Rockler silicone glue tools

Something is wrong when I get so excited by such a simple tool as a glue brush. But there you have it. I had been happily using one of the new Rockler silicone glue brushes for about a week when I accidentally and without my knowledge must have knocked the brush off the back of my workbench. Having no clue about where it had disappeared to, I started tearing up (cleaning up?) the shop, top to bottom, on the hunt for this wonderful little blue and black tool. I was actually sad about its disappearance. And when I finally found it hidden behind a box of offcuts next to my bench, I was plainly joyful. This is all quite ridiculous, but let me tell you about this brush and its sister accessories, and maybe you’ll see why I was so emotionally attached.

Secrets of silicone

Rockler’s basic silicone glue brush is about 7-1/2 inches long with a flat paddle at one end and a 1-inch-wide silicone bristle brush at the other end. The brush end is great for normal glue application such as ¾-inch joints and larger. The paddle is just the right size for getting into biscuit slots and dovetail joints. Both ends work great for efficient even glue application of common woodworking adhesives.

But the best part of the tool has nothing to do with how it spreads glue. If you are busy with a complex assembly (or just lazy) and forget to clean the brush, no problem! Standard woodworking glues will not stick to the silicone. Even hardened blocks of dried glues snap right off the little flexible bristles without harming the bristles. The first time I tried it, I was worried the hardened glue would break off the bristles, but nothing of the sort happened. And if you do remember to clean the brush promptly, any water soluble glue comes off quickly and cleanly with warm water.

More than one brush

The first brush was such a success, that Rockler added to its family. There is now a black silicone spreader that combs glue evenly over larger areas much like a tiling trowel. There is also a silicone tray kind of like a miniature paint roller tray. Glue left to dry in the tray pops right out clean, too. And finally, there is the latest addition, a mini brush. With a narrow circular brush on one end and a ribbed conical end on the other, the mini brush is great for small mortises and tenons and similar work.

Rockler sells these tools individually and in sets with the biggest set less than $20. Go ahead and pick some up and see if you don’t suddenly have an emotional relationship with your glue brushes. That sounds just wrong, but they do work! For more information, visit

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.