Veneer splicing glue is notoriously difficult to deal with. It’s either too light or too dark. It takes too long to set, or it sets too fast. And it’s not as if you can drive to Wal–Mart to try another brand. There are few choices among glue suppliers—choices which recently shrunk when National Casein® stopped producing its Splyset 200 series glue. And with the hit the veneer industry took during 2008, it’s unlikely more choices will appear on the market anytime soon.
Veneer glue is not only difficult to deal with, it’s difficult to make. Unlike other glues, veneer adhesives are extremely complex, requiring multiple polymers to be mixed together. And both producers and consumers must deal with factors like different species of wood, different application methods, individual mills’ workflows, temperature variances, etc. With all these complexities, veneer manufacturers aren’t likely to find a glue that does everything they want it to do.
Even when the glue itself isn’t a problem, other issues can arise when splicing that affect the glue and its performance. Tracking down these issues are the first step to overcoming problems with your veneer glue.
Solutions to Veneer Glue Woes—Troubleshooting
If you’re having issue with your glue, you first want to consider whether the issue is really with the glue. In our decades in the veneer industry, we’ve found that glue problems usually arise at the manufacturing level—not the chemical level (i.e. the glue). At least that’s what we’ve discovered in regards to our product. It’s important to consider what’s going on with your mill before blaming your glue because if you miss the real cause of the problem, it don’t matter what glue you go with. The problem will continue.
For example, say your veneer splices are splitting. Before switching glues, troubleshoot: perhaps your veneer is too moist, so it’s shrinking too much when drying. Perhaps something has changed with the water you mix with the powder or the conditions in which the powder is stored.
Our glue manufacturer once had a customer who was encountering difficulty with their glue. It turned out that the company had heated floors, and this was affecting the glue, which wasn’t stored on pallets. Another customer didn’t realize that the water they used to mix the glue with changed temperature throughout the year, which affected the glue’s performance. Any number of things could impact the glue on the manufacturing level, so troubleshoot. Don’t blame.
Solutions to Veneer Glue Woes—Type of Glue
This isn’t to say that the glue itself is never the issue. One glue might simply not dry fast enough for one manufacturer, and it might dry too slow for another. It’s impossible to get a glue to do everything every manufacturer wants it to do on all wood species because, as said, veneer glue is too complex and the variables to which it’s applied are too wide to make a one-size-fits-all product.
So, what’s a veneer manufacturer to do?
Simple: find a base glue that they can adjust in-house to meet their requirements.
That base glue, of course, is what we offer. Veneer Services® offers two base glues—S-315 and UF-313—and four additives manufacturers can use to adjust the glue for their mill and the wood species they’re processing.
The two base glues are urea-formaldehyde-based products that work well with a variety of wood species. R-315 is best used in splicers with gluepots, and UF-313 is best used for other application methods. Each of the additives—Whitener W-10, Darkener BR-10, Cure Retardant R-12, and Release Agent RA-10—allows manufacturers to adjust the glue color, dry time, and its tendency to stick to machinery.
By giving veneer manufacturers the ability to adjust their glue in the mill, they’re able to get the glue just right for their processes. This provides them better performance than one-size-fits-all, out-of-the-box glues.