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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm soon to begin my table top glue up and had a few concerns. Table top is of cypress and approx 8' wide x 44" deep x 1" thick.

How many clamps and what type to use? I have 4 pipe clamps currently (48").

Also, to ensure boards remain flat to each other, I thought about using c-clamps with a small flat pieces of scrap boards. Any better ideas on keeping boards flat to one another?

Also, I was worried that if glue squeezed out of joint and I had scrap boards sandwiched around with c-clamps - would I not glue up the scraps to the table top?
 

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Old School
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I'm soon to begin my table top glue up and had a few concerns. Table top is of cypress and approx 8' wide x 44" deep x 1" thick.

How many clamps and what type to use? I have 4 pipe clamps currently (48").
I allow a clamp about every 8"-12". I alternate the clamps from top to bottom.

Also, to ensure boards remain flat to each other, I thought about using c-clamps with a small flat pieces of scrap boards. Any better ideas on keeping boards flat to one another?
I use cauls, which can be any straightedge, wood or metal, that lays across the boards, which when clamped down maintains alignment. To get good 90 degree fitting between boards, it's best to joint those edges first.

Also, I was worried that if glue squeezed out of joint and I had scrap boards sandwiched around with c-clamps - would I not glue up the scraps to the table top?
If you lay waxed paper as a barrier, whatever squeezes out will remain. I wipe off the excess glue with a wet rag as soon as possible.






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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wax paper it is then. That thought had crossed my mind but I never see it done.

Yes, I Have a 6" joiner that I will clean up joint edges with prior to glue up.

Is one clamp every foot a general rule of thumb, what's the norm for everyone in here?
 

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These guys are right on about the clamps. As for your question about squeeze out, I've been having good luck with waiting about 15 minutes for the squeezed out glue to become somewhat hardened and then scraping it off. Much easier than trying to scrape or sand off dried glue and won't smear like fresh glue. There will still be some clean-up afterward, but significantly less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
These guys are right on about the clamps. As for your question about squeeze out, I've been having good luck with waiting about 15 minutes for the squeezed out glue to become somewhat hardened and then scraping it off. Much easier than trying to scrape or sand off dried glue and won't smear like fresh glue. There will still be some clean-up afterward, but significantly less.
That's a good tip! I had heard that before about waiting until it gets a little gummy then pulling it off. I was intending on trying that method but was worried about what would be coming out under clamps.
 

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You can never have two many clamps.

What C-man said, about alternating clamps every 8"-12" or so I believe to be pretty much the norm.

Don't worry about the squeeze out under the clamps, it should be minimal if you've already cleaned everything else up. Like others, I've had the best luck scrapping off the squeeze out after about 15-30 min.
 

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i'd prolly go with 9 clamps. as for not getting glue on your c-clamp set-up try this ...........

take 2 pieces of 2" x 4" 4 ft long and flatten the edge on your jointer. run it over your table saw with the blade up about 1/2 inch and make notches in the 2x4 to correspond where the joints of the top will be. ( i usually make my notches 1/2 inch or wider - so make 4 or 5 passes ) then sandwich one on the top and one on the underside and clamp them so it holds your top flat. do this at each end

hope i explained it well
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i'd prolly go with 9 clamps. as for not getting glue on your c-clamp set-up try this ...........

take 2 pieces of 2" x 4" 4 ft long and flatten the edge on your jointer. run it over your table saw with the blade up about 1/2 inch and make notches in the 2x4 to correspond where the joints of the top will be. ( i usually make my notches 1/2 inch or wider - so make 4 or 5 passes ) then sandwich one on the top and one on the underside and clamp them so it holds your top flat. do this at each end

hope i explained it well
Yeah I think I got it, you are just bridging over the glue joint. Nice.
 

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Is one clamp every foot a general rule of thumb, what's the norm for everyone in here?
There can be no "rule of thumb." The boards one is gluing up will have different properties, different widths, and thicknesses.
 

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Borrow more clamps from a neighbor, friend or relative. Look for consitant squeeze out along the entire length of the glue up to have an idea that you are applying fairly equal pressure from all of the clamps.

Your glue up sounds substantial so take you time and be 'loaded for bear' before you begin.
 

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Yeah I think I got it, you are just bridging over the glue joint. Nice.
exactly - just bridging over the glue joint. i usually go with a clamp every 9 inches or so . what IS important is glue coverage on BOTH sides of the joint. how much glue ?? not to the point of it dripping but not so thin that you see wood when you spread it . each piece being glued should be covered with glue. not alot should squeeze out on clamping. and dont over-tighten the clamps . that just weakens the joint by oozing out all the glue.
 

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I have a very different take on glue. First off use the right glue for the right job. More these days is not better, it's waste. Second glues are much better now and require lesser amounts. In many places it's too strong. If its so strong it rips the wood off one side of the joint it's strong enough. Best glue ups start with perfect preparation of the two surfaces being joined.

Al

Friends don't let friends use Craftsman. :)
 

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I only clamp where it's needed. If it all goes together well, I use less clamps. If it clamps up flush and flat, I just clamp it tight enough to put a little pressure. Again glue and clamps isn't the only important factors. Prep and joint is.

Al

Friends don't let friends use Craftsman. :)
 

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@ al - we said it differently but we prolly use the same amount of glue.

ps - not only dont i let my friends use craftsman but i wont let them use ryobi skil black and decker etc lol
 
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