How to Glue PVC to Wood [Step By Step Guide Included]

If your DIY project requires you to glue PVC to wood, you are probably asking yourself what are the optimal steps to get a clean, solid joint. Don’t worry, that’s what we are going to do in this quick article. To make it short, it all comes down to these passages:

  • First, you need to choose the appropriate glue for the project, depending on its dimensions and the type of load (if any) that it will have to withstand. Common choices are superglues for small projects and polyurethane or epoxy glue for bigger ones;
  • Prepare the materials for the bonding process. Clean up the surfaces, and rough up the PVC with sandpaper;
  • Apply the glue, keep things in place until it’s dry. Wait for the glue to fully cure before moving forward.

Do you want to learn more? Then keep on reading!

What Glue to Use to Bond PVC to Wood?

gorilla glue and gorilla wood glue
“Gorilla Glue, 9/2014, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube #Gorilla #Glue” by JeepersMedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Before we take all the necessary steps to get a clean and durable PVC – wood joint, we need to decide the type of glue to use. Choosing the right product for the application is a key step. There are different alternatives to choose from. The main factors that should influence your decision are the dimensions of your project and the strength you need to obtain from the joint.

Small Projects

  • For small projects, cyanoacrylate glue, which is commonly known as “superglue”, is a popular choice. You’ll get a solid joint in a very small amount of time. It takes about 10 minutes to dry, while it can take up to 24 hours to fully cure. The main downside of superglues is the low shearing strength. In case you need a joint to withstand that type of load, you should look at some other type of glue.
  • Another solid alternative is using a hot glue gun. If you can, use a higher-end glue stick to get additional strength from your joint, such as these Steinel High Strength 12″ Glue Sticks. Make sure to have an appropriate glue gun! A high temperature is needed for them to melt properly.

If you decide to use superglue to join PVC and wood, make sure to handle it with care, since it can bond your finger in a matter of seconds. Also, beware of the toxic fumes it gives off.

Bigger projects

  • In case you need a sturdy joint for a more heavy-duty project, then you might look into a polyurethane-based glue. This stuff works well with a variety of materials such as glass, concrete, wood, plastic, and more. It’s ideal for bonding PVC and wood. Another good thing is that it’s 100% waterproof, so you can use it for outdoor projects without having to worry. As opposed to some glues we mentioned before, poly glue takes more time to dry, up to a couple of hours. If you need a suggestion for a brand, I’d go with Gorilla Glue.
  • Another solid alternative is epoxy glue. The unique thing about this glue is that it comes in 2 components: a resin part, and a hardener. They need to be mixed to react with each other and develop adhesive properties. Generally, epoxy is sold in syringes with separate barrels for the 2 elements. It provides very strong joints which are 100% waterproof too. It takes from 30 minutes to 1 hour to dry, and it cures completely in 24 hours.
  • Finally, many “multi-surface” types of glue should also work fine. For example, a good choice might be Elmer’s ProBond Glue, which works fine with different materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. The good thing is that it’s not toxic, so that’s one less thing you need to worry about.

When handling these types of glues, especially polyurethane and epoxy, make sure to protect yourself properly against toxic fumes and contact. Always wear gloves and a breathing mask.

How to Glue PVC to Wood – Follow These Steps

Now that you have picked an appropriate type of glue for your project, it’s time to get to work. Make sure to follow these steps to get the best results:

  • Clean off the surfaces before applying glue in order for them to bond better. Consider using a PVC cleaner to remove grease, oil, and other sticky dirt. Make sure the wood is fairly dry too before applying glue to it.
  • To facilitate the bonding process, consider roughing up the PVC. "Dremeled out the inside of the 1 inch pvc pipe" by Teresa Trimm is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0You can do it by using some sandpaper, for example. Don’t forget to clean the surface after you are done with sandpaper. Leftover plastic debris might compromise the success of the joint.
  • At this point, you are ready to apply your glue of choice. Make sure to keep things in place during the drying process. If you are using glue that takes a while to dry such as polyurethane glue, consider clamping the pieces together. This will also help when using glues that tend to expand while curing. So that’s two good reasons for clamping/blocking your project in place.
  • Wait until the glue is fully cured before moving on to the next stage of your project. This can take up to 24 hours, depending on the product you used.

If you are using superglue, make sure the contact surface is perfectly flat. In fact, any empty spot will weaken the joint, by a lot. A good idea might be using a gel superglue. That way, you can be sure that the joining faces will adhere perfectly.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, gluing PVC to wood isn’t that hard. It all comes down to choosing the right product for the application at hand and performing a couple of preliminary steps in order for the bond to form correctly. The key thing for a successful joint is to make sure there are no voids between the contact surfaces. If you can’t get perfectly flat surfaces for whatever reasons, choose a glue that expands while curing, so that it can fill those voids. A good choice for that purpose is a 9polyurethane glue.

Make sure to check if the glue you have chosen suits your needs before using it on your project. Try gluing some PVC to scrap wood to see if the results are what you are looking for.

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