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Hey all. Been quite a bit since I was on last. Life really has a habit of getting in the way. Anywho... I am making a vanity top out of 5/4 hard maple and after I glued my joints up, I had a large enough gap that on the very ends I could stick a fingernail in between. I read a lot of articles on the course of action to take and in the end I cut the joint that had the gaps on my tablesaw so I could have another go ant this joint. I ran it across my jointer a few times because it seemed to me that the wood had the smallest bow and the ends were slowly pulling away from one another. 

  Included is a picture of the joints that that to me were acceptable, but the question remains. Is this considered a tight joint? I've never done a table top glue up before. Maybe the consensus will be that this is perfectly normal. I just don't want to get to the finish line and trip over the joint mentally... thanks in advance for your suggestions. 

 

Bare with me if it looks impossible to get a tighter joint. 

1620169281379115488527665456415.jpg

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Well @sapling111276 I’ll be honest, it could be better I think but it’s not bad IMO, what’s the other side look like? I ask because maybe your edge isn’t square to the face, how long is the board and what’s the length of your joiner ? And welcome back

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A lot of folks will take the boards straight from the jointer to glue up and get a perfect joint. My jointer has the blades and not the Helical cutterhead and perhaps that’s the reason I don’t as the edge of my boards end with small chatter marks. I find that after the jointer to insure a flat side, I then go to the table saw with a good blade and get a smoother edge that gives me a better glue line. The joint in your pic is noticeable but due to the closeup, I could also probably take your fingerprints! :D

If at arms length it is acceptable to you, then go with it! 

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What type of glue are you using? On very light woods some glues will make the glue line stick out like a sore thumb. Titebond III is great for darker woods, but for lighter woods I'd use Titebond II. Since it's a vanity and may be subject to some water here and there, I'd stay away from original Titebond for this application.

I like both suggestions above. Make sure your fence is at 90 to the jointer tables. It sounds like your jointer tables may be a little high on the ends, which would result in gaps near the ends of a longer edge joint. 

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First, I'll say that whatever is acceptable to you is acceptable. Given the close-up image, I'm betting that isn't very noticable from arm's length.

Taking a very close look, the joint seems tighter at the top of the photo than at the bottom. If it gets tighter again out of frame, I'd say the jointer or technique might needs some adjustment, but if it remains about the same, maybe uneven clamping pressure?

Either way, if it bothers you, try the glue and sanding dust trick before cutting it apart again. That can disguise a small gap amazingly well.

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Wow this forum is super buggy. I cannot log into it on the app (network error), I have to open the forum as a web search. 

  As for my jointer, I have tried several squares and it is dead on. Strange thing I noticed is that the fence appears to be slightly warped. Like a defect. At the beginning edge of the feed side of the fence it is square and it stays square up until about the last few inches of the fence.  When I feed wood that is tall, against the fence, I focus on applying pressure hand over hand and not further than the cutting blades to hopefully rule out this as a potential issue. I have the Grizzly G0495X, which has a 8"x83" wing. I recently watched a youtuber and he pointed out that even if your planer fence is not square, you can still achieve a square glue up, as long as you alternate the board face length-wise so that when the faces line up, they have the exact opposite trapezoid-like face (if that makes sense), which is what I try to remember to do every time, no matter how square I think the fence is. The glue I use is either titebond 2 or possibly titebond 3, I am leaning toward 3. One thing I can mention is that I had a lot of open time, which may have been a little of my issue. I had put all 4 boards together and the clamps were not cooperating. I have a small shop with no assembly table currently, so I am gluing things up carefully on my brand new Sawstop saw surface. I have a piece of plywood down with a piece of craft paper over that. Side note, I have an assembly bench in the works as well... 

  At arms length? I have really good eyesight. I can see this seem from arms length and I am probably being over critical on my first big project of this type. I want to believe my skills are closing in on expert, but more likely considered still very novice (with some fancy tools).  

 As for the clamping pressure, you may be on to something. I read somewhere that you should have a clamp no more than 6" apart. I had quite a few on this glue up, but I am not saying that they were evenly spaced, or evenly clamped (pressure-wise). I watched another person on youtube that said you need to clamp them tightly enough to make good contact, but that a lot of newer woodworkers clamp wood together so tight, that they make things worse for themselves. So now, I am hesitant on clamping the wood with as tight as I can possibly make it. I just made some 4' wide parallel clamp boards that I sandwich the boards between and lightly clamp the wood (with alternating grain direction), while I apply the clamps that draw the joints together, in hopes of minimizing any joint wander or buckling. 

  To Nick's point, the jointer may need adjusting for sure. I unpackaged it, tested it out and was happy with the results, but the testing was on wood that I was just cleaning up, not gluing together. The machine has been in my shop less than a month and a lot of that month I wasn't even in the shop because of other tasks

  

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3 minutes ago, sapling111276 said:

Wow this forum is super buggy. I cannot log into it on the app (network error), I have to open the forum as a web search. 

I don’t experience this except on Sunday mornings when the host tends to update the servers. Might help to post in the support sun forum and list what browser and equipment you are using. 

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1 minute ago, Tpt life said:

I don’t experience this except on Sunday mornings when the host tends to update the servers. Might help to post in the support sun forum and list what browser and equipment you are using. 

Thank you Tpt. I guess I don't know enough about these things. Does the app highjack your current installed browser? I can log in from the browser, it is the app I have problem with

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If you are referring to the Tapatalk app, it is not related specifically to Woodtalk Online and the owners of this forum have no control over the app. It is a general forum access app that works with the forum software provider.

I tried it and hated it. I only access this forum through web browsers. Some people seem to be okay with it. 

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11 hours ago, treeslayer said:

Well @sapling111276 I’ll be honest, it could be better I think but it’s not bad IMO, what’s the other side look like? I ask because maybe your edge isn’t square to the face, how long is the board and what’s the length of your joiner ? And welcome back

Other side looks similar to this pic. As I mentioned in a lower reply, the jointer is new and the wings might need a good adjustment overall. I was avoiding this out of laziness and lack of knowledge, fully understanding that in order to get better with the jointer, that this was unavoidable.

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It looks to me like the clamps weren't tight enough. 

 

If a jointer is out of square even a fraction , you should be able to rotate the board top to bottom to solve this..

 

If you can see it now it will be worse finished..

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1 hour ago, BillyJack said:

It looks to me like the clamps weren't tight enough. 

 

If a jointer is out of square even a fraction , you should be able to rotate the board top to bottom to solve this..

 

If you can see it now it will be worse finished..

Yes, I mentioned that I rotated the boards length-wise, but meant top to bottom as you mentioned.

  I am going to finish it with a clear poly of some sort. I have the stuff at home, but can't recall at the moment. I believe the wife and I agreed on a few coats of tung oil, let it dry and then go over it with oil based poly, as this will end with a vessel sink sitting on the surface and wanted to protect it from splatter, etc.

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Last night I re-glued the center joint, this time focusing on a little more speed, so the glue got less air exposure. I purposely cut the boards a little wider than I needed, just in case there were mistakes.  Also, I focused on a little more clamp pressure. Prior to applying the glue, I laid the 2 halves next to each other and felt that it was darn close to fully square, edge to edge. With a dry clamp (lightly) the joint seemed to almost disappear, leaving me not feeling great about the other 2 joints. We live and we (hopefully) learn.  

  Is there such a thing as too much clamp pressure?

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Unless your just busting the boards up , no there's not too much pressure. In the cabinet shop many shops don't use a jointer but a glue line rip blade. I used a AMANA glue line rip blade. 

 

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There are many opinions on clamping pressure, but a good joint does not require a large amount of clamping pressure. As you increase clamping pressure you are increasing your chances of imparting some bow to the panel. Cauls can help avoid this, but the goal is to not have to clamp so tight that you start denting the wood. 

The rule you heard about having clamps no more than 6" apart is useless. Sometimes you will need clamps 2 inches apart, sometimes 2 feet apart is plenty. It's like the 1 year per inch of thickness drying rule. It is correct in some cases, but wrong in many.

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1 hour ago, JohnG said:

There are many opinions on clamping pressure, but a good joint does not require a large amount of clamping pressure. As you increase clamping pressure you are increasing your chances of imparting some bow to the panel. Cauls can help avoid this, but the goal is to not have to clamp so tight that you start denting the wood. 

The rule you heard about having clamps no more than 6" apart is useless. Sometimes you will need clamps 2 inches apart, sometimes 2 feet apart is plenty. It's like the 1 year per inch of thickness drying rule. It is correct in some cases, but wrong in many.

There are no opinions with cabinet makers, just hobby woodworkers. This was figured this out long before I was a cabinet maker...

 

You want to stop cups in panels? Alternate..

 

We use the same in pressure reguardless of the joint. 

When using machines it's always regulated. 

 

Many woodworkers dont know what's enough. It doesnt really vary when clamping panels.  Now if you clamping really  soft wood, you wouldn't need as much. 

 

Go to any professional shop. You'll find they clamp till no more glue comes out of the joint.  You'll hear  woodworkers say you starve the joint. That's an amateur talking. A productive shop glues up 35 panels a day. 

I was trained by professionals in the early 80's. I dont think after 37 years there training was incorrect. If so i would have had a lot of failures a long the way... I trained. Cabinet makers the same way I was trained. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, BillyJack said:

There are no opinions with cabinet makers, just hobby woodworkers. This was figured this out long before I was a cabinet maker...

 

You want to stop cups in panels? Alternate..

 

We use the same in pressure reguardless of the joint. 

 

When using machines it's always regulated. 

 

No, it’s just cabinetmakers that think their way is the only way. I’ve heard plenty of pro furniture makers give their opinions on it. Cabinetmakers are not the only pros out there.

You are really going to say that the same clamping is needed regardless of the thickness and width and shape of the pieces? That’s laughable. 

When you are gluing up your same size case with your same dimension plywood you can use the same clamping every time. 

But yes, alternating clamps is a good thing to do.

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You think,we know. Big difference..

Shops dont pay us to guess. We dont have that  experience to be guessing  or running to YouTube to figure it out.

Um....I was a pro  furniture maker. So your getting both opinions..

Situations are about knowledge. I wonder how many situations i was in  glueing up for 37 years

Do you read people's qualifications before you think a reply?

Oh wait...... it just says I'm a woodworker. I forgot I'm now retired. 

 

 

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I read through the above comments quickly. So, if someone already suggested this, I apologize for the repeat. When prepping boards for a panel glue-up I always alternate face in and face out as I pass them over the jointer. When I have all of the boards layed out on the table the way I want them, I mark them alternatively "in" and "out". Then when I pass them over the jointer, the "in" faces go against the jointer fence and the "out" faces are away from the fence. This compensates for any slight "out of squareness" and makes your joints much tighter. Hope this helps.

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At the furniture company we always did the reverse smiley faces with the grain. It helped with warping...

Sometimes with high end expensive projects you cant. 

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