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How to bring a frame into square during glue-up?

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Forum topic by LiveEdge posted 10-28-2014 11:46 PM 1031 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1082 days


10-28-2014 11:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: box cabinet square glue question

I’m building the carcass of a desk and one of the components is a bank of three drawers. Basically it’s as you imagine with a square frame with four posts. The joining pieces are done with mortise and tenon joints and the panels are floating in grooves. The wood is salvaged barnwood and the front two posts are 4×4 so a) nothing is exactly square and b) some of the wood is heavy.

Yesterday I glued up the first of these (there will be two) and I noticed the diagonal was not quite square (1/4” difference) after things were put together with glue and I had clamps going in each and every direction. I’ve always wondered how one goes about applying pressure to try to square up the box? You can’t just press on one end because the box will typically just spin in place. Plus, in this case, we are talking moderately substantial pieces of wood.

What tricks do you have to bring a box of some type into square while doing a glue up?


9 replies so far

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1082 days


#1 posted 10-28-2014 11:50 PM

A quick picture so you get an idea of what I’m talking about.

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firefighterontheside

13454 posts in 1318 days


#2 posted 10-29-2014 12:06 AM

In one way the back is what brings it into square. Say you’re attaching the back in a dado, attach it completely along one side then pull the opposite side until it is square and nail that side. In the other plane, the top needs to bring it into square, and possibly the bottom. Measure from corner to corner and the opposite corners. Whichever has the bigger measurement put a clamp from corner to corner and pull it into square, then you need some kind of top that keeps it square. You say that the members may not be consistent in size. Measure inside corner to inside corner instead of outsides.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1082 days


#3 posted 10-29-2014 12:11 AM

OK, one thing you said there is what I might need to know. Clamping from corner to corner. I take it I would clamp along the long diagonal and squeeze until it shortens to be equal with the other?

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firefighterontheside

13454 posts in 1318 days


#4 posted 10-29-2014 12:12 AM

Right, whichever corner to corner measure is longer gets the clamp. Tighten clamp until measures are the same.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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firefighterontheside

13454 posts in 1318 days


#5 posted 10-29-2014 12:14 AM

That’s gonna be a nice looking desk. Is that yellow pine, heart pine, etc?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1082 days


#6 posted 10-29-2014 12:15 AM

Believe it or not it’s Douglas Fir. It came from a tannery built in 1906 and so has been stained over the years by the vegetable tannins they used in the building.

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firefighterontheside

13454 posts in 1318 days


#7 posted 10-29-2014 12:20 AM

Nice, I like the saw marks and how you have changed the directions on the panels.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1082 days


#8 posted 10-29-2014 12:23 AM

Thanks. It’s a slow process. The desk is double sided and will have a maple slab for the top. I’ll post the project when I’m done (probably a while from now…)!

Thanks for the help.

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firefighterontheside

13454 posts in 1318 days


#9 posted 10-29-2014 12:31 AM

You bet. With all this being said, I wouldn’t be too concerned about square as long as you can put drawers in there and have them close right, no one will notice. That’s the art, part of it.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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