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is it too cold to make a table?

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Forum topic by romeege posted 01-29-2016 06:51 PM 444 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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romeege

18 posts in 2468 days


01-29-2016 06:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have put together a small shop in my barn that has no heat and I live in upstate ny(cold)..I really want to build a table top but don’t know much about using cold wood and building it cold. I know that it needs to be warm and stable during glue up,but I am wondering what will happen to the wood table when it warms up -will expansion mess it up?... My background is finish carpenter but I have never had this situation….Should I wait till summer? or maybe a kerosene heater? Does the wood need to be at room temp. before glue up…all things that I have not had to deal with so far.Any ideas wood be greatly appreciated


5 replies so far

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Matt

137 posts in 1342 days


#1 posted 01-29-2016 11:42 PM

I use Titebond II for almost all my glue ups. The label says to not use below 55 degrees…I found out the hard way that the glue won’t cure properly when it, the atmosphere, or the wood itself is below that temperature. It forms a white, chalky substance when it’s cold. Now, I do all my winter gluing inside the house. So, as long as you can keep your shop and the glue around or above the temperature specified by the manufacturer, you should be fine.

Temperature of the wood itself doesn’t matter too much. It’s more a matter of moisture content in the air. Once you get the table top inside, movement will be dependent on the difference in moisture content/humidity between the shop and the house. You can’t prevent all movement, but you can build to allow movement to happen smoothly.

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romeege

18 posts in 2468 days


#2 posted 01-30-2016 09:19 AM

Hi Matt,thanks so much for your thoughtful response. It is kind of what I was thinking, but here is what I am hoping to do: glue and clamp up the table top in the barn and bring it into the warmer house for the glue to dry, so I am wondering if is it ok to bring the glued up top back out to the barn while I work on the legs,etc. And,do you think that as long as the glue is set up that it should be ok? Will the great fluctuation in temps. meanwhile have any net negative affect on the top? thanks again
den

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ChuckV

2880 posts in 2987 days


#3 posted 01-30-2016 11:37 AM

I am in north central MA and have dealt with these issues. I asked the manufacturer of Titebond the same question you ask above about gluing in the cold and then bringing inside. They highly discouraged me from trying it. They suggested that the glued-up pieces stay warm for 48 hours. After that it is fine to bring them back out into the cold.

I now commandeer a space in the house to do my cold-weather glue-ups. In preparation, I always make sure that the pieces of wood have been inside for several hours before gluing.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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Matt

137 posts in 1342 days


#4 posted 01-30-2016 05:56 PM



Hi Matt,thanks so much for your thoughtful response. It is kind of what I was thinking, but here is what I am hoping to do: glue and clamp up the table top in the barn and bring it into the warmer house for the glue to dry, so I am wondering if is it ok to bring the glued up top back out to the barn while I work on the legs,etc. And,do you think that as long as the glue is set up that it should be ok? Will the great fluctuation in temps. meanwhile have any net negative affect on the top? thanks again
den

- romeege

No problem. I’d follow Chuck’s advice and do the glue up inside with warm wood, and let the glue cure inside, too. Where I am in NC, temperatures have gotten into the 50s during the day, but I still do all my gluing inside. I can get by with letting the wood sit inside for an hour or so before I glue it, to let it warm up just a bit. I wait a day or so before I take it back out to my shop. The piece is bound to move after it’s sat inside for a longer period and dried a bit more.

For example, I built a blanket chest last month; the lid is made up of two bookmatched boards that were flat and sat flush on the box when I assembled it outside. The wood had air dried for around a year and a half outside. Now that it’s sat inside for a month, where the air is drier and the temperature twice as warm, the lid has bowed a little and doesn’t sit flush any more. I should have installed cleats on the underside of the top to hold it flat and allow the wood to move across the grain, but I overlooked that.

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romeege

18 posts in 2468 days


#5 posted 01-30-2016 08:54 PM

ok,well good advice from both you and chuck. thanks again

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