Tips For Square Glue-Ups
Follow these basic steps for flawless results
Synopsis: There’s no need for your glue-ups to be frantic and desperate; that’s what leads to open joints and out-of-square assemblies. Simply follow these basic steps before you glue up and your cases will be square. First, make sure all the components are sized correctly and all surfaces are flat. Then, make sure you have the proper clamping blocks and cauls, sized and configured to direct and distribute clamp pressure where you need it. Now, do a complete dry-fit before you glue. Something wrong? Learn how to correct it. Follow the tips in this Fundamentals, and your glue-ups will be less stressful, your joinery more professional.
From Fine Woodworking #226
The absolute worst time to try to solve a problem is when the glue is starting to tack. I watch my students scurry like mice in a maze, tracking down extra clamps to pull together a joint that just won’t budge. In desperation, out comes the claw hammer and then things really start a downward slide.
Frantic glue-ups create open joints and out-of-square assemblies, which in turn means that doors and drawers don’t fit. Sad to say, these wounds are usually self-inflicted. However, if you follow a few basic steps before and during the glue-up, you can approach this stressful time calmly and confidently.
First and foremost, gluing up a project needs to be viewed as the end of a process, not an isolated event. Proper alignment doesn’t just magically happen, but rather is the outcome of a well-executed plan.
Let’s start with design. For example, if I’m building a free-standing, open-front bookcase with fixed shelves, I’d feel comfortable using slats for the back. The glued shelves make up for the slats’ lack of rigidity. However, if inset doors are part of the design, and if…