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MikeC

how to clamp the plates ?

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When joining the plates, after gluing the center join I need to flatten and true up the inner surface.    What's the best way to clamp or hold the plates while doing that?   Two wedges glued together is an awkward shape.   

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I usually start by clamping length wise between a bench dog and end vise with the angled side up. Plane a flat at the high point maybe an inch wide. I typically glue a couple of soft wood strips to the angled side along the outside edges for support. Once those are set plane them flat to the flat at the center. Now you can flip the panel over and plane what will be the surface the ribs get glued too. 

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Methods I have used are a driven nail or two in a bench with scrap wood underneath to sort of level the work and another way was with the use of a Workmate 225 the has the four orange plastic bench dogs.  Set two bench dogs at one end, maybe run a low beam of wood crossways and plane up against that. 

Sometimes if the glue line seam allowed reasonable levelness I'd level the plates after contour was cut out and the outer arching shaped, thern turn piece over and then plane flatter.

All three ways have unnecessary movement but I'm impatient most times also. 

So what is it? The air conditioner went out in the shop or you have been using chinese whites all this time? 

Be prepared for the "glue the scrap pieces and plane level" replies, which is a right way.

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I plane the two pieces flat before joining, followed by using the newly flattened surface as a reference for planing the joint at 90 degrees. If you do everything correctly, the surface turns out pretty darn close to perfectly flat.

This makes things easier later.

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54 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

If done properly there is no need for clamps...

... especially if you have a 12" jointer.

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7 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

... especially if you have a 12" jointer.

or a good shooting board, but alas, I cheat and use a jointer too, but it's craftsman, so there are challenges!

Mike, for violins, not necessarily cellos, you generally won't or don't want clamping.

As long as there is good contact between the two pieces prior to gluing {the seam can be held to the light, no light should be seen between the two at the seam} once wet and "smacked" together with a minor "slip"{rubbing back and forth} the swelled slightly poofed up wood grain of each piece will make 100% contact with each other, held for only 20 to 30 seconds by hand, the evaporation process begins, the seam, as long as it has not been disturbed, will naturally "suck" together, getting tighter and tighter as the glue/wood dries, based on shrinkage 

So as long as you can get the two to make good contact prior to gluing, you won't need clamps, the glue, based on contraction is it's own clamp.

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I clamp it lengthwise with the bench dogs and after that i take some cutoffs of previous plates and put the wedges on both sides - that makes it pretty stable.

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1 hour ago, Michael Szyper said:

I clamp it lengthwise with the bench dogs and after that i take some cutoffs of previous plates and put the wedges on both sides - that makes it pretty stable.

Another vote for this method. Just an occasional tap to keep the off-cut wedges honest. Quick and simple. Wedges come with each plate for a perfect match.

See - dogs and wedges - simple - and as steady as a rock.

Don't forget to label the wedges "WEDGES" and keep them safely stored for the next plate.

cheers edi

DSC01511.JPG

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1 hour ago, edi malinaric said:

See - dogs and wedges - simple - and as steady as a rock.

Don't forget to label the wedges "WEDGES" and keep them safely stored for the next plate

I like your setup a lot edi! BTW, of course I did not label the wedges, loose them and every time i have to scrabble in my wood to find a fitting one ;)

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No need of anything fancy. Assuming you have a bench with dogs and a vice just set the plate "roof" side down length wise between the dogs, wedge a couple of pieces of scrap wood under the thin sides, set the dogs just far enough below the surface so you won't damage your plane and tighten the vice. Easiest to set the high side of the uneven joint towards you so you are not bumping the plane against a step. Also, obviously, the closer your two pieces lined up in the first place the less work to flatten the plate. Don't forget to check cross corners with your straight edge first and work to eliminate any winding first then get it flat and lastly smooth.

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Good ideas everyone,  using wedges it what I'll do, maybe in combination with a sash clamp held in the vice.   I had that in mind but wasn't sure if some of you might have a better way.   I didn't have a problem with the center join.  I did a rub joint with no clamps for that.   My procedure was to place both together in a vice with the flat faces together and plane both edges together so that if the angle is not perfect 90 degrees it wouldn't matter it would be complementary angles.  But after that I still had to do a little planing on each edge separately to get a perfect fit,  as a result of that the face side is no longer perfectly flat after joining them.   

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1 hour ago, Michael Szyper said:

I like your setup a lot edi! BTW, of course I did not label the wedges, loose them and every time i have to scrabble in my wood to find a fitting one ;)

Hi Michael - how do you think I learnt that one had to label them and hide them away? :-)

The trick is to remember where you hid them from the class.

cheers edi

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I have been flattening the rib gluing surface of the plate halves before planing the joint, then the requisite flattening afterwards is minimal if necessary at all, depending on how much things moved as the glue dries. Because I, too, plane both halves at once for the joint, having the perpendicular surface dead flat makes sure they register perfectly to one another when clamped into the vice for jointing. 

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1 hour ago, MikeC said:

This is my flatmaster   :D     Check it oot ay  

record no 6.jpg

That's unlikely to impregnate the wood with abrasives, which can be a problem down the road.

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