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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all here. I am new to this forum, but am moderately experienced in amateur woodwork.

I am presently building some simple bookshelves from 3/4" oak plywood and will be using some 1/4" x 3/4" oak strips to cover the front edges to hide the laminations. I plan to glue them for the best appearance but have had some problems with getting the right amount of glue in joints before this. I will be doing this on saw horses as I am in the process of building a shop and do not have a good wood working table at the present time. I plan to add some 1" wire nails in the front edge of the plywood, leaving the heads sticking up. I will then cut the heads off with some heavy pliers as close as I can, leaving a short (1/16" or less) and sharp point sticking out. These should keep the wood strips aligned while I tighten the clamps but they will not stick through the oak strips so they will not be visible. I have not tried this technique before so does anybody see any problems with it?

As for the glue, I know I will get a little bit squeezed out of the joint, but I want to keep this to a minimum so the sanding will also be kept to a minimum. I plan to stain and seal with water based stain and polyurethane so I do not want any glue to interfere with the uniformity of the stain. Also, the glue will be the sole holding force in the joint so I need sufficient coverage so it holds well. I would appreciate any suggestions on applying and spreading the glue to get good coverage up to or at least near to the edge without any excessive amount being squeezed out. Should I use the glue full strength or thin it? What is best for spreading it, brush (foam or bristle), roller of some type, or what? Any special techniques that would help?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Paul A.
 

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I'm a newbee too so take my advice with a grain of salt. As for spreading glue I use small brushes that are sold in the plumbing section of Lowes. I'm not sure what they are supposed to be used for but they are about 4 inches long, silver in color and have short bristles.

As for the nail method you describe, I can remember my dad building cabnets when I as a kid doing that for the face of the door. He wanted a design on the front so he routed a piece of wood in a fancy shape and drove a few nails half way in, cut off the heads and sharpened the point then glued and pressed on the piece. That was over 20 years ago and they still are in place. (He also told me it took him a year to build those cabnets) If you want to spend a little money you can do it a lot easier by using a biscuit jointer. That's the way most people do it these days. I don't have one yet but it's on my list. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

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There are lots of glue spreaders out there, ranging from rollers to brushes etc. Personally I use a plastic squeegee intended for spreading Bondo. Always have a damp rag handy when gluing up, and wipe squeezeout before the glue sets. Then come back in about 20 minutes and look for any you missed - at that point glue will be soft enough to remove with a scraper.

I have built birch ply book cases and done what you propose, but using small brads (and glue) to hold the thin strips on. I just set them below flush and filled the holes with a wax crayon the same color as the stain. Minwax makes them.
 

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The cut off nail method works for some procedures, but I wouldn't use it for ¼" edging. For ¼" thick edges, I would use a thicker strip (between the clamp end and the edging) to dissipate the clamping pressure over a wider area than just a clamp end.

You could use an "acid brush" for spreading a thin layer of glue on both surfaces. I wouldn't make the application heavy, but have the surfaces covered. If you get squeezeout, use a wet rag to wipe it clean.









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I'm a newbee too so take my advice with a grain of salt. As for spreading glue I use small brushes that are sold in the plumbing section of Lowes. I'm not sure what they are supposed to be used for but they are about 4 inches long, silver in color and have short bristles.

As for the nail method you describe, I can remember my dad building cabnets when I as a kid doing that for the face of the door. He wanted a design on the front so he routed a piece of wood in a fancy shape and drove a few nails half way in, cut off the heads and sharpened the point then glued and pressed on the piece. That was over 20 years ago and they still are in place. (He also told me it took him a year to build those cabnets) If you want to spend a little money you can do it a lot easier by using a biscuit jointer. That's the way most people do it these days. I don't have one yet but it's on my list. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
those are called acid brush's , cheep to buy and thro away good for glue
 

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A "std" size bttle of Titebond has these wedge shaped tips.It is adj for flow.You'll get the hang of it pretty quick......

One other thing that probably dosen't amt to much on 1/4" glue-ons but want to mention it.Glue joints like "fresh" wood.Meaning,the longer the wood edges are exposed to shop air,the less effective the glues bond.This can range from splitting hair,don't mean squat.........all the way to complete joint failure in certain engineered products.Like I said,your glue-ons will be fine.

I like swiping those little yellow sponge thingy's from wife.You know the type,they are sponge on one side and scotchbright on the other.They work great for all sorts of jobs in the shop.
 

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If you are worried about the squeeze out with yellow glue you likely have not been applying sufficient glue.

There is supposed to be squeeze out. Ideally a nice even bead all around the joint. I rarely get even, but I do want to see squeeze out.

The yellow glues clean up with water. I allow the recommended clamping time, then remove the clamps, clean off the excess with scraper and then a wet sponge. As long as you do not wait too long the wet sponge will remove all of the excess glue and future staining should not be a problem.

Lots of ways to spread the glue. Brush, scrap of wood, screwdriver.

These days I like to use the silicon brushes. Easy to remove even hardened glue and not expensive.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2085016/38913/Silicone-Glue-Brush-1.aspx

I would not try the blind nail method for aligning the strips. Too much work, they could end up causing clamping issues.

Rout a groove, e.g., 1/4in wide x 1/8in deep on the edge of the plywood and then rout two complimentary rabbits on the edge pieces. This will provide easy alignment and improve strength of the joint to hold the strips.
 

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First things first - Welcome

I don't understand why you don't want to do any sanding - it's a big part of woodworking - but you don't have to do a lot of sanding. Dave is correct on the squeeze out issue, if you don't have any, your joint is probably starved of glue. One method to avoid glue residue is to apply bees wax along the edge where you will be applying the glue. Glue will dry on the wax and you can then peel it off with your finger. Just be careful not to get the wax where you want to glue. The wax can be cleaned off with denatured alcohol and light sanding.

Since you're new to woodworking, a method of covering the end grain of ply is used by lots of folks is the iron on veneer. You can purchase a small roll for about $5 at HD etc. Simply unroll it on the ply and iron it on with a cloth iron. They are usually slightly wider then the plywood and can be shaved with a knife.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I never said I wasn't going to sand. But glue penetrates the grain and I do not want to have to sand too deep.

Re: other answers

I have both standard size and detail size biscuit cutters and biscuits. I use and love them. But I don't think that I am skilled enough to use any of them on a trim strip that is only 1/4" deep. Likewise for cutting a tongue or groove on them. The strips are already made, I just bought them. I did say simple shelves, didn't I?
 

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forget the nails and all that crap
glue the strips on
clamp them for 15-20 minutes
wipe excess glue off with a damp cloth asap
 

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I'd either use a thicker piece...1/2 to 3/4 for edging, or go the iron on veneer route. I think 1/4 inch thick is going to be hard to evenly clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Been away from this project for a week or so. But I finished cutting the plywood into widths yesterday. I was cutting in the driveway, outside of my overcrowded garage and yesterday was a nice, slightly cool day. So I hope to start gluing the edge strips today.

I carefully read all the above comments. I did consider iron on veneer: I have used it before with good results. But the local lumber yards have only a small amount in stock. I need a bunch for this because I am building four shelf units and I have been burned before by depending on them to restock an item. Waited a year once and they never got any more. And they lie about it. I guess I could have purchased it on line. But I also want a more durable edge.

As for the clamping problems, I do plan on using a 1x2 or an aluminum bar to spread the clamping force evenly. This is one reason why I feel the wire nails are needed. I have a bunch of 12" clamps so I should be able to glue two edge strips at once. I'll see how it works on the first one.

Anyway, thanks for all the comments. I'll let you know how it works out.
 

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I thought of you yesterday............

Was 'sposed to be a short day,not.Started at 6 a.m.,was still going full tilt at 6 pm.

Was installing a BUNCH of custom cove mould around some real,bead bd insets.Was using a std Titebond bttle and a PC pin nailer.Zero squeeze out and lightening fast install.Anyway,thought it just takes practice.Good luck.

PS,for all you bow hunters.......there was a big bruiser buck watching me work for over an hour yesterday.Was out on the loading dock where the lite was better,working and he was mowin our grass.He'd look up from time to time and then we'd both get right back to work.It had a eerily beautiful sense to it.
 

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glue brush...naaw

Throw aways? naaw. Recyled tooth brushes! Yeaaa.
They are perfect for apping glue to a 3/4" to 1" wide strip. They can move the glue along, spread it evenly and you can clean them and reuse them.

Apply enough glue, a bead about the size of a small drinking straw.
to both pieces. Spread the glue evenly with the brush. Clamp using a backer that stiff enough to distribute the pressure.

If you don't have clamps suitable for the purpose, you can use brad nails at a slight angle and remove them later. Don't cut off the heads if you want to remove them. OR use finishing nails and drive them in, set them below the surface and fill the tiny holes when you finish sand them.

They make edging clamps for this purpose:
Amazon.com: edging clamps - Edge Clamps / Clamps: Tools & Home Improvement

If your boards aren't too wide you can use squeeze clamps to clamp around the far edge. These are good enough for edging:
http://www.harborfreight.com/18-inch-ratchet-bar-clamp-spreader-46808.html
 

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I didn't catch if you had a table saw but I'm going to assume you do. It can be done without one but is a little more involved. One way I've found to eliminate squeeze out if you must is to saw a groove in your piece just outside of where you will apply glue and it will capture the glue and be hidden within the joint. Doesn't work well in every application but has served me well in a few spots. Good luck!
 

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The cut off nail method works great. Once you put glue on the surface it makes it hard to keep thing aligned. Apply the glue, align the face frame and clamp it into place, nothing should slip. Just make sure you are aligned before clamping. However, I would not suggest doing this on 1/4" face frame. I would do as other have suggested; go with a 1/2" or 3/4" face frame.
Tom
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Discussion Starter #20
After all the good discussion and advise, I wanted to show the results. Here is the first board with the edging strip being glued to it.



As you can see, I did go with the 1/4" x 3/4" oak strips and I did use the cut-off nails. In spite of the fact that I inspected each trim strip in the store for any curves, I found that this one did have some significant ones. So it did need to be straightened as I glued it. I found that the nails do help keep it in place, but they also did allow some room to move it a bit. What I did not expect was that they will go deeper into the laminations of the plywood as the trim strip is clamped down. They started out protruding about 1/16" when I trimmed them with the cutters and wound up at 1/32" or less. This is probably why I was able to slightly reposition the strip while clamping.

I wound up spreading the glue with a 6" cotton swab: I keep packs of them in the shop for all kinds of uses and they were handy. And you just throw it away: no cleaning. What surprised me is I got no squeeze out. Not a single drop. I was really surprised.

I am using some inexpensive clamps (HF) as I knew I needed a lot of them. I had to remove the pins from the end of the bars to allow them to have a bit more capacity. I may drill new holes closer to the ends when I put them back. That is a 1/4" x 1" aluminum bar that I used to even out the clamping pressure. I needed more clamps than I first thought so it was a good thing that I bought a dozen of them. I bought about 10 more of a better quality and another aluminum bar so I can glue two boards at once.

One down and about 18 to go. With all the other demands on my time, I still will need some time to glue all of them.

Anyway, it appears to be well underway. Thanks again to all.
 
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