Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gluing the Planks

So after a whirlwind of home improvement projects over the summer, I finally was able to get back to board building and glue the planks. This part was very easy, actually. I followed the instructions in the Grain builder's manual. The planks are taped together (masking tape along the joints and taped horizontally). It's best to lay the board down on one side on the rocker table (using the rocker table as an actual table), tape the joints and tape across the board horizontally, and then carefully flip the board over so the taped side is facing down on the rocker table. The taped side will be the outside of the board. You can either shift the board to the edge of the rocker table until some of it hangs over the edge (like what it says in the manual). In this case, the joints open up and the tape acts like a hinge. I tried this method, but I also took a 4x2X4 and slid it underneath the taped planks; I placed the 4x2x4 first in the middle joint which opened the middle joint and created a triangle-shape with the angles of the taped planks and the rocker table. I then ran a bead of titlebond III from top to bottom. Once the middle joint was glued, I moved the 4x2x4 to the next joint, and repeated laying down a bead of glue down the opened joint. If you adequately tape the outside of the board, you will be surprised how well the planks stay flush and even with each other. Next step was to place some slats across the board (above and below the board), clamp them down with c-clamps, and use 4 cross bar clamps horizontally. Although this is probably one of the easier steps, it's still great to realize how easy some of these steps can be. If you're building your first Grain board, my advice is to remember to have fun, and don't give up if you run into problems along the way. Problems happen, but persistence pays off!