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JOEL Joel's Blog

This Day In History - National Glue Day


We are offering free sample sizes for you to try out (while supplies last)
We are offering free sample sizes for you to try out (while supplies last)

Seven hundred and sixty two years ago today the Right Honorable Guild of People Who Stick Things Together was given a royal charter by Henry III that gave them the right to sell all sorts of glue to just about everyone in England and the parts of France that were then under English rule. September the 9th has therefore been celebrated ever since in England as a national holiday for sticking things together.

In the US, without the guild tradition we have never really made that much of a fuss of it all, but in the 1930's glue manufacturers, reeling from the effects of the Great Depression, petitioned Congress to create a National Glue Day - officially, to raise citizens' awareness of the importance of sticking things to other things, but more practically, to call attention to glue and its vital role in American life, and to sell more glue. In spite of calls for ideas on ways to restart the post-Depression economy, a write-in campaign to establish the holiday failed. Henry Morgenthau Jr., then Secretary of the Treasury, replied to a telegram from the head of the NGA (National Glue Association) with the now legendary terse response: "?". After a delay caused by the national shift to the war effort, the write-in campaign resumed after the war in 1946, but it wasn't until 1951 that September 9th, National Glue Day became law.

Originally the plan was to have National Glue Day became a national holiday on par with Lincoln's Birthday or Labor Day, but with the exuberant growth of the postwar economy, even glue manufacturers felt that losing an extra day of production, even for such a noteworthy cause, would be irresponsible. Celebrations were therefore confined to parades in several major American cities and a half day off in some of the larger glue factories and of course the famous "Stick to My Ribs" BBQ held (and still held) on the last weekend of September in Sherman, Texas.

By the mid-1970s, most national holidays had been shifted to a shopping Monday and other holidays such as Groundhog Day and National Glue Day were left just as a footnote on free hardware store calendars and color items on local TV news.

Since we're nostalgic and traditional here at Tools for Working Wood, it therefore gives us great pleasure to announce the introduction of our own BT&C 4/4 wood glue on September 9, 2019.

To commemorate the event, we will be putting free 1 oz. samples of our great glue in non-book only orders being shipped for the next bunch of weeks (until we run out). Also stop by our showroom for a free sample of glue (and perhaps a cookie and beverage - all that celebrating and shopping could make you feel peckish).

We are pretty proud of BT&C 4/4 wood glue. Admittedly it's glue, and other than on National Glue Day really it's not something people jump up and down about. But in woodworking we use a lot of glue, and we want great glue. And 4/4 is a great wood glue. 4/4 glue has been used for years in large woodworking factories and cabinet shops - this is just the first time it has been packaged in gallons and 16 oz packages for custom woodworking shops and amateurs. It has about 5 minutes open time, and you can take the clamps off in about 30 minutes. Like all PVA glues it is non-toxic and cleans up with water. It is also pretty thin, which makes it very easy to (quickly) spread, and wipe away excess. It dries pretty clear, which is also very nice. For more information here is the official BT&C 4/4 glue page. Made in USA too!

Incidentally 4/4 dries as the water in it evaporates. If you want to learn more about this process, go see the epic "Gone With The Wind," a long but award winning film.

This Day In History - National Glue Day 2
This Day In History - National Glue Day 3
Join the conversation
09/09/2019 Steve D
Do you have a 5/4 glue for thicker boards?
09/09/2019 Jim Waldron
How do the properties compare to Titebond I, II or III? Same strength? Water resistance? Price???

Can I get some 8/4?
4/4 is not a water resistant glue. I'm kind of against them unless you actually need the water resistance. it's thinner than titebond which means it spreads easier and cleanup is a little easier too. Click on the links for pricing. We haven't tested 4/4 specifically against titebond. We were mostly interested if the joint broke at the glue join or in the wood. 4/4 eventually breaks in the wood - which means as glue it is plenty strong enough. (and some other glues failed in test). We also looked at less than optimium joints. gappy, dirty & etc and we were pretty pleased with the results.
09/10/2019 Val Matthews
If you really want to make a contribution to the art of gluing, come up with a better spout than that damnable thing that Titebond has been
selling us.
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The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog's author and guests and in no way reflect the views of Tools for Working Wood.