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Butt jointing a walnut and ash end table top.

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Forum topic by SG6578 posted 03-04-2015 11:53 PM 910 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SG6578

35 posts in 672 days


03-04-2015 11:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: butt joining table top laminating laminate cutting board butcher block workbench

Hello all,

I am working on a laminated table top made from walnut and ash. Pieces are 7/8” thick x 1 1/2” wide x 24 1/2” long.

Aiming for 24×24 x 1 1/2” thick. after some squaring and sanding.

It will be fastened exactly as it sits in the picture. It’s just clamped for now with no adhesive.

Because the pieces were planed and not ran over a jointer to straighten them out some have a 1/8”+ bow in the length causing gaps.

My plan is to drill through the center of all of them in three places (ends and middle) and run a 1/4-20 threaded stainless rod through and glue them up. I would counterbore the second piece in on both sides to clear the nuts that would thread onto the rod. Much like a compression system on log cabin walls.

Good plan or not? I am under the impression that gluing warped pieces together is a bad idea unless you have some form of constant outside tension which in this case would be provided by the tightened rod.



12 replies so far

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

550 posts in 2459 days


#1 posted 03-05-2015 12:03 AM

I would not run a rod through them. Too much work for too little benefit. Besides, you will never get a smooth and level surface this way. Instead just glue up as you normally would and plan on flattening the top. You may lose a little bit of thickness, but no more than the largest ‘gap.’ Do you have access to a drum sander? A drum sander will make short work of flattening to top.

Good Luck!

Greg

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2566 posts in 1718 days


#2 posted 03-05-2015 12:05 AM

SG, the wood WILL move in spite of the steel rod and somewhere, somehow cracks will develop. Also, I think it would be very difficult to drill straight lines through that many pieces for the rod to go through unless you drill them over sized. Why not just plane the bowed pieces straight and glue them? Maybe I am missing something. :)

-- Art

View buck_cpa's profile

buck_cpa

147 posts in 1348 days


#3 posted 03-05-2015 12:12 AM

i’d pipe clamp and glue that mother. I’ve found that if you’re strategic with your warped pieces they can add structural integrity… much like a spring joint.

easy on the gd on the signature line brother… could be considered offensive where I come from.

View SG6578's profile

SG6578

35 posts in 672 days


#4 posted 03-05-2015 12:13 AM

I have a friend with a 36” drum sander. I also have access to a knee mill with a cnc readout so the drilling wouldn’t be that much more work. 1/4-20 thread usually receives a 9/32 clearance hole.

My concern a and c is losing thickness in the pieces causing a non-symmetrical appearance. My specific planer also leaves moderate snipe which would have to come out. Correct me if I’m wrong but a planer is used most for achieving desired thickness, not flattening boards. I was under the impression that a jointer is the tool I would need to take out considerate bows in the pieces.

Not being a smartass, this is all mostly new to me.

Busch light could be considered offensive where I’m from. XD

View buck_cpa's profile

buck_cpa

147 posts in 1348 days


#5 posted 03-05-2015 12:34 AM

well played. like most woodworkers, i’m cheap!

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 2778 days


#6 posted 03-05-2015 12:43 AM

You’re describing the method I used to create the laminated top for my workbench. I drilled (carefully) the holes (slightly oversized) prior to glue up. I used the all thread (3) as clamps in addition to several pipe clamps. Flattening was still required. I’m happy with the results.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View SG6578's profile

SG6578

35 posts in 672 days


#7 posted 03-05-2015 12:49 AM

How thick was your bench and what size thread did you use?

I’m thinking 1/4-20 will be strong enough without drilling a hole so large that it causes weak areas in table.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2151 days


#8 posted 03-05-2015 12:50 AM

I think this will work. I glued up a king sized headboard from strips before I had a jointer and I screwed the pieces together as I glued them. There has been no warping or cracking over 5 years.Click for details

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 2778 days


#9 posted 03-05-2015 12:56 AM

SG, the top is 3” thick. 24” wide. And the all thread is 1/4” rod, but I can’t tell you the thread count – don’t remember.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View SG6578's profile

SG6578

35 posts in 672 days


#10 posted 03-05-2015 12:58 AM

Very nicely done and thanks for the feedback gfadvm. I have seen projects in the past with using just glue and some have splitting problems so I think I’m going to try the threaded rod out.

View SG6578's profile

SG6578

35 posts in 672 days


#11 posted 03-05-2015 01:03 AM

Thanks Mark, Buck, Art, and Greg for the help as well. I’m going to go with either a 1/4-20 or 10-24 threaded rod and will hopefully post some pictures of the process.

My intention with the rod is simply to provide constant pressure after the glue has set -preventing splits along the glue joints. I will flatten with my friend’s drum sander after it has dried a while and square it up.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5764 posts in 947 days


#12 posted 03-05-2015 01:13 AM

A drill press with a home made table and stops will make drilling holes easy easy.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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