Table Top glue up. - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 43 Old 06-11-2019, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Sadly, I don’t own a table saw yet. My budget is limited, so I’m operating with a make-do mindset. I’ve got a compound miter saw with an 18” reach, a crappy 10” skil circular saw, and my router with a home-made router table in a Formica countertop. Long, straight cuts are my kryptonite.

I’m going to give this rig a test run on some scrap, and if that works I’ll give it a go. If it doesn’t, I’ll buy something with a more perfect straight edge (probably birch ply). After either, I’ll give the handplane a go to tidy up as needed.

Thanks everyone for your very helpful suggestions. I’ll report back with results after next weekend.

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post #22 of 43 Old 06-11-2019, 10:08 AM
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I wonder whether a new, sharp blade in the crappy 10 inch Skil circular saw would be better than the router solution. It is what I would try first.

(It could be a personal preference. I am more comfortable working with circular saws than routers; perhaps it is the opposite for Dylan.)
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post #23 of 43 Old 06-11-2019, 02:52 PM
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Dylan,


You realize if you had a hand plane you'd have been done a long time ago?


I promise you're going to find your ww'ing is going to another level when you do.
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post #24 of 43 Old 06-14-2019, 08:10 AM
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Wood moves, measure it next week and the gap will be different. The glue joint will be stronger than the wood itself. Glue it, clamp it, make sure all is square and true after 24 hours and make your table.
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post #25 of 43 Old 06-14-2019, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
Dylan,

You realize if you had a hand plane you'd have been done a long time ago?

I promise you're going to find your ww'ing is going to another level when you do.
I know. I do intend to hand plane the top after glue up. I’m just not confident in my skill to get two edges perfect. I did work on two of the edges with a handplane for a while (when the boards were rough sawn and hadn’t even been through the planer yet) but I just couldn’t get it to match up.

Anyhow. I got it done with the router. I used the aluminum fence, and stabilized it with blocks clamped behind it. I routed the edge of the first board, and then moved the second board next to it, separated by just less than the width of the bit. Clamped that in place and routed again. A couple of passes and some patient adjustments, and i have perfectly flush edges.

Thanks for everyone’s suggestions.

I was thinking of using dowels, not for strength, but to help make sure the top faces align when gluing up and clamping. Good idea? Bad idea?

Also, the top is five boards, currently just under 4’x8’. I was thinking of doing the glue up in phases, rather than all five at once. Glue two, wait for them to dry, glue a third on, wait, a fourth, and so on. Good idea? Bad idea?

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post #26 of 43 Old 06-15-2019, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan JC Buffum View Post

Also, the top is five boards, currently just under 4íx8í. I was thinking of doing the glue up in phases, rather than all five at once. Glue two, wait for them to dry, glue a third on, wait, a fourth, and so on. Good idea? Bad idea?
That is a lot easier way to keep all the boards flush, using some cawls as well would help, when adding them one at a time dowels or biscuits are not necessary.
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post #27 of 43 Old 06-15-2019, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan JC Buffum View Post
I know. I do intend to hand plane the top after glue up. Iím just not confident in my skill to get two edges perfect. I did work on two of the edges with a handplane for a while (when the boards were rough sawn and hadnít even been through the planer yet) but I just couldnít get it to match up.

Anyhow. I got it done with the router. I used the aluminum fence, and stabilized it with blocks clamped behind it. I routed the edge of the first board, and then moved the second board next to it, separated by just less than the width of the bit. Clamped that in place and routed again. A couple of passes and some patient adjustments, and i have perfectly flush edges.

Thanks for everyoneís suggestions.

I was thinking of using dowels, not for strength, but to help make sure the top faces align when gluing up and clamping. Good idea? Bad idea?

Also, the top is five boards, currently just under 4íx8í. I was thinking of doing the glue up in phases, rather than all five at once. Glue two, wait for them to dry, glue a third on, wait, a fourth, and so on. Good idea? Bad idea?
Good Idea. Biscuits are very helpful for aligning.....register the tool off a flat bench top with the boards face down to ensure that the top surfaces of the boards join up flush.
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post #28 of 43 Old 06-15-2019, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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One vote for dowels/biscuits; One vote against.

I did a dry clamp of the first two boards, and was easily able to get it perfectly flush except two short lengths that are less than 1/32 off. Thatís within tolerance, I think.

But if I did decide to try to pin them, Iíd have to use dowels. I donít have a biscuit joiner.

I was thinking of using a 24Ē angle iron, and drilling two holes in it about 18Ē apart. I would use a fence on my drill press to make sure both holes are exactly the same location relative to the lip of the angle iron. Then Iíd clamp the iron onto the top surface of the table, so the holes are spaced along the edge. Drill the first, put a dowel in, drill the second and put a dowel in. Then move the angle iron down the edge and pin the first hole over the second dowel, clamp in place and drill the third. Repeat to the end of the board, then do the same on the matching face.
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post #29 of 43 Old 06-15-2019, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan JC Buffum View Post
One vote for dowels/biscuits; One vote against.

I did a dry clamp of the first two boards, and was easily able to get it perfectly flush except two short lengths that are less than 1/32 off. Thatís within tolerance, I think.

But if I did decide to try to pin them, Iíd have to use dowels. I donít have a biscuit joiner.

I was thinking of using a 24Ē angle iron, and drilling two holes in it about 18Ē apart. I would use a fence on my drill press to make sure both holes are exactly the same location relative to the lip of the angle iron. Then Iíd clamp the iron onto the top surface of the table, so the holes are spaced along the edge. Drill the first, put a dowel in, drill the second and put a dowel in. Then move the angle iron down the edge and pin the first hole over the second dowel, clamp in place and drill the third. Repeat to the end of the board, then do the same on the matching face.
When the glue is applied the boards can slip out of alignment quite easily. I'm a biscuit fan....you can get a biscuit bit for your router.....just a suggestion. Self centering (vix) bit for the angle iron method.....no room for error.
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post #30 of 43 Old 06-15-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
When the glue is applied the boards can slip out of alignment quite easily. I'm a biscuit fan....you can get a biscuit bit for your router.....just a suggestion. Self centering (vix) bit for the angle iron method.....no room for error.
I didnít know about the biscuit bit. Thanks! Iíll look into it.
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post #31 of 43 Old 06-17-2019, 11:06 AM
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Anymore I rarely use alignment aids with gluing panels.



I tighten the clamps incrementally, and employ a judicious whack with a rubber hammer to bring it close.


I don't stress myself about getting it perfect. I keep the top thick, get it close, and take out any minor discepancies when I flatten the panel.


Believe me, my stress levels have definitely dropped doing it this way!!
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post #32 of 43 Old 06-19-2019, 01:23 PM
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#1: The distillation of your experience seems to be that the wood ďmovedĒ (warped/twisted/hooked/bowed) after you planed your original wood down to size. This process trims away the seasoned and stable exterior wood fibers, and exposes fresher wood with internal stored stresses to the elements, whereupon it seeks to become stabilized, so it moves after it's milled. In other words, you probably got things pretty good at first, but then it moved.

#2: Following #1 above, ďdowels,Ē NO!! Consider how hard youíve worked to get your edges with a relatively simple and aided/controlled tool setup. Dowels have to be controlled in 3 axes, which is not easy even for those of us who are experienced and have decent tooling.

#3: Your proposed glue up is the right approach.

#4: After the slab is all glued up you should plan on hand planing the top smooth and flat, so thereís wiggle room for the glue-up process itself, hence Dr Robertís choice to not rely on alignment aids.

#5: As you now know, the initial cutting of the wood is the most important part to get right for our projects. Rather than spend a dime on a slot cutting router bit (for biscuits) I would save and spend the $ on a quality circular saw + quality blade, and then fabricate a cutting straight edge/track as shown earlier.

#6: Keep it simple! Please donít take this as an insult, but reading thru this thread, it seems you are complicating your efforts rather than simplifying.
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post #33 of 43 Old 06-23-2019, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Flat top!

Thanks for all of the advice, everyone. I did not end up using biscuits or dowels. The stock is so thick, we were able to get it very close and then a hand plane did the rest.

Next step, breadboard ends I think.
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post #34 of 43 Old 06-23-2019, 10:25 PM
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Now that you have the top, take your time with the design on mounting the top to the base and also the breadboard end. The top needs to forever be allowed to expand and contract and both mounting the top to the base and the breadboard end can interfere with the top doing that and cause the top to split.

If you just screw the base to the top it holds the outer portion of top where it is and in the event of shrinkage the top will split to releave the pressure.

Any time you attach wood with the grain running in a perpendicular direction you have to be careful to allow for shrinkage. The breadboard is normally done with a mortise and tenon joint where it's only glued in the middle. The rest of it just has pins or screws put through elongated holes to help hold it onto the top. It still allows for the width of the board to shrink.
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post #35 of 43 Old 06-24-2019, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Steve. The book that gave me the inspiration for the design (Measured Shop Drawings of American Furniture, by Thomas Moser) has good drawings of how to do the breadboard ends like you suggested. Iíve been considering if thereís a way the tenon can be hidden, so you donít see it on the edges. I guess you would cut shoulders, and then the mortise would have to be about a 1/4Ē longer than the tenon so thereís room for movement and the endgrain of the breadboard doesít pop out if the top swells wider. On the other hand, my shop is not air conditioned and I live in North Carolina and itís summer, so everything it about as swollen as itís going to get. Building with tight tolerances might be ideal so when the table gets moved into a house itís not too loose.

The top is ridiculously massive and is very stable on the base; Iím considering not gluing it to the base at all, in part so the table can be moved through a door more easily. To do that, Iíd use a router to make a 1/4Ē to 1/2Ē recess in the underside of the top that follows the outline of the base. I may put two or three short pins along the spine, but none out on the ribs. That would keep the top from sliding if bumped hard (right now itís heavy enough that friction keeps it from sliding if bumped or leaned-on).
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post #36 of 43 Old 06-24-2019, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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On second thought, leaving the top un-glued from the base means the table would be a real PITA to move around the room. If you had to pick it up and move it just a few inches, two people would have to pick up the top while a third moved the base. If I want to leave it un-attached, I’ll probably have to glue blocks under the top and have a couple of removable pins that go through the blocks and the spine, holding it together mechanically. Not sure I want it to be that elaborate and add all that extra stuff.

I’ll keep ruminating, while I get the breadboard ends done. I don’t need to decide right away.

Last edited by Dylan JC Buffum; 06-24-2019 at 07:04 AM.
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post #37 of 43 Old 06-24-2019, 09:49 AM
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Do Not glue the top to the base!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan JC Buffum View Post
On second thought, leaving the top un-glued from the base means the table would be a real PITA to move around the room. If you had to pick it up and move it just a few inches, two people would have to pick up the top while a third moved the base. If I want to leave it un-attached, I’ll probably have to glue blocks under the top and have a couple of removable pins that go through the blocks and the spine, holding it together mechanically. Not sure I want it to be that elaborate and add all that extra stuff.

I’ll keep ruminating, while I get the breadboard ends done. I don’t need to decide right away.

Use Z clips designed to attach the top to the aprons:

https://www.rockler.com/table-top-fa...EaAhM3EALw_wcB




https://www.homedepot.com/p/POWERTEC...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
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post #38 of 43 Old 06-24-2019, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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There are no aprons. It’s a trestle table.

Also, I’m not using any hardware. It’s all traditional joinery & glue.

Last edited by Dylan JC Buffum; 06-24-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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post #39 of 43 Old 06-24-2019, 02:40 PM
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If you can live with the table being 1/2" to 3/4" taller you could glue and screw 1x4's to the top of the base. Then what hangs off the side drill some elongated screw holes and mount the table with pan head screws with washers.
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post #40 of 43 Old 06-24-2019, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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If you can live with the table being 1/2" to 3/4" taller you could glue and screw 1x4's to the top of the base. Then what hangs off the side drill some elongated screw holes and mount the table with pan head screws with washers.
I was thinking the inverse: glue two rails to the underside of the top that run flush on both sides of the spine of the trestle. Then use horizontal pins or pegs through the rails and the spine. Helps maintain the the no-hardware design.
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