Visible Glue Lines help please

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edwinbone

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Started this new hobby only a few months ago with the intention of making some small boxes as gifts . Practiced on meranti and some other softer woods and eventually got to a point where i knew what I had to do ( which is different from doing what I had to do :) ) and started making the box with American Black Walnut. Did my dovetails and dry fitting they seemed ok (ignoring my mistakes) and then did a glue-up using Titebond Original. Clamped the box using blocks to apply pressure to the joints but when i looked at the glued up box I have visible glue line which is disappointing. I didn't have this problem with meranti.

The intention is (was) to oil and then lacquer the box.

So the questions I have are
  1. what could I have done better on the glue up
  2. Was I using the right glue?
  3. Is there any way to hide the white glue lines which are visible on even good ( for me) joints
    1. Is it possible to dissolve the visible glue and then use other methods to disguise any gaps
    2. Cut it out but that does not seem an option when i tried with a scalpel
Any help would be appreciated

View attachment 97907 View attachment 97908
 

edwinbone

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Hi David This is my first post on the forum so hope I'm doing it correctly! It looks to me as if the tails have simply not been pushed down far enough. How did you do the clamping? You need to use a block that has cut outs so that it just pushes on the tails and not on the pins. You need to actually push on the tails and not on the sides of the box otherwise the slight bow will open up the end of the joint. Oh and don't use too much glue. The glue at the base of the joint is end grain to side grain and has little strength anyway. Good Luck. A possible way of saving that particular box could be to inlay a line down the glue line and make a feature of it - and you get to have a go at inlaying as well!
 

Lightning bolt

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Nice box, good effort. Perfection lies in heaven. I've been playing with wood for a living for 17yrs ish & I make mistakes on every single job, it's the best way to learn & the best thing about this forum is we all get to learn from each other's mistakes. So thanks for making this one. A fella I used to work under up in the Rocky mountains used to say to me: 'the difference between a good carpenter & a bad one is, a good one can hide his mistakes'
 

alexalexander

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Can you gently scratch out a little of the glue with something sharp and then use some coloured wood filler rubbed into the scratches?
 

Jacob

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Ordinary PVA dries sort of clear and not very conspicuous. The basic trick with glue lines like these is to cut the joint with tenons/tails etc slightly over length and then plane them back to the face of the box once the glue is hard.
PS in fact this is what a block plane is primarily used for and the process is called "blocking in" apparently. Couldn't you do that to your finished box - just plane or sand the faces back and clean up the joint in the process?
 
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DavidRa

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Can you gently scratch out a little of the glue with something sharp and then use some coloured wood filler rubbed into the scratches?
That is what I ending up doing, softened the glue with Acetone and then tried to disguise it. Not perfect but next time :)
 

DavidRa

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Ordinary PVA dries sort of clear and not very conspicuous. The basic trick with glue lines like these is to cut the joint with tenons/tails etc slightly over length and then plane them back to the face of the box once the glue is hard.
PS in fact this is what a block plane is primarily used for and the process is called "blocking in" apparently. Couldn't you do that to your finished box - just plane or sand the faces back and clean up the joint in the process?
tbh I don't think the glue line was the issue, I just didn't execute well enough, but thanks for the help
 

DavidRa

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The cutoff temp for all of the PVAs seems to be about 6 C. It looks like 'chalking' of the glue due to the cold is your problem. In practice you should not see a glue line after glue up --- easier said than done. Using painters tape along the line will help. I tend to wait 40 mins after glue up by which time the glue will be 'rubbery' and should peel off. Interestingly Titebond have a new glue out ( Titebond Speedset ) which will glow violet under a UV light. It sets very fast however.
thanks , may have to apply to use the kitchen table on the next project glue up although I suspect planning permission may not be granted :)
 

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