How to Remove Carpenter's Glue From Wood

Written by maria tussing
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Most woodworking projects require carpenter's glue or wood glue, which is usually used to bond wood to wood. The glue works by penetrating the wood and bonding the two pieces as the moisture evaporates from the glue. It should be applied to clean, dry surfaces. If you are fixing an old glued joint, you should remove all of the old glue before you glue the joint again. In most cases, stains and finishes can't penetrate glue, so any glue left on a surface that will be finished will cause an inconsistent finish.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Carpenter's glue
  • Wood chisel or glue scraper

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Instructions

    Unfinished Wood

  1. 1

    Glue and clamp the joint as required for the application.

  2. 2

    Allow the glue to dry completely, which usually takes several hours.

  3. 3

    Scrape the glue off the edges of the joint with a wood chisel, bevel up, or a glue scraper.

    Finished Wood

  1. 1

    Use a glue scraper or wood chisel to gently scrape off any old glue.

  2. 2

    Glue and clamp the joint as necessary.

  3. 3

    Use a damp cloth to immediately wipe off the glue while it is still wet.

  4. 4

    Turn the cloth several times, and rinse it if necessary, to find a clean surface to wipe the glue off with.

Tips and warnings

  • Too much glue makes a weak joint, as does too little glue. The right amount of glue should squeeze out of the edges of the joint a little bit but not run down the wood.

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