Shaker Sofa Table #3: Base Assembly - a screwed up glue up

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Blog entry by Douglas posted 01-30-2013 05:52 AM 2464 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Legs and Aprons Part 3 of Shaker Sofa Table series Part 4: Drawers - practice and final fitting »

I had some time to get to the assembly of the base, and doing the glue up. All the parts were cleaned up and sanded. Although I’d done a dry fit, I hadn’t planned out my sequence, and, well, once the glue was on, I realized my alignment was off, and I clamped some things in wrong order, and this glue up was going badly. The glue was on for about 5 minutes, and starting to set up. i either had to live with it, or turn back. So I decided to stop. I pulled the parts apart, very carefully, hoping to avoid any damage. Everything came apart without any splitting. So, I let the glue dry overnight, came back the next day and cleaned it off (scraping and sanding), and went at it again. This time, I was better prepared, and it went together fine.

I felt pretty stupid, and really thought I’d screwed it up. I was glad to have made the save. Other than a loss of time, there were only some insignificant consequences. Lesson learned.

Next up are the drawers.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

4 comments so far

View inchanga's profile


117 posts in 2110 days

#1 posted 01-30-2013 05:37 PM

You won’t be he first or last person to mess up a glue up. At least you spotted it in time and took the right remedial action. I’ve had to saw stuff apart before now. It just finishes up a bit smaller. This looks like a really nice piece of work that could go in any room in the house. Well done.

-- chris, north wales

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#2 posted 01-30-2013 09:55 PM

While building a pair a dressers this month, I set one of the web frames in backwards. Glued the show face of the web frame to the back of the dresser. Luckily I caught it in time. I did the same thing you did – let the glue dry, then go about cleaning it up.
The table is looking good. What is your plan for the drawer construction?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2558 days

#3 posted 01-30-2013 11:52 PM

Willie – I’m going to do half blind dovetails, with 1/2” poplar for the sides & back. As the drawer fronts are continuous pieces with the front apron, I have only one chance to get them right. So I’m “practicing”, making 2 drawers with some leftover red oak for the fronts first. Once I get those down, I’ll make the two with the cherry. Here’s the first joint of the first test drawer…

not too shabby as a warmup, but not final quality either.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3977 days

#4 posted 03-19-2013 01:54 PM

Taking it apart and doing it over was the right way to go. It’s either deal with a small set back, or let it be wrong forever. Pretty easy choice if you ask me.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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