I received this question in episode 6 of the Ask Brian Boggs Show:
I was taught to use a two-part urea glue for bent lamination on rockers to prevent creep, but when visiting with Sam Maloof, I notice he uses yellow glue and said he never experienced creep in any of his bent laminations.
Well, Sam may well have been right. Sam has done things and gets away with things, that the rest of us don’t. I was a good friend of Sam and really enjoyed visiting with him myself, and I know he uses a finish I would have a hard time with, but he gets fabulous results from. One of the things to keep in mind … Sam’s environment was different than most of ours, not just that he had a great crew of hands around him to help things out. He was a master craftsman and could do things very accurately. One variable is the humidity in that area- it was very, very low, and humidity has an impact on everything involved, both the wood’s elasticity and certainly glue’s dryness and elasticity.
But just because one craftsman can succeed using something, that does not make it your best choice. And you might succeed using a yellow glue or PVA glue, but I would strongly recommend sticking with the two part urea resin glues. They are much more brittle, they will increase your odds of success. We use epoxy, and I have used Unibond 800, which is a two-part urea glue, and they’re great. You still have to mind the joints and make sure your laminations are precise and your clamping is good and all of that, but that doesn’t change no matter which glue you use. So I would stick with the two-part urea glues for that unless you want to use an epoxy.