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
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
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
Yesterday my wife accused me of being passionate about woodworking. I
Thanks for all your help!
- Owen -
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.
** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html **
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
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
I have a chisel like that for trimming edgebanding. It does nothing
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
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
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
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.
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 -
If all else fails, I've heard that beating it with old lumber chains increases
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
Please remove splinters before emailing
Since you are using reclaimed lumber, forget a planer, time for the
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.
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
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
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 -
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
Back to your regularly scheduled hobby.
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!
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.
'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.
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 -
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 -
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
Thank you. Leftovers for today's lunch were good.
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