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sequoia
12-23-2014, 08:38 AM
I decided to try the old tape method for jointing some book matched top plates to see how it would turn out. Here is what I found: It works, but... why?

To those of you unfamiliar with this method, I will try and explain. It is really very simple. After you have planed your edges so that you get a perfect butt joint, line up the plates so that the grain matches and they are flat. Lift one side of the plate and lean it against a 2 x 4 so the two plates form an angle at the joint. This angle is not critical. Now apply 1 inch tape over the joint every inch or so stretching the tape and connecting the plates. There will be a tape gap over the joint. Now, when the plates are layed flat, tension is created as the tape is stretched and this is your clamping pressure. It is important to use stretchy tape for this. I used Scotch 233+ which I got at an autoparts store.

It works pretty good and I got an almost perfect seam. However I wonder why anyone would do this since a jointing jig is a pretty simple contraption. I kinda feel that maybe the pressure wasn't as consistently applied as I would like. I think this method might be of use to a large scale shop where they would want to kick out many tops in one day all at the same time. Not sure really... Below pictures and a link with video on how to do it (that is not me).

My "after" picture doesn't show the joint real well, but it is mostly invisible after a little sanding. I'm satisfied.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwjsIp44z3k

Allen
12-23-2014, 08:58 AM
You will have better results using tape that doesn't have dead stretch like that green masking tape. It will work, but using something like StewMacs binding tape will be better. (Dead stretch is designed into masking tape so that when you stretch it, it doesn't want to pull back).

Advantages are that you can join irregularly shaped plates. They don't have to be square as you have. I often cut out uke plates from larger guitar plates, getting at least 2 uke sets from one guitar set, but the profile will be oddly shaped.

The next advantage is that I can join up a dozen tops and backs with nothing more than a roll of tape. No clamps or jigs required. When I prep for a course I'll do as many as 50 at a time. Just imagine the space required to store all those clamps or jigs.

And finally its fast.....Really fast. Especially when you use hot hide glue.

finkdaddy
12-23-2014, 09:02 AM
I've been doing this for a while now, too. To me it's a huge time saver and I don't have to worry if pressure is being evenly applied across the joint by my jig. I know that everything is good and tight, and when I'm done, I just remove the tape, scrape the joint a little bit, and it looks fabulous!

Michael N.
12-23-2014, 09:34 AM
Wow, that's a lot of tape. I wouldn't use more than 3 pieces on plates that size. On Guitar plates I use 4 and 3 on the reverse. I don't use the tent method but just lay the plates flat and stretch the tape across. It's a type of Auto masking tape that I use. I've been using the method for 10 years and not had one single failure. It's all in getting the initial joint tight.

Matt Clara
12-23-2014, 09:59 AM
dave g showed me how several years ago. I spend a little more time dressing the edges than he does, but other than that, I still do it just like this: http://youtu.be/M8OXFQBG93A


http://youtu.be/M8OXFQBG93A

EDIT: Should add I also do the sanding against the table saw fence, and not freehand as Dave does it here. I've got the router bit for Chuck's method and have used it on my cnc router with the plate halves clamped between two pieces of oak and fixed to the table, but it isn't always accurate--gets a little bow in the middle, I think because the oak, clamped at either end of the plate halves, doesn't remain perfectly flat and can't hold them perfectly still as a result. In the meanwhile I have neither router table or the $100 piece of super straight steel to do it right, so I stick with dave g's method.

Michael N.
12-23-2014, 10:44 AM
Crikey! I don't like knocking folk but that's an absolutely awful way to join plates. Just learn to use a hand plane, it's basic stuff!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-23-2014, 11:24 AM
BTW, never trust your joint by observing it on the bench. A strong light source will show any gaps. I put the plates against a window and push them together to check for tightness. Achieving good, invisible seams in an art.

resoman
12-23-2014, 12:28 PM
The Chuck Moore router method of trimming goes a long way to making sure the seam IS tight!

jcalkin
12-23-2014, 12:28 PM
As soon as I got a 6x48 belt sander I tried to join plates on it. It'll never work with guitar plates because the platen is too short, but I finally got the feel of it for uke plates. Hold the edges on the sander for a few seconds, check the joint against a light source for perfection, move on to the next set. Tape joinery is fast and effective with normal brown masking tape. It stretches back just fine. Three strips across a uke plate, then a long piece along the seam. Flip it over, open the seam and apply glue. Close the seam, scrap off the squeeze out, stretch three pieces across the seam. Done. I have joinery jigs for guitars, ukes/mandolins, and dulcimers, but I haven't used them in years. Never had a joint failure or an ugly seam, either. Decades ago I fought with plate joinery. Now its easy and fun. Live and learn.

Pete Howlett
12-23-2014, 01:56 PM
#7 jointer plane,shooting board and a clamping press= invisible joints. Takes me 2 minutes per plate :) I'm not good enough to get perfect flatness. If you can achieve this then you don't need tape - a simple rub joint with hide glue is the 'proper' way - can't do that either :(

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-23-2014, 03:08 PM
The Chuck Moore router method of trimming goes a long way to making sure the seam IS tight!

Yep Terry, guaranteed. And what does it take? Five seconds to do both plates?

sequoia
12-23-2014, 05:19 PM
A little follow-up and comments:

I was thicknessing and sanding out today and got an absolute invisable joint with the tape method. Perfect...

Now as to some comments: Now as to the stretchy green tape versus the brown binding tape stuff: I will experiment with that next time.

The video of the person joining the plates with tape: My biggest misgiving was his using sand paper to fit the joint. I find doing this will scallop your join as the outside edges can get sanded too much. You can really start chasing the dog on this one if you know what I mean. Just my observation.

resoman
12-23-2014, 05:44 PM
Yep Terry, guaranteed. And what does it take? Five seconds to do both plates?
5 seconds and it's perfect.
I've done the sanding and the hand plane which worked very well for me once I got the hang of it but the router, perfection and the fastest for me.

Chris_H
12-23-2014, 06:59 PM
I learned to join shop cut veneers with tape. In looking at the various contraptions that people use for clamping plates together, they all look slow, and complicated, totally unnecessary, except maybe for wavy veneers, which instrument tops and backs shouldn't really be. With tape, one can join many plates, and, when finished, there is nothing to store. If jigs are relied upon, I picture numerous sets of extraneous shop clutter to collect dust.
Yes, that is a lot of tape, 3 pieces each side would suffice, 4 or 5 at most.


I have a 108" x 6" belt sander that I sometimes use for jointing. I also join on the table saw, with a blade that only joints veneers. I have one of the Veritas precision straight edges used in the Moore Bettah method, but I like that tool on it's own too much to dedicate it in a jig. I have rigged it up and jointed with it also. Maybe someday I will commit it to a jig.

Tape works great for joining plates.

Michael N.
12-23-2014, 09:22 PM
#7 jointer plane,shooting board and a clamping press= invisible joints. Takes me 2 minutes per plate :) I'm not good enough to get perfect flatness. If you can achieve this then you don't need tape - a simple rub joint with hide glue is the 'proper' way - can't do that either :(

The rub joint certainly works, even quicker than the tape method although the time saving is hardly great. In fact sometimes I don't use any clamps when gluing bridges. Amazing that Hide glue and light finger pressure, applied for a few minutes, is sufficient even on bridges.

Timbuck
12-23-2014, 10:06 PM
I normaly use one piece tops and backs ..but when i do join plates I like "Ye olde string and wedges" technique ;)

ericchico
12-24-2014, 04:06 AM
BTW, never trust your joint by observing it on the bench. A strong light source will show any gaps. I put the plates against a window and push them together to check for tightness. Achieving good, invisible seams in an art.
I made a light box a few years ago and found it comes in handy for checking the gap. It has 2 T5's which is a little overkill for checking a gap but you see it if its there.
74356

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-24-2014, 06:57 AM
I made a light box a few years ago and found it comes in handy for checking the gap. It has 2 T5's which is a little overkill for checking a gap but you see it if its there.
74356

Yeah, that's a great thing to have if you don't have an easily accessible bright window. I need to make a smaller version of that for my inlay work.

DennisK
12-25-2014, 05:17 AM
Another fan of tape joining here :) And to Littleriveruke, don't forget the long strip down the center. That keeps glue off the show face so you have less scraping/sanding to do... even more time saved compared to other methods. And you can reuse it a couple times if you don't like wasting tape. Put it on last, so you can peel it off as soon as the plate is safe to pick up, and stick it on the next one.

I also only use 3 or 4 strips across.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-30-2014, 09:45 AM
i use 3 bits of wood, 3 wedges and some rope to join...after jointing with a #7 plane.

exactly like as shown here, but with less speed!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_WxBLTp3Pg

sequoia
12-30-2014, 09:54 AM
Yes, I love that video. A real pro in action. Wonder how many plates he has glued? Many, many, plates...