Gluing the faces of board- clamping suggestions?

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Forum topic by ravensrock posted 12-10-2015 01:45 AM 661 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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328 posts in 1065 days

12-10-2015 01:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: glue up clamping faces

I am in the process of making a sitting bench from quartersawn white oak. The bench seat is going to be about 1 3/4” thick so I’m face gluing the boards together to achieve this thickness. The final dimensions of the seat will be 15” wide by 52” long. As you can see in the picture I have already jointed and edge glued two sets of boards- one is comprised of 3 boards and about 16” wide and the other 4 boards at 21”. My thought was to stagger the glue joints of the top and bottom pieces to add strength, glue it up and then cut it to final dimensions.

My question is how to best glue these two pieces together- especially getting clamping pressure toward the center. I used 3 sets of flat cauls with what I’ve glued up so far. I thought I would use these (maybe add a slight curve to them and add a few more sets). Or would weights and cinder blocks on top be enough? I also have considered using screws from underneath then plug the holes matching the grain as best I can. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

-- Dave, York, PA, WildSide Woodworking

10 replies so far

View jdh122's profile


878 posts in 2240 days

#1 posted 12-10-2015 11:33 AM

Curved cauls (4-5 of them) and then as many clamps as you can fit long both edges (ie not on the cauls).
The easiest way to make curved cauls is with a jointer:
You might have done better to glue the seat up in the opposite order – for thickness first and then for width. The staggering of joints that your method allows doesn’t really add strength, as the yellow glue joint is stronger than that oak you’re using. If you’re really worried about getting clamping pressure toward the middle of your board you could rip them apart along the glue lines and start over in the other order, but I don’t think it’s necessary, the cauls should do the job.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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2122 posts in 904 days

#2 posted 12-10-2015 11:56 AM

Jeremy nailed it.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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1239 posts in 653 days

#3 posted 12-10-2015 11:59 AM

I would have face glued the boards, jointed and ripped them then edge glued them. But if you want to stagger the joints then I guess thats out. I wouldnt think that you would really be risking adding a weak spot to the bench seat by not staggering the joints (though it would appear stronger) because, as has often been said, the joint—good joint—is stronger than the wood.

I would also dowel for giggles if you are concerned about strength in the joints and you had gone with the above mentioned method of face gluing first.

Otherwise: Post #1.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View ravensrock's profile


328 posts in 1065 days

#4 posted 12-10-2015 12:28 PM

Thanks for the replies. In hindsight I thought too I should have done things the other way around. I didn’t think staggering the joints would add a lot of strength but figured it might help some. I guess I’ll go with the cauls.

-- Dave, York, PA, WildSide Woodworking

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7124 posts in 2000 days

#5 posted 12-10-2015 02:04 PM

Mr. Henderson has a great tutorial on cauls.

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1784 days

#6 posted 12-10-2015 02:36 PM

Use epoxy. No clamping needed.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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44 posts in 758 days

#7 posted 12-10-2015 03:18 PM

Brush on contact glue… Maybe a couple coats.. Let get tacky, then bam…. Can’t be beat apart..

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707 posts in 322 days

#8 posted 12-10-2015 04:16 PM

How are you flattening the boards before gluing?
The flatter the better. Pour yellow glue on and spread out. You could use a notched trowel to spread to keep it even but it’s not necessary. Cauls and clamps and your good to go.

-- Many times my “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct.--

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812 posts in 1153 days

#9 posted 12-10-2015 04:36 PM

Glue, screws and plugs of the same species. Predrill holes in an orderly fashion, glue up the boards, screw in the screws, and plug the holes. Sand the plugs, and you’re done. Just another option…........... jerry

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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328 posts in 1065 days

#10 posted 12-10-2015 04:38 PM

jbay- The boards are pretty flat already. I haven’t gotten the glue line cleaned up on the underside of the top so that’s why it looks like it’s up a bit in the picture. A trowel is a good idea to get the glue spread.

waho6o9- Thanks for the link. Looks like I’ll be making a few more sets of cauls this weekend.

I think I’ll rip the bottom board closer to the final width of 15” so my clamps can reach better then glue it up.

-- Dave, York, PA, WildSide Woodworking

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