Glue sqeeze out detection

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Forum topic by Alongiron posted 05-03-2011 10:21 PM 2325 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Alongiron's profile


654 posts in 3175 days

05-03-2011 10:21 PM

We have finished gluing up a nice project, sanded the project and think that we have all the glue squeeze out removed. We put on a nice coat of stain and find out that we DID NOT get all the glue off of the project and it looks like crap!

I think that this has happened to all of us at some point.

My question is this: How do you check your work for glue residue prior to staining?

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

11 replies so far

View SergioC's profile


82 posts in 3149 days

#1 posted 05-03-2011 10:38 PM

I can usually see it when I wipe down with mineral spirits before finishing.

View DrDirt's profile


4592 posts in 4224 days

#2 posted 05-03-2011 10:44 PM

Same as Sergio – little mineral spirits – - – laquer thinner evaporates too fast

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

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3513 days

#3 posted 05-04-2011 12:59 AM

I also wipe the project down with mineral spirits. Remember to use a raking light (bright light shining across the project at an angle) at the same time to see defects when you do this.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View shipwright's profile


8358 posts in 3280 days

#4 posted 05-04-2011 04:07 AM

One thing you can do is mask your glue area and stain first. Or, you just don’t have the problem with hide glue.

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

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3542 days

#5 posted 05-04-2011 04:18 AM

Mineral spirits take sooo long to dry, use ACETONE. It also removes glue.
It also is great for checking leftover glues.

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3319 days

#6 posted 05-04-2011 05:00 AM

CR is right… let it dry and then clean it off with a good sharp chisel and or cabinet scraper. But I would like to add an interesting comment. I use a popular market glue and reading the instructions on the back, it tells me to use a wet or damp rag to wipe off the excess glue before it dries. Do not follow their instructions… DO NOT WIPE EXCESS GLUE WITH A DAM RAG! What that does is very bad. This dilutes the glue and allows it to penetrate deeper into the wood. There is nothing wrong using mineral spirits, but I prefer to use water. Whatever you use, be sure to put a light on it and look at with using an angle so you can detect the glue in the shine. My preference for water is that it shows me all the blemishes like mineral spirit, but it also pops out my dents. Don’t drown your work, simply dampen it. Done correctly, you can apply your finish within 20 minutes.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4130 days

#7 posted 05-04-2011 05:06 AM

You can use a black light with some glues. I’ve never tried it.

With furniture I pre-finish.

I’m also very neat with glue. Let it get soft-hard then wick it off
with a pointed stick or a drinking straw cut at a steep angle. The
excess you can scrape off with a razor blade. I do this on guitar

Don’t use too much. Don’t try to clean it up with water. Bad.

A pair of angle chisels is very useful for glue squeeze out. Angle
dog-leg chisels are even better.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3851 days

#8 posted 05-04-2011 05:21 AM

Dry assemble, tape along all joints, cut tape between pieces and glue up. Peel off tape and all squeeze out. I do this with all glue joints even though I don’t use stains, just clear finishes.

View Alongiron's profile


654 posts in 3175 days

#9 posted 05-04-2011 01:40 PM

Thanks for all the great tip and tricks! This is what is so great about this site. Not only can I learn from asking a question..we all benefit from it! Thanks again!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3623 days

#10 posted 05-04-2011 03:50 PM

I second the use of acetone. When I’m having problems getting to the glue with a chisel, I’ll put a little acetone a qtip and rub it over the glue. That usually does the trick. Thought I’ve always been a little concerned about getting acetone into the joint itself and weakening it.

-- David

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3542 days

#11 posted 05-04-2011 05:57 PM


You do not want to be soaking acetone on the wood or else it will remove the joint glue. Wipe off Acetone immediately after you remove the glue.

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