One of the things that are kind of a make or break when it comes to balsa wood structures is the glue you pick. The overall stability of the design you will make will depend highly on the one you choose.
And regular ones are not really ideal for this work. Those fail to provide an adequate amount of bonding strength that is required for attaching the pieces.
What you are going to need is the best glue for balsa wood. And getting one of them in this saturated market is something that is easier said than done. But worry not, because we have got your back in that regard.
We will make it easier for you to get the right one for the structures you will make. That being said, let us get right into it.
Our 5 Best Glue for Balsa Wood Picks
As we mentioned, the market is oversaturated with adhesives that will claim to be ideal for balsa wood. But in reality, most of them will fail to offer the required amount of bonding strength. To make sure that you do not get one of them, we have selected the ones that can provide adequate bonding strength. They are as stated:
1. GLUE MASTERS Professional Grade Cyanoacrylate
The bonding strength is all that it matters when it comes to adhesives for balsa woods. And GLUE MASTERS did not skimp one bit in that regard.
To start with, it comes in three different variants. One of them has thin viscosity, while the other two thick and medium density, respectively. There are two different sizes too.
Depending on the amount you will need, you can choose one from 2 OZ or 8 OZ. The flow of the thin viscosity one is pretty smooth too.
As we mentioned, the bonding strength is where these adhesives stand out the most. The resin compound that these utilizes offers an industrial-grade strength that will be able to hold the structures with maximum stability. You would not have to worry about the pieces falling off after you have attached them with this.
It takes a small amount of time to settle as well. After applying this to the pieces and sticking them together, it will take about sixty seconds to cure. Because of that, you would not have to hold it for that much amount of time. That means you would need to invest a small amount of time to make the structures.
Besides that, the formula is clear in color. That means it will not leave any marks, nor will it leave any trace of adhesives after curing. For that reason, you would not have to worry about it ruining the aesthetics of your woodworks.
2. Starbond EM-02 Super Fast
Being able to provide superior strength is not the only thing that makes adhesives worth buying. They would also have to provide a long-lasting bond as well. And that is what Starbond went all out on.
To begin with, you are going to get plenty of extra supplies with the unit. It comes with a clog-free stopper and a plethora of micro-tips. Because of that stopper, you would not have to worry about the opening getting clogged. And the micro-tips are going to offer you the precision that you would need for carrying out gluing tasks.
On the note of the formula, it features a premium ethyl combination. That formula is lab tested to offer a true industrial-grade bonding strength. Because of being thin in viscosity, it will be able to slip through small cracks and tight openings pretty easily. The penetration ability of the formula is up to 0.0002 inches.
Aside from offering a superior bonding strength, the formula can provide a long-lasting bond as well. It can withstand high temperatures. That means even if it gets too hot or too cold, the bond is not going to deteriorate.
And the shelf life of the bottles is about 30 months, which means you would not have to worry about the liquid drying up inside the bottle.
Lastly, it comes in a 2 Oz bottle. That amount of adhesive is more than enough to carry out multiple gluing tasks.
3. Tamiya 87038 Extra Thin
When it comes to attaching small pieces of wood, you would need the maximum precision for applying the adhesives. And Tamiya is here to offer you exactly that.
First of all, the viscosity of the formula is exceptionally thin. For that reason, it will flow smoothly from the tip. You would not have to struggle to make the glue come out. And the cap that is on the top can create an efficient seal, which will eliminate the chances of spillage.
The total amount of glue that you are going to get is 2.1 ounces. Even though the quantity might seem little to you, that amount of adhesive is more than enough. You will be able to carry out multiple attaching tasks using it. In fact, you might not even have to buy another bottle anytime soon.
And the tip that it has on the top is pointed. That will provide you the required amount of precision that you would need for attaching small pieces. Also, that will make sure that you use all of the glue efficiently. There would be a minimal amount of wastage.
Besides that, the holding capacity of the formula is quite praiseworthy. The bond that it offers is long-lasting, and it will be able to keep your structure for an extended amount of time. It can withstand heat reasonably well too. You would not have to worry about the bond melting over time.
4. Testor Corp. Fast Drying
You might not need a large number of adhesives for a particular task. And for those cases, getting something that is strong but comes in a small package would be the most cost-effective decision. This one from Testor Corp. is on one of those.
To start with, it comes in a 5/8 oz container. That amount of adhesive is quite enough for completing specific small projects. And by getting one of the small ones, you would not even have to worry about the glue drying in the container after you store it.
Aside from that, the bonding strength of the unit is up to par with the rest. It can create a firm hold. You will be able to make stable and structurally strong structures using it.
Also, it takes a short amount of time to cure too. You would not have to hold the pieces together for a long amount of time after applying the glue.
Alongside that, the tip of the container is pointed. That will let you properly apply the adhesive on the surfaces. You would not have to worry about any spillage, nor will you have to worry about wasting.
And unlike the formulas that most of the brands use, this one does not have an obnoxious smell. Because of that, you will not have to worry about it leaving any chemical smell to the structures that you are going to make using it.
5. Gorilla Wood Glue
One of the most popular adhesive brands is Gorilla. They are now also offering an adhesive for sticking woods.
Unlike some of the other glues, this one is water-based. For that reason, you would not have to worry about any pesky smell coming out of it. Also, because of being water-based, you will be able to customize the formula’s viscosity according to your preference. All you have to do is to add some water if you want to thin it.
Aside from that, the unit is exceptionally versatile. It is not only ideal for the hardwoods but also sticks reasonably well with the soft and natural composites of wood. For that reason, you would not have to worry about compatibility that much. Also, the formula is resistant to water as well.
The bottle that it comes with is 4 ounces. That means you will be able to use one bottle for multiple attaching tasks. And for the pointed tip that it has on the top, it will be pretty easy for you to apply it on the surfaces. Also, as the formula is water-based, it will flow pretty smoothly.
Lastly, it cures pretty fast. It takes about twenty minutes to establish a proper hold, and it completely cures after 24 hours. And the hold that it creates is quite long-lasting too. You would not have to worry about the pieces falling off after a couple of months.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Glues for balsa wood structures are something that you should skimp on one bit. And to make sure that you do get the right one that is specifically for carrying out these types of attaching tasks, we have compiled a short but effective buying guide. It goes something like this:
The first thing that you need to consider is the quantity. Factor in how much adhesive you will need and buy one that has a bit extra. It is always better to have more than what you are going to require for these attaching tasks. However, if you plan to buy in bulk, make sure that the unit has a long shelf life.
If you happen to get something that comes in large quantity but has a short shelf life, it will dry up in the container. So if you can not find something with a long shelf life, we would recommend not to buy in bulk.
One of the most crucial factors that you need to consider is the viscosity of the formula. It will highly depend on the wood that you are handling. If you mainly plan to attach softwood pieces, which have many pores, you should get higher viscosity ones.
Those will not get soaked into the wood that easily, which means the surface will efficiently bond with the other piece.
On the other hand, if you plan to handle hardwoods, you should go for the thinner formulas. However, if you do not really have any specific preference, then it would be better to stick with the ones that have medium density. You can also make these thinner by adding water.
No matter what is your preference for the viscosity, one thing that should ensure is whether the bonding strength is strong or not. If you happen to get one with a relatively low bonding strength, you will not get a long-lasting hold. As a result, the pieces you will attach will not be stable and can eventually fall apart over time.
For that reason, we highly recommend shooting for the ones that have a relatively high bonding strength. Those can ensure a long-lasting hold.
If you do not plan to hold on to the pieces for hours, then you need to get the ones that cure in a short amount of time. There are many out there that will only take one or two minutes to cure.
Those are the ones that you would want to opt for. Even if you can not manage to get one that cures totally in a small amount of time, get the ones that take a short amount of time to settle.
Heat Resistant Capability
One of the aspects that you need to consider aside from the curing time is whether the utilized formula can resist heat or not. If the formula can not resist heat, the bonding strength will degrade if the glue comes in contact with high heat. Some of them can even melt, which will make the overall structure unstable and flimsy.
The aesthetics of the wooden workpieces matter the most. And if you happen to use an adhesive that leaves a mark on the surface, the surface would not look aesthetically pleasing.
Keeping that in mind, you should opt for the ones that have a clear formula. Even if the formula is not clear, make sure that it does not leave any film after drying.
Last but not least, you should keep the tip of the container in mind. We suggest shooting for the ones that have a pointed tip. With those, the application process will feel like driving a hot knife into butter. You will also be able to use all of the glue efficiently without any wastage.
We know that you can get better glues than those we have included in our recommendation list. But those are not going to be the best glue for balsa wood, nor will they be worth the money.
And we assure you that no matter which one you pick from our recommendation list, what you are going to end up will be able to provide more than adequate amount of bonding strength required for attaching balsa wood pieces.
Since you are into the woodworking staff, we recommend you to read our reviews on the top beginner wood lathe for bowl turning, Top Quality Dremel Bit for Cutting Versatile Materials, Hardie Trim Nail Gun For the Money along with the Top Rated Grout Cleaning Machine.