Cedar wood is one of the most commonly used types of wood for outdoor projects. It is also often used in projects where resistance against bugs is needed or at least welcome.
So a lot of older wardrobes are built from cedar wood to keep bugs away from the clothes. It is well known, that cedar wood can be a little tricky to screw together because it likes to move a lot and cedar will actually eat some metals because of its natural oils.
So for most projects, special fasteners are used to fix cedarwood together. But they require special tools that most hobby crafters probably don´t have access to.
This raises the question: Can you simply glue cedar wood and how durable is the glued connection?
In this article, I will answer this question as detailed and thorough as possible.
In short, cedar wood can be glued with wood glue but depending on the kind of cedar wood used and how much oil it still contains it might be necessary to wipe down the surface with some acetone in order to clean off any oils and to give the glue a clean surface to grab on to.
Gluing Cedar Wood With Wood Glue
Cedar wood can be glued with regular wood glue but it is recommended that you use some acetone and a piece of cloth to wipe any oils from the wood surfaces that you want to glue in order to get a strong connection.
So in order to properly glue cedar wood together with wood glue, you should first wipe down the surface with some acetone in order to get rid of any oil residue.
Then you should apply some wood glue in a very thin layer on the surface that you want to glue.
You don´t need a lot of wood glue in order to create a strong connection. It is enough to apply a very thin layer. It is only important to spread the glue as evenly as possible.
You also only have to apply the glue to one of the two sites that you want to glue together.
Then I would highly recommend using some clamps in order to assert a constant force to the two pieces that you want to glue together. This will ensure, that the wood glue can cure while the wood surface doesn´t lose any contact during the curing time.
Sometimes when you press down on the connection some glue might squeeze out on the sites. You can simply wipe the glue away with some tissue paper or a piece of cloth.
Wait for a few minutes, you can find an accurate curing time on the packaging of your wood glue, and then carefully loosen the clamps.
If you followed the steps carefully then you should end up with a strong connection.
Alternatives to Wood Glue For Gluing Cedar Wood
If you don´t have any wood glue at hand or if you don´t want to use wood glue then don´t worry, there are alternatives to regular wood glue that you could use.
Alternatives to regular woodworking glue include gorilla wood glue (a little stronger than regular wood glue), PVA Glue (the base for almost all wood glue is PVA glue), and Epoxy if you want to have the strongest bond possible.
There are quite a few alternatives to regular woodworking glue but you should not need any of them for most use cases.
Gorilla Wood Glue
Gorilla Wood glue is very similar to regular wood glue but it is quite a bit stronger.
There are a few different kinds of gorilla wood glue like a fast-drying variant, a water-resistant variant, and more.
But, to be honest, I usually only use the normal wood glue from Gorilla and it has been more than enough for pretty much every project that I have been working on until now.
So if you are searching for something a little stronger than regular wood glue then differently go for gorilla wood glue.
Regular PVA glue is the basis for pretty much every wood glue out there. A lot of woodworkers and crafters use it for glueing wood and it behaves almost identical to regular wood glue.
But PVA glue is actually slightly cheaper in larger masses than regular wood glue.
So if you want to save some money and if you are glueing a lot of wood then regular PVA glue is pretty much the best way to go!
Epoxy resin is overkill for most projects but if you need the strongest bond possible then no other glue will come close to the strength that epoxy resin can provide.
The epoxy resin consists of two parts. The resin and a hardener.
Once you mix the two in the ratio provided by the packaging, then the hardening process will start.
Make sure that you work in a well ventilated area and it´s best to wear protection against the toxic fumes.
Apply the resin to one part of the cedar and then connect the parts together.
I would recommend to clamp the parts down or at least fix them in some way because epoxy resin can take quite some time until it is fully cured.
I recommend waiting at least overnight before loosening the clamps.
You can sand any access epoxy easily.
What Types of Cedar Wood Can Be Glued
In short, every kind of cedar wood can be glued with regular wood glue. Some Cedar variants, like western red cedar, have quite a high oil content which can interfere with the wood glue. So it is recommended to use some acetone to wipe down and get rid of any oil residue on the wood surface before gluing.
So gluing cedar wood with wood glue is always possible as long as you prepare the surface that you want to glue properly.
But if you are struggling with properly gluing cedar wood even when you prepared the surface correctly then I would suggest changing to a stronger glue.
If you were using regular wood glue then you might want to switch to gorilla wood glue or something similar. As this wood glue is quite a bit stronger.
If you already used a stronger glue and it still wouldn´t work then you might want to go for something even stronger.
Epoxy resin is probably the strongest glue that you can use. It will glue pretty much everything to anything.
But I would only use it if it is really truly necessary.
How Strong Will the Glued Connections be?
You will be suprised how incredibly strong wood glue is able to glue two pieces of wood together.
If you just glue two sides of wood together then the connection will already be quite strong.
But if you utilize joints to connect two pieces of wood together then you will have an incredibly strong connection.
There is a reason why so many woodworkers out there mostly don´t use any screws or nails to fasten wood pieces together. It´s because they don´t need to use them.
And because a connection without any visible fasteners is much nicer to look at.
So if you are worried about the strength of wood glue then be ensured, that wood glue will create a very strong connection!
Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.