Remove Glue From Clamps

There’s nothing as frustrating as being in the middle of a glue-up and finding that a bar or pipe clamp won’t close because of glue build-up. In an August 12th blog on the Bora Tool website, Sarah Foradori writes about three easy ways to remove glue from clamps, and then suggests a couple of ways to prevent it. (Bora is located in Troy, Michigan and is one of the more innovative tool manufacturers.) Sarah suggests starting out by applying hot water to the areas with dried glue, either with a wet rag or towel, and then scraping the glue off with a chisel or putty knife once it has softened enough. This may take a few tries she says, depending on how hard the glue is. A steel brush can help get any glue out of the ridges in the bar. Next up she suggests using a heat gun to soften the glue until you can chip it off. If you don’t have a heat gun, a hair dryer may work. Don’t melt the plastic parts. And if water and heat don’t work, take them outside in the fresh air, put on your mask and gloves and use Acetone or methyl ethyl ketone solvents to soften the glue. On the plastic jaws, use denatured alcohol instead of acetone so you don’t dissolve the material. When it comes to preventing build-up, use paste wax on the metal bar and reapply once or twice a year. You can also slip some wax paper or even newspaper between the wood and the clamp, or apply painter’s tape to the bars. (Ed note: In the WoodEzine shop, we also use those plastic liners from wire shelving systems to protect the bench and floor – the dried glue simply peels off.)