Spread Glue On Thick

A couple of weeks back, I wrapped up a three-presentation series on curved components. The last of the series covered bent laminations. (Other parts of the series discussed brick laying and stacked laminations.) Glue application is key. You have to spread glue on thick.

Bent lamination work is a bit more involved because you have to have a form to bend your thin laminations around or against. Also, you’re working with six to 10 laminations, depending on the thickness of your end part. That requires a woodworker to spread glue on the laminations, and you have to do so before the first of the series begins to dry.

Forget using a toothbrush – my favorite gluing tool when assembling boards for a panel. You can also toss out your acid brush unless you have Flash-like speed. This glue-application process calls for the big guns. It calls for a foam roller.

And I suggest that you also thin your glue a little. Besides extending your open time, thinning the glue makes it easier to roll out the sticky stuff to a more level layer. Don’t go overboard, though.

I mixed about 15% water to glue in a separate plastic cup – no reason to thin the entire bottle. That way you can pour out an amount you think is right and use the roller to spread the glue. If you’re like me, you can then find a way to transfer the excess glue to the next lamination. I never got the poured-out amount correct.

When you get everything awash in glue, add your clamps and walk away until the glue dries. I was hesitant to pull the clamps the next day, but because this piece doesn’t have a specific use as of yet, I went for it. Surprisingly, the bent laminations held strong with only a spec of springback.

(You can purchase the three presentations individually using the links above, as a bundle to save a couple of dollars by clicking here.

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— Glen D. Huey

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