Glue-Up Went Wrong - What now? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 07-05-2011, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Glue-Up Went Wrong - What now?

Well, my first glue-up job went awry. The hardwood frame for my new desk tabletop didn't glue flush with the tabletop. I had it clamped as well as I could, even had it fastened with a few screws and angles in one end. But while the ends of the table are flush, it bowed or something in the middle, and the frame now rests too low.

Here's how I had it clamped last night. Looking at the picture now, it's clear that it got off track on the section that was not clamped (looks like I needed a fourth clamp to cover that area).



And here's how it turned out after 24 hours:







Sorry for the really tight focus in that last shot. The weird white papery stuff is because I had it resting upside down on a bunch of envelopes overnight. I thought better the seeping glue stick to something like paper instead of the planks supporting the assembly on the sawhorses.

Ok, so here are my questions:

1) Is there some way to fix this? The tabletop is oak plywood, so sanding it down to rest flush with the frame is not an option (the veneer would quickly disappear).

2) If I start over with new wood (), how do I keep this from happening in the future? Would another clamp do it? How do I make sure it's flush when the whole thing is upside down and I can't see the "top"?

3) Is there some better option than these stupid envelopes I used? How do I keep my structure from adhering to whatever is below it due to seeping glue?
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post #2 of 24 Old 07-05-2011, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarclayWood
Well, my first glue-up job went awry. The hardwood frame for my new desk tabletop didn't glue flush with the tabletop. I had it clamped as well as I could, even had it fastened with a few screws and angles in one end. But while the ends of the table are flush, it bowed or something in the middle, and the frame now rests too low.

Here's how I had it clamped last night. Looking at the picture now, it's clear that it got off track on the section that was not clamped (looks like I needed a fourth clamp to cover that area).

And here's how it turned out after 24 hours:

Sorry for the really tight focus in that last shot. The weird white papery stuff is because I had it resting upside down on a bunch of envelopes overnight. I thought better the seeping glue stick to something like paper instead of the planks supporting the assembly on the sawhorses.

Ok, so here are my questions:

1) Is there some way to fix this? The tabletop is oak plywood, so sanding it down to rest flush with the frame is not an option (the veneer would quickly disappear).

2) If I start over with new wood (), how do I keep this from happening in the future? Would another clamp do it? How do I make sure it's flush when the whole thing is upside down and I can't see the "top"?

3) Is there some better option than these stupid envelopes I used? How do I keep my structure from adhering to whatever is below it due to seeping glue?
1) ill leave that to someone more experienced
2) you can never have too many clamps! I would lay it on a known flat surface (the floor, a large table) that is big enough to support the entire frame. Alternate the direction of the clamps helps also.
3) wax paper or sawdust

Im not an expert...that's just my $.02
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post #3 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 12:02 AM
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1) I don't clamp anything for more then 3-4 hours any more and your asking for trouble. Read the instructions on the bottle.

2) don't try to clamp it perfectly again your asking for trouble. When you cut the hardwood piece add 1/8" ish more to allow hardwood to sit above the ply. Then flush cut with router.

3) of you don't want to tear it off and retry you can add a piece of hardwood to the existing making it taller then the ply. After it dries flush cut with router.

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post #4 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 01:11 AM
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Okay, from the point you are at now, what you can do is cut the solid edge off and make new solid edges. Make them slightly taller than the finished size you want. I don't know what tools you have to flush the edges after gluing, but a block plane would work fine,(cheaper than a router if you don't have a router). In a pinch, you can use a wood block with sandpaper folded around it, if you don't have too much to flush off. I usually make the edge stick up about 1/32" above the ply. If you have a router and a flush trim bit, that will do the job, too.

Instead of setting the top upside down, turn it face up and if, for instance, your top is 3/4" and your edges are just over 1 1/2", lay a couple of 3/4" strips down underneath the ply to bring it up to the level you want, which should be just below the solid edges. Then glue and clamp the edging on. Keep the clamps a little above the wood so that they're not resting in the glue, or they will leave black stains. It would be good if you can scrape the excess glue off once it's clamped up.

I'm basing all this on the guess that you may not have much in the way of tools or experience. This will work without much of either one.
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post #5 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 01:15 AM
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You can never have too many clamps.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #6 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H. A. S. View Post
You can never have too many clamps.

+1 on the clamp thing. I keep a roll of waxed paper in the shop for times when I fear that a project make be glued to something that it shouldn't be glued to. The glue wont stick to waxed paper. Another way it to used clear packing tape. The glue wont stick to it either. So if you have some blocks of wood to support your piece while it is drying, coat the surface of the blocks that touch your project with packing tape. They wont stick to your project.
Ken

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post #7 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 07:47 AM
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the fix..

Quote: 1) Is there some way to fix this? The tabletop is oak plywood, so sanding it down to rest flush with the frame is not an option (the veneer would quickly disappear).

First off, your support table may not be flat! Use a hollow core or solid door, not boards which can bend with weight on them. That may be what went wrong originally? I donno?

If you have a router? you could make a rabbet all around the top edge and insert a new strip of wood of the same or contrasting color saving the existing top. You can also use a table saw but it would mean standing thew work on edge...too tall and risky.

Using a table saw, saw off the mismatched border strips and start over with new strips...after you get some more/better clamps! AS you said sanding down won't work as you will be into the thin veneer.

If and when you make a new top or new strips make a rabbet on the strips to locate the top to the correct depth and then work with the top face up so you can see what you are doing. An additional strip, like a 1 x 2 mounted flush with the perimeter under the top will give you more width to the edge. Then a narrow strip can be glued to that on the outside all the way around. This would be easier to register precisely possibly. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 07-06-2011 at 07:51 AM.
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post #8 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 12:53 PM
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Glue-up gone wrong

First- When gluing solid wood to plywood, splines or biscuits should be used. This insures a near perfect joint by not letting your joint slip. Splines would be best for a long joint such as the one in the picture. A spline is a narrow piece of wood which lines up the two surfaces. Second- Waxed paper can be used to catch drippings, as glue won't stick to it. Also, face surfaces should never be down, as this is what is seen by all. Any further ?'s I can be reached at [email protected]
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post #9 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 02:11 PM
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ditto on the cut the hardwood off and start over. I use a pin nailer to attach my edge strips. I have limited space and use brads in place of clamps for things like that.
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post #10 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwood_1 View Post
Okay, from the point you are at now, what you can do is cut the solid edge off and make new solid edges. Make them slightly taller than the finished size you want.

Instead of setting the top upside down, turn it face up and if, for instance, your top is 3/4" and your edges are just over 1 1/2", lay a couple of 3/4" strips down underneath the ply to bring it up to the level you want, which should be just below the solid edges. Then glue and clamp the edging on. Keep the clamps a little above the wood so that they're not resting in the glue, or they will leave black stains. It would be good if you can scrape the excess glue off once it's clamped up.

I'm basing all this on the guess that you may not have much in the way of tools or experience. This will work without much of either one.
+1. When gluing, only apply a very thin layer on the plywood. As stated, starting with the plywood face up, and using spacer wood to raise the plywood up (slightly below) to the height of the solid wood. The edging wood should be sitting on edge.

Fit the miters on the return piece before tightening the clamps. Position the faces of the clamps so the clamping pressure is in the middle of the plywood, so when tightening it draws the edging straight into the plywood. Use spacer blocks on the opposite side to protect the plywood.

For the experience, glue up just one edge at a time. If you rabbet the edging you will have to worry about pushing the plywood down to get it to line up. IMO, using a spline or biscuits would be a waste of time. After the glue up, clean off the glue, and when dry, run a router around the top to flush out the edging to the plywood. If the edge is still a bit proud, use a cabinet scraper along the edge, or a chisel dragged bevel up.









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post #11 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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You guys are awesome. Lots of great ideas here. Live and learn, I suppose. I think I'm going to try to salvage the plywood by cutting off the frames. I'll either use my circular saw or try and borrow a neighbor's table saw. I'm also going to buy a router. Not sure what kind I will need - I will probably do some lightning research today.

Cabinetman, can you explain what this means? "Fit the miters on the return piece before tightening the clamps." What's the return piece?

My miter cuts at each corner are a whole separate problem. The shorter frame pieces aren't fitting with the longer frame pieces.
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post #12 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angular Andy22 View Post
First- When gluing solid wood to plywood, splines or biscuits should be used. This insures a near perfect joint by not letting your joint slip. Splines would be best for a long joint such as the one in the picture. A spline is a narrow piece of wood which lines up the two surfaces. Second- Waxed paper can be used to catch drippings, as glue won't stick to it. Also, face surfaces should never be down, as this is what is seen by all. Any further ?'s I can be reached at [email protected]
+1 for splines or biscuits. Splines are the prefered but biscuits with work well if you have a decient biscuit joiner. I own a PC joiner and it does a fine job...
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post #13 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BarclayWood View Post

Cabinetman, can you explain what this means? "Fit the miters on the return piece before tightening the clamps." What's the return piece?

My miter cuts at each corner are a whole separate problem. The shorter frame pieces aren't fitting with the longer frame pieces.
First of all, the end pieces should fit (the miters) of the long pieces. The end pieces are what I called the "return pieces". You can dry fit the end pieces by dry clamping the long pieces and just holding the ends in place to see how the miters look.

When doing the glue up, I'm suggesting gluing and clamping one long piece, and fitting the end to the miter before adding all the clamps to the long piece. Once you glue up the long piece, it should be in its proper location. If it isn't none of the other three will fit, and have the miters close up tight.

With well fitting miters and the four pieces glued on, biscuits, splines or any other corner joinery is unnecessary.








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post #14 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Got it. Will I be able to use a flush router bit with a handheld router? I won't have a router table.

I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on one of the following router kits:

Dewalt DW618
http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DW618PK-Plunge-Fixed-Base-Variable-Speed/dp/B00006JKXE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
Bosch 1617EVS

http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-1617EVSPK-4-Horsepower-Variable-Collets/dp/B00005RHPD/ref=pd_cp_hi_3


along with these bits:

http://www.amazon.com/MLCS-8377-Router-Carbide-Tipped-15-Piece/dp/B000FJRN8S/ref=acc_glance_hi_ai_ps_t_1
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post #15 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 07:10 PM
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Both are good router.. I personly am fond of Bosh, own a few tools made by them and have been very happy with them. Having said that I have heard nothing but good news about the dewalt router's. I am sure other's might jump in soon.....
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post #16 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 09:02 PM
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Both quality routers but I did find a distinct advantage for the deWalt under the technical specifications on your link:

"Integral, through-the-column dust collection collects 95% of the dust and provides superior bit visibility; Quick release motor latches for fast and easy motor pack removal for bit and base changes "

That can make a big difference.

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post #17 of 24 Old 07-06-2011, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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I actually went with the Hitachi:

http://www.amazon.com/Hitachi-KM12VC-4-Horsepower-Variable-Collets/dp/B0002ZZWX8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1310009893&sr=8-2
It was getting really good reviews. I got a little concerned with the Bosch, because it seems like it's difficult to do jig/template routing with it, because the combo no longer comes with an adapter, AND the adapter for it is not even readily available for purchase.

I also ordered the bits I mentioned above. Now I just have to figure out if I can do a flush rout without a routing table.
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post #18 of 24 Old 07-07-2011, 01:14 AM
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I actually went with the Hitachi:

Amazon.com: Hitachi KM12VC 11 Amp 2-1/4-Horsepower Plunge and Fixed Base Variable Speed Router Kit with 1/4-Inch and 1/2-Inch Collets: Home Improvement

It was getting really good reviews. I got a little concerned with the Bosch, because it seems like it's difficult to do jig/template routing with it, because the combo no longer comes with an adapter, AND the adapter for it is not even readily available for purchase.

I also ordered the bits I mentioned above. Now I just have to figure out if I can do a flush rout without a routing table.
You'll like the Hitachi, I've had a M12VC for about two years now. Sweet little router. Dunno where you got your info on the Bosch though. The bushing adapter, part #RA1100 is available on Amazon for about $6 or is included with a set of Bosch bushings, part #RA1125, on Amazon for about $30.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_13?url=search-alias%3Dtools&field-keywords=bosch+routers&sprefix=bosch+routers

No sweat on the flush trim. The bit set you ordered includes a 1/2" bearing guided flush trim bit.

something goofy with that link, not working right for me. If it doesn't work for you, try to cut/paste it into the address bar

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Last edited by jschaben; 07-07-2011 at 01:20 AM.
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post #19 of 24 Old 07-07-2011, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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To be honest, I'm so new to all this that some of the terminology confuses me, so I could be wrong about what the Bosch does/ doesn't include and what's available to purchase separately. But this review (starts with "Rube Goldberg") seemed pretty detailed and critical:

http://************/6kw3drc

The review two down from that one also cites the same problem - that some necessary part is not easy to come by.
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post #20 of 24 Old 07-07-2011, 02:10 AM
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Interesting... I have a bosh router as well as a PC dovetail jig that came with bit and needed bushing. On my router it screwed right in with no trouble. But mine is about five years old... maybe it is different now.
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