Old bicycle innertubes that are cut into long, narrow strips can make excellent clamps for repairing broken wooden furniture. After gluing a fractured joint, the rubber strips can be tightly stretched around the repair area to hold pieces in place while the glue is drying.
You can extend the the time it takes hot-melt glue to set by slightly pre-warming both the surfaces to be joined with a heat gun. A heat gun also works great for stripping paint and other odd jobs. For example, you can use it to remove bumper stickers, defrost freezers, char-stain wood, dry wood for painting, burn weeds from cracks in sidewalks and patios, light charcoal, loosen rusted bolt nuts and bend certain plastic piping.
Getting black glue lines on projects? Metal containers like coffee cans can cause this problem, which occurs more often with white glue than with yellow glue. Glues with a pH lower than 7 can absorb iron from the metal, and the dissolved iron can react with certain colored woods to leave black glue lines. Use plastic containers instead.
When dry-fitting boards to be glued up later, here's a trick to help you make sure you will be able to get them back together in the right order. After the boards are in the desired position, draw a triangle large enough to cover all the boards of the section. Later, before clamping, just re-create the triangle as you assemble the boards.
Glue squeeze-out can be wiped up with a wet rag, but this can drive some of the glue into the wood's pores. A method preferred by many pros is to allow the squeeze-out to form a thick skin (usually about 15 minutes), then use a sharp chisel, paint scraper, or cabinet scraper to remove it. A 1/2- or 3/4-in. chisel is handy for glue removal inside corners or next to mouldings.
Need to hold extra-wide work for gluing up or driving screws? You can hook one jaw of a pipe clamp over your work, then turn the opposite jaw 90 degrees so it lays flat on the work. Hook a second pipe clamp to this jaw, and at the other end turn that jaw 90 degrees and tighten. If two clamps won't reach, just add a third clamp between the first two.
Hammering a nail close to the edge of a piece of a board may cause it to split. This problem can be solved by using the nail to open up the split, them filling the crack with glue. Wipe off any glue that runs over. Remove the nail, then clamp board as the glue dries. To avoid these splits in the future, use a drill to bore a pilot hold.
Glue will soak more into the end grain of wood and potentially result in starved glue joints. To help prevent this, you can “size” any end grain to be glued with a mixture of glue diluted with water. Dilute just so that when it is applied, glue drops don’t form at the lower edges of the wood. Another method, somewhat less effective, is to coat the end grain with full strength glue, allow it to dry 5 to 10 minutes, then re-coat with glue and assemble.
There are several adhesive glue sticks to choose from for your hot glue gun. Here's a description of the most common to help you determine which is right for the project you're working on: 1) General purpose glue. Dries to a clear finish. Like its name, it's a good general purpose adhesive to have available. 2) Fast bonding glue. Will dry within 20 to 30 seconds after you apply it. 3) Wood glue. Specially formulated to bond with wood fibers. Dries to an opaque tan color. 4) Caulk/sealant. Formulated to resist heat, cold and moisture. Ideal for sealing windows, doors, and exterior surfaces. 5) Glass and ceramic adhesive. Dries almost instantly to a clear, almost invisible coat. 6) Decorative adhesive. Available in a variety of colors. Ideal for matching colors of your decorative craft project.
Whenever you are glueing glass you must consider the visibility of the adhesive. If the glass is translucent, you will want a glue that dries as clear as possible. Before glueing any glass bond be sure that the glass is clean, free of any oil (even from your fingers) and dry.