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Expert's Corner — glue

TIP: Disguising Glue Seepage and Wood-putty Splotches

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Glue seepage, or glue on your fingers that’s transferred to the wood, blocks stain penetration. This usually results in a lighter area. The same can happen with wood putty because it doesn’t accept color the same as wood does. In both cases, you have a lighter area or spot that you want to color in to match the surrounding wood. Here’s how to do it. As shown in the accompanying picture, the better method is usually to first seal the wood, then paint in the grain. Connect the grain lines on either side of the lighter area. When this has...

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TIP: Stripping Veneer

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Stripping veneer is no different than stripping solid wood, with a few exceptions. First, avoid using lye or a stripper that contains water. Because of the thinness of the veneer, these might work through and loosen the glue bond. Solvent-based strippers shouldn’t cause any problem that didn’t already exist. Second, if you sand after stripping, which is usually a good idea to check that you have removed all the finish, do so lightly and with fine sandpaper. Otherwise, you might sand through, and a sand-through is almost impossible to fix. I recommend doing this sanding by hand with just your...

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TIP: Avoiding glue squeeze-out in joints

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TIP: Avoiding glue squeeze-out in joints

The obvious cause of glue squeeze-out in joints is that too much glue has been applied. So the obvious way to avoid the squeeze-out and resulting splotching under a stain or finish is to apply less glue. As shown in the accompanying picture, you can countersink a mortise and a dowel hole to create a reservoir for excess glue to collect. You can also chamfer the ends of tenons and dowels. Most dowels are manufactured with the ends already chamfered.But you don’t want to apply too little glue either or you won’t get a good bond. So here’s a trick...

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Protect Your Inlay

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Protect Your Inlay

One of my earliest furniture projects was a Sheraton Field bed that I built when I was 14 years old. Later, another version of that same bed was built. This time, however, I inlaid small birdseye panels into the square sections of the mahogany posts – an idea that caught my eye while surfing museum books. From nearly the beginning of my furniture building career, my favorite finish has used aniline dye to color my project with top coats of shellac and/or lacquer. As I contemplated how to finish the bed, I was concerned that all the work put into...

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Repair Furniture Before Refinishing

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Furniture that needs refinishing often needs some regluing or wood repair. It’s almost always best to do all the regluing, parts repair and parts replacements before doing the stripping. This is so that any glue seepage or damage you might cause happens on top of the old finish. When it is then removed with the stripping, so are the glue seepage and the damage. The exceptions are when the wood is covered with paint or a heavy glaze and you need to patch or replace a part or some veneer but can’t see what the wood is. You will have...

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