Just Who Is This Glue Creep?

Just Who Is This Glue Creep?

Joe Scheffer asked what the term “glue creep” meant. We asked the experts and got some interesting and humorous responses:

Michael Dresdner: Glue creep is the term reserved for a guy who borrows your glue bottle and then doesn’t give it back. No, wait… that’s just a regular, run of the mill creep. Glue creep has come to mean two different things these days. The original meaning refers to the amount of movement a glued up joint will exhibit. Naturally, rigid glues do not allow creep, but more rubbery or flexible adhesives do. I’ve also seen the term used to define the ridge that forms when a previously flush joint, such as the glue line between two boards joined along the grain, starts to protrude over time.

Simon Watts: Some glues–especially the poly-vinyl emulsions such as Titebond®, will creep when the glue line is subjected to sheer stress, which happens when one piece tries to slide on the one below. This means that such glues should not be used for heavy, bent laminations: the wood will try to recover and the glue may “creep.” For regular surface-to-surface gluing, they are fine, but be aware of their limitations. For bent laminations use epoxy or a plastic resin glue such as Weldwood.

Rob Johnstone: A glue creep is regularly found at woodworking shows, and he usually catches your ear by saying something like, “psst, hey buddy, ever need to stick something together?” But seriously folks! Glue creep is a term I have heard used for a couple of differing situations. One is the movement of stock while it is being clamped together but the glue is still curing. Another is describing the comparable elasticity of adhesives. Various glues have differing degrees of elasticity. This of course is a comparison of degree ? we are talking about glue, and glue bonds materials together. But just for the record, here is how I think of it: white glue allows a bit more movement than yellow glues, epoxy and polyurethanes are rock-hard. Hide glue (a favorite glue of mine) is actually very brittle once it cures. This means that it does not allow bonded material to creep to any significant degree, but it will “fracture” or break apart if stressed beyond a certain point. Furniture and musical instrument makers use this characteristic to their advantage when selecting hide glue for certain tasks.

To extend the notoriously short shelf life of urethane glues, Dean Schepis suggests squeezing the dead air out of the container, pulling a plastic baggie tightly over the top of the open container (with the cap/dispenser removed), and then reinstalling the cap/dispenser.

Steve Giamundo found that keeping the bottle of polyethylene (Gorilla) glue upside down greatly extends its shelf life?for more than a year.

Close Calls

A woodworker described how a small piece of walnut came flying back from the table saw and “whanged” him on the chest hard enough to open his bypass surgery scar. Undeterred, he immediately repeated the same stunt and this time another piece of walnut flew back and sliced open his hand, resulting in twelve stitches and lots of gore. Attributing his accidents to “just plain bull-headed impatience,” he’s assigned himself a new rule: Just before he does anything with any tool he takes ten seconds to ask himself, “Is this the safe way to do it?”

Today’s Woodworker

Jeff Trapp Makes Windsor Chairs!

Dale Sherman enjoyed our article about Jeff Trapp and mentioned Chris Harter, another prominent chair maker, whose work can be found in the office of the director of the Smithsonian and in Gracie Mansion in New York City. More information about Chris can be found here.


Fixed or Plunge Based Routers

Rich, who has both fixed and plunge (PC 693K and 7518) routers, can’t figure out why everyone is so enamored with plunge routers. He does almost everything with a fixed base router ? either handheld or in a table. He suggests an article on the benefits of a plunge.

Table Saw Dust Collection

To close off the opening on a contractor’s saw, Tim Burson uses a piece of 3/16″ plastic poster board. He cuts it into a shape that slips over the motor bracket and covers the opening as much as possible without contacting the motor belt. He suggests that the material extend far enough over the table base to allow clamping — he uses large binder clips — so the cover can be quickly removed whenever the blade must be tilted. (He also finds the black binder clamps handy for clamping small pieces, suspending small items for drying, or holding power cords out of the way.) And the plastic poster board — which he gets free from his employer — also works great for router templates.

Corded Drill Usage

Al LaPierre got tired of his cordless drill running out of power or burning out batteries, so he bought a Ryobi 3/8-clutch driver with 24-torque settings and a nice long rubber power cord, and it works perfectly on screws.

Another reader noted that Craftsman offers a corded drill with a built-in clutch that closely resembles their Professional cordless drill/driver.

Rust – Rust – Rust

Bob DeYager recommends Dupont 5717S metal conditioner ?a product used in the auto paint industry. One quart has lasted him for at least 20 years. Here’s his technique:

– Set up in a well-ventilated area (he uses his driveway), wear rubber gloves and safety glasses.
– Place a spray head onto the quart bottle.
– Spray on the bare metal scrub with a little steel wool.
– Let it sit for a few minutes; do not let it dry!
– Remove with a paper towel or rag and wash with water.
– Three applications work the best on new tools, and after that single applications will tune up the surface.

Result is non-sticky bare metal surface with a slight color change.

Word of Caution: Be careful in disposing of rags?the substance creates an exothermic reaction that can cause spontaneous combustion.

Industry Interview


Brook relayed the great deal he got on a DeWalt biscuit jointer ($134 at Tool King of Denver), compared to the identical tool from Sears for $245.

But another woodworker described not getting what he’d thought he purchased (a Stanley Bostich stapler)?despite the seller’s good previous reviews. Using Ebay’s insurance program only got him $45.69, leaving him out $32.95. He pointed out that his experience was with an individual and not one of the many “solid” companies that sell on eBay.

Other Reader Comments

W. Heidt told us about the vintage Shopsmith 10ER he’d recently done a bearing job on and cleaned up in the process. “Still runs like a dream.”

To loosen all the gunk that accumulates on saw blade teeth, a reader suggested spraying a little whitewall tire cleaner on the blades and then brushing with an old toothbrush.

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