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  • Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

    I have a customer who has asked me not to use a glue that has solvents in it. There does not seem to be an ingredient list on the glue bottle. The only thing it says is that it is formaldehyde free. I've got the Rona Eco White Glue.
    Does anyone have experience with this allergy to solvents and customer request?
    Thanks!
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  • #2

    Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

    Titebond 3, one of the more popular glues, but claims that it is solvent free. Here is their blurb:

    . Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is the first one-part, water cleanup wood glue ever offered that is proven waterproof. The waterproof formula passes the ANSI/HPVA Type I water-resistance specification and offers superior bond strength, longer open assembly time and lower application temperature. Titebond III is non-toxic, solvent free and cleans up with water - safer to use than traditional waterproof wood glues. It provides strong initial tack, sands easily without softening and is FDA approved for indirect food contact (cutting boards). The ultimate in wood glues - ideal for both interior and exterior applications.
    http://titebond.com/product/glues/e8...c-b53970f736af

    If I were you, I would email the company and ask them to affirm that specifically for your case, then forward their response to your client. That way you're depending on the manufacturer's word, not your own.
    Bob just past Ayr likes this.

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    • #3

      Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

      Tell the customer that water is a solvent.

      Make the customer do the work and recommend the product to use.
      Only use mechanical fastening methods.

      My final advice is to run, not walk away, from this customer. In the end you will not make any money.
      Beaverfever1988, WCraig and 5 others like this.

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      • #4

        Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

        Everytime customers ask for special things like this the price goes up for me. Way up and I would totally ask the glue manufacturers and if they are not happy with what you found then you could always go with tennon joints that are pinned which is more work and equals more money being charged.

        If they have Ikea furniture around them then ask yourself if this person is saying the truth.

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        • #5

          Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

          I assume they mean volatile organic solvents(?), in which case Titebond would be fine. Show them the blurb you posted and confirm that they approve.
          Did they mention no solvents in the finish as well or just the glue?

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          • #6

            Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

            Unless they live in a concrete cave they probably have solvents all around them but most often it's the fumes that cause the grief.
            maisieinforestburg likes this.
            "Do it Right!"

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            • #7

              Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

              Yes I think it's the fumes she's allergic to - I use water clean up Eco glue with wood fine powder as a filler, found out through the company that makes it my glue has no solvents.........whatever, lol! To make it absolutely harmless I should have used flour and water as the glue, and told her so - bahaha! I'm sure that would be just fine for filling little dents and it would sand smooth real nice (the piece is painted after so it doesn't have to be like concrete)!

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              • #8

                Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

                I would suggest the most adhesives, like many finishes, are quite neutral once fully cured. Fully cured is the key. While there may be some lingering odour, there would not be any fumes. If you can, just bring it into your home for a week or so. I find that even raw wood will off gas some when moved from shop to the living room.
                maisieinforestburg likes this.

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                • #9

                  Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

                  Originally posted by Don Burch View Post
                  I would suggest the most adhesives, like many finishes, are quite neutral once fully cured. Fully cured is the key. While there may be some lingering odour, there would not be any fumes. If you can, just bring it into your home for a week or so. I find that even raw wood will off gas some when moved from shop to the living room.
                  You are right - I will remember this next time if I get a customer who is talking about allergies - I just had no idea what to say! She ended up sending me some special paint to use on her project - all the way from Ontario! I had no idea customers would go to that effort to avoid their allergies....quite an eye opener for me

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                  • #10

                    Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

                    Originally posted by maisieinforestburg View Post

                    I had no idea customers would go to that effort to avoid their allergies....quite an eye opener for me
                    Wait until you get one who demands LEED certified finishes and a certificate to prove it lol

                    Luckily, customers like that often don't worry as much about the final cost as getting what they want. Which is fully understandable if they have, or think they have, health issues, although some want it just for bragging rights.
                    However, if you are prepared to go the extra mile by knowing your products and being able to accommodate their wishes they can become good repeat customers and will usually recommend you to their friends who share their preferences.

                    Paul
                    Last edited by Paul O in Paris; 02-16-2019, 07:11 AM.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

                      Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                      Unless they live in a concrete cave they probably have solvents all around them but most often it's the fumes that cause the grief.
                      This was kinda' my thought as well. How can a person live in the world today and not be exposed to "something"? I would also have to think that something water soluble such as Titebond shouldn't have any solvents (as we tend to think of them) in it? And, as already said, a water based finish, once cured should also be odor free.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

                        Here's an interesting video on this topic, not intended as a rigid scientific test but some interesting info. As he points out even raw wood can emit formaldehyde and VOC's.

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5Ka-Y1m-6I

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                        • #13

                          Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

                          Originally posted by maisieinforestburg View Post

                          You are right - I will remember this next time if I get a customer who is talking about allergies - I just had no idea what to say! She ended up sending me some special paint to use on her project - all the way from Ontario! I had no idea customers would go to that effort to avoid their allergies....quite an eye opener for me
                          You have to remember that allergy sensitivity can be much, much more than just watery eyes, sneezing or a rash. They can be life threatening for some people.
                          billh

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                          • #14

                            Re: Customer is allergic to solvents, help please!

                            A few years ago the TV news program 60 Minutes ran an episode or two about manufactured wood flooring being sold in the States as Formaldehyde free or low. They discussed the pro's and cons and then proved that the supposedly formaldehyde free products made in China were loaded with all kinds of toxins including formaldehyde. The plant manager in China actually laughed at the misrepresentation.
                            So...be careful...maybe test some product on the customer.
                            The show should be available on the 60 Minutes site.

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