Please help with glue up issue!! Swelling glue joints

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Forum topic by ak6143 posted 01-19-2012 09:39 PM 1701 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2108 days

01-19-2012 09:39 PM

I have a couple of older projects (2-4 years old). 1 is my dining room table that I made of walnut and the other is a hard rock maple butcher block cart. The butcher block is an end grain butcher block about 8in thick. My issue is that my glue joints seem to be swelling or something, more so on the butcher block. If I run my hand over the top I can feel nearly every joint pretty well. About a month ago I hit it with a cabinet scraper to knock it all down and re-oiled. Now I can feel all the joints again. I dont remember what I used for glue, but most likely it was TB2. Any ideas how to remedy this?

6 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3635 days

#1 posted 01-19-2012 10:36 PM

I have a similar situation with a chess table I made. The blocks are solid and approximately 3/4” thick.

I finished it to a glass-smooth surface over a period of a few weeks. Before I had a chance to bring it to its final destination, I noticed that I could feel the joints between the squares. Aggravated, I redid the finish on top (again, a long and laborious process) and brought it to my office. Within a few weeks, I could again feel the joints.

It’s been been nearly a year now, and I can still feel the joints, but the problem has not worsened. I’m guessing it was moisture-related, and I’m guessing your problem is the same.

If it is happening due to seasonal changes in humidity, I don’t know that there is anything you can really do about it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2403 days

#2 posted 01-19-2012 10:38 PM

Is there a gap between each piece that you are feeling or is it that the glue is higher than the wood.
If the glue is high then you have “glue creep”. Most of the time it will settle down. I would sand it again if it is just the glue that is high.
I have heard that TBII creeps more than TBIII. Maybe someone below will verify this.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View ETwoodworks's profile


92 posts in 2110 days

#3 posted 01-20-2012 02:36 AM

I have had this “glue creep” on a couple table tops. I was using Elmers ProBond. It’s really frustrating and it would be great if anyone had some good insight on how and why it happens. Maybe even how to prevent it.

-- Building quality in a throw away world.

View Loren's profile


8156 posts in 3064 days

#4 posted 01-20-2012 05:19 AM

Next time use plastic resin glue.

The only solution to glue creep is to scrape and refinish… probably
more than once.

My opinion is that white glue dries harder and creeps less than yellow
glue. That and its longer working time is the reason I use it for most
interior work. Many informed pros do the same.

Yellow glues are often formulated for fast set-time and water
resistance. In joints they work fine but in a complex glue-up they
set too fast. In lamination and edge gluing they often creep.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3161 days

#5 posted 01-20-2012 04:51 PM

I’ve had this problem with the TB2, but not with the TB3.

View ak6143's profile


12 posts in 2108 days

#6 posted 01-20-2012 06:13 PM

I believe it to be glue creep as the joints are tight. I do think back then i used TB2. The table I built this past yr with TB3 hasnt had that issue thus far and is about a yr old so Im hoping its just the type of glue. On the butcher block, I can level again and re-oil. On my dining table, there isnt much I can do on an ongoing basis without stripping each time, so hopefully it eventually goes away. Thanks for the suggestion

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