Tips & Tricks: Issue 10

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This article is from Issue 10 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Another Twist on Glue Bottles

For easy glue storage and application, I use a bottle with a slanted snout. Bottles like this one are available at women’s beauty supply stores for about $1. The design allows the bottle to be held in a horizontal position that’s comfortable to the hand and keeps the bottle out of your line of sight to the glue. The snout’s tip allows very accurate placement of the glue bead on the wood.

The snouts can be cut back to provide various thicknesses for the glue bead. Sometimes, you want a lot of glue; other times, a little. The caps to seal the bottle are electrician’s twist caps that come in many diameters to fit various snout tip sizes. I have used these bottles for three years and their contents have never dried out. 

As for cleaning, very little glue builds up on the snout’s tip during application because the tip is in direct contact with the wood. I always have a damp cloth when gluing, so I use it to clean what little glue gets on the tip.   

— Charles Thompson, Fairhope, Ala.

Stablilize with Superglue 

Turners have long used thick and thin superGlue to stabilize workpieces, especially bowls. I have found that superglue is also good for stabilizing knots, cracks and flaws in regular milled lumber. I simply fill cracks in lumber and loose knots with regular superglue, and give it a shot of spray-type rapid cure before I begin working with it. I have “saved” quite a few pieces of lumber which might otherwise have been discarded as unworkable.

— Lee Mothershead, San Marino, Calif.

Sick of Sticky Situations?

An easy way to remove sticky tape residue from almost anything is by applying aerosol shaving cream to the residue and wiping it off. Works like a charm!     
—Jude Gagner, Bangor, Maine

Stainable Glues 

to fill in gaps, i have often mixed up my own filler from glue and sawdust. I was never quite satisfied with the result, because the glue residue affected the finish. Now I use the new stainable glues mixed with sawdust. The fine sawdust from my palm sander’s dust collection bag is excellent for mixing.

I also found that rubbing the joint with sawdust gives a slightly rounded and smooth edge that stains well. I store the sawdust in containers labeled by type of wood.  

— Jay Williams, Shirleysburg, Pa.

Sandwich Bags Sans the Sandwich 

when using instant glue, it can be frustrating to align parts without gluing your fingers to the project. A simple solution is to put sandwich bags on your hands. The glue will not stick to the bags or your hands. 

— Frank LaRoque, The Dalles, Ore.

Don’t Monkey Around

I had some gaps between pieces of my last inlay project (there were a lot of odd contours and radii). I used Gorilla Glue in the joints, knowing that it would just foam out during cure and could be trimmed later.

What I found was that after trimming, all of the little foam-out pockets leave a very nice catch for sanding dust. I did normal finish sanding, the pockets filled with dust, and I was able to apply my lacquer with no need for additional filler. The color match was perfect, since the dust came directly from the finished piece. You could not do this with normal yellow wood glue, which leaves a fully filled, smooth surface after trimming that is difficult to hide.

—Ken Bedel, Vandalia, Ohio

Cool Glue

It occurred to me one day, as I was preparing to glue up 15 pieces of red oak for a tabletop, that I would perhaps not be able to get the glue spread on all the edges and have time to clamp all the pieces together before the glue set up. I thought about buying a slower-setting glue to do the job, but then it dawned on me that the lower the temperature, the more slowly a chemical reaction takes place. 

I put my glue in the refrigerator and cooled it down to about 40°. I was then able to apply it to all of the pieces, get the glue spread and the clamps set before the glue warmed up sufficiently to start setting. As the glue warmed to room temperature it began to set, but the mission was accomplished with plenty of time to spare. I suppose if you wanted to, you could also cool your wood down to further slow the setting time of the glue. Cooling your glue allows you to use the same glue for different projects, even when the setup time is a lot longer. I also set the glue container in a cooler during the glueup process to keep it cool. 

— Dan Zinda, Alexandria, Minn.  


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