Ask three or more woodworkers the above question and you'll probably get three different answer: right away, after a few minutes and after the glue had dried. Chances are equally good that the person who gives you any of the three answers will have a rationale that seems plausible. In short, the subject of glue squeeze-out is one that's sure to generate some good discussion among anyone who has worked with wood.
A little glue squeeze-out — a few tiny droplets or dribbles along the joint — is a sign of a good glue application job. No squeeze-out means you might have applied too little glue, creating a "starved", potentially weak joint. All the experts agree on this point.
We agree to disagree somewhat with both Snider and Duncan regarding use of a damp sponge or rag. We're convinced that the combination of moisture and pressure can indeed push some glue into the pores of the wood. Sanding will remove the glue at the surface, but perhaps not all the glue that was forced down deep. Why take a chance and wait maybe a couple of days for the wood to reach an equilibrium state before you can sand off the residue?
Let Glue Gel
Clean up excess glue after it has gelled a bit but before it has hardened. Follow Snider's advice and wait 5 to 10 minutes (or longer) after clamping. At this point you'll be able to slice away the "cottage cheese" with a dull chisel or other type of scraper.
How To Avoid Excessive Squeeze-Out
• Check that joint parts fit well by clamping together before gluing. Open pores of wood by sanding.
Brief History of Oak
Uses in Woodworking
Chances are you won't actually use the tool before you buy it, but you can learn a lot about it while at the store. Try changing bits. Is it easy to get your wrench on the collet nut or does the bases interfere? Does the collet let go of the bit with a single turn of the wrench, or does it take two or three bites? Does the router have a flat top so you can stand it on its head for bit changes?