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Need advice on unusual glue up

by jaybird72
posted 12-04-2018 01:49 PM

9 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile


15055 posts in 1988 days

#1 posted 12-04-2018 02:24 PM

I don’t think there will be any issues with movement as long as the top is attached to your base in some way that allows for expansion/contraction. I think within the top itself that while the total expansion at the wider side will be more than at the other side, the difference will be linear throughout the width so the glue joints should withstand it without complaint.

As far as the glue up goes, I think I would use some dowels to maintain alignment during the glue up. I’d leave it oversized until after glue up then cut to final shape.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Aj2's profile (online now)


3336 posts in 2648 days

#2 posted 12-04-2018 02:38 PM

I also don’t see any problem with wood movement. As long as you allow for the expansion esp along the top since it’s wider.
It’s a cool idea very interesting
Good luck I also like the taper idea I think it’s worth a try

-- Aj

View Underdog's profile


1524 posts in 2885 days

#3 posted 12-04-2018 03:09 PM

Allow for expansion and contraction, and you’ll be ok. What are the dimensions?
If I remember correctly the general rule of thumb is to allow an 1/8” per each foot of width. This is assuming that the boards are flat sawn. And each species varies. So look up the specification for your wood and calculate how much you’ll need to allow for.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View Steve's profile (online now)


2194 posts in 1432 days

#4 posted 12-04-2018 03:11 PM

I would try to keep it as square’ish as possible for the glue up. Then cut it to final shape afterwards.

View MikeDildayNoSpam's profile


285 posts in 1309 days

#5 posted 12-04-2018 03:18 PM

Cut an angled board with a dado or rabbet that you can clamp to the edge. Then just use clamps across to clamp it.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

View TWegs's profile


70 posts in 1465 days

#6 posted 12-04-2018 03:26 PM

Regarding the wood movement, a few thoughts… When the table takes on moisture from humidity, it will expand width-wise and will do so proportionally across the length, which shouldn’t create a problem. Because it’s tapered down the length, that just means that you’ve severed the length of the wood fibers on the tapered ends, so they won’t be there to expand or contracts and won’t be there to cause pinching into the adjacent boards. It also appears you are using the same species across the top, so you won’t have to worry about disproportionate movement. The bigger issue will be the grain direction from how the lumber was sawn. If it’s flat-sawn or rift-sawn and you don’t alternate the grain direction, you could have some undesirable cupping of the top when it starts expanding from humidity or starts contracting as it dries out.

A good practice is to start taking your project in the house and keeping it at a normal room temperature when you’re not working on it. No point in building it and storing it in a climate that is much different than where it will be used. Regarding the glue up, use some scrap boards to make a jig so you can glue it up square. I think you just need two right triangles with the 90 degree angle at the outside bottom. Use the triangle jigs to brace against the sides when you do the glue-up. Before gluing, do a test clamp up with two bar clamps stretched across the width, then ensure your measurement corner to corner is consistent so you know it’s square. Use shims to get it where you want, then go for it. Be careful not to over-tighten the clamps so as not to starve the joints. Good luck.

View oldnovice's profile


7652 posts in 4218 days

#7 posted 12-04-2018 06:44 PM

You can make a gluing jig to hold part/all of it together, as TWegs suggested.
And, I agree, glue it up then cut to shape.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View jaybird72's profile


2 posts in 659 days

#8 posted 12-04-2018 08:37 PM

Thanks very much for the thoughts and advice everyone. Very much appreciated. Happy Holidays!

View shipwright's profile


8581 posts in 3648 days

#9 posted 12-05-2018 12:36 AM

Personally, I’m a veneer guy.
If you made the top out of B.B. plywood you would have no wood movement problems at all. The big plus is that you would have a spectacular variety of choices of amazing exotics, burls, and figures to “paint your butterfly”. You could buy sequenced veneers and have radial / book matches that could look really beautiful.
The edges could be solid or veneer.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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