Coffee table - potential glueup waterloo

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Forum topic by ScottinTexas posted 01-28-2013 06:13 AM 1021 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 1911 days

01-28-2013 06:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question gluing insane coffee table

It is strange how I keep thinking of ABBA with this project. From “I have a dream” to “Waterloo.” Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that. I had a vision (dream) of an end-grain table but the design did not lend itself to the 2-glue, flip-flop deal that usually results in a variation of checkerboard pattern most are familiar with for cutting boards. In the picture below, it is all “dry fit.” I was able to do the difficult (and dangerous) cut and glueup resulting in the blocks with the two woods (anything involving a diamond in the photo.) Now I’m facing the final glueup. My Dad suggested using some sort of 1/8 ply base and have that underneath. I was opposed to that at first but I’m starting to come around. I was thinking of approaching it by glueing up 1/4 at a time and using clamping cauls to make sure the glue lines are true. But even that will be a challenge. I was thinking of putting masking tape (high adhesive type) on the top and then laying the portion over an exercise ball or some curved surface, inverted, so to spread the glue surfaces and then clamp it with cauls. As you can see from the upper left, this challenge has driven me to drink. Any ideas? Am I off the reservation with this one?

6 replies so far

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3065 days

#1 posted 01-28-2013 06:46 AM

I’ve screwed up much simpler projects than this.
Good luck….................

-- mike...............

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2653 days

#2 posted 01-29-2013 03:17 AM

I used 1/8” hardboard under my pieces when I glued up a cross grain parquet for a valet top. Worked fine.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View ScottinTexas's profile


108 posts in 1911 days

#3 posted 04-09-2013 03:34 AM

All’s well that ends well I suppose.

FYI I glued it up in 4 portions. I taped the “top” of each 1/4 section (4 X 12 blocks) and then flipped it over on to a rounded surface. An exercise ball was too curved – I used a medium-sized bag of pet food on its side. It wasn’t ideal but it was enough for me to get glue at all the mating surfaces. Then flipped it back over (easier than it sounds) on to my MDF flat surface which I had glued two pieces of square stock at exactly 90 degrees. That way I had a corner to reference. Then of course clamped with cauls on the “open” sides. Oh, and I put packing tape on the MDF/cauls/guides first. Even with that as soon as the glue set for about 30 minutes to an hour (Titebond III) I broke the section free from the surface below.

Anyway, there is a lot more to it but that was mostly the glueup details.

View kdc68's profile


2649 posts in 2240 days

#4 posted 04-09-2013 03:39 AM…the final outcome from your cumbersome glue up is awesome !...that is a beautiful top

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2653 days

#5 posted 04-10-2013 12:32 AM

Great job! That is beautiful!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2438 days

#6 posted 04-10-2013 01:53 AM

Well, your patience certainly paid off….great looking table.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

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