Glue up- Big mistake need help!

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Forum topic by Michigander posted 06-08-2012 03:40 PM 2418 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 3753 days

06-08-2012 03:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue masking problem

After weeks of work on my project to build my cherry TV cabinet I stained and top coated the cherry ply box components. I taped off the dados and applied 2 coats of Charles Neil’s pre stain conditioner, followed by 1 coat of Trandtint yellow die, then 2 coats of General Finishes water based dye stain (antique cherry) and then 4 coats General Finishes Water based High Performance polyurethane. Everything is great except I forgot to tape the sided of the box that fit the dados. See drawing.
I had planned that glue was to work on all 3 sides of the dado to the box. You can see in blue where I taped. Do I need to remove the finish from the box divider where it fits the dado? If so how do I do so without ruining the remaining finish? What would you do to fix this and make solid joints?

22 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


9132 posts in 3910 days

#1 posted 06-08-2012 03:45 PM

Epoxy, use with plenty of ventilation.
You tapped some sides but not all?

View TrBlu's profile


386 posts in 3959 days

#2 posted 06-08-2012 03:49 PM

Here is a suggestion, but get a few more responses before you jump on the first one.

Put a couple strips of painters tape over the finish you do not want to mess up. Then rub the area to be glued with some denatured alcahol to delut the stand. Give the area a light sanding to rough the glue area. Glue in place let it dry before removing tape. The touch up any finish that needs it.

Good luck.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 3562 days

#3 posted 06-08-2012 03:52 PM

Well, glue is not going to stick to the topcoated, finished wood. I would measure the depth of the dado first. Then tape off the piece you finished to that depth. when you sand the finish off, the tape will protect the rest of the piece from having finish removed and you’ll have a sanded area that will fit the dado. Be careful sanding because you dont want to make the piece that will fit into the dado too narrow at the dado joint then you’re going to have to shim it. You just want to get that finish off so the glue will stick. Another option and more detailed and time consuming is to take and cut pieces of stick on veneer….....doesnt matter what species of wood and cut the veneer to the width of the area that will go into the dado. Stick on veneer requires that the surfaces that it will adhere to be finished any way and you’ve already done that. Once it sets, rough up the veneer with sandpaper and then apply your glue. that fix will be hidden in the dado.

View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 3753 days

#4 posted 06-08-2012 03:53 PM

waho, I taped where the blue is on the drawing: just the bottom of the dividers and the 3 sides of the dado.

View Charlie's profile


1101 posts in 3620 days

#5 posted 06-08-2012 04:42 PM

make an edge guide…. kind of a shoulder…. trying to figure out how to describe… ahh… a block sander with a shoulder. The shoulder would be just slightly narrower than the depth of your dado. The “block” rides against the bottom of your divider. The shoulder gets some sandpaper adhered to it and sands off the topcoat just where the divider would fit into the dado. Just be careful to only sand through the topcoat and not start sanding into the wood. I don’t think the water based dye will hurt ya, but that poly will.

How deep is that dado? And will the divider still fit the dado with the poly on it?

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 3695 days

#6 posted 06-08-2012 04:48 PM

Don’t worry about it. There’s enough gluing surface at the bottom of the dado. Just clamp well.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 4700 days

#7 posted 06-08-2012 04:48 PM

I made a similar mistake glueing up a panel and needed to add a piece after finishing.

I called the finish manufacturer, in this case General Finish, and asked them what to do. They said I could just lightly sand the area to glue and it would be OK. I did what they said and It worked.

I would call the company and email Charles Neal to see what they suggest.


View jmos's profile


918 posts in 3703 days

#8 posted 06-08-2012 04:49 PM

One of the concerns I’ve always had about dados is that there is no long grain to long grain glue surface, and glued end grain is not that strong. I’m not sure you really even get much strength from the area you accidentally finished. But, having said that, I wouldn’t want to try it without that surface, especially in a large piece that will hold weight.

I think masking and sanding the inserted area is the way to go.

Another possibility, not as good but absolutely solid, would be to glue up what you have, and use some screws from the outside (start by drilling small holes centered in the dado’s from the dado out to make sure they are perfectly centered, then drill through and counter bore from the outside). Plug the holes and finish the plugs. It will keep the dados together, but hiding the plugs can be tricky.

Good luck.

edit – another thought in lieu of sanding, try a scraper to take off the finish, probably easier to control, faster, and less dust.

-- John

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 4303 days

#9 posted 06-08-2012 05:09 PM

There are adhesives that will work for this application. Gorilla Glue “loves” old finishes (according to the GG product video) or an impact adhesive would do it. Don’t know about epoxy as I’ve never used it.
Can you fire a couple of nails into it for good measure?

View MNgary's profile


318 posts in 3751 days

#10 posted 06-08-2012 05:10 PM

Worry not, Michagander. First, I’m thinking that with the finish the fit is too tight, anyway. Also, I’m guessing the dado is 3/8 inch deep. If not, adjust measurements for the below ‘tool’.

Start with a 6 inch long piece of 2×2. Cut out 1” by 3/8 inch along one of the long sides. This should leave you with (when looking at the end grain) an L-shaped piece. Cut a strip of sandpaper just under 3/8 inch wide and 6” long. Rubber cement the strip of sandpaper to the 3/8 inch part of the cut-out. One part of the cutout acts as an edge guide and the other sands off the finish.

Turn the L upside down and run it across “not protected with tape” to remove the finish.

Don’t sand so much the fit becomes too loose. You just need to expose some of the bare wood and don’t have to remove 100% of the finish. I usually see about one-half of the sanded area still has stain/finish residue.

As an alternative, glue a 6×1+5/8 piece of plywood or mdf on top of a piece of a 6×2 piece. This will leave you with a 3/8 inch lip to glue a strip of sandpaper to (cut the paper slightly less than 3/8 so you won’t be removing finish from the portion that will be exposed after glue up) and another lip to act as an edge guide.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4305 days

#11 posted 06-08-2012 05:52 PM

I would have thought with 11,000 responses to a thread about hand planes, someone would have suggested, or at least mentioned, a rabbit plane. That would zip that finish off quicker than a cat can lick his a$$.

View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 3753 days

#12 posted 06-08-2012 06:03 PM

Thanks Guys, sounds like I need to rig a sanding jig as I am not capable of using a rabbit plane (don’t have one anyway). NMgary you are saving me on this project, what with your advise on yellow dye and now this.
Will keep you all posted.
Thanks again,

View olpuppy's profile


12 posts in 3512 days

#13 posted 06-08-2012 06:07 PM

MNgary has the right answer. This is a common mistake and is easily handled by relatively coarse sandpaper slightly less in width than the depth of the dado. A rabbit plane works, but takes much care to use and won’t work if you don’t own one. In addition, sanding also works on mortise and tenon joints which many times need the same answer.

-- olpuppy

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5291 days

#14 posted 06-08-2012 07:04 PM

I wouldn’t sand the panels where they fit into the dado’s….if you had a tight fit before you wont after..


View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 3753 days

#15 posted 06-08-2012 07:06 PM

Brad, if I don’t sand what do you suggest?

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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