What kind of glue makes the smallest mess with tight fits?

Ok, so I’ve been really interested lately in making boxes on the GF to sell at craft shows, and although most of them fit together snug, I get nervous selling them like that because of the possibility of coming apart due to handling, changes in humidity, etc. But whenever I use glue (so far I’ve tried super glue, hot glue, and Elmer’s glue) it’s always made a mess (esp when using acrylic) and ruins the box. What glue do you find works the best in this situation?


I would try a cyanoacrylate glue. Put it in a syringe for more control. It’s trick we use when we repair chairs or objects with minimal space to put glue. :slight_smile:


If you want to avoid gluing entirely, you can try these little teeth that Dan came up with to use in your design…obviously they’re more useful for the wood projects, acrylic doesn’t yield enough.


Two glue tips: tiny bottles to carefully apply, and a drinking straw to clean up.

Tiny bottles stop the mess before it starts. You can apply glue exactly where you want it in very precise amounts.

Drinking straws scoop the squeeze-out up before it gets anywhere.

Many of my boxes are glueups and using these tricks I get good results.

A recent example:


Oh and I use titebond classic wood glue. If you need waterproof they titebond III. beware of gorilla glue, it foams up and expands as it dries, which is not what you want.


Genius ideas (and beautiful box)… Thank you! I have a gallon of titebond 3 left over from my driftwood art days, don’t know why I didn’t think of it. Do you use it for acrylic too?

Man, I’m so glad for this discussion. I’m pretty new to this whole working with wood thing, and it seems that every time I glue something, it’s totally like a pre-schooler with a gallon of Elmer’s glue…


Haha! I sure get that. Learning to ‘glue well’ is certainly a measure of good craftsmanship. :slightly_smiling_face:


Nope there are specific acrylic glues. I don’t work with it much so some other acrylic guru can chime in here.

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Yeah it’s really easy to have glue go sideways, which is why I try to put on the least glue that I can to get the job done. Less glue means less cleanup… but of course you have to balance that with good coverage when strength is paramount.

Contact cement and leather is a prime example of where less is more and how glue can get away from you so quickly. I had a whole other thread about this recently:


I use Elmer’s in very light amounts and then while still clamped clean away any excess with a wet rag or qtip a couple of times especially on interior corners as I can and do sand afterwards on the rest.

In solid woods I am finding that the corners on fingers perpendicular to the grain provide a place of likely breakage unless the top is firmly glued that weakness remains even with a tight fit as I often need the clamp to put the pieces together but that problem would remain even so without the glue.


Acrylic threads:

And this one by @GrooveStranger was great:

Comparison of adhesive appearances on transparent acrylic


Thanks! I have some E6000 on hand, guess that’s next!

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e6000 is astonishing stuff.

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