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Modern Computer Desk #3: Gluing up the top/side and bottom panels

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Blog entry by Ron Stewart posted 04-28-2017 01:38 PM 829 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Leg Alternatives Part 3 of Modern Computer Desk series Part 4: Cutting the bevels for the mitered case corners »

The sycamore boards I bought varied in width from about 6 to 11 inches, so I needed to edge-glue them to create the 24-inch wide panels for the top, bottom, and sides of the case. I know that this process is old hat to many woodworkers here, but it’s new to me.

After doing some research, I cut three sets of clamping cauls from some scrap leftover from my workbench project. I didn’t curve them, but left them straight. Some test clamps were mostly, but not completely, satisfactory. Because my boards weren’t perfectly flat, the board edges weren’t perfectly flush. (Maybe I needed more than three sets of cauls given the 5-and-a-half-foot board lengths.)

I don’t have a biscuit joiner, but I do have a cheap doweling jig, so I decided to use dowels spaced every six inches or so to better align the boards. Test fits were very promising, so I ended up using glue, dowels, and cauls.

I let the squeezed-out glue dry to the point where it was like soft rubber, then used an old chisel to scrape it off. That also worked well, as I didn’t have any problems when I applied the finish later.

The resulting panels were pretty flat, and I was able to hand-sand the glued edges to eliminate any high spots. (I made a point of saving the sanding dust, because I knew I’d need it to fill some gaps later on.)

Now I was ready to move on to the next step—cutting the bevels for the mitered case corners.

-- Ron Stewart



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