Seeking for advise on how to…..steps….how to approach on making a commission 13foot by 25inches edge grain counter top…..when one only have a 20 plainer ??
Also, I’m quite concern on the how to glue it all up within the glue ( titebond-3) open time even if it’s quite long ( +/- 15-20min) ?? ( I don’t have a clamping rack…..but lotss of clamps !!)
All the necessary wood needed to make such a pieces ( 25 x 156”) appears to me, not just intimidating, although I’ve been making woodworking for a living for over 15yrs, I’ve never had to make such a long (multi segmented) lamination….. as a challenge I’ve never had to face before.
Any suggestion from one who has actually done some would be very appreciated !
Just to try to understand your question, lets see if your edge grain is what you mean. This term usually means a softwood, like fir which is quarter sawn, showing the annual rings from the edge, rather than the broad pattern of plain sawing.
Beyond that, how many pieces in the glue up? What species, and how thick?
Beyond that, I would suggest you glue up two segments that you can surface, then glue them together, and finish with hand planes or sander.
Before you go too far you may want to check the availability of 13' or better stock in the desired species. Here out West I have had a hard time finding longer than 12'
stock at least in hardwoods .Which can change design plans.
Keith, David & D Brown....I all want to thank you for your input and advices, but, through all respect to your recommendation, this is not quite what I'm hopping to read neither what I'm asking for advice !...
It's in the "how" more than anything !
D. Brown, to you concern, I thank you again, but bear in mind, I've been doing this for a living over 15yrs, I've got good resources, not to worry ;0) !
But for this concern, lengthwise, it will but but jointed with figer joints, and laminated to position those in a brick layer fashion, therefore length is of no concern.... if ever !!!
Simply, I've never laminated such a final size piece before and it ( at this point) appears intimidating to tackle / make.....and not to say, to finalise the output almost perfect, to perfect :0) !
Concerns : Gluing method / approach.
Then....flattening / ( say plaining) this +/- 26" rough width before the finished 25" x 13ft
In the past, all my experience laminating was/is based on smaller manageable ( to me) pieces... ( Biggest is in the range of +/- 30 x 96 or less with regular flat grain pattern)....this one, is new & different to me !
Thanks again, for any direct advise of those concern !
When I had to make a 16 ft long glue up I built a plywood torsion box and used that as a glue up bench. For your project, I would build one about 14 ft long and about 18 inches wide. I'd glue up two sections about 13" wide and about 1/4" thicker than your final thickness, and I'd use plastic resin glue as already recommended. Then run those sections through your planer with whatever infeed and outfeed support you need to prevent snipe. I'd leave it about 1/16" thick. Joint a straight edge on both sections then glue them together using Dominos or a hidden spline to make sure they align as perfectly as possible. If you worked carefully you should be able to make it perfect with nothing more than a ROS, otherwise, take it to someone with a wide belt sander to make it all flush and flat.
It's big and it will get heavy, but it's pretty straight forward work. Having help during glue up and moving the pieces around would be very helpful.
Thanks John....I like this two halves alternative / approach but !!....
What I've experienced in the past doing this is the jointing of those two halves, is the joint itself !..... it's never quite....a clean tight no gap joint as if all done at once !
What's your approach to this ?
Sub it out. I have a small but well-equipped shop. I have built large solid counters and spent way too much time machining the sticks and gluing. My last kitchens I subbed to a shop that specializes in slabs. I was able to specify grain orientation, colour matching details, etc. The countertops arrived ten days later and were better than I could have done.
I have begun in my old age to know when others can do specific jobs better than I. Sometimes taking on a project because it is a challenge may not be wise for your business or for your customer.
I hope you don't take this as a criticism of you or your work. I only want you to think through all the alternatives.
Oh yeah, the joint between the two slabs can be a challenge because clamps aren't going to squeeze out any gaps if you don't get them to fit well. I try to make sure the mating edges are as perfect as possible before I glue up the two halves, and I use a backer board so the clamps don't damage those edges. Once the two halves are planed I test to see how well they fit together. A little error with dark colored woods won't show, but with maple or something similar they have to fit really well.
If they aren't too far off I use a hand plane to adjust them until they fit well. For larger errors I've used a long router bit with the router riding against a straight edge clamped to the slab. And I once used a power hand plane with a vertical fence screwed to it and that fence riding against a straight edge clamped to the slab, in the same way as the router approach. That worked surprisingly well.
The last approach I've never done with slabs, but I have with seaming counter tops and see no reason it won't work. You put the two slabs close together and then run the router along a straight edge such that the bit cuts along the joint of both slabs at the same time. Any deviation in one slab will be the mirror image in the other. So if you put 7/16" spacers between the slabs and cut the joint with a 1/2" bit, you'll be taking 1/32" off each slab, as an example. If the slab is too thick for the bit to reach to the bottom, just do it as far as it will reach, then flip them over and do the remainder with a bottom bearing flush cut bit. I hope that all makes sense.
Robert - First, get good help, if you don't hire a professional shop to do this.
Here is how we go about it:
Rip out stock to the oversizes you need. Face and edge every piece on a proper joiner to establish square. Plane to a good oversize. - near final thickness, and to the final width of each part. Plane all 4 sides for face integrity. Square cut the ends that need to butt together. Scarf the two outside edges if they are not full length. Set up your clamps and go thru the procedure with your help. Make sure shop, lumber, glue, all is over 70 degrees and then mix your glue.
Do not put glue on two pieces that will be in the center. In other words, you are going to glue up a two piece top all at one time, full width, with a dry joint in the center. Paint glue on the butts (finger joints are structural and ugly - no need for either here) and clamps are snugged, tap the end of those parts so they snug up. Tighten clamps as you level the parts, a pipe clamp about every 12 inches or so, half of them below the assembly, and half above.
Once the glue is set, you will have two full length parts, that can each be faced and planed to final thphickness thru that 20" machine, then glued together easily, since any vagaries in the original glue up are still there for the second glue-up. You need to do nothing to the mating long edges beyond making sure there is no dried glue on them, so they will go back and mate perfectly. Sand carefully, and you are good to go.
Love this approach..."they will go back and mate perfectly. Sand carefully, and you are good to go"....In my 15ys as a PRO furniture making ( not edge grain countertops)...i'd never thought of this nor read this...Yep, love it, and that's.....a good to go as you say :0) !
Thanks for this valuable tip.
That' why I keep coming back at Woodweb @_# !!
I have a small but well-equipped shop. I have built large solid counters and spent way too much time machining the sticks and gluing. My last kitchens I subbed to a shop that specializes in slabs. I was able to specify grain orientation, colour matching details, etc. The countertops arrived ten days later and were better than I could have done. -
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