53 Brilliant Gluing Tips and Tricks
Check out 53 of the most clever gluing tips and tricks from editors and readers of Family Handyman. You’ll definitely want to keep these in mind during your next woodworking projects!
Sometimes it’s hard to pull open the nozzle on a bottle of wood glue, so I cut a small piece of wood with a hole in the middle and installed it between the nozzle and the bottle. The wooden handle is much easier to grab and pull open. — Court Kites. Plus: Check out 12 workshop supplies you should always buy at the Dollar Store.
Disposable Glue Dispensers
Here’s a nifty tip—with a nifty tip—from faithful reader Don Ayers: Fill snap-capped sports water bottles with glue and stick them upside down in a hunk of 2×6. Now you don’t have to wait for the glue to run into the neck of the bottle, and the cap will control glue flow (and never get lost!). To holster the glue dispensers, cut holes in the base with a spade bit that’s a smidgen larger than the cap’s diameter.
P.S. Be sure to snap the lid closed before returning the bottle to the base. Otherwise the whole bottleful of glue will run out! The snap-cap makes an airtight seal and controls bead size when you squeeze.
Portable Hot Glue Hack
I like to be ready for anything, including making a quick repair with hot glue. But there’s not always a handy outlet to plug in a glue gun. So I keep a lighter and a glue stick in my toolbox. I usually only need a little dab to fix something. Melt the tip of the glue stick with the lighter and dab the melted glue on your repair. So keep a lighter and a hot glue stick in your tool bag for your on-the-go, impromptu gluing needs. See 18 more hot glue hacks you need to know here.
Paste Wax Makes Cleanup Easy
My wife and I have developed an arrangement that works out well for both of us. She buys cheap furniture and I get to fix it a few weeks later when it falls apart. I’ve discovered a way to minimize the mess when regluing joints. Just rub a little paste wax on the finished surfaces next to each joint. Cleaning up squeezed-out glue is a snap because the glue won’t stick to the wax. — Bob Clark
Why You Should Lubricate Your Glue Caps and Lids
Caps on certain adhesives/glues, like rubber cement and super glue, have a habit of getting stuck or glued on no matter how hard you try and keep them clean. This can be prevented by simply smearing a little coating of petroleum jelly onto the threads of the tube or lid. You just need a small dab of the petroleum jelly to prevent even more of a mess. Be sure to smear a little bit on before putting the cap back on the glue and it should prevent the cap from cementing on over time. So the next time you go to use your super glue, you’ll be able to open it with ease and get right to work! Did you know you can also use petroleum jelly to lubricate squeaky hinges? Here’s how.
Use a Straw to Scoop Up Squeeze-Out
When glue squeezes out on an inside corner like in a drawer or the inside any woodworking project, using a chisel has the potential to cause more harm than good. This is because the sharp blade can easily mark-up and scratch the adjacent surface. The solution is a simple drinking straw. We used paper straws because they can be recycled unlike plastic ones. The straw will conform to the shape of the corner and the excess glue will be collected inside the straw so it can’t get re-deposited anywhere else.
Glue Bottle Caddy
Here are four good reasons to build this glue caddy for your shop. First, no more hunting for the right type of glue; they’ll all be right at your fingertips. Second, you can store the containers upside down. That keeps the glue near the spout—no more shaking down half-filled bottles. Third, upside-down storage helps polyurethane glues last longer without hardening because it keeps the air out. Last, the caddy is so doggone handsome. Here’s how to make it:
Arrange all your glue bottles in a circle with 1-in. spacing between the bottles. Add 2 in. to the circle diameter and cut out two 3/4-in. plywood discs. Drill 7/8-in. holes in the center of each one. Measure the various bottle diameters and drill storage holes around the top disc a smidgen larger than the bottles. Glue the discs on a 12-in.-long, 7/8-in. dowel, with a 5-in. space between the discs.
The Family Handyman
Easy Drip Cleanup
Editor Travis Larson says: No more scraping hardened glue off your workbench. Before you set up for gluing, lay a sheet of inexpensive, thin painter’s plastic underneath. Another nifty tip to avoid rockhard glue on your workpiece is to glue it, then wait two hours and scrape off the excess. The glue is still pliable at this stage, so the job is quick and easy.
The Family Handyman
Quick, Even Application
Here’s a smooth tip for spreading carpenter’s glue from reader Cary McAdams. Slide a piece of 1-in. diameter pipe insulation onto a 4-in. paint roller frame and use it to evenly roll on the glue. When the job’s done, just throw away the insulation. No more wasting store-bought rollers on a one-time job.