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Thread: Glue line ridges after finishing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    New Orleans, LA
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    Glue line ridges after finishing?

    I made a dining room table. Grain filled and finished with Arm-R-Seal oil based urethane. 24 hours in the clamps and 72 hours to cure. Used biscuits for alignment so wanted to make sure all the glue had time to cure that would be deep in there. The grain filling took some time, so that would be more time for glue to cure. Table sat for 3 weeks before I put it into use, somewhere in that time the tiniest of bumps came up along the glue lines. Not everywhere but enough to notice when you rub your hand over what was a glass smooth table. They are not visible unless you catch the light just right. They are not bad, a quick sanding and I imagine they would be taken care of. Any idea what caused this to happen and how to prevent it in the future?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cassius Nielsen View Post
    I made a dining room table. Grain filled and finished with Arm-R-Seal oil based urethane. 24 hours in the clamps and 72 hours to cure. Used biscuits for alignment so wanted to make sure all the glue had time to cure that would be deep in there. The grain filling took some time, so that would be more time for glue to cure. Table sat for 3 weeks before I put it into use, somewhere in that time the tiniest of bumps came up along the glue lines. Not everywhere but enough to notice when you rub your hand over what was a glass smooth table. They are not visible unless you catch the light just right. They are not bad, a quick sanding and I imagine they would be taken care of. Any idea what caused this to happen and how to prevent it in the future?
    Titebond III ?

    John

  3. #3
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    Yes, used Titebond III.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Meredith, NH
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    139
    PVA glues will do this sometimes.
    This is one of the reasons that I use Unibond 800 for table tops and veneer.

    Regards,
    Phil

  5. #5
    I've seen the same thing on a dining table I made years ago. Yes, used Titebond III.
    Last forum I mentioned this on, I dang near got my head cut off for pointing the finger at the glue, but hey - it was the glue line that swelled. Interesting to see this subject a few years later, as your description matches my experience. Exact location was at the butt-jointed blocks around outer edge of a round table. Grain filler was used, Sherwin Williams T77F62 CAB acrylic topcoats.

    Sand off, re-coat, and hope it doesn't happen again(?)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    "Glue Creep" is common with PVA glues in this kind of situation. You can strip, sand and refinish or just live with it for this particular piece and use a different form of glue for future table tops. Nature of the beast...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    I've had that happen so much with TB III that I stopped using it for interior applications. Other than the longer open time there's no reason to, TB Original and TB II are more creep resistant and fine for interior applications. But, as mentioned above, UF glues like Unibond 800 and Plastic Resin Glue, and also hide glue and the much hated Gorilla Glue, are far more creep resistant and the better choice for something like a table top.

    This problem really manifests itself where you have boards with inconsistent grain glued together; rift sawn to plain sawn, or the worst case QS to plain sawn. If you can match up the grain orientation from board to board it's much less of a problem, even with TB III.

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    209
    Glue creep is real. Another possible reason for a raised glue line is if the wood dries/shrinks after the glue-up. Even though it may only shrink a few thousands of an inch in the thickness direction, fingers are excellent at detecting the tiniest irregularities.

    I've been able to feel glue lines during very dry periods of weather, then when it rains and the humidity rises, the glue ridge disappears.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Morocco IN
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    1,344
    Had this same thing happen on a couple of coffee tables I made and had to refinish them. Hope it does not continue to creep. Since then I've switched to hide glue for all my furniture and am pleased with the way it works, and with the results.
    Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
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    48
    Thank you guys for putting a rhyme to the reason. I'm going to look into other glue options and live with the table for now.

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