I would like to make a 3" thick table top---36 X 36. I will be
using kiln dried 3/4" pine. After gluing up 4 panels , what is the
best way to glue the panels on top of each other? If I should use
glue and screws I dont want any screws to show, or is just glue
eneough? What kind of clamping procedure should I use? Thanks for any
help on my project. Byron
Long grain to long grain glue joints should last longer than most Democrats
or Republicans alive today.
You do need an even layer of glue on the surfaces and you need to apply
clamping pressure across the entire piece at each stage, generally with
clamps and cauls, the latter to give you even pressure across the surface.
Alternately, you can screw the various layers to each other from the
underneath until the last layer, then just clamp it to your previously
layers; or you can screw the last one to the other, previously glued layers,
from the bottom where it doesn't show. You could also fill in those holes on
the bottom with wood putty or plugs.
That should get you headed in the right direction.
Most pine being flat sawn and wood movment being across the grain, if I were
doing the job I would, as I do on my work benches, laminated 2" X 4" stock
on it's side giving me a 3 1/2" top with no further gluing and plenty of
stock left for wiggle room when cleaning up the squeeze out and flattening.
Also, the most wood movement would be top to bottom not across the width of
Properly glued screws shouldn't be needed for what you want to do but god
knows what the thing will do when it starts to move.
Musing on what you just said: It might take a bit longer, but why not
glue and screw one at a time, after the first few? That is; glue and
clamp a few to get started, then apply glue, apply strip, clamp, apply
Undo clamps, remove screws, apply glue, apply strip, clamp, apply
and so on, not screwing on the last piece, just clamping.
End result, no hidden screws, and the screws acted as clamps while the
glue was setting. [Original clamps to hold tight while driving
Or, the last [and first] could have decorative brass screws.
If the OP does what Mike is talking about, there is absolutely no need to
use screws. Mike's solution also has the additional benefit of taking wood
movement out of the equation for the table top.
However, it sounded to me that the OP already had his wood picked out, and
that is why I suggested what I did. In addition, the OP's design, as
presented, will generally show a much more pleasing grain pattern, but
unless this is old growth pine, it may not be a factor.
If that is not the case, then let me add the following to Mike's suggestion:
Do the glue-up in sections ... no wider than will readily run through your
planer, then glue those sections together to make up your desired width.
This will cut down on the number of glue joints that need to be cleaned and
leveled. Again, no screws are needed at all.
Also, be sure to exceed the finished dimensions for the rough glue-up in
both length and width. That way excess can be cut off to final dimension,
leaving a much nicer edge.
That takes care of Danny's question and the further refinements are
One thought though. While laminating will most probably result in a rather
bland grain pattern on the surface of the top I'd have to opine that I hope
if the original poster is using off the shelf Home Depot/Lowes construction
pine rather then cabinet grade he spends considerable time matching grain
for the top layer. I'd consider bland preferable to cathedral grain going
every which way and having a panel made of X number of boards look like it
was made from X number of boards. But, then again, it is a personal taste
email@example.com (Byron) wrote in message
Get some good fir 2*4s and glue them together (with the 4 inch side
up) and then plan 1/4 inch off of the top and bottom. You can do the
same with 3/4 inch pine, it will just take twice as much work. This
is much less work then the way you want to do it though.
On 4 May 2004 06:53:51 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Byron) wrote:
If i were going to do this, I think I would glue up individual boards
to get the 3" thick pieces then joint and glue them together. If you
have 36x36 panel they could be difficult to get good flat panels to
glue to each other. In addition, gluing up and flattening 4 panels is
more difficult than gluing up a stack of boards to 3 inch thick then
making your panel
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