I am making a table top from 1/2" stock. There is a center rectangle about
11" x 13" made of baltic birch with a veneer on it. There are 4 mitered
pieces of mahogany that are 2 1/2" wide that surround the rectangle. I will
have biscuits to hold the pieces together. The problem I am trying to solve
is how to hold it all together during glue up. The band on my band clamp is
1" wide. When I try to pull the table top together with my band clamp, the
band wants to pull the sides up. One idea I had was to put a piece of 1/2"
plywood under the table top. The dimensions of this plywood would be about
1/16th" less height and width than the table top so the band would pull the
tabletop together without being obstructed by the piece underneath. That
seems kind of iffy. Do any of you have a better/different idea?
Toss the band clamp and use cabinet clamps instead. If needed, put wax
paper on top/bottom and use cauls to clamp in plane. But, if the edges
are square, it shouldn't want to pull out of plane anyway.
When you say "cabinet clamps" are you referring to something like my Bessey
K body clamps? The thing I like about the band clamp concept is that you get
nearly simultaneous pressure in the horizontal and vertical directions to
prevent the mitered edges from sliding. This isn't a huge tabletop as you
saw from my original posting so I won't have a lot of room for clamps
though there is room for two on the horizontal size and two on the vertical
Yes. No larger than it is, two on each side will be all you need.
For alignment, the biscuits should put everything pretty much in place
and keep it close; if the joints are accurate the pressure from the
opposing sides will bring the four corners together as they are brought
together gradually. Until completely tight, a judicious mallet tap
should be all the persuasion required to make a last "tweak" if needed.
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