Big Glue Ups

Sourwould

Taylor
User
Hey Y'all.

I'm making a large butcher block for a friend, about 2' x 4' and made of ~1-7/8 strips. I did a test glue up out of off cuts that's probably 16x20. Even with the smaller piece, I'm having trouble getting the whole thing together before the glue tacks up. How do y'all do big glue ups like this? All in one shot?

I was thinking I could do ~6" wide sections, joint and plane, and then glue them up again.
 

creasman

Jim
User
I was thinking I could do ~6" wide sections, joint and plane, and then glue them up again.
That's generally how I do this. With something that is 2' wide you probably can't get that through your planer, sander or jointer (depending on what you have). Scaling the glue up down to where you can true and smooth each section means you will have minimal sanding at the final stage.
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
I'm hoping doing a few pieces at a time will get me a little more clamping pressure too. I got a few hairline gaps on my test piece. I milled these strips twice with a week in between, but they don't want to be straight. They're still a little oversized, but it's getting close.
 

creasman

Jim
User
I used this approach to building my work bench top. It's made of hickory and is 3" thick. Principally, it's composed of two main sections, each of which is made from 3/4" x 3" strips. The widest section is about 12" so it could still fit through my planer. Getting the top flat and straight was of utmost importance. The hickory had not be stored in the best way.

I began by slicing the rough hickory into 3-3/8" wide strips and then planed these down to about 13/16" thick. I glued two of these together at a time onto a flat assembly table (literally by clamping them to the table top to press them flat and straight while the glue dried). Each of these was then jointed and planed down to around 1-1/2" x 3-3/16". At this point they were about the size of a 2 x 4, and very straight and flat. That made the next glue up much easier to get right.

Here's a picture of one of the next sections being glued up. This blank is about 6" x 3-1/8" once planed. Two of these make up a 12" wide section. The final slab weighed over 100 lbs. It was "fun" getting this through the planer. I couldn't be more pleased with the final result, though. The bench top is flat and has no sign of gaps. Your process will work. Just take your time and be precise at each step before moving on to the next glue up. Let us know how it turns out.

IMG_0983.JPG
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
Nice man!

I do think I'll get 12" sections through my planer. It'll do 12, but I don't think it will handle the weight of essentially a 2x12 in hard maple.
 

zapdafish

Steve
Senior User
not sure what kind of glue you are using.

titebond.jpeg

also I like the Klingspor brand of glue, felt a little runnier than normal tite bond to me which to me felt like a little more open time
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Titebond III is supposedly waterproof, and has a longer open time than, but if this needs real, true waterproof glue, I would use epoxy..
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
Titebond III is supposedly waterproof, and has a longer open time than, but if this needs real, true waterproof glue, I would use epoxy..
It's a counter. So I don't think it will get that wet. I use titebond 3 for everything because I like the open time and buy it by the gallon.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
It's a counter. So I don't think it will get that wet. I use titebond 3 for everything because I like the open time and buy it by the gallon.
Titebond III is fine for your project and the open time is 8-10 minutes. Several smaller glue ups work well and then put the glued smaller sections together sequentially.
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
It's a counter. So I don't think it will get that wet. I use titebond 3 for everything because I like the open time and buy it by the gallon.
If you really want a long working time, DAP plastic resin glue works really well. It is not as easy to use as Titebond since it's a powder you have to mix with water, but you will have a stress-free glue up. I've also found that it doesn't have the "glue line creep" that PVA glues like Titebond have. For a butcher block that will see chopping that is probably not terribly important. Obviously you want to avoid gaps in your glue-up, but if you use a slow setting epoxy you'd have some gap filling capabilities as well.

Using something you're familiar/ comfortable with is obviously the most important consideration, but wanted to suggest this to help reduce the glue-up blood pressure :)
 

zapdafish

Steve
Senior User
there is also hide glue, you can "reopen" it with heat and water. I just don't know if it's meant to be used on something that may occasionally get wet.
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
I think water will dissolve hide glue.

I'm going to need some suggestions on hiding small gaps. I was originally told this counter would be 42 inches, so I rough cut everything to 4 ft to give enough room to scribe and cut off any snipe. After I cut and milled everything, I'm told "oops I mean 46-47". So I need to fill small gaps where there's snipe. I was thinking maybe epoxy putty?
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
I think water will dissolve hide glue.

I'm going to need some suggestions on hiding small gaps. I was originally told this counter would be 42 inches, so I rough cut everything to 4 ft to give enough room to scribe and cut off any snipe. After I cut and milled everything, I'm told "oops I mean 46-47". So I need to fill small gaps where there's snipe. I was thinking maybe epoxy putty?
Are those small gaps in the laminated pieces where they're glued together? I don't think that's called snipe from your planer.
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
So the laminated strips have separated a little at the ends of the top?


8 pipe clamps over 48" is 1 clamp every 6 inches. That should be plenty!

Many say that you can't have enough clamps. Well, I think that's wrong and getting 100 clamps is a waste.
Here's an example of the snipe. It's very small, but a noticeable shadow. I also wouldn't want to risk water or food getting in there.
 

Attachments

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Here's an example of the snipe. It's very small, but a noticeable shadow. I also wouldn't want to risk water or food getting in there.

Attachments
  • IMG_20200617_134346.jpg

That isn't snipe and you probably couldn't close that gap with 50 more clamps.

How long is that crack? I can send you some information about how to fill it with epoxy.
 

Sourwould

Taylor
User
Here's an example of the snipe. It's very small, but a noticeable shadow. I also wouldn't want to risk water or food getting in there.

Attachments
  • IMG_20200617_134346.jpg

That isn't snipe and you probably couldn't close that gap with 50 more clamps.

How long is that crack? I can send you some information about how to fill it with epoxy.
It's off the planer, when the board is only on the back roller. Maybe snipe is the wrong word, but the word I was taught. My planer had a really short bed, and I'm pushing it letting anything 4 ft or longer hang out the back.

What kind of epoxy do you use? West systems?

I was thinking of using the mohawk tootsie roll epoxy putty. Mostly because I can buy a small amount of it.
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top