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Glueing up a bookmatch top

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Hi there. I just got a bunch of wood in off of the almighty ebay. I had bought one of the tops aldready glued up as a bookmatch but unfortunately the USPS was a little rough with it and it seprated on the seam. Does anyone have a step by step process on how this is properly done? Specifically tools, etc. I do not have a joiner. I searched the forum but could not find anything.

Thanks a bunch.


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If it's a clean break, you may be able to get by without doing anything to it. It would be better if you could remove the old glue because chances are that's going to effect any repair work you do.

In either case, lets ignore that for the moment.

If you don't have the book by Melvyn Hiscock yet, I and everyone else will recommend that you get it ASAP. It answers a lot of questions about this sort of thing.

Basically what he does to glue the cap together is to use two parallel rows of nails, a dowel, and wood glue. Each half of the cap is placed (side by side) between the rows of nails. The seam between the cap is placed on the dowel. There should be a gap visible between the 2 halves and each outside edge should be snug against the nails. Run a bead of glue in the gap and remove the dowel from under the cap. They will fall together and the nails will "clamp" the two halves together.

Make sure the surface is flat and use a sheet of wax paper under it to catch any glue that splops out.

Hope that helps.

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I recently ordered a figured maple top and it arrived in two pieces. The edges of each piece weren't jointed sufficiently to glue up using the method described by Jehle (I agree, don't wait to buy Melvyn Hiscock's book :D ) and I don't have a jointer. Besides, on pieces this thin (about 3/8") a jointer may not be the best solution.

I do have a hand plane though - an inexpensive Stanley plane I bought at a hardware store years ago. I used a scrap piece of MDF that was as long as the top pieces as a "shooting board" or a straightedge guide for the plane. The technique was to place the MDF, which is very straight on it's factory edge, on my work bench, and clamp the two pieces of maple to it with the edges to be jointed just proud of the edge of the MDF. I then laid my plane on it's side, which is perpendicular to the bottom where the blade is, and then planed the edges flat. What I got was a joint that fit nicely and was easily glued as per above.

My guess is that my explanation isn't clear. Sorry if not. Good luck.

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