The "What am I doing?" Holtzapffel Workbench #4: Final glue up of top

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Blog entry by DragonLady posted 03-14-2010 11:26 PM 1569 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The glue up Part 4 of The "What am I doing?" Holtzapffel Workbench series Part 5: Call 911-Fat lady down! »

I ended up discarding one piece of the top as too rough to deal with. So I’ve got 19 pieces glued up, at a width of 28 1/4”. I think that will work very well.

My first glue up (of any size!) and I think I did ok. Did it piecemeal, adding a board or two every 30 mins or so. Just got the final pieces on, and I am going to leave it clamped over night to cure.

final glue up 001

This is my first time ever using pipe clamps. Holy cow do those things exert some pressure!! I didn’t use them until the final clamp, and they were squeezing glue out of joints that were a couple hours old. I’d hate to be the wood in those clamps, ouch.

The top face came out somewhat even:
final glue up 003

I still have a LOT of work to do to get that flat and smooth, but the bottom face is a nightmare:
final glue up 002

Hard to see in the photos, but I’m sure I have height differences of up to 1/2” or so :(

I have a feeling I’ll be doing more sharpening on my plane blades than actual work on the top!

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

6 comments so far

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 3174 days

#1 posted 03-14-2010 11:45 PM

I hope you scraped the glue squeeze out while still soft as you went. Then it won’t be as hard on your planes when you encounter the excess.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View jack1's profile


2111 posts in 4170 days

#2 posted 03-15-2010 01:20 AM

not looking too bad. Forget the bottom since you are not going to do work there… ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View stefang's profile


15947 posts in 3477 days

#3 posted 03-15-2010 02:38 AM

That’s going to be a little tough to handplane with all those knots. You might want to consider using a power hand plane to get it near the mark first. Whatever you do, good luck with your project and it will be fun to see it planed and ready to go.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 3150 days

#4 posted 03-15-2010 02:40 AM

I’d love to use a power hand plane, or even a belt sander, but, like the router, those are things I don’t have, don’t know anyone who has that I can borrow, and am unable to buy.

So handplanes it is. I DO have a true scrub plane, though. That will help loads with the initial flattening. I’ve got a ton of wood to take off.

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View stefang's profile


15947 posts in 3477 days

#5 posted 03-15-2010 02:55 AM

Well you do seem like a determined person and I’m sure you will get through it, but I don’t envy you. If that wood is fir those knots are pretty hard and brittle. Maybe a tool rental? Sorry, I don’t mean to be a killjoy. I plane by hand a lot too, but I stay away from hard knots. Your plane isn’t going to like them.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 3497 days

#6 posted 03-16-2010 04:57 AM

If you ever need to do a big glue up like this again I suggest doing it all at once with a ton of pipe clamps. Of course pipe clamps cost money. I only own three, and have borrowed another 3 to make six, and for a top your size you could use even more. But you can see how you could do the entire glue up all at once and really make the joints tight. Also, in the future try to use cauls to it all flat.

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