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I've spent too much money on my Bessey and Gross-Stabil parallel clamps to have them get stuck when a drop of glue gets on the bars!! The other week, I spent about 10 minutes digging out only 3 or 4 small spots of glue on my clamp bars. I had to use an X-acto (sp?) knife, which was terribly dull after the operation.

Those small spots of glue not only stopped my clamp jaws from being able to meet (which is how I prefer to store them), but they left an ugly pitted-looking spot on my nice chrome finish. GRRRRR! I probably shouldn't complain about cosmetics…it is a working woodshop, after all…

I try to use a long sheet of waxed paper draped across all of my clamps before a glue-up, but in the heat of the moment (during clamping), the paper sometimes shifts and lets a drop or two of glue to get on my clamp bars.

Is there a better way to prevent glue from getting on my clamp bars?
and…
Is there a good way to remove hardened glue from the clamps?

Thanks!!!
 

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The above trio of suggestions are excellent. John Gray's is especially so. Having a tub or two of regular Johnson's Paste Wax on hand in the shop has been a valuable ally.

Many of us tend to overglue. The wood glues of today are extremely strong; the "glued joint is stronger than the wood" is often very true. Years ago I was privvy to a master woodworker's glue-up session and was amazed how little glue was applied. And the glue was simply white glue.

Wax paper (another valuable friend) is relatively cheap. I will decorate the entire assembly table with it. Come back a day later, gather everything in one swoop and toss in the garbage. Within seconds, you're clean and neat.

Allow any glue to hard. Simply plunk it with a utility knife or your X-Acto #1 Knife equipped with a #11 blade which, of course, you have bought in economical bulk.

Best,
Peter
 

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Removing the glue is a tough one. I have tried acetone, which is one of the stronger solvents that you can easily acquire, and it didn't touch the glue spots. Funny, it will dissolve plastic! Heat applied from a heat gun, high setting, helped soften the glue a little. Don't know what a propane torch would do but it wouldn't leave the finish looking to good. I would suggest soaking in boiling water but that would be tough with a clamp!!! Guess the best bet is to just keep working on it and then, to make sure you don't have to do it again, wax them well.

Jim
 

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Without a doubt, plain old floor wax is the most simple, effective solution.
 

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I'd say its a poorly designed clamp if one full range slide up the bar doesn't clear all glue from impeding the clamps intended purpose. There aren't enough hours in the day to worry about clamp maintenance too.
 

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Someone once told me that I needed to put glue on BOTH sides of the joint….never figured that one out seeing as they were going to be squished together any way…..talk about squeeze out !
Anyway , now that my Besseys are scarred for life , I learned the WAX trick a wee bit too late.
I peeled off the heavier glue spots and then wire brushed the rest out of the little "teeth" on the rails. Now comes the wax that I already had in stock …I also found a good use for old wrapping paper. I cover my glue up area with it and then place the clamps on top of it. Any excess squeeze out drips onto the paper and gets thrown away after several uses : ) After Christmas sales and Dollar stores are great places to get the paper cheaply.
 

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Someone once told me that I needed to put glue on BOTH sides of the joint….never figured that one out seeing as they were going to be squished together any way…..talk about squeeze out !

Actually, that is the preferred way to make the strongest joint. I used to build homebuilt airplanes and the correct way to glue wood according to the FAA inspectors, the Experimental Aircraft Associations manuals, and other wood manuals is to coat BOTH faces of the wood to be glued. Just don't slather on so much glue. I usually spread the glue out with a finger for a thin film of glue everywhere the joint touches. I have never had a glue joint of mine to break.

Rufus
 

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planeman , I've yet to have a glue joint break either and I've only been coating one side with a thin , even layer , also with just my finger on 1" or less thick boards for at least 15 years now. I can't believe how much time I wasted in the past by brushing it on !!
How long ago does your term "used to build" apply to and what type / brand of glues did you used to use ?
Most of my experience has been with TitebondII and more recently TB III…No problems with either , but then again , the only time my projects fly is when Murphy's Law takes over !! LOL.
 

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Rob

I just checked out the Bates Website…sounds like an awesome product. I think I might get a gallon and check it out. Only one question I had that the Website didn't mention….maybe you could give me some idea about. How often do you have to apply it? We've got…probably close to a thousand clamps of all shapes, sizes and descriptions from one end of the shop to the other….50% see use everyday.
 

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Thanks for the Info Rob, definitely gonna get a gallon and check it out.
Not that I'm not happy with how well the wax works, it works great. But it has to be wiped on. With the amount of clamps we have, and the amount they get used….the wax doesn't get applied as often as it should. Something we can 'spray' on would be MUCH simpler and quicker to apply.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow!! What awesome suggestions! I'm going to try the Top Cote, since I have some handy. But I'll definitely look into the Bates product too.

Any other ideas?? By all means, keep 'em coming!!! I think lots of woodworkers are benefiting from this info…
 
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