For some reason, many people still get stuck with one classic question: how to fix glue squeeze out. So, now let me show you how I fix this problem.

If you glued the objects properly, the joints will squeeze out any excess adhesive after clamping. If you don’t see any of this, you are most certainly missing some parts or did not apply enough adhesive. Now, take a look at the joints, there should be small beads made from the excess glue there. You should pay close attention to these beads and learn your mistakes. Based on your observation, adjust your gluing as well as you clamping techniques until this occurrence becomes predictable and normal.

Some people believe that the best way to deal with this glue squeeze-out is to clean it immediately off the joints using a damp rag. Well, this trick works perfectly to some degree and I still recommend this method in some cases. It’s a nice trick not only to remove the excess glue, but also to make them appear as if nothing happened. However, if you use aliphatic resin as your woodworking glue, there is a better way to deal with the excess glue.

water on wood

We’ve been told that it’s not a good idea to let raw wood wet. Water is, in its nature, the everlasting enemy of wood. It works perfectly is most situations, but watery environment is not one of them. Water will only bring serious problems to your wood. At the beginning, it will raise the grain. The fibers on the surface will be lifted and create tiny splinters and slivers. You need to remove both of these immediately or the finishing will be useless. It is true that there are some occasions where we seek to have these things to appear, but in most cases, they’ll be nothing but a nuisance. Another annoying fact about this method is it becomes more and more impossible to use only a damp rag to remove the glue. There are many cases when people tried using a damp rag to deal with the problems, but instead of actually removing the glue, they just move it from one place to another. Not to mention some parts of the glue will fill the open pores, which will only result in hideous looking finishes.

Here is one thing I can learn after spending a few years in gluing: patience matters. After everything you’ve done, the last thing you want is letting your rage takes control of you. Yes, I know how frustrating it is to see how a ‘minor’ gluing mistake can make everything you’ve done nearly useless. However, you can’t fix this problem with just your blood pressure. So, the first thing you should do is, take a deep breath and re-claim your patience.

Now, wait for 20-30 minutes until the excess glue created a solid, translucent layer. Next, locate the broadest bench chisel and proceed to remove the beads off. You will see how the beads come off like butter, leaving the wood surface undamaged, smooth, and perfectly clean.

wood clean

If you want to clean a corner joint, run your chisel along the joint, precisely in the corner to remove the glue. For more difficult areas, take your approach from the sides and push the chisel’s edge from both directions into the corner. Then, you can lever the chisel to remove the glue.

While patience is the first key to begin all these treatments, you should never forget about your timing. Timing is crucial. If you try to remove the glue when it is still wet, you will only damage the surface. Give another 10 minutes before giving another attempt. Wait for the right time and do not rush. If you are too late to remove the glue, do not attempt chiseling the glue. I’d recommend using the damp rag method for this case. It requires less effort. You will still need the chisel, but only to clean the leftover. This way, the excess glue will come off quite easily since the glue hasn’t reached the wood’s fibers. If it has, there’s nothing I can recommend to deal with it.  So, mind your time.