Split Top Roubo - Part 4 - Glue... Finally!

At this point all the boards for the top are machined straight and to width. The width is kept 1/8" over size to allow for final thickness machining of the glued top. The thickness of the boards, which when glued together determine the top width, needed to be fine tuned. I determined the arrangement that ensured the best boards were the on the visible edges, then I clamped the assembly together to determine the initial width. I had plenty of material to remove on both top pieces to bring them to final width, so I used this as an opportunity to improve some heavily bowed boards. By straightening and reducing the thickness of selected boards, I minimized their influence over the final straightness of the top. After the final width was achieved, the assembly with clamped together  for inspection.

After the assembly is placed top down, I marked the bottom side for biscuits. Using biscuits during the assembly ensured each piece was properly aligned and didn't slip when clamped. One less thing to worry about during what was sure to be rushed assembly. I was very pleased with the alignment during dry assembly and was confident to move onto spreading glue.

I grabbed a new 32oz bottle of Titebond Original wood glue, a 4" paint roller, and a plastic paint tray. You know it's going to be a big glue up when you get a paint roller to spread the glue! The gluing process was simple, thanks in part to the biscuits. I deconstructed the assembly and laid out the boards on my table in the appropriate order. The layout allowed me to applied glue to one face of each board, install the biscuits, and flit the second board onto the first. This exposed a dry face, which glue was applied to before inserting more biscuits and  flipping the next board over. Thinking trough the process of a glue up helps ensure it goes smoothly. It' worth noting that there is no need to glue the biscuits in the slots, as they are for alignment, not strength.

Clamps, clamps, and more clamps to ensure all the gaps where closed. The process was just repeat on the second top, which went very smoothly. It was time to walk away and let the glue cure.



See all the posts about the Split Top Roubo here.