LumberJocks

DIY Panel Press

  • Advertise with us

« back to Jigs & Fixtures forum

Forum topic by TexasTimbers posted 06-21-2014 01:10 AM 1255 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TexasTimbers's profile

TexasTimbers

67 posts in 2783 days


06-21-2014 01:10 AM

I had a Plano press 20 years ago and it was okay, but I wouldn’t spend the money on another one. Has anyone come up with a decent DIY solution for panel glue-ups? I have plenty of Bessey circa “Made in West Germany” clamps but I have destroyed them to the point they aren’t exactly efficient anymore if you can believe it. And even if they were I need to process more than a dozen panels a day. I need a solution for a glue press to pump out a couple hundred cabinets-sized door panels in a week – any ideas?

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."


9 replies so far

View rick1955's profile

rick1955

125 posts in 399 days


#1 posted 06-26-2014 08:20 AM

Curved cauls are far superior to the Plano press. Easy and quick to make and uses your existing set of clamps. Been using this technique for 40 years with perfect success every time.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View TexasTimbers's profile

TexasTimbers

67 posts in 2783 days


#2 posted 06-26-2014 03:19 PM

Rick would you care to show use some? I have made and used them on a limited basis. How did you determine the degree of arc you incorporated in them relative to their length? What l x w x t do you prefer? What species do you prefer? What do you use to prevent squeeze-out from bonding with the cauls (I used wax paper but it would be cumbersome on a large scale)?

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

View rick1955's profile

rick1955

125 posts in 399 days


#3 posted 06-26-2014 07:11 PM

http://www.mikes-woodwork.com/Cauls.htm
http://www.finewoodworking.com/how-to/video/how-to-make-cambered-cauls.aspx
There’s no one right way to make them. Tape or wax to keep the glue from sticking. 2×4’s work fine. I do like to make sure they are all exactly the same for consistency. I typically mill my cauls to the same size. One way to determine the curve is to put an 1/8” spacer under the middle of a caul under the middle of a caul and clamp the ends down and scribe a line across the length. When you release the clamps you then plane or sand to the line and you will have your arc. I usually use a mster one and use a pattern bit on the rest of the cauls. I only use pipe or bar clamps and F clamps when gluing panels. Some people like to use carriage bolts to squeeze the cauls together but I fing that too slow and inefficient. I can glue up a 4×8 panel by myself very quickly. I even came up with a way to mount them like a Plano on the wall but never got around to doing that. The reason the Plano isn’t that good is because it lacks the curve. My friend had a Plano and my panels always came out perfect and his were always inconsistent.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View TexasTimbers's profile

TexasTimbers

67 posts in 2783 days


#4 posted 06-27-2014 02:24 PM

Rick thanks for the info and the links. Much appreciated.

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

View djwong's profile

djwong

165 posts in 2188 days


#5 posted 01-04-2015 10:25 PM

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a further question on the use of the curved cauls.

Do you use one curved caul on one side of the panel, and a straight caul on the other side? Or do you use curved cauls on both sides? I have always thought the using two curved cauls against each other may exert uneven forces, resulting in an uneven panel glue-up. Thanks…

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View rick1955's profile

rick1955

125 posts in 399 days


#6 posted 01-06-2015 01:36 PM

Curved Cauls on top and bottom. The curve ensures that the middle is kept flat and aligned perfectly. I’ve been doing this for over 40 years with perfect success. I glued up panels single-handed in one sitting 4’ x 8’. The curved caul technique is based on a clamping system for doing marquetry panels.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View Waldo88's profile

Waldo88

60 posts in 265 days


#7 posted 01-06-2015 02:10 PM

Another option is to use a vacuum press. They give very even high pressure.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

6002 posts in 1766 days


#8 posted 01-06-2015 03:12 PM

A version of this press could potentially clamp several at the same time. Mine isn’t set up that way but I can still layer three or four glueups at once. The size is whatever you want to make it. It sure beats messing with cauls in my mind.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View djwong's profile

djwong

165 posts in 2188 days


#9 posted 01-07-2015 01:08 AM


Curved Cauls on top and bottom. The curve ensures that the middle is kept flat and aligned perfectly. I ve been doing this for over 40 years with perfect success. I glued up panels single-handed in one sitting 4 x 8 . The curved caul technique is based on a clamping system for doing marquetry panels.

- rick1955


Thanks Rick.

I’ll make some cauls and give it a try.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com