Hardened wood glue removal


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17 Mar 2023
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Hi all

I am currently building a workbench and for that I have acquired a beech worktop (140x 80 cm and 40mm deep). This came untreated and in the summer unfortunately it split right down the middle (80cm long) even though it was in a workshop, laid flat and no sun exposure. Two days ago I took the plunge and glued and clamped it. Whereas I was able to clean up squeezed out glue on one side in between clamps, I couldn't reach the other side. What is the best way to remove the hardened glue? I've read about white vinegar, sanding,chisels and irons, but not sure now what to do?

Thanks in advance
What glue have you used, I'm guessing a pva type so not brittle and prone to chipping a plane edge. I'd avoid a chisel, even with the bevel down as it might well remove a lump of the wood with the glue. I'd be tempted to use a block plane and then sand. You may be left with some staining to the surface but is this a concern on a workbench top [or underside].

Hi Colin

I used Gorilla wood glue.
Is that Gorilla PVA {the white stuff} or PU, the foaming brown stuff which was the original Gorilla product?
If PVA gentle heat will soften it such that it can be scraped off. If the deposits are of variable thickness it's worth sanding which will remove the thinner areas and the frictional heat produced will be sufficient to soften the thicker areas which can then be scraped off.
Excess PU will have foamed and will be easy to remove but will need sanding or scraping to remove final traces.
Hi Brian
it's the PVA . Thanks, I will get the heat gun out and give it a hair dryer treatment. I'll do it on a low setting not to burn the wood.
In all likelihood the split will open up again as PVA glue never hardens completely and will move under stress. I assume this is the bench top. If so make sure it is well attached to the frame to keep the split closed
I use acetone to remove glue off my clamps. My clamps are too large for me to be able to soak in acetone so I use a scrubbing brush with the acetone to get the glue off. Ideally they need a soak but the acetone works with scrubbing if needs must. Totebond leaves black stains on my clamps but the glue is gone so the clamps move freely.
Thanks all, I will try to use all methods and see what works best . Does the Acetone not leave a residue on untreated wood or are you just using it on the clamps? I leave the clamps on for a little while longer as I haven't got time anyway at the moment.
Scraper - cabinet or wallpaper whichever.

Best put safety glasses on too as it can ping off in all directions

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