When deciding how to join wood pieces, wood glue drying time is critical. A short drying time would be useful in any woodworking job because no one likes to wait forever to finish a project.

To ensure that wood pieces are securely fastened together, it is important to allow the glue to dry thoroughly before applying it. Different factors affect a wood glue’s drying time,e including the type of glue itself. This article explains what you need to know about wood glue’s drying time.

The differences between dry time, cure time, and set time

Wood glue has a dry time, cure time, and set time, and these terminologies are different and should not be used interchangeably.

Set time

This is how long it takes for the glue to form a strong attachment between the two items you’re working with. When glue shows symptoms of hardening, it has set. It is common for the glue to build a solid skin over the glue if it is exposed.

Between solid and liquid, the adhesive is what you’d call “liquid.” However, the relationship is fragile at best and will disintegrate with even the smallest amount of force. The majority of glues dry in 15 to 30 minutes at most.

Dry time

The amount of time it takes for the glue to dry to the point when clamps may be removed is known as the dry time. It can range from 15 minutes to many hours, depending on the adhesive used. When the glue dries, the wood should no longer needs clamps to hold it together unless the joint is under stress.

Cure time

This is the time needed for the glue to reach its peak strength and hold. Wood glue has many cure times, ranging from a few hours to a few days.

Types of wood glue and the time required to dry

The picture was taken in a furniture workshop in the city of Orenburg, Russia.

Here’s a short glance at commonly used wood glues and their anticipated drying durations, but the brand and manufacturer can cause variations from these given times.

White glue (also known as polyvinyl acetate (PVA))

This fast-setting woodworking adhesive can be secured for as few as 30 minutes. However, it requires 24 hours to be fully cured.

Polyurethane wood glue

In addition to wood, polyurethane wood glue can be used to bond stone, porcelain, plastic, and other non-porous materials. The clamping process takes around two hours, and the total cure period is about twenty-four hours.


Compared to PVA and polyurethane, epoxy consists of a resin and a hardener and is substantially thicker. It is waterproof, which makes it ideal for use on boats when simple repairs necessitate drilling or screwing. Six hours is all it takes for rapid epoxy to harden. It takes 24 hours for a typical type to develop.

Superglue (Cyanoacrylate)

Known as superglue, cyanoacrylate can dry in only a few seconds, but the full cure can take anywhere from eight to 24 hours.

Factors that affect drying times of wood glue

The drying times of various types of wood glue vary. It’s not just the glue you use that determines how long it takes to set and cure, though. The amount of time it takes for wood glue to dry depends on various factors. Here are some of these factors:


Any drying process relies heavily on controlling the temperature. Generally, most wood glues will dry quicker in high-temperature conditions, solidifying and producing strong bindings in the shortest time.

Even though high temperatures help wood glues dry faster, they can also melt some glues if the temperature rises too high. Fortunately, most types of wood glue are heat resistant and won’t melt when in touch with a hot surface. You may have to wait longer in low-temperature areas because wood glue dries more slowly at lower temperatures,

Here is the respective ideal temperature range for each wood glue to dry well:

  • Epoxy 41-95°F (5-35°C)
  • Polyurethane 50-95°F (10-35°C)
  • Animal Or Hide  120-150°F (48-65°C)
  • Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) 50-77°F (10-25°C)
  • Cyanoacrylate (CA)      41-200°F (5-93°C)


Utilizing dry wood can help speed up the drying process, allowing you to finish the project sooner. The reason is that wood adhesives dry by evaporating their moisture into the air and through the wood itself.

The drying period of your glue can be slowed if the wood is wet or contains some moisture. The moisture from the adhesive will not be able to exit through a high moisture content wood, which will slow down drying time.


The more moisture there is in the air, the greater the humidity. The humidity hampers moisture evaporation from wood glue in the air. PVA, for example, will dry faster in drier air than in humid air.

Like most other adhesives, wood glue dries at a different rate depending on humidity. High-humidity surroundings have a lot of moisture in the air, which makes it difficult for the glue to evaporate.


To speed up the drying process, the air must be circulated properly. If it’s windy outdoors or if you’re indoors, the glue may dry more quickly. On the other hand, poor ventilation slows down the drying and curing process.

Gluing boards in a carpentry workshop. Connecting with dowels and glue. Manufacturing of furniture boards and countertops.

Type of wood

Denser woods, which have fewer pores to absorb the adhesive, will likely dry the glue more quickly. When working with very thick wood, it may take longer for the glue to dry because it requires more layers of glue to secure the wood. Because of the large number of pores, a thick coating of glue is formed, which naturally takes longer to cure than a thin layer of wood glue.


Once the hardener is added, epoxy glue is ready to use immediately. There is typically 5 to 20 minutes of assembly time with PVA, your usual wood glue, before the necessity to clamp the item.

Within 24 hours of application, most glues will have fully cured, and the bond will be as strong as the wood to which it is attached. To avoid weakening the connection, avoid any lateral movement of the work you are gluing up after the surfaces come into touch.