Assembling CD Tower

So I decided to build a CD tower 54x16x8 out of oak veneered plywood, edge-banding side fronts with solid oak. Since I seem to have a tendency to complicate my life, I decided to dado the groves for shelves - all seven of them on both sides. Silly, I know, but too late now. Anyway, after agonizing over how to line everything up and clean up the glue before it dried, it turned out all right, everything seems to be lined up and flat.
When assembling the case, I realized that I wasn't able to fit in the shelves into grooves on both sides, and align and clamp everything together in time before the glue dries up. So I first glued the shelves into one side ensuring they were fully seated in the grooves. I didn't apply any clamping fearing it may screw up the squareness. After drying, I sank this structure into the second side (what a pain!), and then clampled it all together. I know the concern is that clamping could break the joinery from the first gluing, but when I checked everyting in the end, it all looked strong.
My first question: Do you guys have situations like this, and how do you go about assembling the case.
I also had a problem with the veneer chipping off the plywood for every crosscut - miter saw, table saw, circ saw, all the same.
Hence, my second question: Other then applying the masking tape for every cut, which I found to be quite messy when dealing with many cuts, do you guys know any other way? Yes, I ensured the blade was sharp, and I brought it to full speed.
Many thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Student wrote: ... ...story of complicated glue snipped for brevity...

Everybody does on occasion, of course.
Couple of things--use a glue w/ a longer open time. TB III is over I or II, there are specifics for the purpose as well readily available.
Secondly, the idea of gluing one end and then the other is often very appropriate. To do the clamp up, the only thing I'd have probably done differently would be to have used the other side w/o the glue to aid in the square-up process in the first step. If I thought it were too many at once, I'd even have only done half, say, of the first side the first time.
Lastly, experience will help. You'll learn and get more adept. Also, making sure all clamps are preset to rough size, everything's handy, dry fitting, etc., etc., are steps to take.

Mostly blade type and quality then would be the question. A blade specifically designed for ply will cut very cleanly.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good idea. Thanks.

I don't have expensive Besseys, I use instead straps with ratchets. Takes time to get used to quickly passing the starps around and locking them up. Thing is, I am occasional at this, every new project is a while after the previous one, so experience is no longer there. But you are quite right, it helps.

OK, will try that. Thanks.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Student wrote: ...

Don't need expensive Bessey clamps, but you do need clamps rather than straps. Straps have their place, but this kind of glue up ain't that place.
Inexpensive bar clamps would suit...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No? The worked fine for me, except they are more tedious to use. Why do you think this is not their place?

Don't have enough of them. I also foud that inexpensive ones are often poorly made. I bought some on sale at Sears, and at least 1 in 5 had some problem: the handle would fall off, the head would slide off, or sometimes even break. When I save enough pennies, I'll try some Pony clamps with black pipes. They seem reasonable compromise quality- price.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Student wrote:

You asked the question about difficult glue up and explained the problem w/ the straps, didn't you?

They also have their place but they have one major drawback -- they're quite heavy so for light work such as you were doing here they're often as much a hindrance as help since their weight may tend to make square-up more of a problem than it would be w/o the extra weight. They excel at stuff like edge joining and other places where need real force, though.
I've got from moderately priced Jorgensen bar clamps to stuff I've picked up at Big Lot's in the 50-cent bins--the cheap ones aren't the quality of the others, but not been anything such as bad as you describe.
Still, for the type of work you're describing they are probably the most suited.
One can never have too many clamps of whatever variety.
--
>
>> --
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Student wrote:

I think these are still on sale. If you're on a budget, the ones listed here are worth a look. They sure aren't Besseys, but I'm happy enough with them. Go for the short ones if you get them.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=&cat=1,44047,57673&pW673
Tanus
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Lack of clamping force, mostly, combined with the pain of putting them on.

Those aren't really suitable, either, because of the weight, altho aside from that they'd be fine. The regular Jorgensen bar clamps are what I'd use. I agree that most of the cheap knockoffs are worse than useless. Unlike almost everyone else here, I also think the Bessey clamps are worthless, unless you need to clamp two odd shaped pieces together.
Apropos of your original question, I'd have done it similar to how you did: put glue in one set of dados, put the shelves in, put the second side on dry and clamp it all up. Then, later, remove the second side, add glue, and re-clamp. The key point being to plan ahead how you're going to position the work & the clamps so you don't have to keep shifting things as you go.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Now that statement has me confused. Web clamps are ideal for most odd shaped clamping. The best reason to buy Bessey clamps in my opinion is that they're square, they lay flat, they don't flex when tightened like Jorgenson style clamps and they clamp square. Many other brands on the market fall over when you try to ready them for project clamping. Since I generally find myself doing some type of cabinet work, square, flat Bessey clamps are the only way to go. IMHO
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Were these stopped dados (dados cut into a side but not running to any edge) or were these straight through dados? What was to stop you from gluing two shelves attaching both sides and squaring it up and clamping for the glue to dry? Should be five minutes tops from start to clamping. Then you could slide in the other shelves when convenient. Other alternatives are to clamp square blocks at the 90 junction of a shelf and a side. A more exotic method (and more expensive is to use something like these: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pQ101&cat=1,43838

What kind of blade were you using? For cross cutting veneered plywood, I always use a carbide 60 tooth combination blade at a minimum. Some things that can help you with tearout is to use a zero clearance insert, score the plywood on the cut line with a razor knife, or even have a thin sheet of junk ply under the veneered sheet to prevent tearout.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had first cut the straight through dados on both sides, then edge- banded them with solid oak. So they are look-alike stopped dadoes.

If all the grooves were identical in depth and width, this would have been the way to go. Perhaps they were, but I wasn't sure, and didn't want to take the risk. It's a good idea though.

I have a 60-tooth blade on my 12-inch slider. Scoring the surface is a good idea. Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had first cut the straight through dados on both sides, then edge- banded them with solid oak. So they are look-alike stopped dadoes.
Typically, edge banding is done last. The only way I can see around your situation should it happen again, would be to cut out the dado part of the edge banding on the back edges. It would never be seen from the front and permit you to slide in shelving as desired.

My apologies, I wrongly assumed you cut the dados with a router which is the most common method of cutting them. And if you had, the best method to get proper alignment would be to put the two sides adjacent to each other, run a straight edge across both and then cut it with a router all in one straight across dado. Eliminating some crazy flaw somewhere, you'd be guaranteed level and parallel dados on both sides of the shelving.

Using a slider, scoring the veneer is advisable. If you do it again, practice on some scrap first with the scoring technique.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The oak strips were wider than the plywood, and not straight. Even though I glued it and nailed it with a finishing nailer, I had to do some sanding on the belt sander to make it all flush. That's why I did it in this order. Trimming with router? Outside yes, but inside - the shelves are in the way.

I didn't get this. Sorry.

That's how I did it. I used my edge trimmer (Ridgid, and I love it, can't understand why some people complain) as a router. Still, inexperienced as I am, can I always be sure that the router bit shift a little bit, or the sliding assembly didn't move. In principle everything should be the way you said, but I guess I need to do this a few more times to be certain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Upscale wrote:

Awhile back somebody recommended looking for the guy who makes those at the woodworking show, which I did, got a great deal. Also got a good deal on some Bessey clamps. The 'wife gets in free' ticket even allowed me to claim I'd provided an afternoon's free entertainment for the Mrs., score all around.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There was a guy making and selling these one or two years ago. I can't remember who it was. I think he was about $10 cheaper per pair than Lee Valley.

In case you haven't read, the current line of Bessey clamps are being replaced with an upgraded version later this summer. They new line is called "Revo".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The deal I got was even better, about half the price of LV.

Yup, Woodcraft got me on their closeout of the old model, made a point of conspicuously using them within a few days of purchasing for the wife's benefit. Still ended up cleaning out the attic however. There seems to be a natural law at work there, tool purchases lead directly to unpleasant household chores....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 05:11:08 -0700 (PDT), Student

Practice the glue up "dry", then plan as necessary to build sub-assemblies.

If you've already got great blades, Zero Clearance Inserts & Sleds!! <G>
<http://www.bburke.com/woodworking/shopmadejigsandtools.html
Make sure the good side is down for circ and miter saws, and up for table saws.
Learn to do "scoring cuts" on sliding miter saws.
--------------------------------------------- ** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html ** ---------------------------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.