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help with dents from cauls?

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Forum topic by ShawnSpencer posted 07-22-2014 01:04 PM 915 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ShawnSpencer

81 posts in 1003 days


07-22-2014 01:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question clamp

I had to make some cauls to do a glue up and they left pretty sizeable dents or creases in my projects legs. I needed to clamp the leg on the corner so I made the cauls with a groove to hug the corner and give me some good pressure without slipping. They worked very well but, I either made the groove too deep or should have eased the edge of the it. I did some googling and found the water and iron technique (have not tried it yet). Does anyone have some good tricks or tips to fix this? The project is unfinished so that is at least not a worry. I did try a little sanding but, it was too deep.

Thanks for any advice in advance.

-- I know you know...


12 replies so far

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2279 days


#1 posted 07-22-2014 02:02 PM

I’ve used the water and iron trick before and it works quite well.
You might consider making cauls out of a softer wood next time, such as spruce or eastern white pine. I wouldn’t make cauls out of a soft wood if they were to be used in a panel glue-up (where you need the strength of the wood), but in this case they’re more like glue blocks that just need to transfer the clamping pressure through their thickness.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4449 posts in 3421 days


#2 posted 07-22-2014 02:04 PM

Steam the dents with a wet rag and a HOT iron (set to linen temp). Might take a couple tries if they’re really bad.
Paul Sellars just did a vid on the process. Check him out.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4024 posts in 1812 days


#3 posted 07-22-2014 02:28 PM

It looks to me like the cauls are made of harder wood than the project wood. Next time try to use wood that is softer than the piece of furniture. I’m guess the steam iron trick will work in this case as i would imagine the fibers are just compressed.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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PaulJerome

57 posts in 2494 days


#4 posted 07-22-2014 02:33 PM

You can also try just water without the iron. I’ve done that with success. Just put a small amount of water on the dent and let it sit until it dries.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View Andre's profile

Andre

1021 posts in 1267 days


#5 posted 07-22-2014 02:40 PM

I use paper towels, the cheap recycled brown paper type and a small 4” iron, couple drops of water then hot iron when paper dry check dent. Will not work that great if fibers have been severed.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View ShawnSpencer's profile

ShawnSpencer

81 posts in 1003 days


#6 posted 07-22-2014 02:54 PM


It looks to me like the cauls are made of harder wood than the project wood. Next time try to use wood that is softer than the piece of furniture. I m guess the steam iron trick will work in this case as i would imagine the fibers are just compressed.

- bondogaposis

Thanks for all the replys. Pine or some mdf is a great idea. Lazyness got the best of me. Instead of cutting cauls. I used some cut offs from the aprons that matched the 5 degree slant of the legs perfectly. Everything is from the same oak. The part of the cauls in contact were end grain clamped to vertical grain of the leg. Guess that is where the problem lied. I dont think the fibers are severed but, in one area the might be. Would sanding in CA glue be an option here?

-- I know you know...

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1101 posts in 1507 days


#7 posted 07-22-2014 05:35 PM

I forget where I read it, but I recall that cauls should be either equal or softer than the material that you are clamping up.

-- paxorion

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1351 days


#8 posted 07-22-2014 07:59 PM

Try an eye dropper filled with denatured alcohol. Put a few drops on then light it on fire. I’ve used it and it works wonders. Charles Neil has a video on YouTube of it.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2528 days


#9 posted 07-22-2014 08:50 PM

Take a wet wash cloth place over dent. Apply Iron with steam. Use an on and count to 5 and remove. Be careful not to burn the wood (really careful for cherry) (hide fact that you have your wife’s iron).

Here is a before and after.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View ShawnSpencer's profile

ShawnSpencer

81 posts in 1003 days


#10 posted 07-23-2014 12:27 AM

Thanks bones, that is almost exactly what I’m looking at. I’ll let you guys know how it turns out.

-- I know you know...

View ShawnSpencer's profile

ShawnSpencer

81 posts in 1003 days


#11 posted 07-23-2014 03:40 AM

Here is a little before and after iron technique. I snuck the iron out to the shop after she went to bed.

Before

After

-- I know you know...

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3256 posts in 2136 days


#12 posted 07-23-2014 03:59 AM

I have used the water and iron method. The steam business is the trick. I have wet the area with a little water and blown steam out of the iron on the dent. This worked well for me where there was only a dent. If the fibers are broken or wood is gouged out then…well it can’t grow new wood. Try it. you will like it.

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