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I glued my teak joint with wood glue and after 4 hours I realised I had the parts mixed up so I had to pry it apart again.

The glue I used was Evo-stick interior wood glue. It was white. The parts didn't splinter when I opened the join and some of the glue was still wet in the center. Luckily I had made a poor job of flattening the surface and didn't clamp them tight enough. After coming back I scraped the glue and some wood off the surface with a sharp chisel and glued again.

Can I just re-glue now or do I need to treat the surface before trying again?

teak joint this will be a bed

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  • Hi, welcome to StackExchange. We need a few more details to give us a better chance at providing a good Answer here. 1, when you say wood glue you do mean white or yellow PVA-type glue yes? In fact tell us the exact glue you used, since this has a bearing on drying and cure time (which relates to another detail). 2, what joint(s) did you make the mistake with? 3, when you prised them apart did you get any splintering? 4, did you remove as much of the semi-dried/dried glue from the wood after you separated the pieces, and if so tell us how you did it.
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 7:38
  • If you can take a pic of the affected parts so we can see the joint surfaces that would be helpful.
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 7:39
  • Hi Graphus, I used Evo-stick interior wood glue. It was white. The parts didn't splinter when I opened the join and some of the glue was still wet in the center. Luckily I had made a poor job of flattening the surface and didn't clamp them tight enough. After coming back I scraped the glue and some wood off the surface with a sharp chisle and glued again. It looks OK, I'll see if I can attache a picture. There will be a hole drilled and a big screw going through this so I'm not too worried about bond strength.
    – Ronan
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 14:27
  • Sounds like you got to the joint well within time so you should have no trouble with a re-glue. I'll add another Answer with more details.
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 8:50

2 Answers 2

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generally for best results in using wood glue, it is highly recommended to clean off all the old glue before hand.

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  • Thanks for the support bowlturner! I've scraped it fresh and possibly made a better job of it this time
    – Ronan
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 19:27
  • @Ronan, Awesome! glad I could help!
    – bowlturner
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 19:46
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Can I just re-glue now or do I need to treat the surface before trying again?

Given the added details you were well set up for achieving a good outcome when re-glueing. And also as you say in the Comments and as the picture makes clear, this joint isn't critical for strength so it's very forgiving if you got a glue bond below the possible maximum.

What follows is the generic info, but before that two additional points since this is teak and you mention you didn't clamp tightly enough.

Teak — an oily tropical wood, and like all such woods surfaces to be glued can benefit from being wiped down with acetone just before glue application.

Clamp pressure — when joining flat faces using PVA if max strength is desired you need to clamp hard. It's essentially impossible to over-clamp a joint in the home workshop as long as both joint faces are fully wetted by the glue.


In general, if you can separate two pieces of wood without splintering, and especially if there is still liquid glue present in the joint when you do this, then you're in very good shape to get a good bond when re-glueing.

You do still need to carefully remove as much of the original glue as possible, but it's a lot easier if the glue hasn't fully dried. Removal of dried/semi-dried glue is usually a scraping job regardless of glue type, but when the bond is still fairly fresh you can start by:

  • Wiping down with plenty of clean water. Use very warm/hand-hot water if available. If the glue used was epoxy you want to be using acetone instead.

Then:

  • Scraping back (as much as possible to bare wood) with anything suitable 1.
  • Maybe a light sand2.
  • Additionally when using PVAs, white or otherwise coloured, cleaning off the residues can be helped along with acetone or lacquer thinner/cellulose thinners (which is often mostly acetone). Acetone doesn't fully dissolve PVA, but will soften it noticeably and can make it much easier to scrape from wood 3.

If it's possible to resurface the entire joint face to expose new wood, as you can e.g. on the edges of boards being glued up into a panel, then by all means do so. It gives maximum peace of mind and would often be the fastest anyway.


1 From dedicated carbide scrapers to card scrapers, single-edge razors or utility-knife blades, a chisel tip or even just a sharp knife.

2 You do not want to create a rough surface with PVA glue in particular. PVAs require intimate contact between the joint faces, and a rough surface — even that left by rough sanding — isn't smooth enough to get the best bond. A rougher surface is OK if using epoxy.

3 Also a go-to for helping to remove glue from clamps, along with judicious use of a heat gun.

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