A Strategy for Woodworking #21: Clean Up

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Blog entry by Gary Rogowski posted 08-25-2014 10:39 PM 1744 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: Joinery Choices Part 21 of A Strategy for Woodworking series Part 22: Curiosity »

Wait five or ten minutes to clean up your glue squeeze-out from a joint glue-up or lamination. It should be almost plastic and then it will peel right off. On a table top you can use a putty knife or my new discovery, an old chip breaker off a hand plane. It works great. For insides of boxes or cabinets, I use my sharpest chisel. That way if I cut into the wood, it will be a good clean cut. Also the color of the cut will match the wood inside which is always hand planed.

Patience is a virtue here. Let the glue skin over and almost set, but not quite. It will come off easily and there will be no smearing into cracks, corners or pores. This smeared glue will then only become visible when you put on finish.

The Northwest Woodworking Studio

-- Gary Rogowski...follow my podcast at and twitter @garyrogowski

6 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8887 posts in 3477 days

#1 posted 08-26-2014 12:48 AM


I think that’s one of those pearls of wisdom that comes from going “Oh Dah.” Thanks for jogging my memory. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

669 posts in 2836 days

#2 posted 08-26-2014 03:45 AM

Younger Lumber, need these kind of tips. We have an obligation to help them come along in avocation that provides lifelong enjoyment and satisfaction.

Keep on!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View oldnovice's profile


7522 posts in 4002 days

#3 posted 08-26-2014 05:14 AM

I guess I thought than everyone knew that! .... that line sounds like and intro to a Geico commercial

These are tips that many of us take for granted!
I wonder how many of those kind of tips are floating in the woodworking sphere?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

120 posts in 2485 days

#4 posted 08-26-2014 11:15 AM

I didn’t know that… Thanks!

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2642 days

#5 posted 08-26-2014 11:41 AM

I also didn’t know that little trick. And now that I DO … I hope I remember it next time I’m gluing!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3969 days

#6 posted 08-26-2014 12:44 PM

I have practiced your approach for many years now Gary, but I always wind up with some splotches from my fingers that I missed. I have since changed to hot hide glue, but I haven’t done a lot of gluing with it yet, so there might be some negative sides to it that I’m not yet familiar with. It is a lot easier to clean up than PVA, Titebond, etc. and it’s easy to reverse if I do something stupid.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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