How can I remove dried-on glue from my bar clamps?

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Start the heat gun at its medium heat setting and blow hot air on the glue for a couple of minutes; then scrape it off with a putty knife.

Q:

How can I remove dried-on glue from my bar clamps?
—Michael Washburn, Irvine, Calif.

A:

When you can't just pop glue off with a putty knife, Michael, throw in a little heat or moisture. We get the best results using a heat gun, as shown below, to soften the glue; it peels off easily once warm enough. If you don't have a heat gun—they sell for about $40 to $70—try a common hair dryer. It might take longer, though, depending on its heat output.

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Saturate a washcloth with hot water, wring out most of the water, and then wrap it around the clamp bar. Repeat when the cloth cools.

You can also soften most wood glues by wrapping a hot, wet towel around the affected area. You'll likely need to repeat the application a few times until the glue softens sufficiently, then scrape it off. Afterward, dry the clamp thoroughly to avoid rust and corrosion.