Shop Skills #4: Trusting Your Glue Joints

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 05-01-2009 01:29 AM 2938 reads 2 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Sharpening Card Scrapers - The Lost Scene... Part 4 of Shop Skills series Part 5: Using Toner to Add or Change Color »

Many woodworkers lack confidence in their glue joints. The way to overcome this is by getting to know your products and materials. This is accomplished by experimenting and testing – particularly through destructive testing.

I continually test my off-cuts from every project. This provides a form of quality control testing that is specific to each project.

In this video I show a couple of the methods that I use to test my glue joints. Testing your joints to the point of wood failure will give you quite a bit of information. Close examination of the results will allow you to understand if you may suffer product failure in your project or if your woodworking techniques are falling short.

I advise caution when testing wood to the point of failure, but these methods are quite safe and easily controlled. Share the Love~Share the Knowledge

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

29 comments so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3641 posts in 4415 days

#1 posted 05-01-2009 01:51 AM

This was pretty cool. I always know that my joints are tough but when you send something out of the shop, maybe never to be seen again you always still keep your fingers crossed. Thanks.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4799 days

#2 posted 05-01-2009 02:05 AM

Thanks for the video, Todd. I have always been reluctant to toss offcuts from my glue-ups and have wondered at times what to do with them. Like most of us here I have simply tossed them into my several offcut bins hoping to find a use for them down the road. This looks like an excellent use for these pieces.

Thanks for sharing this idea.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4851 days

#3 posted 05-01-2009 02:08 AM

Great video Todd!

If you’ve ever had to disassemble a glued-up project, you really start to recognize the strength of the glue. You just can’t plan on re-using the parts because the workpieces break before the glue.

The only time I’ve had glue failure is when the glue was applied at very low temperatures.

-- -- --

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 4359 days

#4 posted 05-01-2009 02:14 AM

Thank you for your useful information. Testing is the most important! This is true not only for glue joints.

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 4629 days

#5 posted 05-01-2009 02:44 AM

Very informative and useful. Thanks.

-- Gary D.

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

797 posts in 4809 days

#6 posted 05-01-2009 03:41 AM

Great video, and a great way to test your product without destroying it. Using cutoffs from the actual product is an excellent idea.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4535 days

#7 posted 05-01-2009 03:48 AM

Some very useful information there Todd. Thanks for the info.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View gbear's profile


536 posts in 5076 days

#8 posted 05-01-2009 04:06 AM

Good information Todd but I would say you don’t even have to go to the point of breaking the wood.
When you have added enough pressure to cause the wood to severly bow…that should be adequate and safe for testing purposes.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20064 posts in 4653 days

#9 posted 05-01-2009 05:18 AM

Thanks for the ideas and video. Guess I’m going to have to put you on the buddy list so I don’t miss these ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5076 days

#10 posted 05-01-2009 05:23 AM

Gbear- You’re probably right. I just can’t help myself, I have to break it.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4303 days

#11 posted 05-01-2009 07:08 AM

Great video and Idea Todd, Thanks.

-- Don S.E. OK

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4916 days

#12 posted 05-01-2009 12:44 PM

Good information and great video. Your presentations are highly pragmatic and very personable. When will we be seeing you on TV?

-- Working at Woodworking

View snowdog's profile


1167 posts in 4960 days

#13 posted 05-01-2009 12:53 PM

What they said :) thanks for the vid. Nise production

I knew the glue would hold but never saw it tested. I am armed now with real information from observation. I love it.

Do you have your vids posted at a higher resolution anywhere? Just a suggestion but I appreciate when I can choose between low and hi res feeds.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 5028 days

#14 posted 05-01-2009 01:43 PM

Great job, I would love to see more like it.


-- Hope Never fails

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5076 days

#15 posted 05-01-2009 01:55 PM

Thanks Russel and everyone else for the encouragement.

I plan on doing more videos in the future. It can be difficult since they take a lot of time and having my own business is a bit demanding too. But I certainly have plans!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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