How to Glue Plywood Together

How to Glue Plywood Together

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If you are working in carpentry or construction, or you are just doing some home-based projects, then something that you might need to do at one point in time is to glue plywood together. Now, as you can probably imagine, it is a fairly easy task, but with that being said, it does need to be done properly.

If not done properly, the plywood pieces will not adhere to each other. Today we are here not only to figure out how to glue plywood together but also why you would want to do so to begin with.

Why Would You Need to Glue Plywood Together?

So why would you ever need to glue plywood together? Yes, it’s a fair question to ask, because after all, if you need plywood of a certain thickness, wouldn’t you just purchase it that way?

1. Achieving Thickness

Well, the answer here is that sometimes you might only be able to find plywood of a certain thickness, and therefore you might need to glue two separate pieces together in order to achieve the thickness that you need for your project.

Let’s say that for whatever reason you need a 3-inch thick piece of plywood, but you can only find ones that are 1.5 inches thick. If this is the case, then you would need to glue the two together to achieve a 3-inch thick piece of plywood.

2. Laminating or Veneering

If you are using plywood for any kind of table or countertop, as well as any other such surface (and you really want to DIY), then you will probably want to laminate it, so to speak. Yes, you can buy it laminated, but you can also do it yourself, which may be necessary if you are looking for something very specific.

Plywood by itself is of course not very beautiful, and it’s definitely not waterproof either, which means that laminating it will not only make it look better but also more resistant. In other words, you can “laminate” plywood or band it with real wood in order to make it look like real and solid wood, even though it’s just plywood below.

3. Increase Durability and Protection

If you are building something out of plywood, such as a shed or something like that, then you may need to glue two pieces of plywood together in order to get the highest amount of moisture resistance possible, all without an insane cost.

For instance, instead of using one huge piece of top-quality plywood that is waterproof and ideal for outdoor purposes, you could use one thick piece of cheap plywood, and then just glue a very thin layer of top quality and waterproof (or water-resistant) plywood to the outside. This is a very cost-effective approach.

4. Small Projects

If you are working in carpentry, you like doing arts and crafts, or you need to do some small repairs at home, then there are many instances where you may need to glue plywood together.

How to Glue Plywood Together

Alright, so now that you know what the four reasons are as to why you might need to glue plywood together, let’s find out how to do it.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

First things first, you do need to have the right kind of glue for this job. Generally speaking, the best option at your disposal is going to be PVA or polyvinyl acetate glue. This is commonly known as wood glue or carpenter’s glue.

This type of glue is designed specifically for gluing together wood and is therefore perfect for this task. You also want to get some sheets or newspapers to keep the area clean, as well as a stick or spreading utensil, some clamps, and potentially a screwdriver and some screws.

Glue for Connecting Plywood

Step 2: Prepare the Plywood

Before you apply adhesive to the plywood, just make sure to wipe it down with a slightly damp rag in order to remove any debris. Any debris that is in the way will prevent the glue from adhering properly.

Once the plywood has been prepared, select which side of both pieces you will be applying the glue to. If the plywood looks better on one side than the other, use the worse side as the gluing side.

Step 3: Apply the Glue

Now you want to apply a very generous amount of glue to one of the pieces of plywood. This is not one of those times where a little goes a long way. You do want to use a whole lot of wood glue for this task.

Use a stick or any other kind of utensil to evenly spread the glue around the plywood. Now you can just lay the other piece of plywood on top.

Step 4: Press It Together

In order for the two pieces of plywood to be completely flush and as close to each other as possible, you do want to clamp them together while the glue is drying. By the way, it can take up to 24 or even 48 hours, depending on the conditions. Normal clamps will work just fine.

However, if the plywood is larger than 24 x 24 inches, then you do want to use large C clamps that can reach far over the plywood in order to clamp that center together. You don’t want to just clamp the edges together, you do need to clamp the center as well. Once you have applied the clamps, screw them together as tightly as humanly possible.

If you want the bond to be permanent, and if you want the bond to be reinforced, then what you can also do is insert screws along the length of the plywood. Insert screws that are no longer than the combined thickness of both pieces of plywood. Insert a few screws in the very center of the plywood, along the length of it, as well as along all four edges. Screw them in as tightly as possible.

Step 4: Clean and Dry

When you squeeze those two pieces of plywood together, all of the excess glue is going to come out the sides. So at this point, you want to use a rag to clean up all of the excess glue.

Once this is done, all you need to do is to let the glue dry.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

While the above should cover it, here are a few more tips to make the process smoother:

  • If you are going to be using anything but PVA wood glue, make sure that it is designed to work on wood.
  • Remember that the plywood surfaces have to be totally clean before you try gluing them together.
  • Always wear gloves and goggles when working with any type of adhesive.

Summary

There you have it, folks, now you should know exactly how to glue plywood together for whatever reason you might have. As you can tell, it’s quite an easy task indeed!