how to mix Cascamite

How to mix Cascamite Powdered Resin Wood Glue

How to Mix Cascamite

Mixing powdered resin wood glues of any type such as Cascamite, Polyvine Polymite, and Resintite requires a consistent mixing method.

Polyvine Limited manufacturers Cascamite powdered resin wood glue in the UK. 

Preparation

Use 2 parts of Cascamite powder to 1 part of cold water. It is best to weigh the powder and water (1gram equals 1ml H2O).  I use letter scales because these can weigh in small increments. This is the general rule but with experience add the components slowly until you have the right thickness for your project without measuring.

NOTE: Mixing by weight is recommended for accurate and consistent glue mixes.

Cascamite Mixing Temperature?

The ideal temperature for mixing Cascamite is 15°C which will give you 3 hours of working time.

Tack Time

  • 10°C tacky to touch in 3hours
  • 20°C tack time in 45 minutes
  • 30°C tack time in 20 minutes

How long does Cascamite take to dry

For me to list the exact curing time for the glue to set would be a bit speculative. I mix my Cascamite in an old yoghurt pot. I use the excess glue as a control subject indicating to me if the glue is set.

  • If the Cascamite is brittle the glue is fully cured. 
  • If the glue is flexible and bendy then the glue hasn’t cured but you can probably release the clamps.

You can add up to 20% extra water but can only be added at the mixing stage. Adding water once the glue starts it’s chemical reaction will result in the glue curdling.

What do I need to mix Cascamite?

  1. Cascamite Powder Resin Wood Glue (urea-formaldehyde)
  2. water
  3. mixing paddle or stick
  4. a container such as a yoghurt pot (Eat the Yoghurt first!)
  5. Dust mask and eye protection(closed specs such as goggles as the powder can enter the body through the eyes)

Mixing Vessel for Powdered Resin Glue

We use old yoghurt pots as our chosen vessel for mixing powdered resin wood glue. You can buy reusable mixing vessels but a yoghurt pot will do just fine.

Mixing Paddle for Mixing the Glue

This is an easy one, the mixing paddle can be a lollipop stick but we use scraps of wood cut into thin strips four-inches long. If you choose to cut your own glue mixing paddle using a table saw then use a zero-clearance insert as the thin pieces will be dragged under the table or even thrown back at you.

Ok Here You Go, this is How we Mix our Glue

I assume you have everything ready and prepared. Cascamite one-shot structural wood adhesive is a mix and use all or waste it, so be careful not to mix more than you can use.

Wear a dust mask of a minimum standard of N95, Gloves and Goggles (Not just safety specs!) Cascamite is a carcinogen?

  1. Mixing vessel
  2. Fill with the desired amount of powder
  3. Do not overfill as the powder is light and can spill over during mixing
  4. Mix only what you can  use
  5. The glue will have a variable working time of 1hr in the summer and 3 hrs in the winter
  6. Insert paddle
  7. Add a small amount of water
  8. Mix until all water is absorbed
  9. Add a little more water
  10. Carry on stirring the glue
  11. At this stage, the glue should have a cottage cheese consistency
  12. The glue should have a thick consistency but after stirring for a bit the paste should become more fluid
  13. Mix until creamy and glossy
  14. It can be deceptive and too thick but when you mix the glue it should become more fluid
  15. Only add more water if necessary once all powder is dissolved

What is ‘Cascamite Powdered Resin Wood Glue’?

Cascamite is the best-known brand of powdered resin wood glue but what is it? Cascamite is sometimes referred to as UF  but it’s technical chemical name is Urea Formaldehyde. This powdered resin is activated when mixed with water yet once set it is waterproof making an ideal glue for exterior use. Powdered resin wood glue is also known as Urea-Methanol, either way, Cascamite is a known carcinogen so dust masks while mixing are essential. Remember Oak dust is also a Carcinogen so care needs to be taken when working with any form of dust.

What else is UF glue used for?

Urea Formaldehyde is a common glue used in industry for the manufacture of popular sheet materials such as chipboard, particleboard, medium-density fibreboard AKA MDF

Powder resin wood glue Brands

There are other brands available on the market today:

  • Cascamite
  • Polyvine
  • Resintite
  • Polymite

Who makes Cascamite?

The Cascamite I use is shipped from the UK via an eBay seller but is made by Polyvine

Polyvine Limited, Vine House, Cheddar Business Park, Wedmore Road, Cheddar, BS27 3EB, United Kingdom

You may ask yourself what is the strongest wood glue available? I won’t say this is the strongest although beats many types of wood glue by a mile.

Why Have I Chosen Cascamite instead of Titebond or other PVA Glues?

Cascamite or Polymite powdered resin wood glue has much respect within the trade but so has some PVA glues.

I have no problem with Titebond or other yellow glues or white glues. PVA Glues, for instance, Elmers, Evostik, Gorilla, and some store brands such as Walmart or Screwfix work very well. These glues have gained respect over the years and well deserved it is.

I am a Cascamite convert

I have been using Cascamite since my boatbuilder father introduced me to it. He used it as it is a waterproof glue and it has pretty much zero creeps. In my experience, I have found the UF glue to set fast and very easy to mix but also very hard. Being hard makes this glue perfect for joints as there is zero compression. Any slackness in the joint is filled with a rock-solid resin making even poor carpentry joints solid.

You Can Buy on Cascamite on Amazon

Although I use large 25 KG sacks of cascamite you may not need as much as me. These 1.5KG Tubs of Cascamite Powdered Resin Wood Glue are
an ideal size for most people. Click on the image to buy from Amazon for a good price.

I buy my cascamite in 25kg sacks so that will give you an idea to how much of this glue I use and why I swear by it.

I have been using this glue for many years and my boatbuilding father before me and we both have found this class of glue has stood the test of time.

There is no doubt for me but I believe Cascamite is the best exterior wood glue available. If you really want a quality PVA then Titebond Ultimate is a good option that does not require mixing.

Are Powdered Resin Wood Glues Waterproof?

An excellent well proved adhesive for joinery, cabinetwork or boat building. This adhesive is specially formulated for external woodwork and Ideal for any projects where there is extended exposure to the elements. Cascamite is a synthetic resin, when, dry it is waterproof

The fact these glues have a very high resistance to water is why it is used in the marine industry. I use Cascamite for all my external woodworking projects and it is great for ‘Mortice and Tennon’ joints. If you use PVA for mortise and tenon joints which are a little lose the glue will compress or stretch which can allow doors to sag.

What is PVA?

Poly Vinyl Acetate is what we call PVA  wood glue or white glue and also used by carpenters, schools and crafts. This aliphatic rubbery synthetic polymer is probably the most used glue. Formula (C4H6O2)n.

Why use Cascamite when PVA is so Easy?

Yes, it is true that PVA type wood glues are very easy to use. They are fast to apply too. They do have problems though for instance:

  • PVA glues take longer to harden than Powdered Glues because PVA is air drying
  • They take even longer to harden in a damp climate
  • Because there is water in the glue these glues do freeze then separate
  • Powdered glue doesn’t freeze
  • If the joint freezes before PVA set the joint will be weak
  • PVA, as it is rubbery, does not sand well
  • Unlike Cascamite it is a terrible gap filler

Alternative Uses for Cascamite or Polytite

The one thing that I love about powder resin wood glue is the fact is that it is a simple water-activated resin. Works in a similar principle to the water-activated bandages that are used in hospitals for splinting broken bones.

  • Wood Filler
  • Casting Resin

Cascamite Wood Filler

Very simple to make by adding some fine sanding dust of the wood species you are using. When I finish a project I collect the dust with a hand vac and put in a Kilner jar. I use three species for filling: Pine, Oak, and Walnut. What makes it good for filling is that it is very hard when set and can be sanded to a fine finish.

Casting with Cascamite

This alternative use is good for casting small objects. When using this as a casting medium be careful to use enough substrate such as sand. You can use fibres or wood dust too for a different effect. As the glue is made with water it will shrink a little as it dries. The more sand you used the less shrinkage that can be expected. It is also important that the particles are fully surrounded by the resin or it will have a bad finish and it will be weak.

How to Use the Freshly Mixed Glue

Well, you now have your super-duper glue all mixed and ready to rumble. When I want to adhere two pieces of timber for a permanent adhesion I first make sure all surfaces are clean and dry. Even before I contemplate applying glue I must be sure that the mating surfaced are jointed so there are no gaps.

I like to evenly apply glue to both surfaces.

A Good Tip for an Easy Spreader

I use a wallpapering roller to spread the glue. A good tip is to cut a small piece of bicycle inner tube and slide it over the roller so the roller can easily be cleaned. Watch our Youtube Video on our super wallpapering glue spreader. You can also use this method for PVA glues too. So here is the video for our Cascamite powdered resin wood glue or PVA glue spreader hack come tip.

Easy sand wood filler

Cascamite powdered resin wood glue makes an excellent wood filler. You may have experienced the use of PVA glue mixed with sawdust as a wood filler. PVA based wood filler is a poor substitute for a cascamite based easy sand filler.

I use my stock of Cascamite to make my own wood filler. The beauty of this filler is that it is hard enough so you can sand it easily. PVA does not dry hard but has a rubbery consistency.

How do I make wood filler?

  • Add cascamite to the mixing pot
  • Slowly add water and mix to a paste
  • Add more water until the mixture is like cream
  • Collect the wood dust for your project with a dustbuster handheld vacuum, remember the final colour will be darker. I use fine Pine dust for Oak as it is a nearer colour.
  • If knot filling I use walnut dust.
  • Add wood powder to mixed glue.
  • Adjust the powder to water until satisfied with the mix.
  • Use a filler knife to apply the filler
  • Wait for the filler to dry and harden
  • Sand flush
  • Paint or Stain

How Long does Cascamite take to Dry

Once applied the Tack time is 1-2 hours with a cure time of 6 hours depending on the climate.

Glue Mixing Conclusion

Although my main topic was how to mix UF glue. The fact is that this glue is so easy to mix as long as you follow the numbered steps above or watch my videos which show you first hand how you can mix the glue without lumps or separation. Yes, the glue takes a little effort to mix but it is worth it because I find the strength and its ability to resist moisture once set hard. After some practice, you will be able to mix this glue without a thought.

Read our other article on wood glues: https://wallybois.com/wood-glues-explained/

Cascamite Datasheet by Polyvine

TECHNICAL DATA SHEET PRODUCT:

Cascamite DESCRIPTION Powdered urea/formaldehyde resin glue that satisfies the requirements of BSEN 204 durability class D3 and BS EN 302-1 A3 type 11 adhesive if mixed in the proportions specified. AREAS OF USEGeneral Joinery, Cabinet Work, Shop Fitting, Veneering, Boatbuilding, all external Joinery.

Advantages

Simply mix with water gap FillingHigh Water ResistanceInterior or Exterior UseEasy to Mix Non-StainingMould ResistantStronger Bond Than The Wood ItselfMIXINGBy Weight. Use 2 parts of Cascamitepowder to 1 part of cold water. By volumes 3.5 parts of Cascamitepowder to 1 part of cold water.

NOTE: Mixing by weight is recommended for accurate and consistent glue mixes. Put half the water in a container avoid copper, brass and ferrous metals. (weighing is a good idea but makes the mixing process a chore when with experience just adding the water to any small quantity of powder works best)

Add Cascamite powder to water, stirring rapidly until the powder dissolves (I prefer my method above as I have found this method promotes separation of the powder and water)

Add the remainder of the water, stirring until smooth. Any small lumps will quickly dissolve. It is advisable to allow the mixture to stand after mixing to allow entrapped air to escape, bubbles or foam in a glue line can cause a weak bond. Cascamite is now ready for use. The mixture will remain usable for approx.

3 hours at 15`CAt higher temperatures the usable life is reduced and in hot weather, it is advisable to mix only sufficient glue for immediate use (standing the mixing vessel in cold water will help prevent shortening of the usable life).

APPLICATION

Joints should be smooth and well fitted. Apply the glue using a stiff brush to one surface only. Assemble and clamp (pin or screw) the joint whilst glue is wet. Keep the joint under pressure until set (approx. 6 hours at 15C)A damp cloth can be used to remove the excess wet adhesive.

Usage Temperature

NOTE: -At temperatures below 1 10C (5OF), a period of up to 2 or 3 days may be required before the glue sets. During cold weather, it is therefore essential that joints under pressure be kept in a warm place.

Gel Time

Gel Time Guide:20C30C70C100C1-2 Hr30 Min1.5 Min 33 coverage should be 100 to 250 grams/sq. metre not: -If bonded wood is to be turned on a lathe it is recommended that the bonded wood is seasoned for a minimum of one week before turning.

Bonding Tips

BONDING TIPS Ideally the moisture content of the substrates should be 9%±2% with no more than 3% difference between the two surfaces to be bonded, otherwise, stresses are built into the joint, which may result in wood or joint fracture. If the wood is too damp, the dilution effect will weaken the adhesive performance.

Although the workshop conditions may be above 10C, wood brought in from unheated storage conditions may well be below this temperature and should be allowed to warm to above 10C before attempting to bond it.

Bonding Oak

Some species of oak can be particularly dense resulting in difficulties in the adhesive penetrating the surface. In such instances, the surface should be removed by sanding to open the pores of the timber and double spreading may prove necessary to ensure both surfaces have sufficiently “wetted” out.

Difficult Timber

Some timbers, and particularly maple can be over-prepared by planning the timber; this leaves a “ glassy” surface, which is detrimental to the bonding process.

Oily Timbers

Oily timbers, such as teak, present problems with the “oils” inhibiting a satisfactory bond. (alcohol helps prep oily surfaces before glueing removing some of the surface oil)

Degreasing

Degreasing is normally required; this can be achieved by wiping the surface with washing up liquid. Sanding can also remove surface grease, but if the adhesive is not applied shortly afterwards there are likely to be problems of case hardening where the oils have surfaced again.(alcohol which evaporates quickly also helps here too as I am not keen on using detergents as they can change the tension of the water and dilute the adhesive)

Storage

Store Cascamite in a cool dry place with the container tightly closed. Heat and moisture will cause the glue powder to become solid or insoluble. Claims for loss due to the neglect of this warning cannot be accepted. (unlike PVA Cascamite does not freeze)

Cleaning of Tools and Containers

Wash down equipment with clean cold water before the glue sets. After the glue has set it becomes hard and difficult to remove. In particular, glue should not be allowed to harden on brushes or rollers.WARNING: The fully cured adhesive can only be removed by mechanical means (sawing, sanding etc).

HEALTH & SAFETY

Protect skin from contact with both unmixed powder and mixed adhesive. Mix in a well-ventilated area. Full data sheet available on request.Non-hazardous. Ensure good ventilation. Keep out of reach of children. Contact with eyes-wash immediately with warm water. Remove excess from tools and mixing vessels before washing in warm soapy water. Do not empty containers into drains or watercourses. Further information may be obtained from Date of issue: August 2015 (I add that it is advisable to wear a dust mask or breathing apparatus when sanding)

The information supplied herein is accurate to the best if our knowledge. Since conditions and methods are beyond our control, no warranty is expressed or implied. You are advised to access the suitability of the product on a test area before application

Datasheet produced by

POLYVINE LIMITEDVine HouseCheddar Business ParkWedmore Rd. Cheddar BS27 3EB United Kingdom but commented by us from our beliefs and experiences.

The original document can be found here:

4 thoughts on “How to mix Cascamite Powdered Resin Wood Glue”

  1. Peter P Farrugia

    The article about cascamite powder/ glue is very interesting.
    I found the information very useful . Now I am going back
    to my workshop to start preparing a cascamite mix and I shall
    be applying it in the making of a garden bench.

    1. Hi, I am happy you found my article interesting and informative. Let us know how you get on with it and your garden bench project?

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