can you see the glue? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Default can you see the glue?

I've just read another thread which has prompted me to ask this question.
In my innocence, I thought glue was glue and the only difference was the name on the bottle.
But having just read about dark glue and clear glue I realise I need to know more.
I am finally having some success in making trinket boxes from hardwoods, but the hardest thing for me to do is stop glue from being visible on the finished article.
I've masked off entire sections and been paranoid about quantities to the stage I might not be putting enough on, but I still get little seepages of white glue, and then even when I can pick it off, the wood stain reacts and makes it even more visible.

So, talk to me.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 02:21 PM
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Lots of people put the stains or oil on before glue up Also, some squeeze out is OK because it means all the joint surfaces have adequate glue on them. Don't let the glue dry completely, scrape it off after 15-20 minutes when it is more like a gel. Use something quite sharp and enough pressure to remove everything without scratching the surface. You could also do the finish later and do a little sanding before applying the finish to remove any tiny amount of residue you didn't get off with the scraper. Finishing is an art and in some ways the hardest and trickiest part of woodworking.

There are all kinds of glue, far more than the usual white or yellow wood glue we all use. There are epoxy 2 part glues, gorilla glue (that foams up), old fashioned hide glue and on and on. Here is a pretty good site with info on various glues and their uses. Wood Glue uses and information
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 02:29 PM
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Add my congratulations for the recognition Oliver! I always look forward to your posts.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 02:34 PM
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Bob, I echo what Tom said. I keep an old very sharp chisel to carefully remove glue after it sets a few minutes as Tom mentioned. I never ever use a wet rag as I have heard some suggest to remove wet glue. It just makes a mess o things.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 03:44 PM
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There are all sorts of tricks and techniques.

To start with, learn to use an appropriate amount of glue. Easier said than done but there are some things to consider. You want to avoid "glue starvation" but it means different things in context. If you are making furniture that will take some stress, don't skimp but if it's a small box that won't, you can use a lot less. If your joints are oozing lots of push out, dial it back. For me the ideal is 3 or 4 little beads of pushout per inch. They clean up easily.

For small boxes, I work hard to avoid pushout on the inside corners which are MUCH harder to clean up than the outside (that you can sand or scrape down). I will often only put glue on the outer 2/3 of the contact area on the theory that it will fill in with clamping. One of the reasons I like box and dovetail joints is there isn't a lot of interior pushout when done right. You can make little sanding blocks to get into the corners. A scraper can get really tight. A sharp chisel will do in a pinch. For some boxes, I line the inside so the pushout gets hidden.

Don't wipe the fresh squeeze out. that just smears it in. Wait until the glue has started to set and use a cheap chisel to get it out.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 04:01 PM
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Try a drinking straw after the glue starts to congeal.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 04:40 PM
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If no one mentioned it yet glues also have different "working times", and those times are relative to the ambient temp of the work area. If your project is to be painted then the sanded glue stain is irrelevant. If no one mentioned it "painters tape", it works for the stain before glue up group and vice versa. If the project is a short time simple glue up, let the glue tack a smidge before assembly and clamping. When clamping, lighten up on the crank down.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 04:41 PM
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I put blue painters masking tape along any visible edges where glue may seep out.
Then I glue. And after it dries, just peel off the painter's tape and the seeped out glue with it.
No muss, no fuss.

But I don't do fine woodwork, my applications are for my assemblage art.
Your milage may vary.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 05:17 PM
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Lots of good suggestions here. Wiping it down with a damp cloth before it sets dilutes the glue and allows it to go into the grain deeper which can prevent stain from going in once it dries or even cause a difference in sheen on clear coats.

One option that works fairly well is to put a very thin layer of glue on both sides of the joint, wait until the glue has partly dried ( just like contact cement) and then join the pieces together. This allows glue to soak into the end grain on both sides of the joint and minimizes squeeze out. There also isn't enough moisture left in the squeeze out to soak into the parts you didn't want glue on. Like Ron said, open and working times can come into play on larger or complicated glue ups. Lots of us use masking tape instead of clamps for joints like that. If your joints are good very little pressure is required. If you lay two pieces on a flat surface with the tips tight together and tape them in that position when you fold them together you will get just the right amount of clamping pressure.

If the white glue is showing white then go to a clear drying glue on light woods. On dark woods Titebond or polyurethane glue is good although I prefer the Titebond most of the time just because it isn't as messy to work with.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 05:49 PM
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Most modern PVA's/yellow glues etc. are completely capable of handling most woodworking tasks. Specific projects may require specific adhesives and are thereby limited in scope due to the nature of the task at hand or the demands placed upon the adhesive itself. Waterproof vs. water resistant, flexible vs. rigid etc. etc. etc.. The issue of glue lines can be as much a matter of the materials being used as it is the glue and its application. When the brand of glue and to a certain extent the type of glue are not a real issue its a good idea to have a test board around with dried samples. A couple years back I posted a test board with I think it was 10 or so different common glues. Most of which came out of the big box stores and the remainder were PVA's used for inlay work. The variation in color once dried was rather surprising to say the least.
Addressing Bob's original question, speaking for myself I have come to expect a certain amount of "squeeze out". A very limited, very small amount of squeeze out! This lets me know I've used enough glue to have at least mated the two surfaces being glued together. Too much glue and you just end up with a mess and the very likely hood of the pieces slipping or sliding over one another during clamping. A minimal amount of glue also gives the advantage of friction fitting the two pieces together. Too much glue and you'll be rubbing em together forever.
I address the squeeze out clean up by using more often than not a small card scrapper to collect the most of it, then I take a 'damp' and I do mean just 'damp' rag and wipe off the remaining glue THOROUGHLY. I personally have had great success doing it this way and I've never have had a glue failure. The card scraper works well on inside corners as well.
Glue lines on dark woods and contrasting woods are relatively easy to hide by their nature alone. LIghter woods present a problem alot of times, especially with dark drying adhesives. Maples, populars, ash etc. can usually require extra efforts. First things first, you have got to have crisp clean cuts to start with. The glue surfaces have to be parallel to one another. I've played around with mating a 90* face to an 88* face with the bevel facing out and have had pretty good luck, Clamping will usallly compress the two together well enough that the glue bond more than sufficed especially on soft woods like popular. BuT, that was/is an awful lot of farting around, more than I'd wanted to get in the habit of doing. Focus on just good clean cuts. Chip out is another reason glue lines can be pronounced, miters that are just a couple of 10ths of a degree off will give you lines.
When I do have a problem with glue lines I've played around and have found that by wiping down the faces of the glued pieces with again just a "damp" rag, waiting a few seconds and then using 320 sand paper to sand the entire area creating a slurry that the fine sawdust will work its way into the glue and create an almost invisible fix. If need be, a dab of glue is applied and the process goes forward. Sanding until all of the additional glue has been absorbed by the slurry. I don't seem to have as good of luck with 220 or 180 grits..but that may just be me. I've also used a slurry made up and then applied to the surface. A dab of glue, a couple drops of water mixed and applied. I've had so/so luck with that process. I think its more a matter of the mix ratio than anything else I need to work on and the fineness of the sawdust. In cases where the glue line was jussssssssssssssssst barely visible I've had good luck with taking artists pencils and drawing in grain lines or continuing them on etc., Slivers of like wood wood great on box joints and dovetailed joinery gaps. Cut or sanded wedges have a small amount of glue applied and then tapped into position. If after that, I still have a line, then its off to play B..or C..*L*

If you have the ability to expand/magnify the attached pitchers look for the "patches". The nite stand, while simple in design was an exercise in getting it right, tight joints, exact dimensions etc...In the end I fell short in only a couple of spots where the joints were not perfectly seemless..
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