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Cutting board glue up nightmare

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Forum topic by antknee3491 posted 624 days ago 2007 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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antknee3491

53 posts in 2074 days


624 days ago

So I am attempting my first cutting board. It is the standard staggered end grain like the woodwhisperer video.
I jointed and planed all my pieces to ensure they were uniform in size. I clamped them up with my Jorgensen Cabinet Master clamps and used cauls on the ends. It looked pretty good when I was finished clamping everything. THough it was difficult to tell exactly because of the squeeze out. However, when I checked on it in the morning, it was very uneven. I am not sure exactly what happened. If the parts slipped or maybe warped slightly. I didn’t move it after clamp up though.
I was able to get the board fairly level after 30 minutes of sanding with 60 grit on a ROS.
Anyone have any tips on keeping the pieces level to one another when the glue is drying?
Thanks


18 replies so far

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1571 posts in 1619 days


#1 posted 624 days ago

You might try cauls on the top and bottom too.

Edited to add a better picture.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112015 posts in 2209 days


#2 posted 624 days ago

I’m not familiar with Marc’s video on this but it sounds like you glued it all up at once . Maybe if you glued half or a third at a time you would have better success. Scott’s idea about cauls is a good idea too.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Vrtigo1's profile

Vrtigo1

430 posts in 1623 days


#3 posted 624 days ago

You may have applied too much pressure. If you use too much it can force the wood to move out of alignment. There is bound to be some movement and it is unrealistic (at least in my experience) to expect things to come out of the clamps perfectly smooth, you will always have to do some post glue sanding. To aid alignment you could use biscuits when doing the final glue. The biscuits will help keep everything aligned. If you don’t have a biscuit jointer you could also just use some splines although you would see those on the ends of the board. If you used a contrasting wood it might not be bad though. 30 minutes w/ 60 grit paper does seem like an excessive amount of sanding, maybe someone else will weigh in with another solution.

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antknee3491

53 posts in 2074 days


#4 posted 624 days ago

I did glue it up all at once. I used cauls on the ends across the cuts.
Those are good suggestions!
Thanks

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2490 posts in 983 days


#5 posted 624 days ago

Glue is slippery and it is common for wood to slip as pressure is applied. It might be better to tackle the glue up in stages instead of all once.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Vrtigo1's profile

Vrtigo1

430 posts in 1623 days


#6 posted 624 days ago

I think it’s really strange that you had that much of a problem when using cauls. Stupid question but have you checked to make sure your cauls are flat? Maybe next time add more cauls and clamp along the length of the cauls as well as at the ends.

When I make cutting boards I glue them up all at once and have never had any trouble doing it that way.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1288 posts in 889 days


#7 posted 624 days ago

I have also read about people applying the glue to the strips, then pinning them in place with a 23G pin nailer (just until the glue sets) and, finally, clamping all the pieces together. The pins (one at each end of the strip) prevent the slippage you experienced. I have never done this, so take it for what it is worth. :)

-- Art

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Biff

126 posts in 646 days


#8 posted 624 days ago

I noticed on the Wood Whisperer video that OP refered to that he hardly uses any clamping pressure. I think because he went to so much effort to make sure all pieces were true that it wasn’t necessary to bear down on the clamps. Most people over tighten the clamps, causing wood to slip out…plus using a variety of clamps makes for unequal pressure application. On the video, he uses a minimum of clamps and they match.

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at http://www.willamettepropertiesgroup.com

View antknee3491's profile

antknee3491

53 posts in 2074 days


#9 posted 623 days ago

I actually did joint the cauls. The unevenness was further towards the center of the board.
The more I think about it, the more I think it was too much clamping pressure. I re-watched the WW video, and I didn’t position the clamps like he did either.

View jaidee's profile

jaidee

42 posts in 1411 days


#10 posted 622 days ago

One other thought, it appears that you only clamped the cauls on the ends. Unless your cauls have a convex edge, any pressure at the ends will cause them to bow up in the middle, or at least provide less clamping pressure there than at the ends. That, combined with excessive clamping pressure on your pipe clamps could cause movement before the glue sets. Wood under pressure, like water, follows the path of least resistance. Good luck with the next one!

-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

View Bagtown's profile

Bagtown

1699 posts in 2362 days


#11 posted 622 days ago

First time I made an end grain board, I blew it at the clamping stage. I overclamped it to the point of making some very nice firewood.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

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antknee3491

53 posts in 2074 days


#12 posted 622 days ago

Yeah, I think I overdid it too. I was able to sand the hell out of it so it is level now. I just don’t want to have to go through that every time.!

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2280 days


#13 posted 622 days ago

if you jointed your cauls, but only clamped them at the ends – they could bow, leaving the center area un-clampped (by the cauls) which would then be free to move out of alignment, especially if you apply a lot of clamping pressure.

you should either make sure your cauls are convex properly and clamp on their ends, or if you use jointed cauls, make sure you clamp all along them.

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

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 918 days


#14 posted 622 days ago

I’ve gone to cutting hardwood 5/4 pieces very flat and using them in three places to clamp the wood down flat while I’m gluing them up. There is going to be a little unevenness but nothing like what I had without it. Just a couple thick walnut pieces cut absolutely straight with shipping tape on them to keep them from sticking to the glue.
Try it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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MrSamNC

27 posts in 987 days


#15 posted 622 days ago

Would a thickness planer and the cutting board stabilized on a plywood sled not also work? Once the top is flattened, flip it over and plane the other side (sans plywood), then sand with the ROS.

Is this crazy talk? I’ve been known to speak it from time to time. :)

-- -Sam

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