Advice for glue ups?

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Forum topic by redesigningwood posted 04-26-2017 07:27 PM 938 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View redesigningwood's profile


169 posts in 1681 days

04-26-2017 07:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue issues glue ups stain issues

Good afternoon,

I am looking for some advice -

When I stain something I typically do it a darker color, and I am CONSTANTLY at war with glue in the corners/joints. Anyone have any tips to prevent the inevitable “sand til it hurts” and “I can not get the glue out of this corner gahhhh” issues?

I’ve heard using painters tape is a good idea, some people say wait an hour for the glue to harden and not wipe at all, others say wipe the glue really well with a really wet cloth (this never seems to work for me) – The painters tape seems like it might get expensive, and it gets really annoying.

Anyone have any awesome tricks I dont know about?

-- Mat

18 replies so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1494 days

#1 posted 04-26-2017 07:38 PM

Mat – I don’t use a really wet cloth, just a damp cloth. To get into corner I’ll wrap the cloth around the end of an awl. Once I wipe with the damp cloth I’ll sprinkle a bit a saw dust on the joint, to be wiped pff after the glue dries. This seems to work for me!

View JayT's profile


6411 posts in 3058 days

#2 posted 04-26-2017 07:41 PM

Pre-finish before gluing whenever possible.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Rich's profile


5863 posts in 1436 days

#3 posted 04-26-2017 07:53 PM

Try liquid hide glue if it’s an interior application. It wipes away with water and is pretty stain friendly.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View DrDirt's profile


4614 posts in 4589 days

#4 posted 04-26-2017 08:39 PM

Canadian woodworker and designer Michael Fortune, told us about Waxilit that he got from Lee Valley.
made it where the glue squeeze out would peel away and yet didnt’ cause finishing issues.

Not sure that would be true of a Waterbased finish.

However I don’t see it at LV any longer.

But in his FWW article he says that any ‘silicone free wax’ would work.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View bc4393's profile


95 posts in 1989 days

#5 posted 04-26-2017 08:53 PM

Noone said prep work for finish isn’t a time suck. Take your time, make sure it’s right and it’ll look good in the end. :)

My dad was a woodshop teacher and taught me damp (fairly wet) cloth with warm water and a scraper to get in the corners. scrap,wipe scraper, scrape, wipe scraper. After each wipe of the towel on the wood, keep turning the paper towel. If you wipe twice your just spreading thinned glue that’s on the towel. Painters tape helps prevent the spread but sometimes its more work up front for me than just glue and wipe/scrape. Or you get it in there too far and your trying to get the thin edge of the tape out of the joint. If you’re getting that much squeeze out every time its causing you issues maybe your using too much glue. Put the bead in the center and let it squeeze to the rest of the surface. Also don’t be afraid to get water into the joint, it won’t get in there hurt it when its clamped together. Just follow up with a dry cloth to grab the excess water if it drips on the swipe. You can see as you wipe it the discoloration of the glue from just the water on the wood to tell you to keep going before it dries and save you some sanding later.

Also what kind of wood glue are you using? I’ve only ever used tite bond which has been around forever and thins easily with the wet cloth.

View redesigningwood's profile


169 posts in 1681 days

#6 posted 04-26-2017 09:19 PM

Also what kind of wood glue are you using? I ve only ever used tite bond which has been around forever and thins easily with the wet cloth.

- bc4393

titebond # 2 ( i think? blue label, bought a gallon of it a year ago, that gallon is almost up – come to think of it, maybe I should start a thread about glues as I have almost no knowledge of this and just bought it as it was there in home depot for a good price)

-- Mat

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1342 days

#7 posted 04-26-2017 10:00 PM

I wait for the glue to start to set up but not fully harden, then I use a slightly dull chisel to take off the squeeze out. The key is getting it at just the right time when it’s partially set, but not fully cured, and it will come off easily. Wiping has never worked for me, I always end up with some glue in the pores that I can’t get out. The chisel easily gets into most corners.

TB II is the fast set. unless you are in a hurry use TB I or TB III if you need waterproof (like cutting boards).

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4215 days

#8 posted 04-26-2017 10:09 PM

Use the painters tape. Tape the pieces together, then cut them apart with a razor blade. Glue together and after dried peel the tape and any squeeze out. No problem with stains or finishes.

View Loren's profile


10574 posts in 4495 days

#9 posted 04-26-2017 11:19 PM

I prefer to pre-finish parts.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6204 posts in 3660 days

#10 posted 04-26-2017 11:57 PM

Let the glue rubberize for a while. Once it turns from light yellow to dark yellow, you can easily remove it with a chisel.

I never use painters tape or a wet rag.

I feel like pre-finishing is a hassle. You have to tape or otherwise find a way to keep finish off the joint surfaces, otherwise your glue won’t bond properly.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Bob5103's profile


166 posts in 1681 days

#11 posted 04-27-2017 12:01 AM

I use painters tape where I can, but for those really stubborn corners, I bought a set of wax carving tools at a dollar store. They have various shapes that fit into the corners, aren’t so sharp that they scrape the wood. I don’t know how I lived without them.

View pontic's profile


801 posts in 1455 days

#12 posted 04-27-2017 12:50 AM

Pre finish parts or use dial soap bar. Rub the corners and parts with the soap bar and the glue wont stick. wipes clean with water as well. Been doing this for years. Don’t need any fancydan wax stuff.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 1380 days

#13 posted 04-27-2017 01:30 AM

I have had good luck getting wet glue out of tight areas with a fingernail brush and water. If it is only leather hard a chisel will take it off quickly. be careful you want to remove the glue, not clip the surface.

If it is dried on hard I would use a scraper, or a sharp chisel to get it.

If you have the stain on and find a problem forget the sandpaper. A well sharpened scraper will remove it and with some practice you can work on the wet stain and not go backwards. a sharp chisel will often do the same in a tight corner.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View shipwright's profile


8579 posts in 3645 days

#14 posted 04-27-2017 01:59 AM

Hide glue. I prefer hot but liquid is good too. Cleans up with water, no stain block. You still have to remove it but it is easy and painless. Unless the piece will get soaked regularly it will be fine. It also comes with other advantages.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

347 posts in 3309 days

#15 posted 04-27-2017 03:53 AM

Use epoxy instead of wood glue. Just a ultra thin layer of that stuff in most joints means never, ever coming apart and way less squeeze out imo. Longer open time as well.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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