MDB #3: So many cubes - GULP! ....I mean GLUP..... um - GLUE UP

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 08-02-2010 06:23 AM 2196 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Shave and a Cut - Cross Cut that is Part 3 of MDB series Part 4: The Age of the Machines - Final milling and profiling »

Disclaimer: This blog follows my Magen David Board that is already finished and posted here

This phase of the project took on a different pace. it was all hand tools oriented, and I was able to work on it at nights and at quick sessions as there was little setup involved, and not a whole lot of noise.

To start. I took my old drill press table that was just hanging around the shop useless after I upgraded it and screwed a straight piece of cherry left over from my milling process to act as a flat reference face to glue everything to. I waxed the table and reference board as well as my cauls, and then positioned all the cubes in their final position, and started gluing one line/column at a time, clamping each to the flat reference strip, and adding a caul (arced bottom) on top to keep everything flat on the bottom. before applying glue I actually scraped each cube on both its sides to clean up any imperfections from the milling process:

Next, after I had a bunch of strips with uneven edges, it was time to joint them to be put together. the bunch of strips on the left are pre jointed and you can see the extra gap between them caused by variations in the first glueup process and parts not being milled precisely the same dimensions to begin with (see my original post and my poor decision on trying to mass produce this – it still is causing trouble). The bunch of strips on the right are after jointing them with my #6 (largest I have), and smoothed them with the #4. After the first couple of strips, I also beveled the ends so that it won’t chip off as I’m planing past it:

Planing cross grain is actually not too bad. just as easy as across the grain if the tool is tuned well with the exception that the shavings are short and well – cross grainy :) (for lack of better words)

PLANING TIP: Planing Uphill, Downhill, or just plain flat I find it that the tendency of jointing is to follow a line parallel with the workbench/earth/ground. If I clamp my part tilting up away from me – I’ll be planing it thinner at it’s end, if I clamp the part tilting downwards from me – I’ll be planing it thinner on my end. If I clamp it somewhat parallel with the bench, I have the best chance of jointing it even across it’s length.

And always check that you are not jointing at a bevel every few passes – if you are , move you plane to the opposite side to compensate and bring it back to square.

For poorly milled material to begin with – I ended up having to plane some of the strips quite a bit making them narrower than others – which in effect breaks the continuity of the lines in the geometry on the top of the board. not TOO too bad, but could have been avoided if properly milled to begin with. it does give this piece a handmade one-of look though so I’m ok with it.

At the end of this, I was left with the strips almost ready to be put together for the final glue up stage, although as you can see – I had to cut out 2 squares that somehow were glued in the wrong orientation:

At first I thought of just living it as is, but then I figured since I’m at the stage of no return – I might as well fix it now and not have to see it ever again. and so I did.

After glueing new (I had 4 extras) beveled cubes in place of those I had to cut out and cleaning those parts, it was time to glue up the strips together to what will become the final slab:

Next: The Time of the Machines!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

5 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4398 days

#1 posted 08-02-2010 03:07 PM

Some more great insite

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3646 days

#2 posted 08-02-2010 03:20 PM

Thanks for following up Karson, at least I know someone is checking it out lol.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3034 days

#3 posted 08-02-2010 03:46 PM

Great blog, Sharon. Nice to see how other people do it.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3646 days

#4 posted 08-02-2010 03:48 PM


I actually had a different way of doing it,but ended up doing it the way shown in the blog after I messed up the initial milling process. if that hadn’t been messed with – the entire process would have been far faster and easier – next time!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3232 days

#5 posted 08-04-2010 11:14 PM

Oh man… you’ve given me a couple great pointers. I’m getting ready to start making the burcher-block top part of my table, which I decided to do as end-grain instead of edge-grain. Thankfully, I decided to try a small-scale test and discovered what you did – that stuff needs to be milled with all sides at perfect 90 degree angles to each other – otherwise things will not line up properly.

I will definitely remember your planing tips when I go to finish up the gluing on mine (still have a few coats of poly before I start milling though…).

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

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