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Question on how much glueing you can do on a table leg.

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Forum topic by Mark Smith posted 126 days ago 573 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Smith

491 posts in 666 days


126 days ago

I have a customer that wants some legs for a kitchen island that are going to be painted. I was going to make them out of cherry simply because I have a huge stack of cherry in my shop and would not have to buy wood. The problem is the customer wants the legs to be five inches in diameter. They are going to be massive. I have a CNC machine with turning capability up to 9” so that won’t be a problem. The problem is none of my cherry is 5” wide. So what I was wondering is it acceptable to glue the boards side to side to make 5” wide boards, and then glue them all face to face to make a 5” x 5” blank? Actually it will probably need to be 5.5” x 5.5” to start? I would off set the glue joints on the side to side glue so it would be a brick type pattern.

My CNC lathe is the router model, so unlike a normal lathe, it spins at a very slow speed while the router cuts the wood. So there is no danger of the block flying apart in the lathe. The question is would all this gluing make a good final product that isn’t going to come apart in a few years? I wouldn’t do this if it was going to be stained, but the customer is painting it so hopefully any glue joints won’t look bad. I’d use Tightbond II glue on it, unless there is something better to use.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com


11 replies so far

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3861 posts in 1006 days


#1 posted 126 days ago

Yes you can do that, if you match the grain really well and the boards are jointed and flat the seam will barely be noticeable. I’d go 5.5” minimum, a little more is better because you always lose some getting it perfectly round.

”I would off set the glue joints on the side to side glue so it would be a brick type pattern.”

I’m not clear what you mean.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1253 posts in 574 days


#2 posted 126 days ago

Have you ever looked at a newel post?? Every one I have ever installed was a lamination of 3/4” stock and veneered on the flats. It would definitely be more stable. If it were me I would make several glue ups from whatever random widths you have. after you have enough 1×6 (or bigger) glue ups I would face joint them and plane the other side so they are all true and flat. Then just glue them all together. I like the Idea of not lining up the joints for more strength. I would give it at least 24 HR before trying to work with it so the glue has time to set.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3861 posts in 1006 days


#3 posted 126 days ago

I was picturing several boards ~6” wide glued face to face, not a brickwork of random size boards. As a customer I wouldn’t be okay with that. The only way to match all those grain patterns would be heavy doses of stain and toners at which point you might as well just buy from a furniture store.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

491 posts in 666 days


#4 posted 126 days ago

The finished product is going to be painted, so matching grain patterns isn’t an issue. I just didn’t know if it could be done the way I’m talking about doing it as I’ve never tried nor seen it. What I’m talking about is exactly what Shawn described. Gluing up random widths to make a bunch of 1 by 6’s and then gluing those together to get a 6 by 6 blank, or 5.5 by 5.5 ideally. I have a jointed and a planer and a table saw so I can make everything square, I was just worried about so much glue is all different directions.

And no Shawn I’ve never seen a newel post. Is it basically what I’m talking about here?

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3861 posts in 1006 days


#5 posted 125 days ago

Well if it’s going to be painted then go to town, no problems with the glue joints.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View OldWrangler's profile

OldWrangler

519 posts in 220 days


#6 posted 125 days ago

Don’t worry about the glue. What the wood needs it will take and the rest will squeeze out to be scraped off. Painted you don’t need to worry about grains or even kinds of wood. Just do it.

-- If trees could scream, would we still cut them down. We might, if they did it all the time for no good reason

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1253 posts in 574 days


#7 posted 125 days ago

Run down to the local big box and look at the end of a newel post. I was dumbfounded. look at a cabinet door panel they all glue ups. If not then they are veneered. The big thing is to make sure everything fits as you put it together and don’t clamp so tight you squeeze all the glue out. It will be messy, so put down paper for easy cleanup.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2480 posts in 977 days


#8 posted 125 days ago

I think it would work but with all of the time it would take to glue up that many boards, I would at least look for 8/4 stock that was wide enough. Time is money too, and save that cherry for something else.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

571 posts in 671 days


#9 posted 125 days ago

I presume you’d be doing only long-grain glue-ups? If so that sort of edge glue-up would be quite strong

-- paxorion

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1469 posts in 346 days


#10 posted 125 days ago

It sounds like what you’ve proposed would work just fine. I’ve done something similar, only with my traditional lathe and having to knock down an octagon into a cylinder. It worked quite well, the main thing from a strength standpoint would be to make sure your glue ups are well clamped while setting to minimize the visibility of the glue lines.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

491 posts in 666 days


#11 posted 125 days ago

Thanks for the help. I’ll do it. And Bondo, I have more cherry than I can use up in three years and what I have left was basically free. So that’s why I want to use it.

-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com

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