Prevent/Remove Glue From Parallel Clamps??

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Forum topic by Alex Lane (Custom Guitars & Basses) posted 03-14-2010 06:50 AM 3352 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch

03-14-2010 06:50 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bessey gross-stabil bar clamp parallel glue removal waxed wax paper

I’ve spent too much money on my Bessey and Gross-Stabil parallel clamps to have them get stuck when a drop of glue gets on the bars!! The other week, I spent about 10 minutes digging out only 3 or 4 small spots of glue on my clamp bars. I had to use an X-acto (sp?) knife, which was terribly dull after the operation.

Those small spots of glue not only stopped my clamp jaws from being able to meet (which is how I prefer to store them), but they left an ugly pitted-looking spot on my nice chrome finish. GRRRRR! I probably shouldn’t complain about cosmetics…it is a working woodshop, after all…

I try to use a long sheet of waxed paper draped across all of my clamps before a glue-up, but in the heat of the moment (during clamping), the paper sometimes shifts and lets a drop or two of glue to get on my clamp bars.

Is there a better way to prevent glue from getting on my clamp bars?
Is there a good way to remove hardened glue from the clamps?


-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

17 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


114695 posts in 2820 days

#1 posted 03-14-2010 07:12 AM

Use just the right amount of glue for less dripping.

-- Custom furniture

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3129 days

#2 posted 03-14-2010 07:17 AM

Wax the clamps before you use them for the glue-up.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View John67's profile


31 posts in 2245 days

#3 posted 03-14-2010 07:23 AM

I have used blue painters tape on the rail, especially where I think there may be a possibility of glue dropping.

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 2511 days

#4 posted 03-14-2010 08:56 AM

The above trio of suggestions are excellent. John Gray’s is especially so. Having a tub or two of regular Johnson’s Paste Wax on hand in the shop has been a valuable ally.

Many of us tend to overglue. The wood glues of today are extremely strong; the “glued joint is stronger than the wood” is often very true. Years ago I was privvy to a master woodworker’s glue-up session and was amazed how little glue was applied. And the glue was simply white glue.

Wax paper (another valuable friend) is relatively cheap. I will decorate the entire assembly table with it. Come back a day later, gather everything in one swoop and toss in the garbage. Within seconds, you’re clean and neat.

Allow any glue to hard. Simply plunk it with a utility knife or your X-Acto #1 Knife equipped with a #11 blade which, of course, you have bought in economical bulk.


View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2976 days

#5 posted 03-14-2010 09:06 AM

Removing the glue is a tough one. I have tried acetone, which is one of the stronger solvents that you can easily acquire, and it didn’t touch the glue spots. Funny, it will dissolve plastic! Heat applied from a heat gun, high setting, helped soften the glue a little. Don’t know what a propane torch would do but it wouldn’t leave the finish looking to good. I would suggest soaking in boiling water but that would be tough with a clamp!!! Guess the best bet is to just keep working on it and then, to make sure you don’t have to do it again, wax them well.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Tony_S's profile


532 posts in 2326 days

#6 posted 03-14-2010 02:26 PM

Without a doubt, plain old floor wax is the most simple, effective solution.

-- Come Heavy...or don't come at all.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3249 days

#7 posted 03-14-2010 02:43 PM

I’d say its a poorly designed clamp if one full range slide up the bar doesn’t clear all glue from impeding the clamps intended purpose. There aren’t enough hours in the day to worry about clamp maintenance too.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Paul's profile


430 posts in 2832 days

#8 posted 03-14-2010 06:22 PM

Tjis is a good thread, I’ve been using 3M blue tape but I will try the wax idea, sounds liike it makes would be the best bet.

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View Dusty56's profile


11796 posts in 2931 days

#9 posted 03-14-2010 08:40 PM

Someone once told me that I needed to put glue on BOTH sides of the joint….never figured that one out seeing as they were going to be squished together any way… about squeeze out !
Anyway , now that my Besseys are scarred for life , I learned the WAX trick a wee bit too late.
I peeled off the heavier glue spots and then wire brushed the rest out of the little “teeth” on the rails. Now comes the wax that I already had in stock …I also found a good use for old wrapping paper. I cover my glue up area with it and then place the clamps on top of it. Any excess squeeze out drips onto the paper and gets thrown away after several uses : ) After Christmas sales and Dollar stores are great places to get the paper cheaply.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2417 days

#10 posted 03-14-2010 08:44 PM

Masking tape
Painter’s tape
Frog tape
Paste wax

-- -- Neil

View Planeman's profile


97 posts in 2820 days

#11 posted 03-14-2010 11:04 PM

Someone once told me that I needed to put glue on BOTH sides of the joint….never figured that one out seeing as they were going to be squished together any way… about squeeze out !

Actually, that is the preferred way to make the strongest joint. I used to build homebuilt airplanes and the correct way to glue wood according to the FAA inspectors, the Experimental Aircraft Associations manuals, and other wood manuals is to coat BOTH faces of the wood to be glued. Just don’t slather on so much glue. I usually spread the glue out with a finger for a thin film of glue everywhere the joint touches. I have never had a glue joint of mine to break.


-- Always remember half of the people in this country are below average.

View Dusty56's profile


11796 posts in 2931 days

#12 posted 03-14-2010 11:22 PM

planeman , I’ve yet to have a glue joint break either and I’ve only been coating one side with a thin , even layer , also with just my finger on 1” or less thick boards for at least 15 years now. I can’t believe how much time I wasted in the past by brushing it on !!
How long ago does your term ”used to build” apply to and what type / brand of glues did you used to use ?
Most of my experience has been with TitebondII and more recently TB III…No problems with either , but then again , the only time my projects fly is when Murphy’s Law takes over !! LOL.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 2274 days

#13 posted 03-14-2010 11:33 PM

Spray with PAM or similar cooking spray, it’s soy oil, not silicone based. I keep some in the shop for a lot of odd uses.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View Tony_S's profile


532 posts in 2326 days

#14 posted 03-15-2010 12:59 AM


I just checked out the Bates Website…sounds like an awesome product. I think I might get a gallon and check it out. Only one question I had that the Website didn’t mention….maybe you could give me some idea about. How often do you have to apply it? We’ve got…probably close to a thousand clamps of all shapes, sizes and descriptions from one end of the shop to the other….50% see use everyday.

-- Come Heavy...or don't come at all.

View Tony_S's profile


532 posts in 2326 days

#15 posted 03-15-2010 03:19 AM

Thanks for the Info Rob, definitely gonna get a gallon and check it out.
Not that I’m not happy with how well the wax works, it works great. But it has to be wiped on. With the amount of clamps we have, and the amount they get used….the wax doesn’t get applied as often as it should. Something we can ‘spray’ on would be MUCH simpler and quicker to apply.

Thanks again!

-- Come Heavy...or don't come at all.

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

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