Nervous abourt glue-up

Hi. After all these years I've never had the occasion to glue up a large panel. Well now's my chance. I've done small ones that turned out fine, but there's no chance of a do-over this time because I'll be consuming most of my 100 year old pine. This is for a captain's bed headboard and footboard. Both panels will be over 30" wide, roughly dimensioned.
I lay the boards on my pipe clamps and just sitting there, some of them mate perfectly with their neighbours. But one or two boards have the slightest bow. I'm thinking I can clamp a pair of pine cauls on each edge to pull them back. I'll cover the seams with wax paper so I don't end up gluing the cauls to the panel with the squeeze-out. Any objections?
I won't be staining this wood, but I haven't decided on a finish. (Please help me do that.) Should I apply the finish to the outer surfaces first, before the glue-up, so the squeeze-out doesn't doesn't fill in the pores? I see Norm always wiping it away with a damp sponge, like the instructions on the bottle, but I can never seem to get at what's under the pipe clamps. This time there will be 11 of them, alternating under and over the panel. What do you usually do?
I've got half a bottle of Lee Valley cabinet maker's glue left, and a new bottle of yellow carpenter's glue. (Side question; is there any difference between LV cabinet maker's glue and Titebond III? It's almost irrelevant because I can't find Titebond III anywhere around Ottawa except LV.) Since this is such a visible part of the project, should I prefer white glue?
Finally, this project is going to have to have a rustic look, because these boards were reclaimed from a demolition; they were the walls of an old house, and are full of nail holes and gouges. I intend to post some pictures of the bedpost blanks I've prepared to a.b.p.w, since I'm quite proud of them. But a few of the boards destined for these large panels have some ugly looking tearouts, gouges where the aggressive contractor must have used a crowbar. And there are a few large knots and splits threatening to leave the scene later. I'm thinking about filling them with epoxy. Good idea? Bad idea? Alternatives? Should I learn to make a dutchman? Too many questions?
Without advice I'll muddle through. With it, perhaps the results will be that much better. I tend to be a perfectionist, so I really have to be careful not to overdo it this time. Otherwise my son will probably be grown up before I finish it for him. My goal is to make some progress of any kind every day until it's done. So far I'm working without a design, but the ideas are really gelling so very soon I'll commit it to paper, since I think not knowing the exact next step each time is what's slowing me down the most.)
Yesterday my wife accused me of being passionate about woodworking. I like that!
Thanks for all your help!
- Owen -
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On Sat, 8 Sep 2007 05:46:43 -0400, "Owen Lawrence"

Skip the paper, use paste wax (or better yet, Waxilit) or blue tape on the cauls. Wax paper can spread and seal in the squeeze out.

What's it for? The use of a part has a great deal of weight on finish choice. This is a good second thread.

Not necessary, but you can. Doing so may make the overall finishing process more difficult.

I let the glue dry to a "snot" consistency and trim it off with a sharp chisel or plane iron (without the plane). A wet sponge will push it into the wood. Properly jointed edges will allow very little glue to show. What you can't get under the cauls can be scraped later with a sharp card or paint scraper.
Can't get the edges jointed as well as you'd like? put small chamfers on them and make the joints a design feature.

The main difference between the LV and TBIII are dried color and water resistance, the TBIII may have a slightly longer open time. Check the labels for exact details. I don't use white glue much, so I'll leave that to others.

It's ALL about the look! Some defects can add tremendous character. On the other hand, filling too deep with epoxy will look strange, so I'd lean towards a dutchman over large defects that can't enhance teh look. Try your ideas on scrap, and see what YOU like.
Do dry runs of the glue-up until you're super comfortable, if necessary, writing down step-by-step procedures. If you need to, get some slow setting glue, like TB Extend.
You can also break the glue-up into smaller steps, say gluing two boards, then joining those two in a second session.
Practice EVERYTHING you're not comfortable with on something other than your project.
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That magical booger-like consistency. You only have a few minutes to get it right. The glue curls up, but doesn't smear. THAT is the magic of a successful panel glue-up.
I use a slightly dull 1-1/4" Marples chisel, which does nothing else but that. When one of my guys reaches into my toolbox with the intent of using that chisel for anything else, I express my discontent in a unmistakable manner.
I have a chisel like that for trimming edgebanding. It does nothing else.
r
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Owen Lawrence wrote:

I'd suggest that you do your panels in stages...glue up 3 - 10" +- wide sections then (after drying) glue those three. Reasons...
1. MUCH easier to keep flatter 2. Less worry about glue open time.
It certainly isn't impossible to glue up the whole schmeer at once but you'll find that it isn't all that easy...boards want to slide around (glue lubricates)...unequal tension between clamps tends to bow the work...if an edge happens to be a smidge off square, that will be easier to handle in a narrower glueup. __________________

If I can't push them in alignment with my hand, I use a handscrew to pinch them flat with their neighbor. Once I have them flat and apply lateral pressure from a pipe clamp I take off the handscrew. ___________________

It sounds like you expect to glue up your panel, take off the clamps and finish it. Good luck.
There are times when pre-finishing is a good idea. This isn't one of them. __________________

I expect to take off the clamps, scrape off the dried beads of glue and then run the panel through a drum sander several times to get it flat. IOW, I expect the result of the glue up to be *rough*. __________________

No, do not use the white glue, use the yellow. White tends to creep when dry. _____________________

Gouges, splits and knots are rustic. Personally, I'm not a rustic fan so I'd work on them. But not with epoxy. All that does is give you a cavernous looking hole that has been filled with something clear.
If I were doing it I'd use sawdust, sanding dust, planer shavings and glue. If the hole were more than, say, 1/8 deep I'd fill to that depth with polyester resin. Why polyester rather than epoxy? It sets up in minutes rather than hours and is cheaper.
Then I mix up some of the wood residue mentioned earlier and mix in some white glue. When it is putty like, push into hole, overfilling slightly. Put a piece of wax paper over it and clamp on something flat (I use scrap mel board). The different wood particle sizes (saw/sand dust and planer shavings) all give a different appearance. All will resemble particle board. When in doubt, use saw and sanding dust.
Once dry - TOTALLY dry - take off the clamp and flattener and sand flat. There may well be some pin holes, not to worry. Put a dab of white glue on your finger and smear a *very light* coat over the area. Then take a pinch of FINE sanding dust, drop it onto the wet glue, take a breath and blow off all you can. Now - while the glue is still wet - sand again with a palm sander. I usually use #150 paper. If you do this right you'll wind up with a patch that has a thin surface of wood dust that is bonded to the area below but which is not sealed with glue and which will take a finish fairly well. It works best in smallish areas. More than one repetition may be necessary. You have to use white glue...white glue isn't waterproof and the smeared on glue will bond with that in the "major fill" portion.
Of course, you can also mix wood particles with any bonding agent and fill with that. Bonding agents include polyester and epoxy resins, any glue including super glue, varnish, lacquer, shellac, etc. The appearance of the patched area depends upon how much the bonding agent "wets" the wood and the size of the wood particles. _________________

Useful to be able to do so but - to my eye - they generally look no better than just filling. Different but not better. What might be useful for you are butterflies for those splits.
--

dadiOH
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I find pine so soft that I never put a clamp directly on the wood. But I've done what you suggest on other projects.

The thought had crossed my mind. I also figured I should glue one joint at a time. Now I will definitely glue one joint at a time.

I wish I had a drum sander (and expect to someday), but I won't have room for one until I move. So I want to be a bit careful to avoid too much sanding later. I do expect to have to sand it. Eventually I'll still be gluing a large panel, even if I'm just gluing a single joint at that time.

Thanks. I won't.

Take a look for the pictures I'm going to post soon. I've never made a rustic looking project yet, so I'm sure there are some techniques I should learn so it comes out looking okay. I think about the only look I DON'T like is the artificial look, whatever that is. (Trees don't exactly grow in the shape of furniture, so it's all artificial if you go back far enough.)

Maybe you are better at it than I am, but I've never liked how my sawdust and glue mixtures look when they're done. I think I'll go with a dutchman if I do anything. (Point taken from B A R R Y about epoxy caverns.)
Thanks for all the advice, and first thing in the morning, too!
- Owen -
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the value... (no shit)
There was a place that got busted in the Midwest that was buying new pine furniture, beating on it, aging the stain with chemicals and selling it as antiques...
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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"dadiOH" wrote:

Good advice.
Since you are using reclaimed lumber, forget a planer, time for the drum sander.
Glue up the boards as is (IOW, if thickness varies from board to board, NBD, you clean it up later).
Glue up as flat as practical, scrap off excess glue when cured, bring to desired thickness with a drum sander.
A commercial drum sander can handle 48" wide panels.
After sanding, get piece installed.
If left laying around, will probably warp.
Have fun.
Lew
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Didn't want to snip the other good advice, but concerned my advice would get lost at the bottom, so I top posted here:
Try alternating your clamps, above and below the piece. Even the stiffest bar clamp will bend slightly under tension, leading to the jaws opening slightly (in the sense of becoming non-parallel), and causing the glued pieces to tend to pop up. Agree about doing it in stages too. Less wet glued joints to slide and pop, and easier to keep the pieces even.

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I do alternate my clamps. I've just never had them do a perfect job of keeping the joints perfectly aligned. I've tried dowels, too, and that doesn't work either. I don't have a biscuit machine, but I wouldn't expect it to work perfectly either. Do you hear how often I use the word "perfect"? I'm just hoping to do the best I can. This thread is all part of preparing the wood.
This wood was mostly rough cut when I got it. After removing nails it has been planed once, on a planer whose blades needed sharpening. A couple of the boards still have a little extra thickness, so I'll plane them again. I do expect to do some sanding, but I'm trying to minimize that step.
Sorry, I woke up at 5am thinking about this stuff, so I posted my message and got busy. I did bring home five sheet goods from Home Depot (that stuff isn't getting any lighter as I age), plus a few 2x4s, and some of that is for this project, so I still made progress today. But now I'm way too tired. Company's coming tomorrow, and the Ottawa Robotics Enthusiasts meet on Monday. I'll try to squeeze in some progress before church and work, but I make no promises as this is MY hobby.
I'll also try to get those pictures posted; the camera's batteries ran out before I could upload them, and then they wouldn't take a charge. The new batteries are in the charger now.
Thanks to all for the great feedback.
- Owen -

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"Owen Lawrence" wrote:
> I do alternate my clamps. I've just never had them do a perfect job of

Why bother?

You could always use a router and a wing cutter.

Then don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff.

Why?
Isn't the objective to end up with a flat panel?
There is more than one way to get there.

Why?
You are trying to do the job the hard way.

Why?
A drum sander makes your life much easier.
Have fun.
Lew
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<snip>

Your grandfather would have used a Stanley joiner plane, a #7 or a #8, or something similar to flatten that glue up. Well sharpened, you'd be done in less time than it has taken to read all of these posts. ;-)
Not that the rest of us would have enjoyed it as much.
Sometimes a simple tool is absolutely the right tool. And it doesn't cost $10k.
Back to your regularly scheduled hobby.
Patriarch, whose woodworking time today was consumed by driving 75 miles to pick up USED IKEA shelving with my son... Yes, I was more than a little conflicted. Melamine and particle board. Yuck!
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"Patriarch" wrote:

Where does the $10K come from?
That wouldn't even cover the deposit to buy a real drum sander.
You rent those things, complete with operator, not buy one.
My guess is that less than $30 covers the job complete.
Lew
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'twas thinking of the Timesaver belt sander in Nahm's shop...
But a megadollar tool is still just that. They're fun to use, and do a great job. They are, however, usually only one way to accomplish something. Valid, but not exclusive.
Patriarch
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I can gain access to almost any tool I need if I work hard enough. I live in a city, after all. But I've noticed that doing a lot of running around to have other people complete steps in my project for me really takes its toll in almost every way. I didn't own a thickness planer when I got this wood, and had to cart the whole trailer load to my friend's house and back. That's after carting it all home and unloading it once already. It's a really big job and basically blew two days of free time. Now I've got my own planer and you can't imagine how happy I am to finally be dimensioning all my own lumber myself.
If I had all the skills of the grandfather who used a No. 7 jointer plane to do all this in the time it took to make this thread, I'd have done it already. But I'd still spend time here talking about it, since as solitary as this hobby can be, there's still a social aspect to it, which apparently I need or I wouldn't bother. Everyone just throwing in their own two cents worth is so valuable, because I hear so many different solutions from so many different perspectives. In the end I might still go with my original ideas; but maybe not, and all the new info tempers my approach to the next challenge, whatever that might be.
I'd actually like to build a drum sander someday. I dream, anyway. Just knowing that I can do something is often enough. I only follow through on a tiny portion of my dreams, but they're all satisfying. Every Sunday I make pizza for supper. This week it was two pizzas and it fed our visitors. I could buy pizza that tastes better than mine, and have it delivered to my door in a third the time it takes me to make mine, and not much more cost. Yet I make it anyway, week after week. I don't know why, but I just do, and I enjoy it every time.
- Owen -
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Owen Lawrence wrote:

Obviously if your Pizza doesn't quite measure up<G>....you need to make a wood Pizza paddle......A good pizza stone, tile or brick in a very hot oven will help as well....Rod
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Rod & Betty Jo wrote:

mmmmmmmmmmmm.......... Pizza.............
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It's been on the list for years. It'll happen eventually. (I've already got and use the stone. The brick oven will have to wait until I move to property with more room. It will have more room because I will build it that way. Out of my own trees.)
- Owen -
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You know, your post about making Sunday pizza had me making pizza last evening, during the baseball/football games, whilst the wife was off doing something important. I was amazed at how much I'd forgotten about good doughmaking.
Thank you. Leftovers for today's lunch were good.
Patriarch
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