Correct Way for Gluing Dovetails?

What is the correct way to glue up dovetails? There are so many surfaces coated with glue, it’s always a mess with lots of squeeze-out cleanup afterward. There must be a better way. I’ve read Ian Kirby’s articles on dovetailing, but I don’t recall that he ever said just where to put the glue.

Michael Dresdner: The only areas that require glue on dovetails are the diagonal faces. All the diagonal faces are long grain, all the square faces are end grain, and all the flat faces abut end grain. Therefore, you need only apply glue to the diagonal faces on the tails or pins, or both. (In most cases, adding glue only to the tails or only to the pins is adequate.)

Rob Johnstone: It is a bit of a messy process applying glue to dovetails. I agree with Michael as to where to put the glue, and would only add how to apply it. I like to fashion a small and very thin ‘glue spatula’ to sort of trowel the glue in place. I feel that it gives me significantly more control of where the glue actually ends up over a brush.

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