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Question on glueing up panels

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Forum topic by Jeison posted 1707 days ago 882 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeison

947 posts in 1741 days


1707 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question glue up panel clamps

I’m planning on glueing up some 2×3s to make a basic workbench top (and just for the excuse to experiment on glueing up a panel, never done that before!), and I’ll need to buy some clamps for the job (final size will be 1 1/2” thick x 27” wide x 68” long), and was looking at either some Rockler pipe clamps or Jet 31” parallel jaw clamps.

Is there a general minimum number of clamps per foot for glueing up a panel like this? I’m assuming approx 1 per foot for a total of 6 clamps, but considering good parallel clamps are about $85 a pair if I can do the job with 4 my budget would be happier (esp since I’m trying to save up for a jointer), or do I need even more…I don’t want to cheap out and end up with a useless panel. (I know I’ll need more eventually but I like to buy only what I need for the project at hand)

Thanks gang!

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.


8 replies so far

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1397 posts in 2098 days


#1 posted 1707 days ago

the only general rule i’ve seen is to assume that the pressure from clamps “radiates” out at 45º angles to the clamp face, and so any glue surface should be within at least one clamp’s “pressure zone”. does that make sense? basically it depends on how narrow your individual boards are, not really how wide your glued up panel is.

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2282 days


#2 posted 1707 days ago

generally speaking parallel jaw clamps are more versatile and better all around clamps – but they are pricy. for gluing up panels such as workbench – pipe clams are more than enough, and are by far more affordable. considering the fact that – you can never have enough clamps, you might be better off starting now with a larger amount of pipe clamps, and when the need arises and more funds become available, get the parallel jaw clamps.

I used pipe clamps to glue my top which you can see here if you plan it out right, and use cauls, you can usually reduce the number of clamps significantly, but if you’re starting out, and don’t have past experience with panel glueups – you might want to have some extra ones as a buffer – I’d say use at least 6. 6 pipe clamps, are roughly what you’d pay for a pair of parallel jaw clamps, so you shouldn’t be too much out on those.

good luck, and looking forward to seeing some photos.

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

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Jeison

947 posts in 1741 days


#3 posted 1707 days ago

Aaron, yea that actually does make a lot of sense, I see what you’re saying.

I knew pipe clamps would be cheaper, but geez I didn’t realize how much cheaper, 6 good 31” parallels come to around $250, whereas 6 of the Rockler pipe clamps and an equivalent amount of black pipe comes to only $130. So think I’ll go that route and see how it goes.

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

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a1Jim

112016 posts in 2211 days


#4 posted 1707 days ago

I’ve used Harbor freight 3/4” clamps for years you can get them for around $ 5.00 ea so 10 would be around $50. of course you still need the pipes. I don’t buy many HF tools but these are one of the exceptions.
As far as how many clamps you can’t have to many so I would say on about every foot would be an overkill.
I would also recommend alternating one clamp on top one on the bottom. Also make sure the wood is flat and joint all sides the meet.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Jeison

947 posts in 1741 days


#5 posted 1707 days ago

thanks Jim, I’ll take a look next time I stop in HF, I have a few other Pittsburgh bar clamps from HF that have been good.

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View DirtyDan64's profile

DirtyDan64

9 posts in 1709 days


#6 posted 1707 days ago

Pipe Clamps work just fine for 99% of all glue-ups, I don’t care for those Parallel clamps at all there hard to get open and IMO are a waste of time. For a top like that or any wide glue up your better off gluing it up in sections weather it’s 2 or 3 section glue one to the other and joint the face of each bd. and one edge of each section, by doing this will help you to keep one face flat and true.

You also might find that when you glue up the panel, to start putting your clamps on in the middle of the panel and work your way out to each end, this way your still able to move the bds up or down to flush them out as you clamp them up.

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a1Jim

112016 posts in 2211 days


#7 posted 1707 days ago

I agree Dan Starting from the middle is what i usually do too.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View archie18's profile

archie18

127 posts in 2124 days


#8 posted 1706 days ago

I live by the adage that one cannot have too many clamps but sometimes run into the situation where I have to make one. For instance, for a 27 inch panel I would find a 1×4 or 2×4 at least 32 inches long, glue and screw two 2×2x2 blocks on either end of the board approximately 27.5 inches apart, then use door shims to wedge the panel between the blocks. (May want to cover board with wax paper to prevent glue squeeze out from permanently attaching it to your panel.)
Also, would invest in a biscuit joiner if you are going to be doing a lot of panels, helps tremendously with keeping surfaces flat.

-- Robert in middle TN

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