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Applying the proper amount of glue required to achieve a good bond

QuestionHow much woodworking adhesive is needed to achieve a good bond?

AnswerThe proper amount of glue required can be difficult to gauge. You want to apply enough adhesive to make a uniform glue line under pressure. Thin glue lines yield stronger joints, but if you apply too little glue or too much pressure, you'll starve the joint.

Porous surfaces, such as end grain, absorb some of the adhesive. To compensate, apply a second coat to these areas once you have allowed the maximum open-assembly time.

Difficult-to-glue oil and exotic woods can be bonded if you take a few extra steps. Wipe one or both bonding surfaces with lacquer thinner prior to applying the adhesive. Coat surfaces to be joined with adhesive within a half-hour after the surface has been planed, jointed, or sawn. Try not to rush the open assembly time.

Depending on the adhesive used, it can be applied with your finger, a brush, or mechanical devices. Applicators can speed the process and deliver a uniform adhesive spread.

When's the best time to remove glue squeeze-out? I prefer to let the squeeze-out dry and then scrape it off. Holding back 1/4" from the edge when you apply glue may help minimize the amount of squeeze-out you'll get. A light squeeze-out tells you that you have applied a sufficient amount of glue.

When applying glue, immediately remove excess adhesive with a damp warm sponge and then dry the wood with a clean, dry, white cloth. Even this method is not always foolproof. If you don't remove all of the glue residue, it will show up after the project has been stained, and then it's a real job to take care of.

One way to help detect unwanted glue stains is to use an adhesive such as Titebond II Fluorescent. This adhesive contains a dye that, when viewed under a black light, will enable you to inspect the glue line and assist in the cleanup process. It is ideal for most porous materials, is easy to use, and cleans up with water.

For more information, please visit www.titebond.com.


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Franklin 2316 Titebond Fluorescent Glue - Gallon

Copyright © 1996 & 2008 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved. The previous article,
in whole or in part, appeared in the September/October 1996 issue of Woodworker's Journal.



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