Strategies for Squeeze-out
Expert tips and tricks for cleaning up glue
Synopis: Squeeze-out is inevitable. And if your philosophy, like Tim Rousseau’s, is to err on the side of too much glue rather than too little, you’ll need a variety of approaches to deal with it. Here, he offers his tips and tricks for managing squeeze-out, whether it happens on panels, mortise-and-tenon joints, inside the corners of cases, or in and around dovetail joints.
I’ve been teaching furniture making for more than 15 years. I’m a fairly relaxed person, so I rarely get too worked up when my students make mistakes. That being said, when I find hard, dried glue somewhere on a student’s piece, I start to hear the voice of master craftsman and teacher Alan Peters: “we’ve taught them nothing—nothing.” with Alan, it was the random-orbit sander that got him going; for me, it’s the dried glue.
When I learned to make furniture, the emphasis was placed on not using too much glue. As the years passed, I’ve had a few joints come loose and I have come to believe that when in doubt, it is better to err on the side of too much glue than too little. (of course, I’ve also figured out where I should spare the glue.) Along the way, I’ve come up with a ton of tips and tricks for managing the inevitable squeezeout. Here I’ll share my secrets.
Three approaches For panels.
Panel glue-ups offer some latitude because they are accessible on both sides and the flat surfaces are easy to clean up. Rousseau puts a good film of glue on both edges with the goal of getting about a 1⁄8-in. bead of glue squeezed out of the joint.
The best approach? Let it set. Wait about 30 to 45 minutes for…