Saturday, August 10, 2013

You really can't have too many clamps!

I did the glue up for the nightstand today, and I learned that humidity does some wacky things to wood. It's been raining the past day or so, and some of my previously very straight pieces of wood were swelling and starting to cup a little. I was shocked at how fast this happened, so I decided I better get everything together before I have to sacrifice pieces and start over. Fine tuning the tenons went easily, and I didn't have too much trouble except for one piece that didn't want to seat, but some gentle clamp pressure took care of that.

Looks good on the dry fit.
Whenever I watch Norm, he always mentions that you can never have too many clamps. Being that I've never really needed more than 2-3 at a time, I figured that running out of clamps wasn't something that I would be encountering as a problem until I try to do something more complex. Apparently today turned into that day.

This assembly wasn't difficult in the least, however, it did provide me with evidence that you can run out of clamps. Since I only have bar clamps, I learned that it doesn't distribute a lot of pressure over a wide surface. Along with the fact that I probably cut my tenons a little on the tight side, I needed some persuasion with the mallet and a few clamps.

Before I knew it, my glued assembly was done, and my clamp rack was totally empty except for my spring clamps, my 12" bar clamps, and my 5 foot long pipe clamps. I was shocked that it took that many clamps to get things together, but I think that in the future, I'll be better about getting the joinery more precise. That should alleviate the need for so many clamps. I will have to buy and make a few more. Since I'm going to have to make a second table later for my side of the bed, I want to make sure I have enough clamps. I think some of my future projects will need clamps as well, so making sure my clamp rack is filled up a bit more would be a great idea.

I can work on the top of the table and measure up for the drawer now, so I might actually be able to finish up the woodworking on this today. I am glad things came together smoothly, so I'll have to work on making sure it finishes up nicely.

All in all, this project isn't that difficult. I'm sure that when I make a second one, It'll turn out much better.