How to Get Glue Off of Your Woodworking Tools

Getting rid of Goop on Woodworking Tools

If you've been making dust for any length of time, you've probably gotten all sorts of adhesives and other gooey things on your clamps, hammers, mallets, and hand tools. We're going to go over how to get that stuff off of your equipment, because pride in your tools is a sign of a master craftsman. When it comes working with wood, the devil is DEFINITELY in the details.

Denatured Alcohol

First, every shop ought to have a bottle of denatured alcohol handy for cleaning purposes. It's other name is "Methylated Spirits", but it's just a fancy name for the same thing. Denatured alcohol is a potent solvent and is great for dissolving things like wood glue and other common adhesives for woodworkers. You can pick up a bottle at Home Depot, Walmart, or any hardware store near you. You'll use this a lot, so do not be afraid to buy a large bottle. You just put a little on a rag and rub your tools down with it after you've finished your projects for the day. This will take care of most wood related goop on your tools, but if it does not, there are other options available.

Other Cleaners for Tools

Try the following solvents in order of denatured alcohol does not work (they're listed in order from weakest to strongest). Lacquer thinner, mineral spirits, acetone. A quick warning about anything stronger than lacquer thinner, you'll want to wear latex gloves, especially with acetone. It can cause severe irritation and burns if it comes in contact with skin (that's how powerful it is against the goop, too!).

Safety First!

Keep in mind that solvents are extremely flammable, and should not be stored in a place that gets above 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, do not leave your cleaning rags piled in a heap, as they can combust. Be sure to wash all of your tools thoroughly after cleaning with solvents.

You should be able to keep your tools in tip-top shape if you clean and wash them after each use. Keep some cleaner on hand and use it when you need it. Take pride in your tools like you take pride in your finished projects. The one will lead to better quality of the other.

Overall, keeping your tools in a good, clean condition will make your projects look better, make your work area more enjoyable, and make your experience in the shop much more pleasant.