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Glue Spreader

Glue SpreaderI'm a perfectionist and a notched spreader is the only way I know of to get a consistent thickness of glue. My spreader is made from a bent piece of scrap stainless (25ga) notched with a triangular file (the closeup includes a ruler for scale). Filing down a fine toothed vinyl flooring spreader is another possibility.

To test coverage do a test layup using a glue color that contrasts with the wood color. Press the layup for a couple of minutes and then peel off the veneer. In the closeup you can see that I didn't quite get 100% coverage with my VG Fir coverage test (tiny pockets of uncolored fir).

Use a porous quartersawn wood to see if you're using too much glue. There's a very fine line between bleed through on porous wood and 100% coverage. Using raw MDF cauls will help to minimize bleed through. I'm happy when there is no obvious bleed through and the MDF comes away with tiny pips of glue stuck to it (felt, not seen).

See also:
YouTube video of spreader in use
Article: Gluing with a Notched Spreader

Glue Spreader
I've made a batch of these with 23ga (.028"/.72mm) stainless and milled notches. The spreaders have an ~1mm V notch on 3mm centers. Their calculated film thickness is 6.6 mils (.0394 x .0394 = .001552, / 4 = .000388, square root = .0197, / 3 = .0066). I did two tests to calculate film thickness using grams of glue used per square meter. Considering I used a 55 lb scale and relatively small test pieces (~.3 sq meters), the 4 and 5.6 mil results are surprisingly close. Even with the relatively small notch area, unacceptable bleed through is possible if care is not taken to clean up/remove excess glue - pressure and angle can make a big difference. I am offering them for $19.99 shipped. I know that sounds like a lot, but I'm charging less than I should (and its a _lot_ cheaper than a Pfohl/Klebo or Lamello spreader). They measure 5-3/4" wide and 3" tall when flat. I will custom cut these to width (3mm increments, no charge) if you want a narrower spreader.

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