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best clamp for gluing boards together?

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  • best clamp for gluing boards together?

    In your experience, what kind of clamp gives you a nice tight bond when gluing two boards together?

    The pipe clamps I am using really stink. They are all I have right now but I think it's time to get something better. My board sometimes (almost always) ends up cupping. It's hard to get the right pressure in the right place because the are so cumbersome.

    Thanks.
    Keith

  • #2
    Hi , i have Many types of clamps....started out with pipe clamps because of the type of larger work i needed to glue up usually NOT over 4 foot. i usually used a clamp about every 12-14 inches to keep all horizontal pressure even......and usually worked with no wider than 10 inch wide boards......as my work deminished in size i went to bar clamps and found them to be better in SOME cases...now i'm working with locking hand clamps......much smaller in size but also designed for a different type of clamping...as you get int your crafts you will find that every type of clamp has a its own type of work. IF YOU OVERTIGHTEN any clamp you can have distortion, cupping and cause warpage.also the way you position the boards edge to edge can be a problem...clamps must be reasonably equal in pressure. you will spend a lot of cash on types and styles. i found the best clamps are home made clamps.... a flat table surface with predrilled 3/4" holes and some 3/4" pegs and some wedges and you have one of the best designed clamps you cound want for glue ups..

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    • #3
      Pipe clamps work very well for me. I put them on their back with jaws upward. The main thing is the boards being joined must be straight edge to get a good bond. That can be accomplished with a router table (for small pieces) or a jointer or a table saw with a sharp blade. If you alternate the grains from smily ) to frown ( looking at the end of the boards, you should have very stable boards to work with (much better than a single wide board). Never put too much pressure on the clamp as you will squeeze out all the glue. I use yellow wood glue, Titebond II, and spred glue on both edges, and don't hurry, let the glue soak in a bit and the adhesion will be tighter. Clean up with a chisel, and sand with a drum sander about 24 hours, if you can wait that long. If you sand them too soon, you might have a slight cavity on the seam where the water-based glue had dried out and shrunk. I have found that Elmers clogs my sandpaper. Don't use a thickness planer to remove glue, it will destroy or knick your knives.
      Enjoy your scrolling,
      Norman

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      • #4
        It really is project dependant for me. I use spring camps an assortment of “quick grip clamps for the small stuff. For the longer reaches I use bar clamps. I have one 4’ Jorgensen cabinet master clamp. I really like it and have it on my birthday and Christmas gift list. Much to my surprise I have no pipe clamps?
        Rolf
        RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
        Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
        Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
        And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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        • #5
          As others have mentioned, getting good results on panel glue-ups is as much about technique & prep as it is about the clamps. I'll use pipe clamps for larger jobs, but I mostly use bar clamps, especially for smaller panels and thinner stock. Sometimes I'll even use Irwin Quick clamps for smaller jobs that don't require a lot of clamping pressure. I use cauls when glueing multiple boards together for panels to help keep them flat. It can also help to alternate placement of the clamps, one on top and the next on the bottom. But the most critical thing is that the edges of the boards must be perfectly straight & square or your panel will almost certainly be bowed.

          When glueing panels, I raise the boards up off the bench several inches, high enough for my clamps to easily fit underneath. I have several blocks made, of various sizes, that are simply 2 pieces of wood, fastened together forming a right angle. I put clear tape on the edges that contact the panel, so any excess glue won't stick. This makes it easier to have the panel situated with cauls placed on the ends to hold it together. Then I can line the clamps up and snug them without having to hold everything and worry about stuff shifting. Apply light pressure to each clamp, then gradually increase the pressure on each one until the joints are tight and glue starts to squeeze out.
          Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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