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Detecting PVA with UV light

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A readers quick tip in the March/April, 2022,  Fine Woodworking magazine suggests using UV light to detect misplaced 

glue smudges, including Titebound, before finishing. It appears some glues are made to glow,from UV light and therefore detectable.

A UV flashlight  seems to be sufficient. Have not tried it, seems simple.

Bridgman Bob


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I carried out a quick test. It works a little with my resin based wood glue but the fluorescence is too weak to be useful. I used a UV flashlight which is powerful enough to set  small amounts of 3D printer resin. Because of the limited effect and the cost of the things, I wouldn't recommend buying such a UV source purely for spotting glue smears.

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I bought some UV cure glue off of Amazon, which included a little UV flashlight to cure the glue. Not expensive for the set, less than $20. Though I didn't end up using the UV cure glue for anything yet, the flashlight showed the Titebond residue on a model very well. 


All in all, a VERY useful tip – enough to where I really need to pass this along!

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