More on Cauls

Jigs are not as important in the hand tool woodworking shop as they are for avid power tool users, but I took some time yesterday to make some extra cauls for the tool chest glue up.

On the advice of someone who would know about such things, I cut some pretty tight dovetails for the tool chest carcass.  In order to ensure the tails seated properly into the pin recesses, I attached (with double-sided tape) individual cauls onto each tail prior to clamping.



That way, the parallel jaw clamps applied consistent pressure directly onto each tail, seating them nicely.  I forgot to take a picture of the full glue-up, though.  And the clamping pressure crushed the cauls to the point where they cannot be reused.

On a side note, the tails were so tight that there was a bit of splitting on the tail boards. Fortunately, I keep a supply of cyanoacrylate glues of various viscosity.  A generous bead of medium cyanoacrylate will seep into the cracks and should stabilize them for the life of the tool chest.  I haven’t yet flushed the joinery on the carcass, so I can still plane off the excess glue with an extra pass or two.

The same trick works to stabilize a knot.

The same trick works to stabilize a knot.

The floorboards for the tool chest are dimensioned (S3S), but still need a pass them through the thickness planer before I cut the ship-laps.  I might wait to flush the tails and pins after I’ve attached the floorboards, because I do not have a full workbench around which to wrap the carcass.  We’ll see.


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