The full-size table: Gluing up the top

After prepping the boards that will make up the table top, it is now time to glue them up. Due to their sheer size, I do this in stages, two boards at a time. Doing it this way removes much of the anxiety associated with large glue-ups.

I apply sufficient glue to get some squeeze out and, using several clamps while carefully lining up the edges as I go, I gradually start clamping down from the center toward the edges. When finished, I normally want a small bead of glue all along the glue line, on both sides of the boards being glued. I then wipe down much of the excess; and, when the remaining glue starts to gel, I scrape it off. The following photo shows one half of the table top immediately after tightening the last clamp; note the size of the glue bead I get (click on the image to enlarge it):


Once I remove the bulk of the remaining glue I check for flatness, using a good straight edge; the two glue-ups I did today were perfectly flat – a pleasing result after the work that has gone into these so far.


No doubt, the nice flat surface is the result of spending the time with a hand plane to touch up the board edges, in preparation for the glue-up.

Next: I will glue the two sets of boards I glued up today. At that point the entire table top will be ready for sanding to final thickness. Since I don’t have a machine that will take this huge slab, I will use a friend’s wide belt sander. Later I will use another friend’s slider to cut the top to final length on his table saw. I hope to document those two critical steps soon.

I think my newly-found muscles are starting to feel better. They ached for two solid days. And, to quote Peter McDonald, one of James Patterson’s characters, today “…everything was copacetic…” (1)

(1) The Season of the Machete, Page 75,  James Patterson, 1980

Related post: The Full-Size Table – the Beginning



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