What do you use for spreading glue?

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Forum topic by Mary Anne posted 06-05-2010 07:38 PM 22751 views 0 times favorited 70 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mary Anne

1058 posts in 4261 days

06-05-2010 07:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue glue joints how to question

What do you use for spreading glue?
And do you spread glue on one face or both?

I’m still experimenting trying everything from fingers, to brushes, scraps of wood, squirt bottle, roller, etc. Trying to decide what is the most efficient and speedy way to get glue evenly spread between two surfaces before clamping. What works best for you?

I’ve completely given up on trying to find the neatest way… I take a bath in the stuff every time. :)

70 replies so far

View wisno's profile


88 posts in 4064 days

#1 posted 06-05-2010 07:43 PM

It depend on the glue that you use. There are many types of glue and they have their own character. You need to discuss with your glue supplier.

Good luck


View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3991 days

#2 posted 06-05-2010 07:44 PM

I buy the acid brushes from H.F. and then cut off the britsels to about a half an inch. if you are edge glueing the rub joint seems to work real well also . If you are doing a large surface [such as veneering] I always use a scrap os thin plywood….........................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View Jesse.R's profile


58 posts in 3978 days

#3 posted 06-05-2010 07:47 PM

either a glue brush or my finger generally.use just enough glue so that both surfaces are shiney and wet. if you cant see the grain through the glue your using too much and the extra is just gonna splooge out. as there arent any dry spots youll get a strong bond.

-- jesse

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4356 days

#4 posted 06-05-2010 07:48 PM

Cheap paint brushes sometimes trimmed or pieces of scrap wood.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4630 days

#5 posted 06-05-2010 07:52 PM

For smaller areas like joints I use and acid brush or my finger. on larger areas I might use a bondo spreader. I also saw a tip on line for use the inside of a form brush that is just the handle and a plastic strip.


View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 4533 days

#6 posted 06-05-2010 08:10 PM

I use a small stiff brush, and I apply it to both edges.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4127 days

#7 posted 06-05-2010 08:12 PM

On most things I use acid brushes. I buy them 50 at a time from Rockler.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View DAWG's profile


2850 posts in 4190 days

#8 posted 06-05-2010 08:13 PM

Like schloemoe I use the acid brushes from H.F., or I’ll pick them up at the woodworking show. Either way they’re only $4.99 for 36 at H.F. (on sale right now for $2.99) And I glue both sides completely, it uses more glue and waste some but I don’t worry about my glue joints breaking.

-- Luke 23: 42-43

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 4348 days

#9 posted 06-05-2010 08:22 PM

Yup HF acid brushes or chip brushes with the bristles shortened.
Sometimes I wash them to be reused or just get lazy and throw them away.
For some reason, I think I read it in a woodworking magazine, it is better to
apply glue to both surfaces. Something about the moisture of each piece being the same,
they soak in the glue, and makes for a better glue up.
Or maybe I dreamed that one…


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View clieb91's profile


4259 posts in 4988 days

#10 posted 06-05-2010 08:34 PM

Mary Anne, I use Acid brushes as well sometimes but here is what I have also found that works great.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5138 days

#11 posted 06-05-2010 08:54 PM

Mary Anne, do you have any pinking shears? Take all those freebie credit card offers and cut triangle points along one edge. They flex, and you can spread glue on surfaces in fine lines to perfection. I have a stack of them and use them as throw-aways for spreading glue.


View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 4348 days

#12 posted 06-05-2010 09:07 PM

Barb- I like this idea. It’s like a mini adhesive trowel. Cool !!

Now seriously- call me paranoid but I sent Mary Anne
a PM about some of my gluing tools and I fear she is going to out me….
I will just post the PM before she does -

Mary Anne,
I use my mothers good silver butter knives, or pie server.
If I’m doing a large area, I use the bottom sole of my husbands Bostonian shoes.
In tight spots where you wish your fingers were smaller, I cut the arms off my daughters Barbies and “reach in” with the little hand….

Okay, I feel better now….

And it is okay if you get the glue all over your face, it’s an excellent “peel”...LOL

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4014 days

#13 posted 06-05-2010 09:18 PM

Splooge? Learned a new word today from Jesse. Any one use foam brushes? I would think that some would leave bits of foam in the glue.

View degoose's profile


7281 posts in 4407 days

#14 posted 06-05-2010 09:22 PM

Roller applicator bottle… for large glue ups…and for small weave glue ups I just squirt straight from the small Tite Bond III bottle and cover the surface and then splooge it against the next block…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 4013 days

#15 posted 06-05-2010 09:42 PM

i use my fingers for small areas, metal spatula for gluing tenons and mortises, a cheap brush for larger areas and when gluing panels together.
i used to use a brush for nearly everything, but the spatula is a much more effective tool for getting the right amount on tenons and inside mortises without making a mess.
and i always try to put glue on the two surfaces, especially when it needs to be really solid.

btw, does anyone else suffer from the plastic rear pants syndrome? i have the bad habit of whiping gluey fingers on my rear pocket, to the point where it becomes like solid plastic!

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