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Laminations

Question

Is there a general set of rules for creating laminations such as deciding on epoxy vs glue (waterbase?), thickness of strips and types of wood, and vertical grain vs flat grain?—Harvey Best

Answer

Ted Blachly replies: If you really want a good set of thorough background information on lamination processes, search out all the early articles written by Jere Osgood for Fine Woodworking and make copies for yourself. I think there are at least four articles. [FWW issues #6, #7, #14 & #17—editor]

Unibond 800 is the adhesive I generally use. West system 105 can also be used but I find Unibond more friendly provided you take safety precautions. Some people swear by Titebond 3 and will use it for safety reasons. Jere has info in his articles about grain orientation for laminations, but one of the key factors is how well the planer will “digest” the wood. I typically select straight grained wood and saw it up so I am planing flat sawn surfaces.

I find I can make very thin laminations this way—down to 1/16˝. I do have my planer (Makita 2040 400mm) set up with a permanent slow gear and it does very well. I always make sure I have sharp knives in the planer for a good cut and also gluing surface. Get the grain orientation right and send them through on a platen such as a one inch piece of thicknessed hardwood.

Jere Osgood replies: For flat stock, resaw on a bandsaw and cleanup in the thicknesser. Tapers are done with bandsaw taper jig and/or feed taper jig through the thicknesser. For glue, use G2 epoxy from Veritas for slightly oily woods. Use Unibond 800 for all else or related glues in the same family. Do not use titebond for laminating anything under stress such as a curved leg.

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