Can I Adequately Join A Face Frame To A Plywood Case With Glue On Only One Surface?

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Forum topic by Targa posted 02-10-2014 10:19 PM 1584 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Targa's profile


118 posts in 1936 days

02-10-2014 10:19 PM

I’m gluing a solid oak face frame, with the aid of biscuits, to a 3/4” oak plywood case and want to minimize glue squeeze out in order to minimize clean up of glue residue on the surface to be finished. (This is my first project so I’m cautiously feeling my way along)

My question is whether I can obtain adequate results by applying glue to only one surface before clamping the face frame to the case?

Will there be sufficient holding strength of the glue if I run a single bead of the glue around only the center of the case, in addition to both sides of the biscuits, before clamping the face frame to the case instead of also applying glue to the mating surface of the face frame?

I would appreciate your comments

Thank you

-- Dom

10 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5545 posts in 3860 days

#1 posted 02-10-2014 10:43 PM

Probably … I do that often … just make sure you spread the glue on the surface you put the bead on.

After-thought: Putting glue on both surfaces doesn’t mean spreading twice as much glue. If you cut the amount of glue in half and put it on both sides, then spread evenly, you shouldn’t have any more squeeze-out than with just one bed on one surface.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2489 days

#2 posted 02-10-2014 11:01 PM

I prefer glue on both surfaces, particularly making sure there is glue in each biscuit slot on both sides—just use less glue and spread it out thin as Gerry observed.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3845 days

#3 posted 02-10-2014 11:04 PM

You can prefinish the ply with shellac to prevent the glue
from getting in the pores. You can also use paste wax
which comes off with mineral spirits.

View Alongiron's profile


649 posts in 2890 days

#4 posted 02-10-2014 11:09 PM

When gluing anything at anytime, I always using 1-1/2 blue painters tape

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View BJODay's profile


527 posts in 2140 days

#5 posted 02-10-2014 11:16 PM

+1 for TheDane. Use a silicon glue brush to spread the glue on the desired surface. It is surprising how far a bead can be spread around.


View Targa's profile


118 posts in 1936 days

#6 posted 02-10-2014 11:54 PM

”When gluing anything at anytime, I always using 1-1/2 blue painters tape”

I tried using some blue painters tape for delicate surfaces on some glue ups I did and had a tough time getting it off at the glue edge. Perhaps I waited too long and let the glue dry hard which is why it came off in bits and pieces?

” You can also use paste wax which comes off with mineral spirits”

Is there any particular paste wax I should or shouldn’t use if I decide to go that route? I think I read somewhere not to use any with silicon?

-- Dom

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3864 days

#7 posted 02-11-2014 12:01 AM

A single bead of glue and biscuits will keep that facefrrame on for good.

I would avoid the wax trick, especially if this is your first project.

A damp sponge should take care of any major squeeze-out.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3845 days

#8 posted 02-11-2014 12:11 AM

The problem with wiping glue off an open pored wood like oak
is the glue can get down in the pores. Some people claim
this has never been a problem for them, but it has vexed
me in the past and that is why I do not wet-wipe glue on
open pored woods.

Any regular paste wax will work.

You could also fill the veneer grain before gluing the face
frame one. The glue can be scraped off then with no
concerns about it affecting stain. With solid wood you
can scrape away material to get past any glue issues,
but with veneer being so thin more than light sanding
can result in the brown glue showing through the veneer.

View shipwright's profile


8162 posts in 2995 days

#9 posted 02-11-2014 04:58 AM

Use a liquid hide glue like Old Brown Glue and you can clean up squeeze out with water and a cloth. The strength is just as good and its just as easy. You will have no issues with finish and better yet, it is reversible.

Why is everyone using PVA glues????

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2851 days

#10 posted 02-18-2014 02:40 AM

I’ve been doing exactly that process since 2000 when I started my business. I’ve done hundreds of cabinet since then and have never had a problem. Prior to that, I did it the same way for family and friends when woodworking was a hobby. I prefinish all my cabinet parts before I assemble. That way any glue squeeze out is really easy to clean up.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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