I was making a multi sided box the other day, and after cutting all the miters, I decided to add a lamination to make the sides more interesting. The problem was that clamping all those small pieces (6 sides and 5 glue joints on each one) seemed like a nightmare job until I realized that the answer was to use wedges instead of tape or clamps.
I had used wedges for a thin panel glue-up a week earlier with good results so it was only natural to use them again. The only problem was that due to the glue-up being narrow, I had to figure out a way to hold the front edge backing board firmly in place.
The following photo shows my solution. Not particularly smart, but it worked well enough and I avoided the slipping/sliding problems that are oft experienced with these nitty picky little glue-ups. The ironic part is that I still used a lot of clamps in this particular case.
So here is the setup with the workpiece between the two backing boards and the extenders clamped on the front to allow the front backing board to reach where needed. The main idea here is just to show that the backing boards used to support the workpiece and wedges can just be clamped in place or backed up by extenders as I done here, so no special jigs are necessary. Another really big advantage to using wedges is that you don’t get cupping and therefore you don’t need cauls with this kind of clamping.
And finally here is the setup with the wedges actually applying pressure.
This was a pretty stressless glue-up, especially considering the number of individual pieces and the already cut sides which resulted from my usual ‘design as you go’ method. I hope someone out there will find this useful.
-- Mike, American in Norway The four steps towards competency: 1. unconscious incompetence, 2. conscious incompetence, 3. conscious competence, 4. unconscious competence