How to glue without clamps? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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How to glue without clamps?

Hi, I'm new here. Looks like a great community. Hoping someone will be kind enough to help out an inexperienced woodworker.

I'm building a sealed box out of 1/2" poplar board, 10"x7"x7", that I plan on joining with dado joints and glue. What I really intend to do is to cut and finish the individual pieces and then mail them to someone else to assemble (he has parts to put inside first), so he'll need to fit and glue the dado cuts. Problem is, he doesn't have clamps.

My thoughts:
He could buy clamps.
He could stack heavy books.
He could wrap tight with twine.

Would dowels keep it tight while it dries?

What do you suggest? Other options?

Thanks very much. Sorry for the dumb question.

Joe
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 12:06 PM
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I have used bungee cord lengths in past. Cycle stores sell varying lengths with hooks. Or, a hold down strap with ratchet.
Available from tool stores.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnep1934 View Post
I have used bungee cord lengths in past. Cycle stores sell varying lengths with hooks. Or, a hold down strap with ratchet.
Available from tool stores.
johnep
Good ideas. Thank you very much
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 01:16 PM
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Of course clamps would make the joint better but you would be surprised how much is built with just masking tape to hold it together. If the joints are well fitted it will work well but if not that is where a clamp is especially needed.
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Of course clamps would make the joint better but you would be surprised how much is built with just masking tape to hold it together. If the joints are well fitted it will work well but if not that is where a clamp is especially needed.
Thanks, Steve. That's why I was wondering if including some dowels in my design might help keep it together while the glue dried.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 01:51 PM
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Is it possible for him to use nails or screws?

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #7 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by joealso View Post
Thanks, Steve. That's why I was wondering if including some dowels in my design might help keep it together while the glue dried.
Dowels won't really help hold the project together however once dried would make for a stronger joint. Usually it's difficult to get dowel holes to line up perfectly so dowels would tend to push the joint apart. If the dowel holes are off the slightest bit clamps would be necessary. Biscuits on the other hand would help a little and they are sloppy enough they wouldn't affect the parts going together.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Is it possible for him to use nails or screws?
Absolutely, it is. Not a bad idea. As obvious as it is, I hadn't considered that only because I was hoping for a different look. Might be the best thing to do though. Thanks, Frank
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Dowels won't really help hold the project together however once dried would make for a stronger joint.
Thanks, Steve. I didn't know that. Again, my inexperience. Thank you very much.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 04:16 PM
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On small projects you can use thick rubber bands for a good glue-up.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 04:22 PM
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Saran wrap works wonders for smaller projects. Just don't completely wrap it as you want the air to circulate. Twist it to make thin straps if you will, then wrap the box. Hold it all with tape. The good thing is it's easy to get it to confirm to the shape and size you need.

I would suggest using some blue painters tape to initially hold everything in place. Then use the saran wrap or other methods mentioned to tighten it up.

Good luck!

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post #12 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 04:35 PM
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Use CA glue (Crazy Glue) and wood glue together to make it stay put. Put your wood glue on first leaving a few small spots of wood bare. Then put a few drops of CA glue on the bare spots and stick it together. The CA glue will dry quickly and hold it together while the wood glue sets and cures.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! Great suggestions. Thank you all very much. We'll get this done.

Hope I can be in a position to help someone else. Anyone need advice with a guitar?

Thanks, folks!
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-08-2018, 05:59 PM
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You can also use wood pieces on each end, joined with a wood stringer, then drive a wood wedge in on one side to make tight.

Dave
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-10-2018, 10:56 AM
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I've done boxes a little smaller than that with masking tape to hold the corners together while the glue dried. You could also use twine and a stick as a Spanish Windlass.

The normal claim by woodworkers is that every project requires one more clamp than you have. If you're inventive, you don't really need very many. Heavy things (stacks of textbooks, for instance) and string can do a lot. Also, if you have a work bench, the vise can act as a clamp as well.
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-10-2018, 11:20 AM
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Bar clamps are among the most useful devices in the shop. There are a lot of "sexier" items I would forego in order to have 4 or 6 of these.

If Joe bought just two bar clamps he would be able to glue this up in sections. And Harbor Freight has some very economical options. Even Home Depot has some economical options.

If I were just starting out (and I knew what I know now) I would not be reluctant to buy clamps. I started with two. I have a lot more than that now.
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