Need Advice about Possible Mistake

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Forum topic by wookus posted 12-16-2014 07:53 PM 932 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2386 days

12-16-2014 07:53 PM

I seek your advice.

I’m in the process of making several speaker cabinets out of 1.5” oak. I use the vertical gluing clamp made by Plano and love it. The last pieces I glued up were three tops for the cabinets measuring roughly 16” x 16” each. I had applied the glue and clamped the first two. I had applied the glue and placed the third piece in the clamp, closed the clamp but hadn’t tightened it when I got interrupted. I wiped the glue squeeze out off all three tops and left for dinner. This morning I removed each piece. Often, I loosen the clamps on all the clamps first, and then remove the pieces one at a time, but not always.

When I got to the thire piece, the clamp was loosened, but I honestly can’t remember loosening it, so I’m worried that I never tightened the clamp on that piece in the first place. I think I did, but I’m not sure.

Now, when I examined the piece, it was perfect. I did a quick 80 grit sanding and there were no gaps between the edges, and the boards were perfectly flush. That is, when I ran my hand accross the grain, it was perfectly smooth. It seems highly unlikely that I could have lucked out so much that the piece would be perfect if I hadn’t tightened the clamps. But, I still worry….

Thus my two questions:

If the clamp had not been tightened, and the only pressure on the boards was their own weight, am I going to end up with weak joints?

Should I make another piece to replace the one that might not have been clamped?

Thanks so much for your advice.

Best wishes,

4 replies so far

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2284 days

#1 posted 12-16-2014 08:12 PM

You seem to be asking about the strength of a rub joint? It can be strong if the pieces are properly milled.

Here’s an example from WWGOA:

-- paxorion

View JoeinGa's profile


7740 posts in 2246 days

#2 posted 12-16-2014 10:02 PM

If you put a bit of pressure on it using your hands, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to tell if it’s going to come apart rather quickly.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View bigblockyeti's profile


5317 posts in 1959 days

#3 posted 12-16-2014 10:35 PM

If it’s tight, despite possibly not having been clamped, you have little to worry about, especially at 1.5” thick.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View wookus's profile


9 posts in 2386 days

#4 posted 12-17-2014 12:48 AM

Thanks so much for the replies. I feel much better now. I did take great care in milling the boards, so from what you all have said, I should be good to go.

Thank you, Paxorion, for the youtube link. That was both interesting and reassuring.

JoeinGA, I tested it by trying to pull the boards apart and even by standing on it, and it showed no signs of weakness. I think the weight of the boards themselves, and of the clamp put some pressure on it even if I did forget to tighten the clamp.

Bigblockyeti, I appreciate the reassurance.

Have a great day, everyone, and thanks again!

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