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Veneering & laminating: Should I opt for a UF resin, or should I pick a more modern synthetic glue?

Urea formaldehyde resins – known as UF resins in the trade – are among the oldest synthetic glues, dating right back to the nineteenth century. Despite ranking as one of the ‘senior citizens’ of industrial chemistry, they remain a pretty good all-purpose solution for woodworking, with some specific advantages that make them the choice of a number of Redwood clients.

Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of working with UF resins, and the unique benefits you can expect when you source them from Redwood.

Points in favour of UF resins…

  • There are excellent reasons for professional woodworkers to favour UF resins:
  • They have good waterproofing characteristics which make them a no-brainer for outdoor or marine projects
  • They provide a solid glue line with less creep than other adhesives. (That’s a real boon when you’re butting up veneers)

They exhibit less bleed-through than other veneer glues, especially when you use an extender to thicken up the resin

…and against

UF resins also have a number of downsides:

  • They’re considerably more expensive than PVA glues
  • They’re relatively slow to cure at room temperature however you can get around this by using a hot press.
  • In powdered form, they have a tendency to absorb water from the atmosphere, so you’ll need to manage your storage carefully
  • They’re supplied as two-part mixes, so you’ll need to set aside extra time for mixing*

Buying UF resins from Redwood

When you source UF resins and other adhesives from Redwood, you’ll enjoy the following advantages:

  • Redwood’s two-part UF resins all use liquid hardeners, speeding up the mixing process
  • We offer all-liquid ‘anchor’ versions for extra strength
  • We can supply in 25, 250 or 1000kg units, and we can deliver in our Redwood-exclusive ‘Eco Crates’ for added sustainability brownie points

Keep your gluing options open…and keep calling Redwood with all your adhesive and treatment queries.

* Redwood stocks One-Shot UF Adhesive, a ‘just add water’ powdered resin that has been in continuous production since the 1930s. One-Shot’s excellent waterproofing makes it a useful addition to the line up, but it’s a bit eccentric by 2022 standards. We’ll publish a One-Shot brief shortly…watch this space!