Complicated glue-up

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Forum topic by Stevinmarin posted 05-08-2010 11:35 PM 3516 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3253 days

05-08-2010 11:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chair model

Thanks everyone who has has input in my triangle cutting question. I think I’ve got a handle on it by spending hours fussing with my crappy miter guage.

Let me show you what I’m doing and ask for more help. The Marin County Fair is in July and they always have a chair-making competition. There is a “miniature” category…chairs under 12” that I am entering.

Here’s an actual chair I found in a design book that I want to make out of wood. The one pictured is made out of aluminum:


I am going to use 1/4” wood for this. The question is, how can I clue it up? There are a ton of angles to deal with. For instance, about a 50 degree angle where the seat meets the back. Then the angles where the back legs meet the back. Of course, I am even fretting over the simple 45 degree glue-up where the seat meets the front leg. Quarter inch thick wood!

Again, it won’t take any stress…it’s a 12” model. Any suggestions?

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

33 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3640 days

#1 posted 05-08-2010 11:38 PM

Cut a complementary angle to what you are gluing so you can get the pieces clamped at 90 degrees?

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#2 posted 05-09-2010 12:28 AM

Are you suppose to sit in the chairs you make? If so 1/4” ply will be a rough route to go.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3705 days

#3 posted 05-09-2010 12:31 AM

Finger joints. Only thing I think would be strong enough. Would look cool too.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3183 days

#4 posted 05-09-2010 12:36 AM

Bent laminations. 5 or 6 layers of 1/28 ” veneer over a form.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3253 days

#5 posted 05-09-2010 12:39 AM

Jim: no, this chair will just be a miniature…basically an art piece 12” tall. It doesn’t need to be very strong. I do want it strong enough that I can round over the joint edges. I may just do that with my sander.

Heer’s a crazy idea…how about super glue? Do you think it will hold solid wood pieces together? That way I wouldn’t need to clamp it…just hold the pieces together for a few seconds. I may put some phony splines in the joints just to make it all fancy-like.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3253 days

#6 posted 05-09-2010 12:42 AM

Michael , your idea is interesting. Will veneer bend into these angles? I could certainly make a plywood form. Okay…ignorance check…I’ve never used veneer before.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#7 posted 05-09-2010 12:43 AM

I think Michael Murphy has the right Idea but you could give the super glue a try.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#8 posted 05-09-2010 12:46 AM

Another approach might be to have the joinery area were the seat is being thicker and tapering down to a 1/4”
at the feet.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3252 days

#9 posted 05-09-2010 01:12 AM

For wood to wood gluing, superglue will not give you any advantage over a good wood glue. I would use Gorilla wood glue. You’ll be impressed with how will it holds if it is glued properly. Furthermore, you will want some open time when doing this glue up. Superglue gives you virtually no open time.

I think finger joints would be your best option. However, I see a problem with the back. You really want the grain to run into the fingers (not across the fingers). At the back you need joints on the bottom and the sides. I think there is a way to solve that problem by making the back out of three pieces that you glue together.

I would discourage you on veneer. It would be real hard to get the edges to look right. I would go with a good stable hard wood. My first choice would be maple.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Broglea's profile


685 posts in 3268 days

#10 posted 05-09-2010 01:12 AM

Steve – I think your on to something with the super glue. For example, if you are try to glue up one of the angle you could try to use super glue on half of it and wood glue on the other half. That way once the super glue takes hold it will hold the angle until the wood glue cures.

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3469 days

#11 posted 05-09-2010 01:24 AM

Is the original bent from a single sheet of aluminum? If so, I think laying up veneers is probably your best bet. Granted, I’ve never laid up veneers, but it’s really not that complicated a shape. I see only 4 bends. Someone of your skill level could certainly turn out male and female molds for this.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4396 days

#12 posted 05-09-2010 01:33 AM

I realize this will change the look, but it crossed my mind that you could use decorative molding. like 3/4” cove, as glue blocks at the inside corners. With a little imagination, I think it could be blended in.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View rance's profile


4264 posts in 3338 days

#13 posted 05-09-2010 02:06 AM

Finger joints, Gorilla glue, and the cove molding with the meat cut off to act like a fillet on the underneath side. Super glue is too brittle to hold this IMO. GG has some give to it when it is cured, more so than yellow glue. Because of the angles, you may consider hand cut dovetails rather than finger joints. Actually an angled finger joint would be sufficient, and easier than hand cut.

Keep us updated on your progress.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View JuniorJoiner's profile


488 posts in 3618 days

#14 posted 05-09-2010 02:18 AM

I am going to say bent lamination veneer as well, just realize that you are bending the veneer in multiple axis, which may require hot pipe bending before you laminate.(because grain direction will be an issue)
for a 12” chair, you may even be able to put it in a vacuum press.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3293 days

#15 posted 05-09-2010 02:45 AM

junior says it 5-6 layer of venner steambend over a pipe in the right angle
and glue it up in a male/female mold
that´s how they do it here in Denmark with steambend furniture

look forward to see what you come up with


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