If ain't tight it ain't right - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-24-2011, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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If ain't tight it ain't right

But how tight is too tight?

I tried my hand at putting together a butcher block earlier this afternoon. Nothing crazy. Just a 24" x 24" deal for my new table saw to rest on. I used 2" x 4"s ripped down to 3" wide and cut in 25" increments (for now). I used two 1/2" pipe clamps to hold it all together. After I got the glue on there and started tightening down, the entire block started to hog up. Clearly THAT is too tight.

So I backed off and retightened to a point I thought was right. It's still sort of hogging... Hopefully I can level it off afterward.

Anyway, my question is, do any of you seasoned vets out there have any tricks to butcher block making you'd be willing to share (particularly in the way of knowing when enough is enough on the clamps)? My intention it to eventually start making 'nicer' things for the kitchen... For now, I am giving it some dry runs with not-so-important things (like I this cheap little table).
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-24-2011, 04:25 PM
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Use a third and maybe a forth clamp , across the top , to stop the blocks bowing upwards .

After taking up the slack on all the clamps , go around tweaking each one a tad until tight

Last edited by Manuka Jock; 09-24-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-24-2011, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretengineer View Post
But how tight is too tight?

I tried my hand at putting together a butcher block earlier this afternoon. Nothing crazy. Just a 24" x 24" deal for my new table saw to rest on. I used 2" x 4"s ripped down to 3" wide and cut in 25" increments (for now). I used two 1/2" pipe clamps to hold it all together. After I got the glue on there and started tightening down, the entire block started to hog up. Clearly THAT is too tight.

So I backed off and retightened to a point I thought was right. It's still sort of hogging... Hopefully I can level it off afterward.

Anyway, my question is, do any of you seasoned vets out there have any tricks to butcher block making you'd be willing to share (particularly in the way of knowing when enough is enough on the clamps)? My intention it to eventually start making 'nicer' things for the kitchen... For now, I am giving it some dry runs with not-so-important things (like I this cheap little table).
The pieces should be edge jointed for square and flat. When doing the glue up alternate the crown of the grain (seen on the ends). Use cauls and clamps. Alternate the clamps on top of the block and bottom to get even pressure. If you over tighten, you may squeeze out too much glue, and /or cause the pieces to pull one way or another causing the board to bow.

Not enough pressure won't mate the surfaces. There is a happy medium. I just tighten till it feels tight, and see minimal squeeze out.








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post #4 of 14 Old 09-24-2011, 04:32 PM
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Yes, balanced clamps. I usually use one less on the top than I do on the bottom.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-24-2011, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. That's exactly what I was looking for. I should have went with my symmetry hunch to begin with. Haha.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-24-2011, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Let me pose another question while we're on the topic: I noticed the 25" segments I glued are not 100% flush with one another. How exactly do I square that up in the end? I mean they are flush enough where I could probably send it through the table saw and and I could have clean ends. I am just curious for next time because like I said, this is sort of a not-so-important practice run.. Of which there will be many more.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-24-2011, 08:14 PM
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Let me pose another question while we're on the topic: I noticed the 25" segments I glued are not 100% flush with one another. How exactly do I square that up in the end? I mean they are flush enough where I could probably send it through the table saw and and I could have clean ends. I am just curious for next time because like I said, this is sort of a not-so-important practice run.. Of which there will be many more.
For height alignment, use 'cauls' which are nothing more than straight edges that are clamped across the surface, like this.








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post #8 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretengineer
Let me pose another question while we're on the topic: I noticed the 25" segments I glued are not 100% flush with one another. How exactly do I square that up in the end? I mean they are flush enough where I could probably send it through the table saw and and I could have clean ends. I am just curious for next time because like I said, this is sort of a not-so-important practice run.. Of which there will be many more.
I leave my pieces a couple inches too long. After the glue up, I'll trim it square with a circular saw and guide, or use a TS and sled.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-25-2011, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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So this was the final product. Sorry the quality of the picture is cruddy.

I am very pleased with the butcher block itself (after all the sanding and what not and it being my first one ever). The rest of the table is... mehhh.

The caul technique worked wonders... kind of. I think I should have guided from the other end of my circular saw (instead of the skinny side) because I have a slight angle on each side of the block. You have to look for it to see it though.

Anyway, the good news is I don't have to use my table saw on the ground any more.

Thanks for all the help guys.

Oh by the way.... What exactly is a TS and a sled?

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-26-2011, 04:30 AM
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Oh by the way.... What exactly is a TS and a sled?
TS= Table Saw. A sled is a shop made jig that slides on the table saw top on runners in the miter slots for use without the fence. Here is a tutorial with pictures to make one. There are many sites showing different types of sleds and step by step instructions here.








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post #11 of 14 Old 09-26-2011, 10:28 AM
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The cauls are also good for distributing clamping pressure across a surface rather than a point load at the clamp head.
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-27-2011, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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To distribute a clamp load with a caul you basically mean just put it between the clamp and the butcher block right?

Thanks for that info on sleds cabinetman. That'll keep me busy for a while now.
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-27-2011, 01:52 PM
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This is a caul I used when gluing face frames onto cabinets. I actually don't refer to this as a caul. To me a caul has a curved face so you only need to apply clamp pressure to the two ends and the curve takes care of the pressure in the center of the caul.


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post #14 of 14 Old 09-27-2011, 06:12 PM
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To distribute a clamp load with a caul you basically mean just put it between the clamp and the butcher block right?

Thanks for that info on sleds cabinetman. That'll keep me busy for a while now.
pretty much. other people might call it a shim

we used them in the guitar build when glueing on our tone bars. a block (shim, caul etc) spaced between two bars with a clamp in the middle worked really well and we didn't have to try and balance a clamp on a piece of wood that was only 1/4" wide. for some other pieces only one clamp was needed or would fit and the shim helped keep the clamp from marring the wood.

there is a decent picture of a glue-up here.

the internet says a caul is: A curved batten, usually used in pairs for applying even pressure across wide workpieces

Last edited by cellophane; 09-27-2011 at 06:15 PM.
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