The knuckle test is what you want, time is only a rough guideline to when the glue is at the tacking-ness of the knuckle test.
I have always been a fan of thinning down the glue with toluene a little bit, and I think NRS even says it’s an option. The One time I tried with accelerant and no thinning, it just got gloppy way to fast, and did a crappy job.
Part of what you are after with using an adhesive, is a thin, even coating on both surfaces, and not having it be like snot bugers, really helps with that!
Not really sure how well fewer coats will work, I used to only apply two coats, back in the day, and granted I wasn’t very good at glue work back then, my patches did have a tendency to fail.
The river probably thought, “ he is such an insignificant, pitiful, little creature, with such a short time to live, I will let him go this time, and try to teach him something” - Buzz Holmstrum