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Edge Joint Panel Glue Up w/ F-Style Clamps

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Forum topic by TTH posted 06-04-2020 05:52 PM 451 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TTH

16 posts in 75 days


06-04-2020 05:52 PM

Newbie here. I need to glue up a small panel (13” x 10” to cut down to 11” x 8”) for a project, but the only clamps I have are F-style clamps. The panel will be made with 3/4” stock, which I will plane down to 3/8” after it’s glued up.

I’d like to avoid buying more clamps right this moment if I can, but I also don’t want to waste wood trying to glue up a panel with the wrong equipment. Are parallel jaw or bar clamps a necessity for doing a panel glue up or is there a way to get the panel glued up relatively flat with F-style clamps?

Thanks!

-- Travis, DFW


21 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3075 posts in 2568 days


#1 posted 06-04-2020 06:16 PM

It can done but it’s tricky because when the glue is on everything starts sliding around. I think your best best is to plane your pieces done closer to their final thickness. Lets say 1/2 .
Then build your self a fixture that wedges the glue joint together. Or use the packing tape method.
The wedge method works very good because it just relies on something heavy to hold it down.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3334 posts in 4208 days


#2 posted 06-04-2020 06:33 PM

On your bench or a piece of plywood put three screws halfway in in a line. Put the panels down joined together edge to edge. See where the joints are and put strips of wax paper underneath the joints so it won’t glue to the bench.

On the other edge of the panel put three more screws but leave about a 1/4” gap between the screws and the panel.

Cut three small hardwood wedges sort of long rather than stubby. Tap them between the screws and the panel. The force is quite formidable and will hold the panel together till the glue is dry. This is the method we use to glue 1/8” guitar tops and backs together. It works quite well.

With a strip of wood mounted to the bench or plywood instead of screws you can glue up very large items this way if you don’t have long clamps too. More wedges of course. It’s very versatile.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

2108 posts in 2954 days


#3 posted 06-04-2020 06:39 PM

Yeah, you don’t want to be removing that much wood post glue up if you don’t have to.

How many clamps do you have? With a panel that small, you should be fine with 2 or 3 clamps on the sides, and using cauls to keep the boards flat.

Look into making slightly convex cauls out of a 2×4 that you cut in half, then e.g. plane the edges down a bit with a hand plane. Put packing tape on the edges to keep the glue from sticking.

When you clamp down the cauls across the two boards, it squeezes the convex parts flat, keeping the boards coplaner. This was for a torsion box, but the idea is the same.

In your case, you’d have clamps going horizontally to glue up the boards, then a couple sets of cauls vertically to keep the boards coplaner. Use scraps of wood to keep the clamps from marking up the edges of your panel.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

25882 posts in 3453 days


#4 posted 06-04-2020 07:27 PM

hmmm..
.
instead of these pipe clamps, replace with f style from the other side of the panel…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

672 posts in 1390 days


#5 posted 06-04-2020 07:41 PM

Easy with F style. You can also add a couple of c clamps or spring clamps at the joint line to keep things in alignment.
A panel that size is almost a rub joint.
With all the extra material you have, alignment should be easy.
The wedge method described earlier is also great.

Welcome to woodworking, at least three methods to do the same thing. Pick what works for you, but remember the rest for when you need them.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

513 posts in 157 days


#6 posted 06-04-2020 09:57 PM



On your bench or a piece of plywood put three screws halfway in in a line. Put the panels down joined together edge to edge. See where the joints are and put strips of wax paper underneath the joints so it won t glue to the bench.

On the other edge of the panel put three more screws but leave about a 1/4” gap between the screws and the panel.

Cut three small hardwood wedges sort of long rather than stubby. Tap them between the screws and the panel. The force is quite formidable and will hold the panel together till the glue is dry. This is the method we use to glue 1/8” guitar tops and backs together. It works quite well.

With a strip of wood mounted to the bench or plywood instead of screws you can glue up very large items this way if you don t have long clamps too. More wedges of course. It s very versatile.

- Craftsman on the lake


The luthier in you is coming out! :)

-- Darrel

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3075 posts in 2568 days


#7 posted 06-04-2020 10:57 PM

This one with the wedges is what I recommend. It’s important to get your wood very close to final dimension if you leave them too thick there more risk of them warping when you mill down.

-- Aj

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

13383 posts in 3150 days


#8 posted 06-04-2020 11:43 PM

Good suggestions. You can also make a set of Z shaped clamp extensions.

https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/234954

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

4673 posts in 1591 days


#9 posted 06-04-2020 11:51 PM

I won’t comment on clamping methods as my solution is a tad extravagant… however…


... How many clamps do you have?...
- shampeon

If nothing more TTH, one thing you will learn from this post is…

you can’t have enough clamps!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View MPython's profile

MPython

250 posts in 582 days


#10 posted 06-04-2020 11:53 PM

Your plan sounds like you’re going around your elbow to get to your thumb. If it were me, I’d. resew the 3/4” stock and finish it to 3/8’ thickness. Then I’d glue up the panel using stretchy tape rather than clamps or wedges. I learned this trick from luthiers who glue up thin panels all the time. It works for stock from 1/8” to 1/2”thickness. Here’s a photo description of the process:

Cut your panels to approximate final dimensions and final thickness. Joint the edges so they mate perfectly. book match them. Apply 3M auto Thenstriping tape in strips 90 degrees to the joint 2 inches or so apart, stretching the tape as you apply it.

Then apply one long strip of tape the length of the joint.

Fold the panel together back to back.

Apply glue to the edges. Open the panel and lay it on a flat surface, tape side down. Apply more tape strips to the other side, stretching it as you apply it.

Place the assembly on a flat surface and weight the joint so it remains flat.

The stretched tape will relax, pulling the joint together with enough force to create a strong joint on thin panels The long strip down the length of the joint on the back side prevents a lot of squeeze out. You want a little squeeze out on the front side to make sure you’ve got good glue coverage, but don’t go crazy with the glue application. It’s not necessary and you’ll make a mess. See photo.

When the glue sets up, remove the tape and the dried glue squeeze out with a scraper or a hand plane. Cut to final dimensions and you’re done. Easy. No clamps required.

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1211 posts in 1730 days


#11 posted 06-05-2020 12:48 AM

A 13×10 panel can be done with 2-f style clamps. Just alternate the clamps

View MPython's profile

MPython

250 posts in 582 days


#12 posted 06-05-2020 01:05 AM

Typo Alert!
Second paragraph in my post above should read: “Apply 3M auto PINstriping tape in strips 90 degrees to the joint …”
Blue painter’s tape will work but pin striping tape has more stretch and will give you more clamping pressure on the joint when it relaxes. Pinstriping tape is available at most auto supply stores. I’ve seen light green tape at the BORG, but I don’t know if it’s the same as the 3M stuff.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

513 posts in 157 days


#13 posted 06-05-2020 02:41 PM


Typo Alert!
Second paragraph in my post above should read: “Apply 3M auto PINstriping tape in strips 90 degrees to the joint …”
Blue painter s tape will work but pin striping tape has more stretch and will give you more clamping pressure on the joint when it relaxes. Pinstriping tape is available at most auto supply stores. I ve seen light green tape at the BORG, but I don t know if it s the same as the 3M stuff.

- MPython


The 3M #233 auto masking tape works well too. I think that’s what you’re using above. It has the right amount of stretch.

-- Darrel

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1211 posts in 1730 days


#14 posted 06-05-2020 02:47 PM

I would suggest clamps and not use tape…I use tape for veneers not solid wood projects

View Murdock's profile

Murdock

151 posts in 3254 days


#15 posted 06-05-2020 03:19 PM

Until very recently all I had was F style clamps and didn’t know about the wedge and tape methods. Have done many panel glue-ups with them.

The hardest part, in my opinion, is keeping the joints flush. For smaller panels a clamp vertically on each end of the joint helps. Cauls for larger panels. I was given a biscuit jointer and I like that for alignment (no real help on strength) but have also used dowels in the past.

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

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