Nuking Glue to Break Bonds

Recently, while working on an intarsia project, I glued some pieces together and later realized that I made an out-of-sequence mistake. I was using Titebond® glue.

Rather than start over and recut pieces, I placed the glued piece in the microwave and heated it for 30 seconds until it was very warm to the touch. This softened the glue to the point of being tacky. With a thin piece of plastic, I was able to pry the pieces apart easily. After a little cleanup sanding, the parts were ready for reuse.

Since then, I’ve tried this technique on both domestic and exotic hardwoods with good results. Note: You may need to adjust the initial heating period to suit your microwave. If the glue doesn’t soften after 30 seconds, reheat in 10-second intervals until it does to avoid burning your wood.

– Amy Nielsen
Maple Valley, Washington

Posted in: