Glue or adhesives have been in use for centuries to bond together materials in all sorts of situations. However, most glue is used to stick together similar materials such as wood to wood or metal to metal. But what if you want to glue metal to wood?
The answer is not as complicated as you might imagine.
Can You Attach Metal to Wood with Glue?
Yes, you can glue metal to wood. Even though the materials are vastly different in terms of porosity and density, it can be accomplished if you use the right type of glue. The strongest glue that will bond metal to wood is the two-part epoxy or acrylate, while a polyurethane-based wood glue and contact cement also work well.
Wood tends to be far less dense and is more porous compared to metal. This generally means that adhesives tend to work better on wood because the glue can sink into the surface.
However, metal can be glued together as well, although welding when done correctly is stronger and longer-lasting. But welding does not work with wood. You cannot use a nail gun such as a finish nailer or brad nailer to attach wood to thick metal since the nails will have a hard time penetrating into tough metal.
How Do You Glue Metal to Wood?
Gluing metal to wood is a fairly simple process that starts with cleaning.
You’ll want to clean each surface so that it is free of loose particles. If the metal surface is rusted or tarnished, sand the surface and clean thoroughly. This ensures that the bonding process has the best chance to work.
If you are using a 2-part epoxy, squeeze out equal parts from both the tubes onto a disposable material such as a piece of cardboard or plastic. Mix them thoroughly and apply the mixture evenly on the surface to be joined.
The freshly mixed adhesive mixture takes around 5-1o minutes to set. During this time, you can adjust move the wood or metal to get it into the correct position. It takes anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to fully cure. Once cured you can start using your newly joined product.
Using Super Glue or Gorilla Glue
Because wood is more porous, you may want to apply the glue to it first and then stick it to the metal surface. This will depend on what project you are working on, the condition of the materials, and their size. In addition, the type of glue that you use may have specific instructions on how it is applied.
For example, if you want to stick a small metal plate to a larger wooden structure such as a wall, you may want to apply the glue to the metal and then position it on wood. In any event, you will need to press and hold both materials together for a pre-set amount of time. This allows the glue to dry or cure which maximizes the bonding.
For the best results, you will need to use the right type of glue. This is because many types of glue are designed only for wood or light materials. They do not have the overall strength, durability, and resistance to last long when used on metal.
How Strong is the Bond?
Another important consideration is the strength of bonding that you require.
Most adhesives works fine, when there is no much lateral force or pulling force. For example, you can use a superglue to attach wood veneers to aluminum or steel. However, it will not last long if you try to attach a hinge or door latch with super glue.
Best Type of Metal to Wood Glue
As mentioned before, it is best to use a glue that has a polyurethane base. This is because polyurethane is quite strong and flexible enough to stick together different materials and will last depending on the exact type that you choose. What follows are four different types of glues that are commonly used to stick metal to wood.
1. Two-Part Epoxy
One of the strongest bonding adhesives is the two-part epoxy or acrylate glue. This type of adhesives consists of two materials; resin and hardener. When you mix them together, they form a very strong bond.
Make sure to accurately position the two pieces that you are joining. Once the epoxy is cured it will very difficult to remove without causing damage to the wood.
- Excellent bonding strength
- Unlike super glue, the glue will not get hard unless you mix the hardener with resin.
- Available in different colors to match the workpiece.
- Expansion: The biggest problem is the lack of flexibility of epoxy once it is cured. As you know wood expands when it absorb moisture and contracts when it is dry. On the other hand, metal expands with temperature.
If you are applying glue on a large surface area, the expansion and contraction of wood and metal is something you have to take into account.
2. Super Glue
This type of glue may be the best thanks to its high bonding strength. Because this type of glue works differently compared to glues for wood only, it offers a stronger bond that can withstand water, temperature changes, and impacts.
So strong in fact that clamping is often not needed when using this type of glue depending on the situation. If the wood and metal are not going to hold or be pressed upon with a great weight, you can simply press the materials together for the recommended time and the bonding will take place quickly.
3. Gorilla Glue
This type of glue is also a super glue as it works on the same principle. The Gorilla glue brand has a strong reputation for being quite solid in bonding together different materials such as metal to wood.
You will need to choose the recommended Gorilla glue for the job, but their standard super glue product should be enough for jobs that do not require holding great weights.
4. Liquid Nails
This product works as well in sticking together wood and metal materials. Despite the name, this is really an adhesive designed for small repairs or projects. It works quite well in sticking lighter materials together such as aluminum and wood but can also work on other types of metal and even stone, concrete, and brick.
5. E6000 Glue
This is another excellent glue for bonding together wood and metal. It can also be used for materials such as ceramics, concrete, fiberglass, and glass. Once it dries, it is waterproof and paintable.
You can glue together wood and metal, especially if you do not want to punch holes in the surface and the weight of the materials. Also, you will need to account for the type of glue being used, if clamping needs to be applied, and the weight the materials may have to carry.
Sticking Wood to Metal Without Glue
One of the major problems with glue is that it is messy. Besides, it is difficult to control the excess glue. If you use a quick-drying adhesive such as superglue, it could be difficult to get the thickness even. These things can greatly affect the quality of your work especially if you are sticking thin wood trims onto metal.
The alternative is to use double-faced gum tape which works well for veneers, inlays, and thin trims.
Does Wood Glue Work on Metal?
- Can You Attach Metal to Wood with Glue?
- How Do You Glue Metal to Wood?
- Best Type of Metal to Wood Glue