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 tenon after a successful glue-up
HOW TO GLUE UP WOOD
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.