Cleanest way to apply glue?

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Forum topic by Scootles posted 06-30-2014 08:17 PM 1235 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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153 posts in 1882 days

06-30-2014 08:17 PM

I’m going to be applying glue to some VERY small boxes. Glue squeeze out INSIDE the box will be impossible to clean up so I need to minimize it. How would you guys apply the glue cleanly and effectively?

11 replies so far

View TiggerWood's profile


271 posts in 1573 days

#1 posted 06-30-2014 08:21 PM

I do a lot of small project glue ups. I use a cheap paint brush, paint the glue on thin, and leave the last 1/16” edge dry with the idea that what little squeeze out there would be will fill it in.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2328 days

#2 posted 06-30-2014 08:30 PM

If you get squeeze out, you’re using too much glue.

-- 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 ShaneA's profile


6910 posts in 2565 days

#3 posted 06-30-2014 08:31 PM

You can prefinish as well, that way squeeze out can be wiped away easier.

View Scootles's profile


153 posts in 1882 days

#4 posted 06-30-2014 08:36 PM

If you get squeeze out, you re using too much glue.

- Clint Searl

If you DONT have squeezeout you probably didn’t use enough. Squeezeout lets you know that the glue coverage is flawless inside.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2389 posts in 3838 days

#5 posted 06-30-2014 08:38 PM

Elmers glue all , dries clear, do it all the time, works great

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2544 days

#6 posted 06-30-2014 09:46 PM

If you DONT have squeezeout you probably didn t use enough. Squeezeout lets you know that the glue coverage is flawless inside.

- Scootles

This is what I was taught as well; if it’s dripping or running, then you’ve used too much. You want a thin bead to form. Then you know you got good coverage.

As for the OP’s issue, you can use tape on the inside of the joints to help reduce cleanup, and when applying glue, apply it towards the outside of the joint to minimize squeeze out on the inside.

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

View LYBeaulieu's profile


14 posts in 2009 days

#7 posted 06-30-2014 11:24 PM

Just use painter’s tape to protect the area you want to spare. Works great on the inside to dovetailed drawers. I use that stuff in my shop all the time for a multitude of reasons like protecting my clamp bars.

Good luck!


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2657 days

#8 posted 07-01-2014 01:21 AM

Prefinish the insides of your boxes with shellac taking care not to get any shellac on the areas to be glued. I just wipe on a couple of coats and it dries almost instantly.

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2647 posts in 2889 days

#9 posted 07-01-2014 01:45 AM

If you are going to finish the inside of the box use Titebond liquid hide glue. When you apply a finish over the small amount of squeeze-out it will virtually disappear. I make a lot of boxes and apply Elmer’s white glue in a thin line and spread it away from the inside of the box with my finger. No squeeze-out.(on the inside) I do not finish the inside of these cedar boxes.

-- Website is

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1921 days

#10 posted 07-02-2014 03:37 AM

I apply it with a plastic syringe I got at Woodcraft. Between applications I just drop it head first into a butter tub of water. With no back pressure, the glue just stays in the syringe, it doesn’t run out. The water keeps the glue from drying and clogging the tip. I’ve left one in the tub for weeks on end. It does not, by itself, solve the excess squeeze out problem. I’m an avid fan of spreading the glue, but most projects where the parts are small, I’ve found that controlling the amount of glue is easier with a syringe, and if the parts are small enough, I don’t need to be anal about spreading it across the width of the joint.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1057 posts in 2817 days

#11 posted 07-02-2014 06:43 PM

I cut a bevel on the end of a plastic drinking straw and use the straw to collect the squeeze-out from the inside corner and then a good wipe with a piece of wet non-woven fiber shop towel.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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