Perfect Glue-Ups For Better Woodworking

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In this video, Colin is going to take you through the process of what he does to get perfect glue ups.

Gluing boards together is one of the foundations of woodwork, so it’s really something that he needs to get correct.

You can also follow him on his social media channels. Let’s get started with the perfect glue up!

The reason why Colin wants to have a perfect glue up is because it saves him so much time later on if he does things right from the beginning.

A perfect glue up means having nice tight joints in all of the board connections and having a board that is flat from end to end and side to side.

He doesn’t want any missing glue in the joints because that creates voids that are impossible to fix.

He also wants to prevent any glue from getting on the surface, especially if he can’t see it because then it affects the finish later on.

To achieve perfect glue ups, Colin strongly recommends using a tool. In his case, he uses a biscuit joiner, but he mentions that if you have a biscuit joiner that works for you, stick with it.

If it’s not working for you, he has a video on things that you can do to help use the machine. Another option, which he personally prefers, is a Dowelmax.

It replaces both the biscuit joiner and a mortising machine. If you’re not familiar with the Dowelmax, he provides a link in the description box so you can check it out.

Colin demonstrates how he marks the face side and the ends of each board. This helps him identify and align the boards later on.

He then uses his doweling jig, marked with blue tape, to drill holes for dowel placement. He repeats this process for each board, making sure the face edges are aligned with each other.

After drilling all the holes, Colin does a dry fit to make sure everything fits perfectly.

Once he’s confident, he applies glue to both surfaces of each joint.

He mentions that it’s important to put enough glue on the joint for it to squeeze out when clamping, but not so much that it runs down the side of the board. He recommends using glue on both surfaces for better bonding.

Colin aligns all the boards and clamps them together. He points out that he doesn’t use calls because they don’t align uneven boards evenly and they make the gluing process messier.

He scrapes off any excess glue using a paint scraper while the glue is still slightly soft. He mentions that using a dull chisel can sometimes lift up the wood, causing joint failures.

Colin removes the blue tape from the faces after about 45 minutes. He explains that the glue has two colors, dark yellow and light yellow, indicating that it’s partially dry.

He uses a paint scraper to quickly and easily remove any remaining glue. He also marks a small spot with a circle where he accidentally got some glue, so he can pay special attention to it during sanding.


Q: What is a perfect glue-up?
A: A perfect glue-up refers to achieving tight joints, flat boards, and preventing any missing glue or excess glue on the surface during the process of gluing boards together in woodworking.

Q: Why is a perfect glue-up important?
A: A perfect glue-up saves time in the long run and ensures a solid foundation for woodworking projects. It allows for seamless joints, prevents voids, and allows for a smooth surface for finishing.

Q: What tools can be used for perfect glue-ups?
A: Tools such as a biscuit joiner or a Dowelmax can assist in achieving perfect glue-ups. These tools aid in aligning the boards and creating strong joints.

Q: How do I remove excess glue from a glue-up?
A: Once the glue is partially dry, a paint scraper is recommended for removing any excess glue. It is important to scrape off the glue while it is still slightly soft to prevent any damage to the wood.

Q: Are there alternative methods for achieving perfect glue-ups?
A: While the biscuit joiner and Dowelmax are popular choices, there are other methods available. The key is to find a method that works consistently for you and ensures tight joints and flat boards in your woodworking projects.

Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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