Proud Dovetails

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by HTown posted 05-22-2017 03:02 AM 2337 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HTown's profile


114 posts in 1788 days

05-22-2017 03:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dovetail proud glue squeeze out sapelle

I’m working on a small case with proud dovetails. I’m planning to finish it with Danish oil, a few coats of garnet shellac as a toner followed by lacquer. I’m contemplating the Danish oil and first coat of shellac before glue up in order to avoid a mess with glue squeeze out. Anybody have any experiences they can share?
Not that it matters, but the wood is sapelle.

13 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2088 days

#1 posted 05-22-2017 03:54 AM

I don’t know but since shellac sticks to just about anything I’d think glue would stick to it to some extent. Don’t know really but I’d do some test pieces first.

I’d use HHG or OBG myself but that’s not something everyone uses. It is some wonderful stuff though. Before finishing. It comes off with a damp rag.

Otherwise, if you were going to to use danish oil, then shellac, then wax. It would be easier to clean up.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Aj2's profile


2648 posts in 2400 days

#2 posted 05-22-2017 03:58 AM

Looks good. I think you should skip the oil since it should go on first or do you plan on waiting for it to dry?Im really not sure how long oil takes to dry on sapelle.Some exocits will weep oil back out forever.
Shellac and laquer ought to get.
A hour or two after your glue up use a tooth pick to pop out any glue that squeezed out.Think about what parts that get glue to minimize squeeze out.
Good luck

-- Aj

View bondogaposis's profile


5604 posts in 2953 days

#3 posted 05-22-2017 12:48 PM

Put masking tape on the inside along the joinery. That will be hardest place to clean up squeeze out. Also be careful when applying glue to minimize the squeeze out and clean up. Dovetails are a great mechanical joint and don’t need a lot of glue.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Robert's profile


3598 posts in 2083 days

#4 posted 05-22-2017 01:28 PM

I’ve tried tape like bondo suggests, but I much prefer to use glue conservatively and just use water and a toothbrush to clean up corners. Follow with damp rag, then dry rag. Works especially well with hide glues.

Never had an issue.

Some have idea that you should never use water for glue clean up either because water can invade the glue joint & weaken or water will make glue soak into grain. I believe this can only happen if you are either slopping water all over or not cleaning up throughly.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View HTown's profile


114 posts in 1788 days

#5 posted 05-23-2017 03:01 AM

Thanks for the input. I’ve got some sample pieces with finish curing now so that I can try some tests and see how the glue cleans. I was thinking about hide glue for easier cleanup. I do like the ideas around tape, toothpick, minimized glue use, toothbrush, damp cleanup, etc. I’m not above some overkill.
To clarify one question, I plan to use the oil first to help bring out the natural shimmer of the sapelle. After it dries I’m thinking of garnet shellac to add some orange tone and provide a bridge for the lacquer. I’ll spray the shellac other than the inside and and around the glue up areas where it will be padded on. Once it is assembled, I’ll spray the rest of the shellac and finally lacquer.
Look for some pictures in another month or so when it is all done.
Thanks again and take care.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4250 days

#6 posted 05-23-2017 03:14 AM

I have often pre-finished with shellac and
have not found taping the insides of joints
necessary. I put the shellac on pretty
thin, usually with a wad of cloth and
find it easy to control that way. Something
like an oil finish is a lot harder to control
where it goes.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6032 posts in 3415 days

#7 posted 05-23-2017 05:54 AM

You could just pin the edges of the joint at top and bottom with short dowels. You could more or less skip the glue. If it has a box top or bottom let into a groove, you could apply glue there.

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

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1522 days

#8 posted 05-25-2017 04:35 PM


I have had success by pre-finishing parts by assembling the joints and applying the finish. Once the finish is cured, the project is dissembled and the parts glued in place. The interlocking joints protect those areas where glue is applied later. However, some care is required around the joints to ensure excess finish is not left to puddle around the joints. Any excess finish that puddles and stands around the joint can seep into the joint.

I can be a little sloppy when applying and brushing out the glue and some excess glue gets on the finished wood near the joint. A damp cloth easily removes this excess glue. When gluing the finished pieces together, any squeeze out is usually removed with a damp cloth without much effort. Since the parts are pre-finished, squeeze out can be removed immediately without raising the grain or forcing residual glue into the wood. Even if the glue is left to cure, it normal flakes off with minimal persuasion, but sometimes a blemish can be introduced to the finish when removing cured glue.

I have found that sometimes a little finish can enter the joints, but this tends to be minimal with well-fitting joints; not enough to affect the glued joint. Since the project can be subject to handling and thus damage during and after glue-up, it is probably best to apply the final coat of finish after the project is completed.

View HTown's profile


114 posts in 1788 days

#9 posted 06-08-2017 03:08 AM

I made the glue up without incident. Here is what I did:
-Dry run to try out my sequence
-Prefinished with danish oil
-Glue sparingly on the pins and only on unexposed portions
-Moist rag for outside cleanup and chisel plane on the inside. I only had a negligible amount of squeeze out.
Thanks for all the ideas.

View waho6o9's profile


8811 posts in 3179 days

#10 posted 06-08-2017 04:30 AM

“I have had success by pre-finishing parts by assembling the joints and applying the finish. Once the finish is cured, the project is dissembled and the parts glued in place.”

Great idea thanks JBrow!

Clean work HTown

View HokieKen's profile


11983 posts in 1740 days

#11 posted 06-08-2017 11:27 AM

I’m with AJ and Bondo^. Dovetails are very solid joinery and provide much more surface area than is necessary for gluing. I prefer to just be conservative with the glue and make sure to clean up squeeze out before it cures.

JBrow’s idea is great too. Dry-fit and finish then glue.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bobro's profile


320 posts in 1912 days

#12 posted 07-08-2017 05:56 PM

Wow that looks gorgeous!

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7804 posts in 3516 days

#13 posted 07-08-2017 06:23 PM

+10 on taping inside joints. And yes, I still try to be conservative with the glue, but dummy-proofing against my own mistakes makes me look better… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics