Tips for removing dried glue

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Forum topic by steve6678 posted 11-11-2012 01:42 AM 1802 views 1 time favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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438 posts in 2295 days

11-11-2012 01:42 AM

I have always struggled with this.
I try to sand all my parts down to 3 grits (120, 150, 180) then dry fit, then assemble with glue.
To minimize sanding a assembled piece.
I try to use just the right amount, no more…no less. Of course if your doing things correctly you get squeeze-out.
So, do I attack it while it’s wet? Hmm, makes a mess sometimes.
Do I wait for it to dry, and have to get into some hairy 90 Deg. crevices?
I use a cabinet scraper where I can then sand…and sand…and sand.

What do you do?
Many, I mean many Mortise & Tenons on this Bed project, and many glue Joints.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

28 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2812 days

#1 posted 11-11-2012 01:52 AM

After a dry fit and everything’s a go, I stain and or finish my project
with Danish oil, and or sanding sealer, what ever the case may be.

Sometimes I tape off the area, like a dado or rabbet, and then seal it
and apply glue after a dry fit.

Others will have ideas that work well for them as well.

View steve6678's profile


438 posts in 2295 days

#2 posted 11-11-2012 01:54 AM

you finish before you assemble?

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3883 days

#3 posted 11-11-2012 01:54 AM

Prefinish parts with shellac, except where the glue needs to
go. The glue won’t stick to the shellac and it certainly
won’t get in the pores where you don’t want it.

View derosa's profile


1590 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 11-11-2012 02:05 AM

Especially on objects that have lots of corners and crevices it is easier to do a dry fit to check assembly and then apply finish to all the objects disassembled. Just tape off the tennons and toss some rags in the mortises. Or tape off the exposed surfaces by the joint and once you’ve assembled you can use a damp cloth to remove excess glue, then remove the tape and finish.

-- A posse ad esse

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2812 days

#5 posted 11-11-2012 02:12 AM

@ Steve6678: Yes

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438 posts in 2295 days

#6 posted 11-11-2012 02:12 AM

I use Danish oil, then Gel top coat.
I’ll oil the parts (-) any glue-up areas.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2812 days

#7 posted 11-11-2012 02:26 AM

Yeah buddy!

May be save the last coats, if possible, after the glue dries
and your done cleaning up any squeeze out.

You’ll get the hang of it, and hopefully better results.

View steve6678's profile


438 posts in 2295 days

#8 posted 11-11-2012 04:47 AM

I see most woodworkers glue-up BEFORE any finish.
How do they deal with the final clean up of glue, and a sanding regiment?

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2812 days

#9 posted 11-11-2012 04:57 AM

I’m not sure Steve.

I prefer to seal it first as I dislike seeing glue marks.

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3813 days

#10 posted 11-11-2012 05:24 AM

You can prefinish or apply tape where squeeze out is possible or use a card scraper to remove it when it’s dry,better yet remove it just as it firms up but is not dry. push comes to shove you can try to steam or use hot water on areas that not close to joinery.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3721 days

#11 posted 11-11-2012 05:30 AM

Nowadays with the strength of modern glues, I try to use a few tricks to keep the amount of glue used to a minimum and keep the squeeze out down, such as leaving a bit of space at the bottom of mortises as a glue “well”, only coat the lower half of the tenon, bevel the shoulders to accommodate room for squeeze-out, etc. I had a near catastrophe with hardened squeeze out on wax paper. What a mess, and time and effort. In my opinion, less glue is more. If you can go off for 30 minutes or so then come back, the glue will be hard enough to scrap off but not so hard as to make removal near impossible without a chisel and hammer, or soft enough to make a mess. If you choose to wipe it off just after clamping, use a tooth brush or nylon brush to scrub out the pores, rather than just taking swipes with a wet rag. It’s the glue pushed down into the pores when wipeing that will cause a problem with the finish.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View oldnovice's profile


7379 posts in 3603 days

#12 posted 11-11-2012 05:48 AM

Finish B4 gluing, that’s what I do … most of the time and sometimes tape off the no glued areas!

I tried the set sponge but it made more of a mess and if the wipe off area is bare wood the glue gets into the grain and spoils the final finish!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View bobasaurus's profile


3546 posts in 3419 days

#13 posted 11-11-2012 07:02 AM

Lots of masking with painters tape for me, especially on inside corners. I peel it off before the glue fully cures.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2812 days

#14 posted 11-11-2012 12:15 PM

I wait for it to gel up a bit and then remove it with a small steel ruler. Especially useful in corners.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2926 days

#15 posted 11-11-2012 04:52 PM

I do it just like NiteWalker. Those steel rules make great scrapers and will get into tight corners well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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