Glue Fast, my Young One. Glue…Convenient?

When my mom died last year we tried to throw nothing in the garbage. We gave away everything to neighbors, friends and the local shelters. She would have wanted it that way. But no one wanted this white plastic shower caddy.

So I took it, even though I don’t like plastic.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

I turned it into our Assembly Caddy™, and I’m surprised how much I like it (Megan doesn’t care for it, but oh well).

The caddy holds almost all the tools we need for typical and odd glue-ups. So whenever I or a student are ready to assemble, I grab the caddy and go to work without much thought. Here is what is in it (and why).

  • Glue (liquid hide, yellow and cyanoacrylate)
  • Glue brushes to apply glue
  • Toothbrushes to remove glue
  • Palette knife, syringe and dental floss to sneak glue into tight/odd spots
  • Small paper cups to hold glue during application
  • Galvanized bucket for water to clean excess glue
  • Wax paper to prevent glue squeeze-out from sticking to the bench.

Important Tip: Speed is Everything

One aspect of gluing up panels that many beginners don’t know is that you should glue up your panel immediately after dressing the edges. It doesn’t matter whether you use a handplane or an electric jointer. 

How fast? I shoot for about 5 minutes. If it has been 30 minutes since I jointed the edges, I’ll rejoint them.

Wood moves after it is cut. There can be tension in the board or a wettish interior. As soon as you expose that fresh edge, it will start to react with the air in your shop. 

In an edge joint, surface area is everything. Even tiny amounts of movement can reduce the strength of the joint. I have seen this problem first-hand with woodworkers who joint all their edges one day and come back the next day to assemble them. The joints are rarely perfect (or even decent).

— Christopher Schwarz


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