Say goodbye to wood clamps

How to glue wood without clamps—the DIYer’s guide

Do you know how to glue wood without clamps? If not, you soon will. We’ve laid out the best methods below to help you get great results.

How to use wood glue without clamps

For good reason, there are many different types of adhesives. Each is designed to bond a particular material very well. Wood glue is no exception. It is a far superior adhesive for wood than ordinary glue.

In fact, when used correctly, the bond created by wood glue will be stronger than the wood itself. The reason for this is simple— glue has its own inherent strength, and it can soak in as it is applied to the wood. As a result, the bond now has the strength of the wood plus the glue.

When joining two pieces of wood using glue, the key to a good bond is to keep the two parts tightly together until the glue is dry. This typically takes several minutes to several hours; please see the product instructions on the packaging for the exact setting time. 

This can be done with clamps, but what if you don’t have clamps on hand? The following method uses fast-drying super glue to hold the pieces together until the wood glue dries. 

Follow these easy steps to glue wood without clamps:

  1. Apply a small amount of wood glue to each surface to be bonded. Dispense the glue in lines or dots, leaving some space in between.
  2. Apply a few drops of super glue in areas that do not have any wood glue. 
  3. Press the pieces together and hold them firmly while the super glue dries (about 15–30 seconds). The super glue will hold the pieces together until the wood glue dries.
  4. Set your project in an area where it will not be disturbed until the wood glue is fully dry. This may take up to 24 hours to reach full strength.

You can also use masking tape, wire, and rope to hold pieces together as the glue dries. While these work in certain situations, super glue is still your best option.

How to glue wood together without clamps — choosing the best adhesives

If you are following the above method, choose an excellent wood glue as your primary glue. Then you can use a few drops of super glue to hold the pieces in place while the wood glue dries.

The super glue we recommend for this is Loctite Super Glue XXL Liquid. Its formula allows for super-strong and nearly instant bonding, making it perfect for this application. It forms a lasting bond to wood surfaces in just a few seconds!

If you prefer a brush-on variety of super glue, Loctite Super Glue Control is available with a brush-on dispenser. It offers the same strong hold with a convenient brush-on application.

Alternatively, you can use Loctite Epoxy Quick Set for a fast and easy way to join wood. This two-part adhesive comes in a handy dual syringe dispenser for easy mixing. Once applied, the epoxy will produce a strong, rigid bond in only 5 minutes!