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Thread: Glued up Bartop Slab Attachment... Help?

  1. #31
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    Buy 20’ boards.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  2. #32
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    While I agree with Brian that in the ideal world "really long boards" would be nice, they might not be all that available in the quality required and machining them might also be a challenge. If that is the case where you are, specific to your question, yes, if you need to extend length, I'd stagger the joints and personally, I'd use a Dominos, dowels or biscuits to help with alignment. You also need to absolutely be certain that the two boards being joined end-to-end are exactly the same width. Based on the photos, I see no issue to fastening your glued up surface to the existing substrate from the bottom with screws/bolts as previously discussed. You'll want to make the surfaces a hair wider than the substrate so that expansion across the grain will not cause a problem because you'll also likely want to have a thicker edge on the bar top to hide the substrate below it.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    While I agree with Brian that in the ideal world "really long boards" would be nice, they might not be all that available in the quality required and machining them might also be a challenge. If that is the case where you are, specific to your question, yes, if you need to extend length, I'd stagger the joints and personally, I'd use a Dominos, dowels or biscuits to help with alignment. You also need to absolutely be certain that the two boards being joined end-to-end are exactly the same width. Based on the photos, I see no issue to fastening your glued up surface to the existing substrate from the bottom with screws/bolts as previously discussed. You'll want to make the surfaces a hair wider than the substrate so that expansion across the grain will not cause a problem because you'll also likely want to have a thicker edge on the bar top to hide the substrate below it.
    This.

    Only I would almost certainly build this in place. Secure a board from below, clamp the next one end to end with domino and clamp from below. You may have to make 2 really long bar clamps but pipe clamps are excellent at this. Temp screws can be used to hold everything solid until the boards are ready for finish. The next board in width gets clamped down and clamped to the long grain joint with traditional woodworking clamps. Wash rinse repeat. Either wax paper below and lift the bar periodically to remove or I would shellac the plywood and wax it really well before glue up and leave it. Any glue squeeze that hits ply from below should (great word isn't it?) not stick enough limit the boards.

    For a 15K bartop I would drive and buy a Festool Rotex and dust extractor right meow. With that, good practice in milling and gluing and its a couple hours to prep for finish once everything is glued up and the final slotted attachments are in.

    Also I am with a few others. Scrap the red oak and get something dense. Rift/1/4 sawn white with grain pore filler would be good and is a personal favorite. Maple would be another excellent choice.

    P.S. I did this with an open stairwell top before I learned a few things and the end joints absolutely need something to hold them together on plane. Mine has separated on the surface because of little twists and the like. Now I would add a couple small dominoes and it would stay flat.

    Do some research of commercial finishes. You will have to redo it often compared to a home bar. I would probably use Behlen's Rockhard and plan on a refinish every few years or so. Spray is my choice but that will be much more effort 3 years from now when the shop is in service. A brush on varnish should be able to be sanded smooth with sterated sandpaper and recoated. Advantage is you KNOW what the finish is so there is less guess work. Worst case is you do a complete mechanical stripping and refinish.

    P.S.S. Honestly I hate hand finishing so much I would probably use Target Conversion varnish and mask and plastic everything next time.

    Sounds like a cool project, cant wait to see it.

    Joe
    JC Custom WoodWorks

    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

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  4. #34
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    My amateur opinion would be to create boards of equal length using half lap or scarf joints. Then mill as one board for final glueup. That's from prior experience of trying to create a staggered glueup and having issues getting perfect end to end joinery. That could certainly just be deficiencies in my skill.

    I'd anchor it to the substrates by routing slots in the plywood and attaching with washers as described elsewhere in this thread.

  5. #35
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    Give these guys a call: https://www.horizonwood.com

    Horizon are very reasonably priced for a premium product (super premium in my experience) and specialize in this kind of thing. I'd see if they have long lengths, or can make long lengths. Otherwise I'd want to see a unique way of joining two identical slabs. Don't need to deal with a local supplier, shipping is super easy for wood, you just pay money.

    If you can't make the length, buy a boule (the entire log) so that you can flip two boards and match them end to end and join in a fashion which looks intentional.

    IMO, I would move on from the idea of a glue up, you're making a huge amount of work for yourself and the finish product will be much worse for it if I'm being completely frank. Find someone local with big enough equipment. Flatten the slabs, sand the slabs, install the slabs, then finish sand the slabs and finish. If you intend to use a commercial finish, spray the bottom, install, finish top, spray the top in short order (not days, hours).

    Don't finish yourself, bring in a professional that knows his stuff. Sand if you have the equipment, otherwise hire someone with the right equipment to do it for you.

    If you can't find someone local, send them to someone such as Darcy Warner who flattens giant slabs regularly.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  6. #36
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    What I propose might seem radically different but:

    - I'd use 1/8"-3/16" (max) thick shop sawn boards and glue them (as veneer) to plywood
    - Regarding the issue of length, I'd put all those veneers at 45 degree side by side, and that way you only need about 50" or so long boards.
    - That would easily take care of that miter corner as the boards don't need to rotate, it just continues in the same 45 degree diretion.
    - I'd cover the edges with a thick board as edge banding.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mreza Salav View Post
    What I propose might seem radically different but:

    - I'd use 1/8"-3/16" (max) thick shop sawn boards and glue them (as veneer) to plywood
    - Regarding the issue of length, I'd put all those veneers at 45 degree side by side, and that way you only need about 50" or so long boards.
    - That would easily take care of that miter corner as the boards don't need to rotate, it just continues in the same 45 degree diretion.
    - I'd cover the edges with a thick board as edge banding.
    Great idea!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    Great idea!
    Thanks. Forgot to add that it'll likely a lot less $$ and no back breaking job to handle super large boards (planing/joining/sanding etc).

  9. #39
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    I have nothing to add as to technique for construction.

    But I do have a suggestion for dealing with the players. The sub contractor was hired by the GC. You hired the GC, your conversations should be with him not the sub. The reason for this is that the GC is the guy you pay, he understands that your unhappiness can cause him issues getting paid. The sub recognizes that you are not a professional and therefore feels that he can disregard what you think. He could care less about what a bunch of guys on some forum think or what you read in a magazine somewhere. If'n it were me I would ask the GC to show me some bars this guy built a few years ago to see how they have stood up. Sub contractors generally would rather poke their own eyes out than deal directly with the owner. Well, most of the ones I have known anyhow.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by mreza Salav View Post
    What I propose might seem radically different but:

    - I'd use 1/8"-3/16" (max) thick shop sawn boards and glue them (as veneer) to plywood
    - Regarding the issue of length, I'd put all those veneers at 45 degree side by side, and that way you only need about 50" or so long boards.
    - That would easily take care of that miter corner as the boards don't need to rotate, it just continues in the same 45 degree diretion.
    - I'd cover the edges with a thick board as edge banding.
    You'd be surprised how much force that veneer would exert on the plywood when it starts moving. Something's going to give, eventually. Most likely splitting of the veneer, all over.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny means View Post
    You'd be surprised how much force that veneer would exert on the plywood when it starts moving. Something's going to give, eventually. Most likely splitting of the veneer, all over.
    Obviously for a bartop moisture is the biggest concern so it would need to be sealed very well. Doing that effectively will reduce the moisture caused expansion. The plywood is very stable as a base and when the veneers are laminated to the plywood the whole assembly should be very stable. It would seem this should work very well.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny means View Post
    You'd be surprised how much force that veneer would exert on the plywood when it starts moving. Something's going to give, eventually. Most likely splitting of the veneer, all over.
    Isn't that how plywood is actually made? I've laminated 1/8" thick solid wood to plywood and it is still as solid as day 1, after years.
    You need to have moisture control for sure and if that is maintained to a reasonable range I don't see why it wouldn't work.

  13. #43
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    I have a good source here in Austin for 3/4" 4S boards. (Which is what I was planning on using). Can get lengths up to 16 - 20 feet. But of course are not joint worthy straight. (Some crook typically).
    I was planning to build on site (I can't handle long boards in my garage workshop and certainly can't transport the finished slab if I built it in my garage).

    I'm not sure why a glued up slab would be a problem Brian? The top will have to be flattened in place of course. (Sanding and/or planing). Obviously, I'd need to get good edges for jointing. Might be time to break in my jack and jointer planes?

    Assuming I'm moving forward with the glue-up in place... any thoughts on how to deal with the fact that I won't be able to use a single board that is long enough to span the whole distance?

    Staggered looks better to my eye, but maybe not. (Two quick illustrations, not intended to be the whole bar, just an example of glue up options)

    GlueUpOpts.PNG

  14. #44
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    I like to work things in my favor, so I tend to plan my projects around that whenever possible, I do this because experience has taught me to do this. As example; I took on a large project requiring 16" wide quarter sawn solid wood panels, the only thing I could get locally was 3-4" wide quarter sawn boards. It took me on average 4-5 boards per panel. For the project that was quite a huge number of glue-ups. With a little more effort put in to finding a supplier I would have managed that in one glue up per panel, cutting the task down significantly and rather than do 3-4x the work for a lesser result.

    So if I can buy material wide enough to make a single glue up, or no glue up at all, I do that. With every glue up comes the opportunity to have that glue up not align perfectly or not close at some spot and when it's 20' long with staggered lengths there much opportunity for disaster.

    Long glue ups are not an easy task. If I want a glue up to go well I want to prep the stock from rough wood to finished product after it lands in my shop and acclimatizes for some time. I have the ability to face joint via machinery and then edge joint, straight line and thickness. If you are working with S4S then more trouble will certainly come your way.

    Add a live edge and you have more trouble yet because the clamps can't grip the full thickness of the edge and will apply uneven pressure, so now you need to have a series of cauls made up for every joint.

    This is how I would do this from ideal to less ideal:

    Ideal: 20', full width slabs - Best result, requiring more work to prep but much much easier to install. No glue needed, easy living. Most certainly the best looking result at the end also.

    Acceptable: 20' wide boards, 1-2 glue ups per. This will be more stressful than the above, but it's workable If you do something like tongue and groove or floating tenons to ensure that the glue up aligns properly.

    Last Choice: Staggered short pre-prepped boards - requiring not only the sides to line up perfectly but the end butt joints as well. This is very impractical for someone without a shop that does this sort of glue up routinely. The end butts must be cut perfectly square and every part of the assembly much be cut tongue and groove to avoid misalignments. If you were my customer I would request you to chose from the above two options and I would refuse this last option.

    Couple of notes

    - Personally I like to apply pressure to a long glue up at about every foot (less if possible), so that would require 20-30 clamps in this case. I use bessey clamps, so that is $1200 in clamps required for this task.

    - If you dont have a way to create floating tenons, then you can buy a domino, that adds another $1100 to the task.

    So unless you want $2300 in equipment and a result that looks like a bowling lane in the best of cases, then consider adding money that to your material budget and get a good thing up front. Let people who have the machinery prep it for you, get a good slab, lag it down and move on to finish sanding and finishing.
    Last edited by Brian Holcombe; 05-21-2019 at 9:02 AM.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  15. #45
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    Thanks Brian. I appreciate the advice.

    FWIW, I do already possess a Festool Domino (I use it a lot. Love it!). I have only half the above number of Bessy and Jorgensen bar clamps. But I could probably borrow a few more and purchase the balance (can you really ever have too many clamps? )

    I'm pretty comfortable with the idea of gluing up at the job site with Dominoes and clamps. This won't be the first slab glue up I've done, but certainly the longest!

    I started out as a neanderthal and have slowly acquired supplemental power tools. I've always hand planed/jointed boards as I love using my planes. But I've never attempted to do a board so long as 20'.
    I don't really have any desire to own an electric jointer (no space, and I just like using my planes, normally). Jointing is probably the thing I worry most about doing myself without taking forever. (That and how do I clamp it? My home shop workbench is too small). I'd have to rig something up at the job site... I had considered finding someone with a big jointer to assist in the board prep. I just don't personally know anyone locally).

    Oh, and I have no issue with buying rough lumber and going from there either if that is a better way to approach vs 4S stock. (Same source in Austin carries rough cut material).
    On that note: What about working from rough is superior in this application to purchasing 4s stock?

    I'm going to go by Austin Fine Lumber later this week and see what width and length options I can source.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Erich Weidner; 05-21-2019 at 9:30 AM.

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