Glue Up Question about removing squeeze out

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Forum topic by MrFid posted 07-26-2013 04:23 PM 1832 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrFid's profile


876 posts in 1929 days

07-26-2013 04:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: glue up squeeze out clamping

Not sure this belongs in the joinery section, but after all joining wood via glue is joinery haha.

My question regards removing squeeze out from glue joints. Specifically I am gluing up a batch of end grain cutting boards, so lots of glue lines. I apply enough glue (using TB2) to get some squeeze out to make sure the board won’t be cracking in the future. I use clamps and cauls to make sure the joinery is tight. Then, my question. Everyone says, “Wait about 30 mins or an hour, then use a cabinet scraper to remove squeeze out once it’s tacky.” Okay, but I have a crapload of clamps and cauls in the way. So, do I:

a. Remove the clamps and scrape the whole thing even though the glue will not have completely cured yet, or

b. Try to scrape around the clamps and cauls and just get as much as possible. Then after a full cure go get the rest.

If option a, do I need to reattach the clamps after I take them off to remove squeeze out? Or is 30 to 60 minutes all the clamping time I’ll need?

Thanks for your help everyone!


-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

15 replies so far

View Sanding2day's profile


1013 posts in 1871 days

#1 posted 07-26-2013 04:33 PM

Not really answering your question but in my limited experience I pulled all the squeeze out I could using paper towels and left clamped a full 24hrs before scraping/sanding. Had a couple small gaps which I did fill with some additional glue/dust combo wiped in with a finger and sanded over with a short 5-10 min wait. Hope this helps…

-- Dan

View Sanding2day's profile


1013 posts in 1871 days

#2 posted 07-26-2013 04:34 PM

By the way I do believe 60 minutes would provide adequate time for a partial cure, I’d just be warry of applying significant stress.

-- Dan

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2311 days

#3 posted 07-26-2013 04:58 PM

I’m going to have to differ with the above comments. Glue-ups done right are messy, it’s hardly possible not to rub some glue into the grain while you’re clamping, but if by chance you can avoid touching the runny glue, then don’t. Let it fully dry. Without compression it will only sit on top of hardwoods, (softwood different story). It should snap right off if it’s dry. waiting only an hour might not dry the inside of drops which will just mean you wasted an hour. A little furniture wax along the glue line before the glue up will help out loads too. Tape almost always bleeds.
I’d dry clamp the cutting board, then wax it. Then glue up the sides and leave the glue to dry. Knock it off later.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5703 posts in 2837 days

#4 posted 07-26-2013 05:12 PM

I usually have two types of clamps in place. Pipe clamps, and smaller clamps for the cauls. I remove the cauls after about 30 minutes so the glue underneath can dry. After 60 minutes (or once glue is rubbery) remove the clamps and scrape joint lines with a putty knife. Removing the glue while it is still soft will save you the effort of scraping hard glue.

I would use TBIII glue for cutting boards for the added water resistance.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View MrFid's profile


876 posts in 1929 days

#5 posted 07-26-2013 05:17 PM

Thanks guys. I had heard somewhere that it wasn’t the best idea to wipe off wet glue with paper towels since it would just make it spread more, and maybe get more into the grain. FYI I am using mostly hardwoods; softwoods only for shop projects. Any other opinions?

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5703 posts in 2837 days

#6 posted 07-26-2013 05:37 PM

Wiping off glue with a wet rag thins the glue, and makes it a SEALER. For CB’s it may not be that big of an issue since the intended finish will likely be a mineral oil / wax blend. However for any project that will get a stained finish, avoid wiping wet glue because the glue spots will look lighter.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2518 days

#7 posted 07-26-2013 05:53 PM

Just throwing this out for you to consider: plastic resins glues (the PITA type you have to mix up) have substantial water resistance, and they are sandable. Once dry (24 hours) you can sand them off with a belt sander or whatever, and it just comes off as dust. They have some downsides: I mentioned the mixing process, but they are a dark colored glue…so they might show on some seams. But you might also get some extra working time to assemble the boards.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Dorty's profile


20 posts in 2477 days

#8 posted 07-26-2013 06:03 PM

I always let the glue do what it wants and then come back with a dedicated hand plan and scrap it right off after it dries overnight.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2385 days

#9 posted 07-27-2013 12:53 AM

The need to use so much glue that gobs of squeeze out result is pure myth. If joints are properly fitted, only enough glue to wet the surfaces is all that’s required. I aim for no squeeze out, and any bit that does occur gets wiped away immediately with wet paper towels. I’ve never had a joint fail.

-- 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 MrFid's profile


876 posts in 1929 days

#10 posted 07-27-2013 01:58 AM

Hmm interesting results from this one. It appears that there is no consensus here. I think maybe I’ll try scraping tacky glue after an hour on the next ones. If I think of it I’ll post the results here. Thanks for the info everyone! I knew there would be some good info out there.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3585 days

#11 posted 07-27-2013 02:34 AM

I wipe squeeze out off with damp paper towel or cloth and have never had a glue failure nor a finish problem.

-- Joe

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2097 days

#12 posted 07-27-2013 01:44 PM

Let’s add to the non consensus… Actually I am with the majority. Clint Respectfully I disagree. I have had joints open at the top. If it is not glued all the way up it has failed on me… I do agree that they don’t have to be sloppy. The addition of a good glue roller has added speed and minimized squeeze out.

I go with the method several have described. I pull my cauls early to clean. In the hot Texas summer 5 min and the pressure clamps are holding the alignment the cauls provided. I clean with a rag on glue ups that are getting further milling, ie planning or sanding. However I try to imagine that rag having the same water content as the glue, ie damp not sopping, to keep from “sealing” as described. When I don’t do that I am with the 30 to 60 the scraper method.

However.. I am a big fan of keeping the pressure clamps on according to the manufacturer recommend, and anything that is exterior grade, or will see heavy duty, I keep in clamps 24 hour or full cure.

-- Who is John Galt?

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2601 days

#13 posted 07-27-2013 01:51 PM

Sizing of end grain is of interest as well. That’s when you let the glue
soak into the end grain and let it cure, then check for fit, then
glue it up.

Less prone to have a failed joint that way. More time, but, you want
to do a good job and that’s what it takes.

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 2862 days

#14 posted 07-27-2013 01:55 PM

Wet rag on end grain makes me nervous. Edge glue up of long grain is safe to wet rag (imo). But with an end grain cutting board you would be sanding anyway right?

-- Tom, MI, SC

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#15 posted 07-27-2013 02:04 PM

Let the glue get to a rubber type constancy then use a card scraper to clean off hop scotching the clamps as you go.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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