Glue Line Appeared After Dying

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Forum topic by jonsprague0000 posted 05-27-2014 02:39 AM 5213 views 2 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jonsprague0000's profile


104 posts in 2007 days

05-27-2014 02:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mahogany glue up glue finish dye finishing sanding question

I glued up a mahogany tabletop with very minor glue lines. After I dyed the tabletop the glue lines became very apparent and raised up above the wood. The glue line now has a raised ridge when it was flat before the glue up. It is even worse because the brown dye made the glue line black.

After I sanded it originally the table top was smooth. I let it sit for a few weeks in the house and noticed that the glue line raised up. I then sanded flat again and this is when I dyed it.

Does anyone know what could have caused this and if there is anything I can do to make the lines less noticeable? Could this have to do with humidity or just a bad glue up? I really don’t want to have to start over.

20 replies so far

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 2845 days

#1 posted 05-27-2014 05:53 AM

It is only bad if you think it is.
I think the glue lines add character to your project, just my 2 cents,,,,

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View JonHitThingWithRock's profile


97 posts in 2140 days

#2 posted 05-27-2014 06:04 AM

what type of glue and what type of dye, if it’s like a titebond 1 and water-based dye, that could be problematic….. i think

View Fettler's profile


200 posts in 2415 days

#3 posted 05-27-2014 09:03 AM

I think JonHitThingsWithRock might have hit the nail on the head with titebond 1. Did you use plenty of clamping pressure?

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5584 posts in 2911 days

#4 posted 05-27-2014 12:10 PM

PVA glues have a property called “glue creep”, though it typically takes a little while for this to show up. Glue creep is a raised line at the seam as you described. I’ve quit using PVA on table tops due to this, the plastic resin (urea formaldehyde) glues do not creep so I use them on tops. The good news is it isn’t a bad glue up, the bad news is you will have this and either have to accept it, or saw through the glue seam and re-glue with another type of adhesive. Search the phrase “glue creep” for more opinions.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2779 days

#5 posted 05-27-2014 12:12 PM

You used way too much glue. Plus it sounds like the joint was gappy.

-- 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 Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3379 days

#6 posted 05-27-2014 12:17 PM

I use Titebond III and have no problems with glue lines. Is there a big difference between TB I and III?

View bonesbr549's profile


1581 posts in 3485 days

#7 posted 05-27-2014 01:12 PM

I have not used TBI in a long time. I have used a ton of the II & III and I like the Extend when it’s a complicated glue-up and need the long open time. I use PPR for veneering because glue creep will destroy good veneer. However it’s drawback is, it’s nasty and dangerous without proper protection while mixing the powder. Absolutely love it and it is hard as a rock and will never move. I also depend on it for laminating.

You may also want to decode the lot numbers on your bottle and see how old it is. Not saying causal effect, but would look at it.

Are you joints good and square. Your edge could be a tad out of 90 and creates a tiny gap that the glue is filling but leads to your issue. Keep your glue to a minimum and while clamp pressure needs to be enough to strongly pull it together, you don’t need to kill it to get a good bond.

Here is a link that pertains to veneering but it discusses all kinds of glue.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View jonsprague0000's profile


104 posts in 2007 days

#8 posted 05-27-2014 01:50 PM

I used Titebond III. I’ve heard PVA creeps but have never experienced this before. I made a matching table top and it glued up perfect.

I did use a bunch of glue, but clamped it very hard and just squeezed out the excess. Will this approach cause any problems? My guess is that I was a tad out of 90 and there was a tiny gap even though I couldn’t see any light coming through when I did a dry fit. Is there any trick to figuring out if theres a gap?

I also ran it through a drum sander so I wonder if the outside fit fine during the glueup and there was a gap a few mm deep. Then when I ran it through the sander it sanded down to the bad fitting area.

View Phil53's profile


90 posts in 4040 days

#9 posted 05-27-2014 02:04 PM

I have talked before with one of the representatives from Titebond and was told that the Titebond II was a lot better at not showing glue lines. And in the long run you will not have that much deference in the strength. Even though the III is better, it is not that must better. I have used the Titebond II on a cutting board for my brother a few years ago and it looks good and is holding up fine.

View bonesbr549's profile


1581 posts in 3485 days

#10 posted 05-27-2014 03:45 PM

As to a trick to see if you are out of square, I use a small pocket precision square about 2” long. I use to check every board up against a light to make sure I did not get out a hair. Now I used a diff trick. Not my original idea but it does work.

It works in pairs and even if your fence on the jointer is off it will not matter.

Lay your boards flat on your work table as they will appear glued up. I use chalk and mark a T for top face and I mark them in series so they go back together as I joint them. So say you have 4 boards. Take board 1 & 2 from left to right. Fold them so the up faces are facing one another like a sandwich and the bottom faces are to the outside of the pair.

Take those two boards to the jointer and run them across together. Think like you would bookmarking panels from resawing a board.

When you lay down those 2 panels back flat on your work table the edges will be bookmarked edges so they will mate perfectly. So even if your are say out a half degrees of square, board 1 will be 89.5 and board 2 will be 90.5. They will mate perfectly.

If you want to see it set your fence off by 5 degrees take two scrap boards and try it. Obviously you want 90, but it will cancel any error. Now repeat the process for boards 3 & 4(rt edge of 3 and left edge of 4).

The final step will be to take board 2 & 3 (rt edge of 2 and lft edge of 3) and do the same process.

Keep the edges in the right order or you will get it screwed up.

I simply put a “L” & “R” on the boards and take them in pairs from my work table to the jointer and back. It’s never failed me. Try it once, I think you will like it. I don’t much worry about edge gluing anymore. I every now and then check with a precision square just to make sure. It will speed your project time greatly. Take care.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1207 posts in 2652 days

#11 posted 05-27-2014 11:16 PM

I use hide glue and have had no problems with creep or glue lines not taking dye.

-- Jerry

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2710 posts in 3340 days

#12 posted 05-28-2014 12:25 PM

As Gerald said, hide glue accepts stain and finish much better than other glues. I use Titebond Liquid Hide Glue for glue ups where I cannot access the joint for wipe up of squeeze out.

-- No PHD just a DD214

View JAAune's profile


1864 posts in 2734 days

#13 posted 05-28-2014 01:54 PM

I’d guess gaps in the glue joints, old glue or excessive low temperatures below 50 degrees during the cure. All of those could lead to joint failure.

-- See my work at and

View Fettler's profile


200 posts in 2415 days

#14 posted 05-29-2014 08:08 AM

Last summer I did a glue up on a 8’x 26” x 6/4” cherry table and used Titebone I with no issues. I used my bench as a reference surface to ensure each edge was perfectly flat. Then i made 1 plane pass with a contoured blade profile to put a slight hollow in the middle of each edge. After that, I used a metric ass ton of clamping pressure and just left it for like 2 days (mostly because i’m lazy). Tons of glue squeeze but i was flattening with a #7 anyway so i didn’t care. The lesson i learned on that table is that cherry needs to be pre-treated before staining or it will streak like crazy.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 3938 days

#15 posted 05-29-2014 06:59 PM

I have used both types of Elmer’s carpenter glue (the standard stuff and the stainable stuff) and have had no problems with glue creep. Often, I use different kinds of woods on flat-surface projects, so a visible line is no big deal at all.

On the other hand, I have used PL 3X Premium Construction adhesive on a few projects (a polyurethane glue), and, yep, I have experienced glue creep. I did a coffee table a few years ago for my sister in law and it sanded out smooth two days after the gluing and clamping work. I stained and clear coated it and the result was fine.

A few months later we dropped by and I ran my hand over the table top and I could feel those glue lines. They were tiny ridges. The glue continued to expand as it cured over time. The only way to deal with the anomaly would be to re-sand and re-finish the top.

Too much trouble, in this case. My sister in law had no problems with the artifact and it maybe added some “character” to the look.

I will say this. While the PL stuff was pretty strong (and has the advantage of doing well when gluing irregular surfaces), it simply is not as strong as the Elmer’s standard carpenter glue. I don’t think that anything else is, either.

Howard Ferstler

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