All Replies on Glue up- Big mistake need help!

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View Michigander's profile

Glue up- Big mistake need help!

by Michigander
posted 06-08-2012 03:40 PM

22 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8190 posts in 2575 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 2624 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 2227 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 2418 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


1100 posts in 2284 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 2360 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 3365 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


827 posts in 2368 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 2967 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


298 posts in 2415 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


4030 posts in 2969 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 2418 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 2177 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


2539 posts in 3956 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 2418 days

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

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

View jeter's profile


20 posts in 2586 days

#16 posted 06-08-2012 07:35 PM

all the suggestion are good, however all you need to do is sand the area that fits into the dado only, slightly just to make it dull a little and you can apply glue with no problem. Use 220 grit sandpaper afew passes, no need to go to the bare wood.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#17 posted 06-08-2012 07:35 PM

Not a big problem, I would put a strip of tape up about 3/8”(assuming your dados are 3/8” deep) on each side and lightly sand with some 100 grit, remove tape and clean with some naphtha and glue.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jdmaher's profile


427 posts in 2578 days

#18 posted 06-08-2012 09:11 PM

How tight is the fit in the dado? Should be pretty darn tight with that finish on. In fact, it might need “persuasion” to get it seated.

Try it. If it goes in really tight, that’ll scrape off some of the finish you want to remove. WITH THE PIECE SEATED IN THE DADO, do your tape up (anything sticking out needs protection).

Take the piece out. Fold a piece of 120 to come up about 1/16” short of the tape, and fold over the edge. You’re gonna sand with just enough paper on the finished part to remove the proper area of finish, while holding the folded over part against the buried edge (your fingers serve as the fence for this short activity). 8-12 strokes with moderate pressure should remove enough finish to give you sufficient bonding.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Tom148's profile


39 posts in 2262 days

#19 posted 06-10-2012 02:15 AM

Before I retired I did a lot of structural bonding work for aerospace components.

First, I would make a jig to scuff the finish below the dado line. Carful not to overland. Check the fit to make sure you have a snug not tight fit. Second, check with the finish mfg to make sure you use a glue that will bond to their finish.

You should not have to remove the finish just rough it (called giving it tooth). Also, don’t over clamp the joint. You want an appropriate glue line to make the bond. Many epoxies have micro balls to make sure there is a gap so you don’t squeeze out all the glue. I would definitely rough the sides since the bottom bond is a tension joint (weaker) than the side joints which are in shear.

Good luck

-- Tom

View Bobmedic's profile


379 posts in 2800 days

#20 posted 06-10-2012 03:00 AM

The very first suggestion would be the easiest. Epoxy will stick to any finish and the bond is great. I am assuming this box will have a back panel and maybe even a face frame? Either way the rest of the carcass will lend strength to the whole project so the epoxy should be plenty.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10394 posts in 3646 days

#21 posted 06-10-2012 03:02 AM

I’d scrape the finish off with a razor blade…. But you
know the shoulder mostly provides a mechanical
advantage in a dado. You can get by pretty well
just running a bead of glue down the bottom. I
usually brad nail them too but that’s mostly to
avoid fussing with cauls in deep cases.

View 489tad's profile


3365 posts in 3010 days

#22 posted 06-10-2012 05:53 PM

Here’s an option. Drill little 1/8” dimples in the finished area exposing unfinished wood. Quick and easy.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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