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Glue up table legs


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#1 Boxmaker

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:33 AM

I apologize in advance for asking a question that has most likely already been asked, but i could not find it in the forum.

I am fairly new to woodworking- at this point i am more of a virtual woodworker that an actual one. I am starting a small table project that requires 2" square legs.It is a G&G inspired table, but rather that use quarter sawn, i am using flat sawn red oak to save money. Rather than buy material this thick, i would like to use my exsiting supply of 3/4 thick material and glue it up. My question is this- what is the best technique? Should i glue the pieces together on the flat, leaving what I assume will be a glue line down the center of the legs, or should i miter 4 pieces and glue them together that way. I have a lock miter bit for my router table, but to be honest that thing scares me, not to mention the set up of it.


Thank you for your input!

#2 jimmykx250

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:57 AM

I hear the lock mitre bits are a nightmare to set up. Dont bother. You will hardly see the glue line if done correctly. Match grains as close as possible and glue up the flats.

#3 The Wood Servant

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 10:50 AM

I buried my Lock mitre bit beneath six inches of concrete that is my workshop floor.
As Jim says if you select your pieces carefully, use as many clamps as you can, and remember to put scrap pieces along the sides to protect the good stuff from dents, you'll be fine. Unless you have a lot of clamps you'll probably have to glue up a leg at a time, a pain perhaps but, believe me if you try and save time by clamping with too few you will regret it. A good clamp every four inches staggered on alternate sides should do just fine. Clamp them reasonably tight but, do not over tighten. It is a mistake to do so. Once you've got a good squeeze out of surplus glue and can not turn them without excessive effort they are tight enough.
Good luck

#4 Derekg

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 12:14 PM

Plus the splitting on red oak with a lock miter bit could be horrible.

#5 Boxmaker

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for the advice- I really appreciate it.
I think for now I will glue up on the flat as suggested. My plan was to glue up three boards per leg, then cut to final dimension. On the point of clamping one leg a time depending on how many clamps i have, I also thought of stacking all 12 pieces together with wax paper between each assembly and clamping all at once.

I think I will try the lock miter bit on some practice boards. Probably will be good to find out if I should also put it under the concrete floor!

Thanks again

#6 MarkR

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:22 PM

I think you will have alignment issues if you glue up all twelve pieces at once IMHO. Personally I would go with the lock-mitre
cutter, yes they are a bit of a pig to set up (once set up make sure you keep a sample piece), but work a treat, and would give you a better look.
All the best Mark. The Barn Woodshop Blog

#7 Acorn House Workshop

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:10 AM

I apologize in advance for asking a question that has most likely already been asked, but i could not find it in the forum.

I am fairly new to woodworking- at this point i am more of a virtual woodworker that an actual one. I am starting a small table project that requires 2" square legs.It is a G&G inspired table, but rather that use quarter sawn, i am using flat sawn red oak to save money. Rather than buy material this thick, i would like to use my exsiting supply of 3/4 thick material and glue it up. My question is this- what is the best technique? Should i glue the pieces together on the flat, leaving what I assume will be a glue line down the center of the legs, or should i miter 4 pieces and glue them together that way. I have a lock miter bit for my router table, but to be honest that thing scares me, not to mention the set up of it.


Thank you for your input!

You can use the Stickley technique of glueing up the pieces on the flat, then adding a 1/16-1/8" veneer to cover up the seams. I have used this technique myself on a dining table. (see detail pic below) Rounding or chamfering the corners will hide the veneer edge.

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#8 Beechwood Chip

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:19 AM

Rather than using a lock miter, I like to cut a regular miter and them cut a little groove down the center of each mating face, and pop in a spline. The spline can be a strip of plywood or really any thin stock you have around. All the cuts can be done on the table, and the setup is easy.
But, for this I'd just glue up a blank on the flat. That's what I've seen Norm and Marc do in videos.

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#9 Boxmaker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 06:57 AM

Thanks again everyone for the input. I decided that the only way I am going to get any good at woodworking, is to try all of the different methods myself, so I did.
While gluing up the boards on the flat was the easiest, I did not care for the look.
The lock miter was a complete pain to set up- but generally i enjoyed the process. I had a very difficult time keeping a consistant profile down the length of each leg section. I would like advice on the best way to support the material on the router table while using the locking miter bit. Clearly this is a very strong joint with all of the glue surface.
The last method was to simply miter four pieces on the table saw and glue them up. I simply rolled them up with blue painters tape, and I was very happy with the results. My question about this is.. how strong is this? I next want to make a bed frame, and I would like to know if gluing up the miters creates a strong enough bond.

Thanks again!!

#10 flairwoodworks

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:03 AM

To All: Please send me your lock miter bits. They are not difficult to set up though a couple test cuts and a precise height gauge are required to make it quick. There was an article in a recent Fine Woodworking about setting these bits.

Boxmaker,

I see you've already made your legs, but I was going to mention that flatsawn stock is quartersawn on the edges so if you laminate two pieces together, you have flat-sawn grain on two sides and quartersawn on the other. Depending on which way the growth rings go, you may not have true quartersawn, but at least be close. Good for you for trying the lock miter. Nothing beats first hand experience. You have a great attitude.

To get a consistent profile, use featherboards. For the part routed laying on the table, put the featherboard on the fence pushing downwards. For the vertical part, put the featherboard on the table, pushing the stock against the fence.

If your miters were cut accurately and your stock is flat, the tape should have been able to hold the joint together tightly. If the fit is good, there will be lots of long-grain contact, so it will be quite a strong joint. Once you start gluing end-grain (like picture-frame miters), you start running into issues with the strength of the bond.

#11 Boxmaker

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:28 AM

To All: Please send me your lock miter bits. They are not difficult to set up though a couple test cuts and a precise height gauge are required to make it quick. There was an article in a recent Fine Woodworking about setting these bits.

Boxmaker,

I see you've already made your legs, but I was going to mention that flatsawn stock is quartersawn on the edges so if you laminate two pieces together, you have flat-sawn grain on two sides and quartersawn on the other. Depending on which way the growth rings go, you may not have true quartersawn, but at least be close. Good for you for trying the lock miter. Nothing beats first hand experience. You have a great attitude.

To get a consistent profile, use featherboards. For the part routed laying on the table, put the featherboard on the fence pushing downwards. For the vertical part, put the featherboard on the table, pushing the stock against the fence.

If your miters were cut accurately and your stock is flat, the tape should have been able to hold the joint together tightly. If the fit is good, there will be lots of long-grain contact, so it will be quite a strong joint. Once you start gluing end-grain (like picture-frame miters), you start running into issues with the strength of the bond.




Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate the feedback. It did take quite awhile to set up, but I learned a lot and will use this process again. I think I know where I may have gone wrong. On my router table, I clamped long straight boards on the table and fence to create a "trap" to hold the piece.In addition, I put pencil marks on the table to mark the original fence location so that I could make mulitple passes avoid taking too much material at once. But i noticed a lot of chatter as I pushed it through. I think next time I will use your advice and add several feather boards to keep constant pressure against the piece, and also pre chamfer the boards on the table saw to remove excess material. I can see why some would buy a shaper table!!


Thanks again!





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