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Taming Squeeze-out

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Forum topic by SuperCubber posted 08-05-2016 02:15 AM 596 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SuperCubber

871 posts in 1750 days


08-05-2016 02:15 AM

Hey folks,

I’m working on new doors and draw fronts for my kitchen cabinets. All the parts are finally cut, so I’m beginning to assemble them. I’ve done 4 doors so far, and the squeeze out cleanup is killing me.

On the first door I was probably a little too liberal with the glue. I’ve used progressively less each time and it is still squeezing out like crazy. To clean it up I’ve tried the two methods I know, using a damp cloth (these will be painted) and scraping it with an old chisel as it starts to set up.

When I use the damp cloth, it mostly smears it all around. When I use the chisel, it makes a mess and takes forever. I’m considering using the painter’s tape trick, but I’m afraid it will waste just as much time.

The doors are grooved stiles, flat panels and stub tenon rails. The squeeze out where the panel meets the rails and stiles is what’s killing me.

Any tips or tricks for the guys that do cabinets on a regular basis?

Thanks,

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine


23 replies so far

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 128 days


#1 posted 08-05-2016 02:28 AM

A tich less glue and start wiping out at the get go. ease up on the clamping pressure snug is good enough, with a sharp object wrapped in the rag, good thing you are painting and not staining/finishing!!

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5314 posts in 3178 days


#2 posted 08-05-2016 03:58 AM

Are you gluing the panels in?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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JBrow

819 posts in 386 days


#3 posted 08-05-2016 04:14 AM

SuperCubber,

I am aware of the following strategies for dealing with glue squeeze out. If there is no squeeze out, my worry becomes whether I applied enough glue or clamping pressure to do the job.

1. Clean squeeze out immediately with a damp cloth. As you noted, the glue smears on the surrounding wood creating even a bigger mess. Therefore, I wipe the area multiple times with clean section of the rag until the glue appears to be completely removed. If the dampened rag is too wet, I suppose some water can seep into the joint and perhaps weaken the glue bond. Therefore when I use this method, I try to use a well rung rag. If all the glue is not completely removed from the surrounding surface, it can become an ugly surprise when finish is applied. I have used this method many times but these days I am using it less often.

2. Wait until the squeeze out has skimmed over and then remove with a cabinet scraper, paint scraper, and/or chisel. I have found that the longer I wait, the less active glue remains under the skimmed over glue layer. As a result, the mess is more easily contained. I find waiting several hours leaves the squeeze out fairly easily removed without much mess. Testing a small area can reveal when its time. I am using this method more often than I did in the past.

3. Wait until the glue has completely cured and then sand out squeeze out. I have occasionally found that if I put a scraper to the cured glue, I can remove some of the surrounding wood, so I steer clear of scrapping cured glue squeeze out. This method works well for me when the surfaces are flat and easy to access. Not so much on inside corners, although oftentimes a chisel can release the beads of squeeze out with much, if any, damage to surrounding wood. The problems I have observed with this method is that without enough sanding, some glue can remain that shows up when finishing. Sand too much and the dimension and shape of the joint can change. Nonetheless, this is method I tend to use when gluing a stile to a rail or a panel glue-up, since the joints usually required some flushing up.

4. Use painters tape at the joint lines and remove the painters tape when the glue is adequately skimmed over. I hardly ever use this method. It takes time to carefully and precisely apply the tape. The tape has to be firmly pressed in place otherwise some glue can get under the tape. If too much time passes before the tape is remove, the glue can grab the tape leaving both cured glue and tape surrounding the joint. Lastly, I fear that a little tape can find its way into the joint, spoiling the joint.

5. Pre-finish the wood surrounding the joint being careful to avoid areas where glue will be applied, allowing the finish to cure. Since glue seems to have some difficulty sticking to the slick finished surface that has cured, it can pop or wipe off the finished surfaces. I rarely use this method mainly because it interrupts my personal work flow. However, when gluing frame and panels, I pre-finish the panels to avoid unfinished areas from appearing at some future time. A side benefit to pre-finishing the panel is that any squeeze out that contacts the floating panel can be released without much hassle.

However you deal with squeeze out, I think it is a good idea to either raise the grain of the entire project with water just prior to sanding out to the last grit or apply clear mineral spirits during the sanding phase especially at the glued joints. Either method will reveal tall-tale glue left behind before the first coat of finish is applied and the glue then becomes much more difficult to remove.

View nightguy's profile

nightguy

213 posts in 128 days


#4 posted 08-05-2016 04:27 AM

Hind sight thought, apply wax like Johnsons Paste Wax to the surrounding areas to the raw wood, then clean up the squeeze out, and then some MS or Naphtha to remove the wax, tape it off too works, but it can get under the tape. For regular yellow wood glue, if still moist, vinegar will cut it with some wiping out of raw wood pours .

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MadMark

978 posts in 918 days


#5 posted 08-05-2016 04:39 AM

Less glue & razor the glue after 24hrs. As the wood dries the glue, the glue will shrink. The remainder just zips off with a razor scraper or blade. Trying to clean up as you glue just results in a misaligned mess. Dried drips also zip right off, but if you smear it you’re just going to spread it into an uncleanable mess.

Limit your glue and plan your assembly order so gravity works. Use a scrap of Lexan as a glue spreader instead of your finger. (If you use a finger as a spreader avoid the urge to taste the glue – trust me – it’s terrible! ). You want a thin, even, 100% coverage layer. Stories of starving a joint of glue when clamping are actually poor coverage issues. The clear lexan lets you see the glue as you spread for even thin layers.

Try gluing 1/2 a biscuit/dowel and letting it dry a bit before final gluing.

Thin your Elmers just a bit to get a little more work time. Have your clamps preset & ALWAYS dry fit before gluing.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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SuperCubber

871 posts in 1750 days


#6 posted 08-05-2016 05:16 AM



Are you gluing the panels in?

- Mark Shymanski

Yes, MDF panels.

JBrow, thanks for the detailed response. The pieces will be painted, so I’m not too worried about it spoiling a nice finish. I’m just trying to tame the mess as effectively and efficiently as possible. I will try the chisel after the glue has fully cured. Thanks for your advice and explanations. I really appreciate it.

MadMark, I will try the razor trick on the next one, along with the chisel. Thanks.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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nightguy

213 posts in 128 days


#7 posted 08-05-2016 06:02 AM


Are you gluing the panels in?

- Mark Shymanski

Yes, MDF panels.

JBrow, thanks for the detailed response. The pieces will be painted, so I m not too worried about it spoiling a nice finish. I m just trying to tame the mess as effectively and efficiently as possible. I will try the chisel after the glue has fully cured. Thanks for your advice and explanations. I really appreciate it.

MadMark, I will try the razor trick on the next one, along with the chisel. Thanks.

- SuperCubber

Razor blade/sharp chisel all the same, any sharp edge, scraper ect.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

1147 posts in 178 days


#8 posted 08-05-2016 03:08 PM

do not use some much clamp pressure …......as to squeeze out all of your glue …. lots of people make this mistake …... then wonder month down the road …......why did it fall apart ????

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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SuperCubber

871 posts in 1750 days


#9 posted 08-05-2016 04:44 PM



do not use some much clamp pressure …......as to squeeze out all of your glue …. lots of people make this mistake …... then wonder month down the road …......why did it fall apart ????

- GR8HUNTER

First things first. The squeeze out is happening before I even apply the clamps. Second, I’m well aware of how much clamping pressure is enough. Third, there have been numerous tests showing that even when clamping edge joints, it’s almost impossible to starve the joint.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View jbay's profile (online now)

jbay

816 posts in 365 days


#10 posted 08-05-2016 05:00 PM

I’ve been wiping glue with a wet rag for years.
I keep a water bucket close by. Ring out rag, wipe as much as possible, rinse in bucket, ring out, repeat until mess is gone.
I often use a small slotted screwdriver/putty knife/pocket knife, whatever, covered with a portion of the rag to get into corners.
Anywhere you wipe it will raise the grain a little, and when staining, it will soak it the stain in more and make it darker so you always have to sand back to the same grit as the rest of the door.
I do understand your painting.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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SuperCubber

871 posts in 1750 days


#11 posted 08-05-2016 05:14 PM

Thanks, jbay, I think not using a screwdriver or the like under the rag has been my downfall. I’ll give that a try.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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Rick M

7923 posts in 1846 days


#12 posted 08-05-2016 05:16 PM

Use less glue, you only need a few dabs on the panels.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

499 posts in 205 days


#13 posted 08-05-2016 05:42 PM


If you use a finger as a spreader avoid the urge to taste the glue – trust me – it s _terrible!

- MadMark

+1 – paint chips however, are yummy.

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SuperCubber

871 posts in 1750 days


#14 posted 08-05-2016 06:14 PM



Use less glue, you only need a few dabs on the panels.

- Rick M.

I’ll try that, Rick. Thanks.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View skatefriday's profile

skatefriday

380 posts in 948 days


#15 posted 08-05-2016 06:18 PM


Thin your Elmers just a bit to get a little more work time. Have your clamps preset & ALWAYS dry fit before gluing.

M

- MadMark

I always look at glueups as 5 minutes of terror because of how quickly the Titebond 2 I use
grabs the joints.

They say it is supposed to have a 15 minute open time, but I get maybe 1 minute before it’s
grabbing, and 3 minutes before I have to break the bond with a hammer to get to move. I’d
love some more workable time to ensure everything is square.

showing 1 through 15 of 23 replies

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