Can You Glue Wood with Super Glue?

Wood is one of the most basic materials used for furniture, interior decoration, and construction. Therefore, it’s a great advantage to be able to connect and repair it when necessary. One of the questions that comes up among enthusiasts, from experts to amateurs, is whether it is possible to glue wood using super glue. Some years back, super glue was known to be used mainly for small plastic repairs, but it has unforeseeably garnered quite an audience in recent years for usage in different areas, including wooden joints.

The Four Types of Super Glues

Super glue also referred to as cyanoacrylate, is a synthetic material that is renowned for its adhesive properties. There are up to four different types of super glue available in the market, each designed to handle various materials. The types include ethyl cyanoacrylate, butyl cyanoacrylate, allyl cyanoacrylate, and methyl cyanoacrylate.

Ethyl Cyanoacrylate

Ethyl cyanoacrylate is one of the most popular superglues used presently used. This type of super glue works great with wooden surfaces. Ethyl-cyanoacrylate typically works best when surfaces to be bonded are relatively clean and fit precisely. If the required attention is given to the application and the quality of the epoxy superglue, Ethyl Cyanoacrylate can be used to connect most unfinished or finished woods. It is relatively easy to use and readily available on the market.

Butyl Cyanoacrylate

Suppose you need to bond wooden materials temporarily, and you desire something that would be easily detached. In that case, butyl cyanoacrylate might be an ideal option for you. It works proficiently for lightweight materials such as paper, fabrics, and other porous surfaces like foam, cardboard, and the likes. It’s considered an ideal option for repairing wooden products and serving as a temporary bond.

Allyl Cyanoacrylate

This type of super glue has similar chemical properties with Ethyl Cyanoacrylate, just that it can handle heavier materials such as metals, hence a better option if you’re dealing with wooden structures with different connecting materials such as metal bolts, steel wires, etc.

Methyl Cyanoacrylate

Methyl-Cyanoacrylate is less common than Ethyl and Allyl Cyanoacrylate, which also provides a short-lived bond compared to other super glues. This makes it an ideal choice for objects that require provisional fixing. In general, this type of super glue doesn’t work effectively on wood since the bond created is not robust enough, as a result of its short-lived bonding capability.

Preparing the Wood for gluing

Before attempting to glue wood using super glue, a few preparations are necessary to get the expected outcome. For instance, you can’t fix a piece of damp wood with super glue. Any wooden surfaces to be glued should be clean, dry, and not coated in any paint or finishing materials such as oil or varnish to ensure a firm bond. Preparing the wooden surfaces for gluing is relatively easy, here are a few steps to consider;

Clean the Wood

The surfaces to be glued need to be free of dirt, oils, greases, or other foreign substances that could interfere with the bond’s effectiveness. As simple as it sounds, cleaning the wooden surface properly is an important and commonly overlooked step. You can clean the wooden surface with a piece of cloth soaked in acetone or isopropyl alcohol.

Sandpaper the Surfaces

To ensure an increased surface area of the wooden surface you’re bonding, you might want to sandpaper the surface. This provides a better grip and makes the covalent bond stronger. Always sand the surfaces evenly according to the grain of the wood, for optimal results.

Glue Application

Apply a small amount of the super glue onto the wooden surface to be bonded. You can apply it to both surfaces you are bonding or apply it with a brush or toothpick. In this way, you can ensure that you apply just the right amount of glue to gain the perfect bond.

The Effectiveness of Super Glue on Different Wood Types


Softwoods like pine, cedar, and fir are often used in carpentry projects for light framing or subfloors. They are considered a good choice for newbies, as they are habitually less expensive than hardwoods. They also provide a good surface for super glue application since they are softer and more porous materials. Thus, causing the glue to bind firmly and stay attached for a long period.


On the other hand, hardwoods like oak, hickory, and walnut are much harder and less porous than their softwood counterparts. Super glues do work when bonding hardwoods, but in some cases, it might not hold up as long as other types of adhesive due to the hardwood’s hardness. Nonetheless, super glue can serve as a quick fix and temporary measure for hardwood joints.

Pros and Cons of Gluing Wood with Super Glue


  • It creates a robust and speedy bond, which makes it really helpful for fixing small wooden surfaces as quickly as possible.
  • It dries extremely fast, usually within seconds, making it ideal for even the most time-sensitive projects.
  • It doesn’t necessarily require much preparation before application.
  • It doesn’t require a clamp or other application hardware to use.
  • Cons

  • It is very brittle and susceptible to breaking if subjected to stress, making it more of a temporary solution than a permanent fix.
  • Its bond is only as robust as the underlying wooden surface it is applied to.
  • It won’t work on all wooden surfaces as well as with other materials.
  • It might not be the best option for large wooden structures or objects.
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Super Glue and Wood

    • Is Super Glue Safe for Wood?
      Super glue is generally safe for use on wood surfaces. Still, when using it, temperatures should be taken into consideration as heat emanating from chemical reactions sometimes leads to the drying of the wooden surface.

    • Can Super Glue Repair Broken Wooden Surfaces?
      Yes, super glue can repair broken wooden surfaces effectively when applied properly.

    • Does Super Glue Work Better Than Other Wood Glues?
      It depends on the project’s scope and the type of woods being used; in some instances, super glue might work better than other types of adhesives.

    • What Wood Surfaces Won’t Stick to Super Glue?
      Super glue isn’t ideal for glossy, oily, or humid wooden surfaces.

    • Does Heat Affect Super Glue’s Effectiveness?
      Heat can reduce the effectiveness of super glue, so it is essential to ensure the wooden surface you want to bond is at a moderate temperature range.

    • Can You Sand or Stain Wood That Has Super Glue Applied to It?
      Yes, it’s possible to sand or stain a wooden surface that has super glue applied to it; however, it’s advisable to sand the area lightly and use an existing finishing solution during the staining process.

    • For How Long Can I Keep a Piece in Clamp after Applying Super Glue?
      Clamps remove stress on the bonding wooden surfaces, so you can use clamps to keep the bonding surface in position until the adhesive dries, which is usually between 10 to 30 minutes.


    In conclusion, super glue is a reliable adhesive for connecting small wooden surfaces or temporarily repairing wooden materials. This guide provides an overview of how super glue works, the types of super glue available, and how to prepare wooden surfaces for bonding. Superglue has its advantages and disadvantages as a bonding solution, and careful consideration should be given while bonding wooden structures depending on the project’s importance, scope, and other factors.


    1. N.Amel, A.Scrimatim, and R.Nardi, “Mechanical behavior of cyanoacrylate bonded joints,”Mechanics and Materials vol. 37, 2005, pp.763-777.

    2. DP, Sanko E. K., Yonggang Y., and Gautham Shankar Narayan, “Super glue: The problem solver in the emergency department,” Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 2015, 9(4):UE01-UE02.

    3. Michael Pekovich, “Five formulas to help you stick stuff together,” Fine Woodworking, 2012, 27: 63-67.

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