Author Topic: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top  (Read 2811 times)

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Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« on: June 03, 2019, 10:00 AM »
Hi All;

I wanted to seek the wisdom of the crowd on a project I'm working on. I'm using 12x100 Dominos to do a glue up on some 1 1/2 in thick walnut boards to make a 48" round kitchen table top. I'm starting out with 8, roughly 6-7" wide boards in a square. I'll use my OF1400 and the Rockler circle jig to cut it.

I've done this before but on a smaller scale. I was curious to know if you would do all the mortising and gluing up at one time, or split it into smaller pieces? As an example glue up 4 boards for each half on one day and then glue the two halves together the next day?

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Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5845
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 10:09 AM »
Its really all personal preference . The last time I did someting like that I did in 3 glues ups. one for one half, one for te other half then one glueing them together.

Only thing I would caution you on is the placement of the dominos. Make sure they are far enough away from the edges so when you cut out your top you wont expose the dominos.

dont ax me how I know that


Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 10:45 AM »
Thanks for your reply, beautiful table you made there!

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2690
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 10:51 AM »
I always try to do the glue ups in incremental steps. That way, I lower my risk of a major screw up. It's also less stressful. I'd recommend drawing the outline of your tables circumference on the boards BEFORE drilling the mortises.

I also always do a dry fit using sanded tenons. I get two benefits. One, I know the pieces will fit. Two, I will know my step by step glue up  process will actually work.

Please post pictures of your project.
Birdhunter

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 10:55 AM »
Thanks for the advice, I will post the pics as I go. I was planning on tracing the outline of the circle and then making sure the Dominos were well within the circle. I did make a smaller one last year out of wormy chestnut and one of the Dominos does show on the edge. That table is a bar top table, lots of character in it, bow ties etc so the exposure of the Domino looks kind of cool. But not on my wife's kitchen table!

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 11:00 AM »
I've laid out the boards and rough scribed the circle. I changed the layout of the boards after this pic was taken, so this isn't the final layout.

I'll be gluing them up today or tomorrow and will then cut the circle later in the week.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 6475
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 12:04 PM »
I always do glue-up in stages...less stressful and easier to fully remove any squeeze-out.

Beautiful lumber by the way.  [smile]

Offline Brian Livingstone

  • Posts: 184
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 12:43 PM »
Hi,

Make sure you do the glue up before you cut the circle.  Don't ax me how I know.

I rough cut the circle on a 4 foot round table a few years ago before gluing up.  It seemed to make sense at the time.  It didn't make much sense when I tried to apply the clamps.

I did get a sticker for doing this.  Although it wasn't the kind of sticker we all covet.

Brian
Kapex, TS75, MFT, OF1010, OF2200, DTS400 REQ, Parallel guide rails, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900, 3000 guide rail, Domino 500, CT36, CT Midi, , RS2E, RO150, Boom Arm, Crown stops, 6 drawer Sortainer, Carvex, Syslite II, Festool safety glasses must start to wear.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1238
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 12:46 PM »
Back when American Woodworker magazine was still alive, they featured a column about readers' goofs and blunders ($100 for each accepted story), yours would certainly qualify for one of their prizes! [big grin] (I hope you kept the offcuts for the glue-up.)

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 01:46 PM »
Thanks to all for your tips, advice and comments. I will post pics as I go. I like the idea of doing the glue ups in stages. I will do the cut after the glue up too.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1840
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 01:56 PM »
I rough cut the circle on a 4 foot round table a few years ago before gluing up.  It seemed to make sense at the time.  It didn't make much sense when I tried to apply the clamps.
You could rough cut without rounding and still successfully glue-up. Gives you the flexibility to incorporate shorter pieces. Even easier if you do it in sections starting from the middle. Always surprised me how much wood people waste  making round tables.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 01:59 PM by Svar »

Offline kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 832
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2019, 06:40 PM »
This extremely easy to do and low stress, in a single session using a slow cure West System epoxy and 5mm Dominos. The epoxy minimizes the reveal lines you get with typical water based PVA glues like Titebond products. I just did 2 44" x 1 1/4" white ash tables for a customer in an afternoon. When dry, the tops sanded with a ETS150/5 EC and were cut on a bandsaw with a 1" Lenox Woodmaster CT in a single rotation with an Aigner Circle Jig.











« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 06:47 PM by kcufstoidi »

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2019, 09:10 AM »
Very impressive! I like the idea of the West Systems, I may try that next time. Do you put a roundover on the edge of your tables?

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2019, 09:12 AM »
One other question for the group - I'm going to use my OF1400 router and a 1/2 Whiteside upcut bit to cut the circle (dont have a bandsaw) - would it be okay to use a 1/4 bit instead of the 1/2?

Wondering if a 1/4 bit is up to that much cutting in walnut?

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1238
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2019, 09:23 AM »
I cut circles on the table saw. Do you have a jigsaw? 1/4 bit would work easier if you rough circle-cut your glue-up first.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 10:09 AM by ChuckM »

Online RKA

  • Posts: 1756
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2019, 10:20 AM »
One other question for the group - I'm going to use my OF1400 router and a 1/2 Whiteside upcut bit to cut the circle (dont have a bandsaw) - would it be okay to use a 1/4 bit instead of the 1/2?

Wondering if a 1/4 bit is up to that much cutting in walnut?

I would use a 1/2" bit.  1/4" could work provided you rough cut pretty tight to the final line (1/8" or less) with a jigsaw.  The problem is the blade can drift or you might wander a little over the line trying to stay that tight.  I've made that mistake once (fortunately the final diameter wasn't critical) and now give myself a little extra clearance.  It's a little easier to stay 1/4" off the line (or more) and finish with the 1/2" bit.  Also, with 1 1/2" depth material I would want to go full depth.  A 1/2" shank bit is really better for this sort of thing. 
-Raj

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2019, 10:31 AM »
Yes, I have a Carvex and was thinking of getting the circle cutting guide. But I've used the router method before and it worked really well.

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2019, 10:34 AM »
The 1/2 and 1/4 I was referring to was the cutting diameter. They're both 1/2 shank.  It just seemed to me that using a 1/4 cutting diameter would be removing less material therefore less dust, less stress etc. But I wasn't sure if a 1/4 CD bit was just to narrow for this sort of thing.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5845
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2019, 11:03 AM »
it would work, IMO, just have to take smaller cuts and adj yer speed to prevent burning

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2019, 11:45 AM »
Would the 1/2 bit be less prone to overheating and burning than the 1/4?

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1238
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2019, 12:00 PM »
Would the 1/2 bit be less prone to overheating and burning than the 1/4?
The difference is too small to have an impact on the edge outcome. What matters more is the feed rate, grain direction, and dust collection.

If you are concerned about burns, use a two-step approach: rout the first circle a hair larger, and then reset the circle jig to cut to final diameter. More work, but better chance for a burns-free result.

Same technique applies to routing a pattern on the edge.

Online RKA

  • Posts: 1756
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2019, 01:17 PM »
At some point the shaft has to neck down to 1/4", so that weak point is still there.  The more you want to hog out, the less desirable the smaller bit becomes.  I try to remove under 1/2 of the cutting diameter on the bit when doing stuff like this.  In some cases I'll just take multiple passes to stay under that limit.
-Raj

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1045
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2019, 02:43 PM »
@LloydM I'd also suggest not trying to do this in a full depth cut. Make more than one pass at the thing.

I like ChuckM's advice on a slightly larger circle at first (once again in multiple passes) and then maybe do final pass at full depth for the finish.

Ron

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2019, 02:51 PM »
Thanks for all the great tips, yes the last time (and the only time) that I did this I did do it in multiple passes. I'm thinking it's going to take 4 or 5 passes. The Rockler Eliptical jig that I used is solid in terms of maintaining it's position so I don't need to worry much about  going off track

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2677
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2019, 03:17 PM »
Lots of small passes is the easy way to do this. It will result in a good cut and will put less strain on the router and bit.

Offline LloydM

  • Posts: 15
Re: Suggestions for gluing up a walnut table top
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2019, 03:48 PM »
Hi everyone, I cut the circular table top with a half inch spiral up cut bit. It worked perfectly. I’ve got another question for the group though I’m trying to put a 1/16 inch round over on the edge using my Mf700 router.

But despite changing the settings the bit is not actually touching the wood. It’s almost as if that circle is not allowing the cutting portion of the bit to come in contact with the wood. I don’t know if this is a limitation of the MF 700 router or just a problem routing the outside edge of a circle?