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1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

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  • 1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

    Overall, things didn't go too bad for a first table top glue up. I practiced dry setup several times, so I'd be used to it under the pressure of drying glue

    Used a straight bit in the router table and the gluing edges came out pretty darn good, but didn't have a planer to make the tops flat on the 4-S poplar I used. As hard as I tried to make the top smooth I still ended up with those pesky little(1/32") ridges. I tried a few cauls during dry fit up, but they didn't seem to affect the 1/32" ridges I attached a photo of my process in hopes that maybe there's more that I can do to eliminate the ridges on the next glue up.

    Ok, so now that I have a table top with ridges, how do I get rid of them and end up with a smooth table top? Hand plane, sand, putty and paint?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: 1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

    Hand planing something that large is a pretty ambitious project of you are a novice at planing. You will need a variety of planes (ie from a Stanley #7 or 8 down to a #4) to really get it flat. A belt sander would be one option to start, finishing with a ROS.

    If you do handplane it, start out going 45 degrees to the length and stay with the grain. If the boards alternate grain, handplaning is not a good option, as you will get a lot of tear out with the poplar if you go against the grain.

    Some have made a jig to hold a router than will flatten it.

    For future ref: Cauls only work if the boards are flat to start with. Using dowels or biscuits indexed to the top will give you a smooth joint, but not necessarily a flat surface.

    Another option is finding a cabinet shop near you that has a surface sander wide enough to handle the table top.

    Go
    Practicing at practical wood working

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    • #3
      Re: 1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

      belt sand it. you may want to practise on some scrap first to make sure you don't gouge your project.

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      • #4
        Re: 1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

        Its very dificult to get glue ups to line up absulutely perfect. You will almost always need to do some degree of flattening. A belt sander is one of the easiest ways to go about it. If you don't have one you can even get around with a random orbit sander if the ridges arent too big. Start with some very coarse grit paper like 60. It will take a lot longer but the result can be very good.

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        • #5
          Re: 1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

          I think belt sanding followed by ROS will be the route I take. Do you all think that I should belt sand at 45 deg. to the glue lines to avoid dishing? Knowing me, unintentionaly I would end up concentrating on the glue line areas while sanding with the grain.

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          • #6
            Re: 1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

            Yes work at a 45 degree angle and remove material evenly, not just over the joints. You'll end up with valleys on the surface. Once you have it cleaned out and leveled enough move to the next finest grit and sand in the direction of the grain.

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            • #7
              Re: 1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

              First I want to thank you all for your input. Practiced my belt sanding technique on the bottom of the glue up. I let the weight of machine do the work. I only applied enough pressure to guide the sander at 45 deg to the glue line, and checked my progress often. The bottom came out good. I used the same technique on the top and got slightly better results. I have to admit that I got a couple of gouges and a couple of dips in the top when the sander got away from me, but realized that I wasn't going to fix them with the belt sander. Besides, whatever tomorrows ROS sanding doesn't fix will just add character to the table. Thanks again.

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              • #8
                Re: 1st Glue Up - How To Fix Those Ridges

                it does take practise, but the effort is worth it in the long run! If you enjoy the belt sander, you can get speciality belts for grits up to 360, which can save a heck of a lot of time for sanding large panels.

                www.woodworkingshop.com

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