stain

​Moisture and Wood Glue Dry Times

If the wood you are adhering contains a lot of moisture, it can affect the total dry time. Wood glue is designed to evaporate its moisture through the wood as well as into the atmosphere.

If your wood is wet, it is less able to take in any more moisture, preventing any evaporation into the wood surface. This will cause your wood glue to only use air evaporation to dry, which can significantly increase its ability to dry quickly.

The best solution to reduce your wood glue times is to use dry wood that doesn’t contain a lot of moisture so that your glue can evaporate both into the surface of the wood as well as into the atmosphere.

Related: How to Laminate Wood

​Wood Types and Wood Glue Dry Times

types of wood

Even the type of wood you use can make a difference in the amount of time it takes to adhere and dry your wood glue.

Wood that is very porous needs more time to dry as additional layers of glue are needed to create a bond. This porous wood can suck up the glue and require more wood glue than normal to create an adhesive bond.

Wood that is denser uses less wood glue to adhere and can dry quicker than a more porous wood surface. This is an ideal wood type to create a bond in a wood glue application.

Related: How Thick of Wood Can a Jigsaw Cut?

Conclusion

Understanding the basics of how long wood glue takes to dry can help you create wood projects that have a strong and impenetrable bond. Keep in mind there are many factors that will determine the dry times of your wood glue.

Be patient and be sure to wait as long as necessary for the wood glue to cure, so your wood project is bonded without fail or issues every time.