Replace your glue regularly

If you can't remember how long ago you bought the glue you're using, don't risk trashing a project because of failed joints. Woodworking glue has a shelf life that seldom exceeds a couple of years, so mark the purchase date on any bottle you buy, and either use it or pitch it before the glue passes its prime.

Trapped sawdust can spoil accuracy of stopblocks

Stopblocks provide another great way to eliminate measurements. A block that rides completely against the table surface, though, can trap sawdust and chips that prevent workpieces from butting fully against the stop. Leave some space for these chips to escape.

Use backer boards to reduce chip-out

You can eliminate chip-out by using sharp cutters and backer boards that support the wood where the cutter exits the workpiece.

If you can't use a backer, such as when routing a profile around the edges of a board, right, remember that chip-out occurs most often across the grain. For this reason, start on an end, and then work your way around counterclockwise. Any chip-out will get cut away as you rout the adjoining edge.

Mark all

16' version). They feature a blank zone where you can make marks with a pencil. For details, visit, or call 888/443-3748.

16' version). They feature a blank zone where you can make marks with a pencil. For details, visit, or call 888/443-3748.

„ Mark measurements

Mark all using a story for accuracy.

Dry-assemble parts before applying glue

You have 18 project parts, 10 minutes of working time with the glue you just spread, and two hands. This is not the time to figure out how everything should go together—let alone whether it all fits. Here's better plan: First assemble your project without glue, which allows you to double-check the joinery. Then you can head off alignment issues, make corrections, and decide what assembly sequence

Carpenter's "V" helps ensure proper alignment of boards being glued___^

Glue squeeze-out signals a good clamping routine

Nobody wants to clean up gobs of extra glue, so when joining parts, spread just a paper-thin layer of glue on each mating surface. This should put down the right amount of glue and help minimize slippage when you bring the parts together. Tighten the clamps until a consistent line of squeeze-out emerges, and you'll have a no-fail joint without mess.

If in doubt, though, too much glue presents the better option than too little. You'll have a mess to clean up, but you won't risk a glue-starved joint.

Carpenter's "V" helps ensure proper alignment of boards being glued___^

Wait until glue skims over before removing squeeze-out

Some woodworkers wipe away squeeze-out while the glue is still wet. But this can raise grain, create a mess, and spread glue onto the surfaces surrounding the joint. Others advocate scraping away the glue after it dries. We prefer this method with polyurethane glue, but not with yellow or white glue. With those, wait until the beads skin over and become rubbery. Then use a sharp paint scraper or a chisel to scrape the glue away. Now wipe the surface lightly with a damp rag, being careful not to spread the glue.

After the glue dries, search out any glue you might have missed. Wipe surfaces with lacquer thinner, and hold a bright light at a low angle to the surface to highlight the glue.


Glue beads are \

still soft but don't \

A sharp paint scraper or chisel removes glue quickly,

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