Achieve Worry-Free Furniture Glue-Ups Every Time With These Helpful Tips

Gluing up furniture can be stressful, especially if the piece is complicated or has to be glued up all at once. It can be like playing a game of Twister, holding one part of the project with your foot while nudging another into place with your chin (true story!). The ideal glue-up is one that you can accomplish calmly without creating problems you’ll have to clean up later. Here are a few tips that will help take the anxiety out of glue-ups and give you the best chance for success.

Wedged tenons after glue-up

Wedged tenon after a successful glue-up 


By the time you’re ready to glue up a piece of furniture, you’ve likely spent hours milling the wood, shaping it and cutting joints. After you’ve spent so much time and energy, glue-ups can be nerve-wracking. As soon as you apply glue, the clock starts ticking. With most wood glues, the set-up time is about 30 minutes, but sometimes after only a few minutes you’ll start to feel it setting and it becomes more and more difficult to move things into position. Conversely, sometimes glue acts as a lubricant, so the more you pull two parts together, the more they slide apart. I’ve had my share of glue-ups go south on me, so I’ve learned a few things along the way.

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