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Lamination gaps: my great shame

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Forum topic by JLassberg posted 04-13-2016 01:29 PM 542 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JLassberg

2 posts in 234 days


04-13-2016 01:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lamination is this how tags work i learned something new today i am very stupid

Apologies if this should be in the joinery section of the forums, I wasn’t 100% sure.

This is my first time posting here (hello!), and also my first real foray into woodworking as well. I’m starting a workbench for the garage and decided on an English joiners workbench with a laminated top. Which, at the time, seemed to be pretty straightforward. This should have clued me in that I was in over my head.

I (poorly) smoothed a bunch of 2×4s with a 5 1/2 jack plane, and then proceeded to (poorly) glue and clamp them up. I have come to 2 conclusions:

1) I should have practiced smoothing and flattening more before taking this on because I am terrible, and

2) I am fairly certain 10 clamps are not sufficient for a 10’ length of board

The result of one (likely both) of those is that I have some gaps in my top. And by some, I mean quite a few. The worst of which appear to be about 1/16” thick (most are smaller). They don’t appear to go all the way through, or at least I can’t see any light shining through with a flashlight. I zig zagged glue all down the entire length of the board and then used a single line to boarder the edge of the side. I did my best to smush the board into the one adjacent and smear it around to get good coverage during the glue up.

My question is this: Are gaps like these going to be structurally problematic? They feel pretty darn sturdy to me. I mean, I’ve been walking all over them. Hell, I even did a little dance on one (I had to prove my wife wrong about something, don’t ask). I’ve got 2 different slabs currently: One consisting of 6 boards, the other 7. These are going to be my workbench top, and there will be a 3rd section that will go in between to form a well for my tools.

Follow up question: If it is structurally sound, should I fill it and with what? Should I just squirt some more glue in there? Wood filler? My son’s melted crayons? My own tears mixed with sawdust?

Here is a shot of what I assume to be a good lamination (the one dead center of the picture, under the knot – the ones above and below are maybe 1/64” wide):

And one of the gaps (this one is the 1/16” one and by far the worst. The rest seem to be between 1/64” and 3/64”):

Oh the shame!

And here’s a shot of the end grain, which is pretty dead flat and well laminated (it’s like this on both sides):

Anyways, this is probably getting long enough for my first friggin post so I’ll call it a night. Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Because I am so very stupid, I can’t sort out the image links. If you right click the broken picture icon and view image in new tab, it’ll take you to the google photo page w/ the image. Sorry for making this difficult, but I do so enjoy dragging everyone else down to my level.


5 replies so far

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

2532 posts in 1436 days


#1 posted 04-13-2016 08:48 PM

I can’t see the images, but it does not sound like it would be a structural issue. You can tape off the gap and fill with epoxy. When cured, remove the tape and scrape, plane, sand flat.

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2419 posts in 1869 days


#2 posted 04-13-2016 08:53 PM



I can t see the images, but it does not sound like it would be a structural issue. You can tape off the gap and fill with epoxy. When cured, remove the tape and scrape, plane, sand flat.

Welcome to Lumberjocks.

- Hammerthumb

Good fix will work well. Will be a reminder for future projects.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View JLassberg's profile

JLassberg

2 posts in 234 days


#3 posted 04-13-2016 09:02 PM

Thanks fellas!

I can’t tell you what a relief that is, I thought I was going to have to start all over again!

Do I need to spring for some fancy pants boat grade epoxy? Or will any old regular pants epoxy from my local big box home improvement center do?

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

2532 posts in 1436 days


#4 posted 04-13-2016 09:05 PM

Big box epoxy should work. The only purpose is to keep debris out of the gap.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View Mikenln's profile

Mikenln

8 posts in 233 days


#5 posted 04-14-2016 07:53 PM

My workbench has intentional gaps in the top. It is an appearance issue not functional. I keep rulers in the gaps at one end.

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