Reply by lumberjoe

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Posted on Are Most Benchtops Woefully Underclamped during Glueup? (probably not)

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2899 posts in 2270 days

#1 posted 12-07-2012 08:55 PM

This is why I hated mechanical theory classes and why I liked strength of materials classes. That recommendation is 100% theory and is missing a lot of facts. I’d like to know what that “Ideal strength” represents. We can only assume it represents the required force for 100% of the glue you applied to be absorbed into the wood fibers. Sounds awesome in theory right?

How many times have you got some glue on a block of wood and set it down on another piece of wood (or god forbid an unfinished bench) and discovered it the next day? I have. There was NO clamps at all, but when I whack it with a mallet, the wood splits and I have a nice chip missing from my slapped together bench, or I have a chip of wood still glued on. Why?

Glue is stronger than wood.

I’m not sure how much stronger, but that matters. At some point you enter the land of diminishing returns with clamping pressure. Once your glue joint equals the strength of the surrounding wood, that is the best you can hope for. Anything more than that is overkill. Why strive for overkill?

So again, I would like to see the difference explained from IDEAL clamping pressure (full, deep glue absorption) and adequate clamping pressure (the minimum threshold gate where the wood fails before the glue). Only doctors and scientists are concerned about ideal. They make reports, we make furniture.

Also. make sure you pieces fit together perfectly dry. If I have to close gaps with clamps, I know I have more work to do before I get the glue out.


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