# Squaring up for gluing...

When you do diagonal measurements to determine if a project is 'square' is there a science to deciding which way to 'whack' it or which clamp to crank another turn based on which diagonal is longer or shorter? I must have spent 10 minutes of glue drying time trying to figure out a way to get my raised panel (on the table saw) doors squared and I was still off more than I'd like to admit by the time I had to just let it be.
Thanks. Mike W.
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Do this Mike - it's easier than trying to explain. Knock together a simple frame with overlap joints and one nail pinning each joint. Now you have a frame that will easily rack. Take your measurements across the diagonals. Experiment and rack the frame and them measure. You'll quickly see which way to adjust when you're out of square.
As to when I take my measurements - I do it immediately after glue up. I nail or screw a diagonal brace in place to hold it all square. You only need one which runs diagonally between any two pieces. Once it's square it's safe to tighten down the clamps if you're using them.
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-Mike-
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On Sun, 1 Jan 2006 21:17:01 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

Run an extra clamp from corner to corner on the LONG diagonal. Tighten this clamp until the measurements match.
Barry
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wrote:

This is true, but I elected not to make this specific suggestion since it's possible the OP does not have clamps long enough to do this. I took the approach of seeing (understanding) what needs to be done and then leaving the actual mechanics of accomplishing that to the imagination.
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-Mike-
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On Mon, 2 Jan 2006 09:29:46 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

I thought your description was excellent.
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Mike W. wrote:

I don't whack it; I run a clamp on the long diagonal and tighten until it brings the piece into square.
Dave
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Mike W. wrote:

You want to make the longer diagonal measurement shorter.
If one diagonal measured 10" and the other measured 9-3/4" you would make the 10" one shorter by 1/8" & they would then measure the same.
MikeB
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I think he's confused about which way to rack it to accomplish this Mike.
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-Mike-
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Mike Marlow wrote:

To be snide, it takes about 1 minute max to put a clamp on and see what it does with a square. If the frame goes more out of square, move the clamp position. Clamping across corner to corner would be ideal but I've never had a way to do that. Yeah I know, make a quick easy jig, but that's a little late when the glue is drying. The other solution is to dry clamp and mark positions, but that seems a little severe.
All one really to do is set clamp(s) at a slight angle instead of 90 degrees. That will rack the frame. I find that I usually can get away with all clamps except one at 90 degrees, but I may have to tighten the non-90 degree one a little first. Gets a little hairy with a big bookcase, but just use slower setting glue.
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This is true - and not really snide. I couldn't understand why someone would post such a question when a little trial and error with some scrap would have answered his own question. That's why my original reply suggested just such a thing.
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-Mike-
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Why read a book when you can figure out the universe on your own. That's basically what you're saying.
Do a google search on squaring and tell me how much you find. I've done many projects and not had such an issue as I had today... it just made me think that there has to be some 'rule' about how to square up. The post was made simply to leverage the knowledge of the people in the group. If you think its a stupid question then move on to the next post. If you have willingness, knowledge, and time to bring to the table, then post it, otherwise why throw insults?
Mike W.
Mike Marlow wrote:

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Well - there is something to be said for observing what you can see without just asking about it.

I didn't "just throw insults" Mike. I posted a reply that suggested a method that would reveal "the secret" to you in a way that you'd either understand for life, or be able to go back to if you ever needed. I thought is was a question that would have better been served by a little experimenting in the shop, but I also understand that the world does not always turn that way, so I answered the question. You have to expect that if you ask a pretty fundamental question about something that you could easily have demonstrated in five minutes in the shop that someone is going to take note of that.
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-Mike-
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OK Mike, I think most of us assume that the answer is obvious, but perhaps it isn't. I will answer exactly what you asked.
Stick a square in a corner. If the wood doesn't touch the square on both sides when the apex touches the corner, put a clamp across the two adjacent corners and pull those adjacent corners together. If the wood touches the legs of the square but the apex won't touch the corner, put a clamp that goes from that corner to the opposite corner and tighten. After you tighten the cross corner clamp a little, keep testing the squareness and tightening the clamp until the corner is square, then test a corner adjacent to that corner. If you get the first corner square but an adjacent corner is not square, you are not pulling the frame together insufficiently at the corners, you are bending the wood, or the frame pieces are not cut correctly to length to make a square. That is why you fit it together dry before you apply glue.
I would not expect to get a big case together by myself and fully adjusted for square in 10 minutes; probably more like 15 minutes if anything goes wrong-- like protective blocks fall out, I need more blocks or different length, or the set end of the clamp won't hold. So, I use carpenters glue (the yellow stuff). It may tack (or partially set) in 10 minutes but a little pressure will break that tack and that is fine since the tack and the hardness will rebuild.
Mike W. wrote:

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OK, I apologize for taking it personally.
I know that squaring is a fundamental part of WWing. I've squared up many things. Some perfectly and some not so perfectly (i.e. yesterday). I just had an exceptionally difficult time getting it done on my first raised panel doors yesterday, even after I _dry_ fit them together and they were fine. It seemed that my _yellow_ glue had some turbo charger in it to dry super fast. I do know how to check for square and 'loosen this and tighten that' and check again then 'loosen this and tighten that' but I thought that those in this group with more experience could give some known (to everyone but me) rules to do it in an orderly manner. Better yet, I was hoping someone would just drop some all enlightening and elegant one-liner that would explain it in such a compelling way that I would simply just get it and want to smack myself in the forehead and say 'Sheeesh, that was obvious'.
As it stands, you, as well as others laid out the 'rules' I was looking for, so thanks to everyone.
Thanks.
George E. Cawthon wrote:

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"Mike W." wrote in message

Although I hate the tired old homily, it sometimes fits ... Since you asked the question in the first place, instead of feeding you the answer, Mike was showing you how to fish.
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Last update: 12/13/05
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This one?
"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll sit in a boat and drink cheap beer all day."
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No - the original version goes something like...
Show a man how to light a fire and he'll keep warm for a while. Light him on fire and he'll stay warm for the rest of his life.
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-Mike-
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