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Author Topic: Oak bench top  (Read 1866 times)

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Offline mmartone

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Oak bench top
« on: February 01, 2014, 11:10:33 PM »
We had sawn this oak on the woodmizer a while ago and its been sitting inside Jack's shop drying out. Tonight we got it squared up and planed and stacked it on the frame and put a few clamps on it to have a look. My thoughts to assemble it are as follows. I want to put the table together 1 piece at a time joining one to the next with dowels and glue. Clamp 2 pieces together in both directions to make the top even and drill, glue and dowel, doing the same until we have all the pieces joined. I'm thinking that this will give us a flat, straight table, comments or suggestions?

 

 

 

 

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Offline jamesamd

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Re: Oak bench top
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 11:45:49 PM »
Use a lot more clamps and alternate them top and bottom.
Clamp cauls top and bottom,every 12".
Then say a pray to a wood Sprite. ;)

Jim
All that is gold does not glitter,not all those that wander are lost.....

Offline 21incher

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Re: Oak bench top
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 08:47:29 AM »
When gluing up tops I have switched from dowels to biscuits as I feel they are just as strong and are much quicker with no alignment problems. On a top like that I would most likely glue up 2 sections (or however wide your planer or sander is) and then run them through my thickness sander to flatten and then clamp them together and hand plane the final joint then glue it up and only have 1 joint to flatten by hand. I would most likely glue up at least the first 3 strips at a time of each section and clamp them between 2 straight jointed wider boards to ensure the finished top was perfectly straight. With a top like that starting with low moisture content wood a flipping the grain should keep it fairly flat.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Oak bench top
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 09:01:54 AM »
Use a lot more clamps and alternate them top and bottom.
Clamp cauls top and bottom,every 12".
Then say a pray to a wood Sprite. ;)

Jim

I just completed gluing up four large tabletops in the shop, up to 4' wide and 12' long, and I concur with Jim about more clamps and alternating from top to bottom.  Your clamping forces emanate from the clamping surface at a 45 degree angle.  To detemine the number of clamps needed, simply measure where the 45 degree angles intersect from each clamp.  Considering how narrow the strips are, you will need to clamp about every 6" or so in order to have a smooth clamping action against the outer boards.

To get a nice flat glue-up, make some cauls.  The easiest way to do this is to use regular 2 x 4's.  Rip the 2 x 4's down the middle to make a couple of 2 x 2's, and then you need to rip or plane one side of each 2 x 2 in order to make one edge a long, shallow arch (about 1/4" offset at the ends.  I can post some sketches if you'd like, and you can google "cauls" to learn more about them and their use.
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Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Oak bench top
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 09:21:04 AM »
Been there, done that.   Never got caught [/b]
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Offline Den-Den

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Re: Oak bench top
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 09:22:05 AM »
My method is much like 21incher but I don't use dowels or biscuits most of the time (I don't believe they add much if any strength).  I do use biscuits for alignment if having trouble maintaining alignment during the dry clamp test fit.
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.

Offline Lud

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Re: Oak bench top
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 11:46:26 AM »
No disagreements with anything already said.  There could be a lot said for drilling both ends and the middle and running 1/4 threaded rod all the way through so you could do the tighten up over the years if anything got splitty.  Recess the outer edge and cover the nut with a dry plug.  A good technique if there will be heavy use and abuse on the table.    ;) ;)
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