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View antkn33's profile

Cutting board glue up nightmare

by antkn33
posted 12-11-2012 06:17 PM

18 replies so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2953 days

#1 posted 12-11-2012 06:22 PM

You might try cauls on the top and bottom too.

Edited to add a better picture.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#2 posted 12-11-2012 06:23 PM

I’m not familiar with Marc’s video on this but it sounds like you glued it all up at once . Maybe if you glued half or a third at a time you would have better success. Scott’s idea about cauls is a good idea too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2957 days

#3 posted 12-11-2012 06:25 PM

You may have applied too much pressure. If you use too much it can force the wood to move out of alignment. There is bound to be some movement and it is unrealistic (at least in my experience) to expect things to come out of the clamps perfectly smooth, you will always have to do some post glue sanding. To aid alignment you could use biscuits when doing the final glue. The biscuits will help keep everything aligned. If you don’t have a biscuit jointer you could also just use some splines although you would see those on the ends of the board. If you used a contrasting wood it might not be bad though. 30 minutes w/ 60 grit paper does seem like an excessive amount of sanding, maybe someone else will weigh in with another solution.

View antkn33's profile


55 posts in 3408 days

#4 posted 12-11-2012 06:50 PM

I did glue it up all at once. I used cauls on the ends across the cuts.
Those are good suggestions!

View bondogaposis's profile


4683 posts in 2317 days

#5 posted 12-11-2012 08:02 PM

Glue is slippery and it is common for wood to slip as pressure is applied. It might be better to tackle the glue up in stages instead of all once.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2957 days

#6 posted 12-11-2012 10:28 PM

I think it’s really strange that you had that much of a problem when using cauls. Stupid question but have you checked to make sure your cauls are flat? Maybe next time add more cauls and clamp along the length of the cauls as well as at the ends.

When I make cutting boards I glue them up all at once and have never had any trouble doing it that way.

View AandCstyle's profile


3027 posts in 2223 days

#7 posted 12-12-2012 01:42 AM

I have also read about people applying the glue to the strips, then pinning them in place with a 23G pin nailer (just until the glue sets) and, finally, clamping all the pieces together. The pins (one at each end of the strip) prevent the slippage you experienced. I have never done this, so take it for what it is worth. :)

-- Art

View Biff's profile


126 posts in 1980 days

#8 posted 12-12-2012 01:49 AM

I noticed on the Wood Whisperer video that OP refered to that he hardly uses any clamping pressure. I think because he went to so much effort to make sure all pieces were true that it wasn’t necessary to bear down on the clamps. Most people over tighten the clamps, causing wood to slip out…plus using a variety of clamps makes for unequal pressure application. On the video, he uses a minimum of clamps and they match.

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at

View antkn33's profile


55 posts in 3408 days

#9 posted 12-12-2012 02:51 PM

I actually did joint the cauls. The unevenness was further towards the center of the board.
The more I think about it, the more I think it was too much clamping pressure. I re-watched the WW video, and I didn’t position the clamps like he did either.

View jaidee's profile


51 posts in 2745 days

#10 posted 12-13-2012 04:06 PM

One other thought, it appears that you only clamped the cauls on the ends. Unless your cauls have a convex edge, any pressure at the ends will cause them to bow up in the middle, or at least provide less clamping pressure there than at the ends. That, combined with excessive clamping pressure on your pipe clamps could cause movement before the glue sets. Wood under pressure, like water, follows the path of least resistance. Good luck with the next one!

-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 3696 days

#11 posted 12-13-2012 05:58 PM

First time I made an end grain board, I blew it at the clamping stage. I overclamped it to the point of making some very nice firewood.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View antkn33's profile


55 posts in 3408 days

#12 posted 12-13-2012 07:31 PM

Yeah, I think I overdid it too. I was able to sand the hell out of it so it is level now. I just don’t want to have to go through that every time.!

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3614 days

#13 posted 12-13-2012 07:38 PM

if you jointed your cauls, but only clamped them at the ends – they could bow, leaving the center area un-clampped (by the cauls) which would then be free to move out of alignment, especially if you apply a lot of clamping pressure.

you should either make sure your cauls are convex properly and clamp on their ends, or if you use jointed cauls, make sure you clamp all along them.

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

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2252 days

#14 posted 12-13-2012 08:07 PM

I’ve gone to cutting hardwood 5/4 pieces very flat and using them in three places to clamp the wood down flat while I’m gluing them up. There is going to be a little unevenness but nothing like what I had without it. Just a couple thick walnut pieces cut absolutely straight with shipping tape on them to keep them from sticking to the glue.
Try it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Sam's profile


30 posts in 2321 days

#15 posted 12-14-2012 03:32 AM

Would a thickness planer and the cutting board stabilized on a plywood sled not also work? Once the top is flattened, flip it over and plane the other side (sans plywood), then sand with the ROS.

Is this crazy talk? I’ve been known to speak it from time to time. :)

-- -Sam

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8165 posts in 2542 days

#16 posted 12-14-2012 03:37 AM

Cauls from Bow Clamp rock.

View antkn33's profile


55 posts in 3408 days

#17 posted 12-14-2012 03:32 PM

I know you shouldn’t send end grain through the planer. But I guess you could after the first glue up because it will still be long grain. The thing I was wondering with that is if the all the glue squeeze out would damage the planer knives.

View theplainer's profile


1 post in 1955 days

#18 posted 12-14-2012 03:57 PM

I feel your frustration, My first cutting board turned out the same. Then after a few frustrating attempts and some research online, I started to pin everything with little dowels.. Works Perfect—-:)

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