TIPS FOR FLAT, TIGHT RE­SULTS

The Family Handyman - - BEST PRO TIPS -

START WITH LONG STRIPS:

Be­fore cut­ting strips, cut your boards at least 1 in. longer than the fi­nal length of the cut­ting board. That way, you won’t have to align the ends per­fectly dur­ing glue-up. Trim off the im­per­fect ends after glue-up.

TUNE UP YOUR TA­BLE SAW:

Clean, pre­cise cuts are crit­i­cal. Grab a square and make sure the blade is square to the table­top. Also check that the fence is per­fectly par­al­lel to the blade. Your owner’s man­ual will show you how. This is a good time to in­stall a fresh, sharp rip­ping blade too.

LAY OUT THE STRIPS:

Ar­range the strips with their best faces up. Then mark a guide­line across them. Dur­ing glue-up, that line will help you keep them ar­ranged cor­rectly (see photo, right). Also check the over­all width of the com­bined strips.

DO A DRY RUN:

Once you start to spread glue, you have to work fast. So first clamp and caul the cut­ting board with­out glue. This dress re­hearsal will re­veal prob­lems like a mis­fit joint or alert you to the need for an­other clamp.

RIP THIN STRIPS SAFELY

Cut­ting thin strips with just the fence is dan­ger­ous and leads to bad cuts. This sim­ple jig will keep your fin­gers far from the blade and will pre­vent strips from get­ting trapped along the fence. It’s ex­actly 5 in. wide, so you get 1/4-in. strips, for ex­am­ple, by set­ting the fence set at 5-1/4 in. I used it to cut all the strips that were thin­ner than 1 in. and then cut wider strips against the fence us­ing a push stick.

CAULS KEEP IT FLAT

To guar­an­tee a flat glue-up, I cut three pairs of cauls from a 2x6 and taped the edges to keep glue from stick­ing. I set the strips on the lower cauls, ap­plied a gen­er­ous bead of glue to both sides of ev­ery other strip and lightly tight­ened the up­per cauls. I added clamps, ap­ply­ing only light pres­sure at first. Then I grad­u­ally tight­ened down both the cauls and clamps, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween them.

3/4" x 5" x 23" Cleat Cleat pushes board for­ward Guard re­moved for photo clar­ity— use yours!

Caul Guide­line

2" 1/2" hole 5/16" hole 3/8" x 5" lag bolt and washer 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 20" Duct tape

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