Better Board Gluing

Tired of scraping dried glue from your workbench and clamps? This no-mess technique also ensures a flat finished surface when you’re edge gluing boards.

The Family Handyman

Tired of scraping dried glue from your workbench and clamps? Shop teacher John Nelson’s no-mess technique also ensures a flat finished surface when you’re edge gluing boards. Give it a try!

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First, cover the clamps with newspaper. Then smooth glue on the board edges and lay them into the clamps without tightening. Fold the newspaper over both ends of the panel and lightly clamp 3/4-in. x 1-1/2 in. wide hardwood batten boards above and below each end with C-clamps. Now alternately tighten all the clamps (all the bar clamps first, then the C-clamps). The batten boards keep the boards from sliding up and down as you tighten the larger clamps, so the boards remain in the same alignment as the glue dries.

After 20 minutes, peel off the partially hardened glue on top of the panel with a razor blade or paint scraper. The newspaper under the tabletop prevents the metal clamps from staining the wood where they touch glue, and it catches squeezed-out glue so the workbench stays clean.

Here’s another idea for DIY edge-gluing clamps.