How to stick wood to metal

Traditionally, sticking wood to metal was a problematic endeavour as the wood and metal aren’t designed to be joined like wood to wood and metal to metal, where more traditional methods such as riveting and welding would have sufficed. With rapid changes in the science of adhesives, however, bonding the two materials is now straightforward.

How to stick wood to metal

Differences in wood and metal

Wood and metal are two very different materials from opposite ends of the raw materials composition spectrum. Wood has a low density and is softer. It can expand and contract over time, which makes it incompatible with metal and therefore problematic to bond as the expanding and contracting will cause the bond to weaken.

To get around this issue, a sealant and an adhesive are needed to allow for expansion while keeping the objects bonded.

The solution

The solution
To avoid the inflexibility of a mastic and epoxy, a hybrid polymer construction is required to create a permanent bond between the wood and the metal. In addition to being very strong, post-curing, it will continue to have flexibility to allow for some movement when the wood expands and contracts. A metal bonding adhesive such as is required to allow for greater variations in movement.

Other properties required

Besides flexibility, the adhesive needs to be able to withstand water ingress and bacterial and fungal growth. This will allow for the material to be used outdoors. If using wood outside, remember to use a sealant to ensure it is waterproof while remaining bonded to the metal.


Before using a hybrid polymer construction, you need to ensure that the surface has been prepped for use. Make sure the metal has been cleaned to ensure there are no traces of wax, tar, silicone and other adhesives. Having a clean surface will greatly increase the efficacy of the bond and will avoid contamination leading to weak adhesion.

Other uses for hybrid polymer constructions

In addition to bonding wood to metal, hybrid polymer constructions can be used to bond glass, tiles, plastic and ceramic. It can also be used with concrete and is therefore suitable for the construction industry. It is easy to use, durable and strong. It won’t sag or shrink or compromise the bond, which explains why this approach has been so popular across many industries.

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