Forget about complicated jigs to hold the parts together in the glue up. You know- the ones with holes for clamping, stops to hold things from slipping ....

They look great don't they? And they look like they'd work just like the article in the magazine said - until you try to use them.

You WILL get SOME glue squeeze out. IF that glue makes it to the jig . . .

BUT - what if you put tape on the jig's contact surfaces? That'd solve the problem right?
Yup - sure would solve THAT problem.

BUT (there always seems to be a "but") - that would also make the contact surfaces slippery. And that, my friend, means the parts can slip and slide around. THAT'S NOT A GOOD THING when you've got a bunch of parts with glue setting up and their positioning is critical.


So I just need to add some stops to the jig to keep the parts from moving around 'til the glue sets?
Good thinking! Parts positioned so they can't move and a way to clamp them there while the glue sets. KOOOL!

Psssssssst. - With the stops and all those clamps, can you see both sides of the joints to make sure they're closed - on both the inside AND outside?


Then you did make the parts to EXACTLY fit the jig right?


Well then, you did build the jig to EXACTLY fit the parts right?

If you answered "No" to the last two questions there's a problem. When you clamp things up your joints are going to open up, either inside or outside. That's not good.

Now I'm sure Lonnie Bird makes and uses jigs like this all the time and he knows how to make them work. I AIN'T NO LONNIE BIRD, to paraphrase a former vice presidential candidate (and I suspect you aren't either). If something can go wrong - it will - at least when I try it the first couple of times.

There is another, surprisingly easy, way to hold the staves together during glue up.


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