How do I remove glue from my clamps?

Q:

I lent a friend four clamps to glue up a large project. They came back with dried yellow glue globs on the bars that he couldn’t get off. What’s the best way to remove glue that’s hardened?
—George Noeth, Fort Mill, S.C.

A:

You’ve got a couple of options for removing dried glue from clamps, George. For thin deposits, spray on a citrus-based cleaner, such as Citrus Magic or Polyken 41 Citrus Cleaner. Allow it to soften and swell the glue for a few minutes before removing it with a plastic scraper. When you’re finished, use detergent and water to remove the cleaner. For more stubborn deposits, use a hair dryer or heat gun on the high setting to soften the glue before scraping it off, as shown.

Next time you lend a friend your clamps, throw in a roll of painter’s tape. Tell him to adjust the clamp jaws during dry assembly, and then mask the bar between the jaws with the tape before gluing and clamping. Any drips will come off with the tape.

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