How Long to Let Wood Glue Dry before Sanding: A Details Guide 

Wood glues are the tools to join wood pieces together, and you should have the skills to work well with them. Woodworkers need to know how long to let wood glue dry before sanding. You need to learn about wood glue’s purpose and the procedures to work with them. This content will help you to be enlightened about the topic vividly.    

Different Types of Wood Glue 

Woodworkers must use different types of wood glue. They work with many projects requiring specific wood glue. The wood glues need different drying times. Let’s get introduced to different types of wood glues-

Gorilla Glue 

It is a general-purpose polyurethane glue that can join many substrates. This glue is not just used for woodworking projects. The moisture activation characteristic makes this glue an idea to use with pieces of wood with high moisture content. Gorilla glue is handy to use


Epoxy is formulated to be helpful for woodworking projects, especially for gappy joinery. Gaps are filled with this glue very perfectly without damaging the strength. So when you want a high-build clear finish, epoxy should be your go-to pick. 

Titebond III

These are highly water-resistant glues and essential for woodworking projects. Unlike the other titebond wood glues, titebond III is highly waterproof, which makes the wood pieces joining tasks easier and quicker. 

Titebond Extend

This glue is needed for some specific tasks. For applications requiring harder clamp-ups, titebond extend glue is better to choose. This glue provides a longer assembly time. 

Dry Hard Glue

Many of you might not have previously been familiar with dry hard glue used for multiple woodworking tasks. This glue has been made from animal hide and can be heated. Woodworkers used to keep a pot to use it for keeping dry hard glue hot and pliable. Though this glue was used very widely by many woodworkers, we can’t see much use for it nowadays. However, you can still find this glue in some stores and use it for your projects. 

Super Glue 

Super glue is a cyanoacrylate adhesive widely used for different repairing tasks. For example, people like to use this glue for its fast-setting formula. In addition, this glue can provide a durable and hard finish with less effort and time. 

Differences in Wood Glue Drying Time

All the above glue types require similar open and total assembly times except gorilla glue. Gorilla glue needs a minimum available assembly time (of 1-5 minutes approximately) and a total assembly time (of 6-15 minutes approximately). Though sitting on the wood surface takes little time, it makes a solid joint and the strongest bond. The clamping time of the glues is also more or less close to 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. Though the open, close, and total assembly times of each type of glue are different, the full cure time for them is ideally 24 hours. Whatever the type of glue is, you must leave the glue to dry and cure fully on the wood surface. 

Related: What To Use Instead Of A Hot Glue Gun: 5 Amazing Alternatives 

Different Wood Gluing Times

Open Assembly Time

Open assembly time refers to the glue’s opening and closing time. The time limit required before the boards must be put together while applying glue to the wood surface. Be careful about the limit of open assembly time when there are so many wood pieces to use the glue on. Make sure you combine all the boards and bond them within the open assembly time limit. 

Closed Assembly Time 

Closed assembly time means the time after bonding the wood surfaces bonded a few moments ago that you can still reposition the pieces. When you think that the wood pieces are not in the proper position and you need to change the angle, the time you need to refit the pieces is the closed assembly time. 

Total Assembly Time 

Total assembly time refers to the totally open and closed assembly time. Mark the time as the total assembly time from the moment of wood glue to the position correcting and the moment when you are ready to use a clamp. 

Clamping Time

Clamping the wood pieces together will make a strong bond and won’t change their position. Clamping time varies in terms of the types of wood glues. You must use clamping for a long time to ensure the wood glue is fully cured on the wood surface. Don’t think the joint has already become durable enough. The task of sanding off the wood is still not done. By ideally using a clamp and sanding off the wood, you can expect a strong and durable wood joint that is even stronger than the wood pieces.  

Recommended: How to Remove Dried Wood Glue: Easy Handy Tips for you

How Long Does Wood Glue Take to Dry 

Some factors determine how long the wood glue might take to dry fully. Those factors are:

The Type of Wood Glue

As described above, you have understood what glue needs and how long it takes to dry and cure. However, the glues’ open assembly time, total assembly time, and clamping time are different. So, after choosing the glue you want to use, you should determine the time it needs to dry on the wood surface. 


Temperature is another crucial determinator of wood glue drying. The higher the temperature, the faster the drying time will be. Therefore, you may leave the project at a high temperature to speed up the drying time of the glue. 


Lower humidity works better to speed up the glue’s drying time. Only polyurethane glue has the strength to tolerate high humidity or moisture as it helps the glue to cure well. 

Tips: How To Remove Hide Glue From Wood: Easy Tips For Carpenter’s


What is the most convenient way to remove wood glue from unfinished wood?

Once the wood glue has dried on the wood surface, you first need to consider how to remove that glue. The best way to remove the dried glue from wood is by sanding it off by rubbing the glue with 150-grit sandpaper As long as not it is completely removed. 

How much should I wait to sand after wood glue? 

After clamping for 30 minutes to 1 hour, you can use light sanding. Be careful about not stressing the glue joints. It would be best to use a whole day for the wood joints to cure completely. 

How long does it take for the wood glue to dry perfectly? 

Different glue types require different times for the wood glue to sit on the wood wholly. In most cases, you should let the wood glue dry for 24 hours to sit on the surface and cure thoroughly. 

Should I wet the wood surface before using glue? 

Usually, no. Only using polyurethane glue can you apply moisture as the glue soaks the moisture from the wood and cures it nicely. However, too dry wood is problematic for this glue to cure properly. 

Will the wood glue work if I don’t use clamping? 

Strong wood glues for the woodworkers work well to make strong bonds between the wood pieces, but the bond might be temporary without clamping. Use a clamp if you want the glue to hold the joint for so long after it dries. 

Bottom Line 

Understanding the required working time of glue is crucial before sanding. Hopefully, you got all your inquiries regarding how long to let wood glue dry before sanding. The drying time depends on the types of wood glue, temperature, humidity, and many other factors. You can get help from any expert to know how long you should wait to remove the clamp and work again with the wood.

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Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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