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OliT

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Hi all,

I'm making my first table and was planning to buy a pre-glued up pine top for it for the sake of speed/efficiency. I was looking for something around 1300x850, and while I haven't had an extensive look, I haven't yet found anything suitable online.

Am I looking in the wrong place?

Alternatively, if I did glue it up myself, how would you recommend joining it together? I've seen a few examples of biscuit jointed tops, but don't (yet....) have a biscuit jointer. Dowels could be an options but potentially tricky to get exactly in the right place? I've seen a few examples on Youtube done with pocket screws; would that be strong enough?

Thoughts welcome...

Oli
 

Phil Pascoe

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If you wish to go down the biscuit route, you can buy cutters for a router. They're not perfect as the slot will be a slightly different shape, but they work. I used one for years.
 

OliT

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£37 for the trend router biscuit cutter bit vs £60 for an Erbauer biscuit jointer! Good idea though, I'll have a think.

Myfordman - I was leaning in that direction. How many sash clamps do you think I'd need? I'm planning to make it extendable so could glue in two halves to cut down on the number I need. I've got two 1200mm clamps but I suspect I'd need more?
 

Woody2Shoes

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OliT":3ipb1vju said:
£37 for the trend router biscuit cutter bit vs £60 for an Erbauer biscuit jointer! Good idea though, I'll have a think.

Myfordman - I was leaning in that direction. How many sash clamps do you think I'd need? I'm planning to make it extendable so could glue in two halves to cut down on the number I need. I've got two 1200mm clamps but I suspect I'd need more?
Or even about £24 for the Erbauer 1/4" router biscuit cutter set! (I've been happily using one for ages, and you'd then have 'spare' cash to buy biscuits). Re. clamps, don't forget the option of making your own with a few bits of scrap 2X2 or similar and some opposing wedges e.g. https://www.lumberjocks.com/stefang/blog/38086

Cheers, W2S
 

Phil Pascoe

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If you go the router cutter route, think to the future and think about an arbor - you can then use cutters of different sizes, with different sized bearings. It'll probably cost you more, but will be far more versatile in the long term.

https://www.wealdentool.com/index.html are as good if not better than Trend, and usually cheaper. Quick, as well.
 

AJB Temple

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I have made more mahogany (mostly) kitchen and utility room 2" think counter tops for my own property developments than I care to remember. 25 years now (where does the time go). Never used dowels or biscuit joints. Just super careful with edge prep and I usually glue with cascamite and clamp up hard with big sash cramps. I only had hand tools then apart from my Elu chop saw (which I still have as a back up).

Take your time and make sure you have perfectly mating surfaces. Honestly, if the internet and forums had been around when I did my first one, I would have been scared off. It's not that difficult. My first lot were so big I had to do them in situ and when fixed push up against the walls with clamps removed. Still there. Still no gaps.
 

OliT

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Wish I'd known sooner - I was 5 mins away from there last week! I quite like the idea of making my own (in some shape or form). Will think it over.

In terms of number of clamps, how many should I be looking at? (be that with opposing wedges or sash clamps)

Oli
 

oakmitre

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Ref the ebauer biscuit jointer. I had one. The top mounted thumb operated slide switch was very stiff and the jointer would always jump out of position when starting. With your thumb on top it was difficult to stop it jumping. I got a trigger operated SIP instead.
 

Myfordman

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In an ideal world i'd be using a clamps every 250-300mm but depending on budget and how much future use that you would see for clamps, alternating commercial clamps and home made wedge ones might be a better solution.

Do a dry fit first and dont rely on clamps to force gaps closed but instead plane the edges more accurately until the gaps close without force. Once glued dont tighten so much that all the glue is forced out. Put some clamps on the top and some underneath alternately and check for flatness, tweaking clamps as you go, then leave it alone for a minimum for a few hours depending on the type of glue you are using. most PVA glues with dry adequately in the joint after a few hours whilst the squeeze out is still soft and easily scraped off with a blunt chisel.
 

Sgian Dubh

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Myfordman":2zjwas0l said:
… Once glued dont tighten so much that all the glue is forced out. ...
That's guidance that could lead to applying too little pressure. To develop effective bonding in edge joinery the adhesive (assuming we're talking of PVA or aliphatic resin type emulsions) needs to penetrate the wood fibres by a few microns, and the glue film between the two pieces of wood needs only be approximately 3 microns thick.

Franklin, makers of several adhesives, including Titebond, recommend applying up to 250 lbs per square inch of pressure at glue-up time, all depending on the wood species. I suspect it's highly unlikely that manual tightening of sash cramps spaced every 150 mm or so along the length of an edge jointed panel would be able to achieve this amount of pressure.

What you seem to be warning against is what's known as 'glue starvation' allegedly achieved in old textbooks through the application of too much pressure; but in reality, even if anyone were to tighten sash cramps during edge joinery until veins bulge and sweat drips off their forehead through the effort they're unlikely (in my opinion) to reach that 250 lbs/inch number. There may be other reasons for not overtightening cramps, e.g., distorting the panel, but I don't think any of them relate to squeezing out too much adhesive, assuming sufficient glue was applied to the mating edges in the first place.

The link to the technical information page below about their PVA prepared by Franklin may be useful. Slainte.
http://www.franklinadhesivesandpolymers ... gular.aspx
 

Myfordman

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Sgian Dubh":240tf0of said:
Myfordman":240tf0of said:
… Once glued dont tighten so much that all the glue is forced out. ...
That's guidance that could lead to applying too little pressure. To develop effective bonding in edge joinery the adhesive (assuming we're talking of PVA or aliphatic resin type emulsions) needs to penetrate the wood fibres by a few microns, and the glue film between the two pieces of wood needs only be approximately 3 microns thick.

Franklin, makers of several adhesives, including Titebond, recommend applying up to 250 lbs per square inch of pressure at glue-up time, all depending on the wood species. I suspect it's highly unlikely that manual tightening of sash cramps spaced every 150 mm or so along the length of an edge jointed panel would be able to achieve this amount of pressure.

What you seem to be warning against is what's known as 'glue starvation' allegedly achieved in old textbooks through the application of too much pressure; but in reality, even if anyone were to tighten sash cramps during edge joinery until veins bulge and sweat drips off their forehead through the effort they're unlikely (in my opinion) to reach that 250 lbs/inch number. There may be other reasons for not overtightening cramps, e.g., distorting the panel, but I don't think any of them relate to squeezing out too much adhesive, assuming sufficient glue was applied to the mating edges in the first place.

The link to the technical information page below about their PVA prepared by Franklin may be useful. Slainte.
http://www.franklinadhesivesandpolymers ... gular.aspx
I stand suitably corrected whilst bowing to your superior knowledge Richard - if that does not turn out to be anatomicably impossible :lol:

Bob
 

OliT

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Inspector":alivi8j0 said:
Will a beech worktop do it for you? Being bigger than you said in the opening post you can cut it to size and finish the edges if it must be 1300 x 850. Being solid you can work any profile into it you like. https://www.bottltd.co.uk/workplace-sto ... h-top.html A maple top here would be about £180 give or take.

Pete
Quoted £480 for the beech top! That would buy me a lot more tools...
 

Inspector

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That's a good deal more than maple tops here. Understand though I was looking at a company that sells commercial and industrial but do sell to individuals like us. You can do searches more easily for industrial suppliers in the UK and find a range of prices. If that was one of the lower price suppliers then it isn't the way to go and am sorry to have misdirected you.

Pete
 

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I have used pine tongue and groove floorboards for a table top - not bad, but a little on the thin side. All the planks cupped, too, so it is now a rustic farmhouse pine table :)

I have also used two inch thick glue-laminate which makes for a very solid counter top -again in pine, because that it's the only wood that I can get hold of here. Looks like butcher's block, as the laminated blocks are very small and thin - probably 8" X 2". Works well, though. I shall rummage for photos.

2018_0517_0950_1.jpg
This one is the "rustic" tongue and groove. Please ignore bacon manufacturing - turns out we only photograph things happening on top of the table.

2017_0422_1604.jpg
and this one is the glue-laminate - apologies for the staged photo - it's from our rental website.
 

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