What is a caul in woodworking? Why is this tool important in woodworking? Clarify your query with useful information here. Let’s read on!
You will often have to spend a lot of time creating the correct planks, even if you are a professional carpenter. However, even the most precisely cut joint will not be perfect if you mount it together incorrectly. That’s why you need cauls.
So, what is a caul in woodworking? A caul is a great piece of wood for tabletop glue-ups. As a result, this tool is indispensable in your woodworking shop.
Let us explain in this article why they are essential and how to create them!
A caul is a piece of wood that is great for tabletop glue-ups.
Why Is This Tool Important in Woodworking?
To mount two panels together, you need to make precise cuts. Also, you have to put the right amount of glue in the right place and apply enough clamping pressure.
As mentioned above, the caul is a piece of wood that plays an essential role in tabletop glue-ups. For example, they allow you to mount two boards together to form a solid wood panel without fancier clamps and specialized jigs.
To do that, you have to use these cauls in pairs to clamp the boards together to keep them flat and free bowing and cupping.
In general, for your projects, including countertops, cabinets, or doors, using caul is essential to get the best results.
This tool allows you to mount two boards together to form a solid wood panel without fancier clamps and specialized jigs.
How Can You Keep a Glue-Up Flat?
Thanks to clamps around the edges, we know that the glue-up will be solid. However, it will be weaker in the center of the plate surface where no pressure is applied. That’s why you need to use cauls.
Using one or two cauls will help you overcome this situation. For example, a piece of wood, perhaps a 2 x 6, that goes across the work surface, clamped tightly, will create clamping pressure in the center of the work surface.
So How Do You Make Them?
Making your own cauls is nearly as easy. To save money, we recommend taking advantage of everything available at your workshop. For example, you can use pieces of cherry or oak from a previous project or scraps of wood around. Piece lengths from 24” to 36” will work well, depending on your project.
After that, it is essential to run your pieces through the joiner to create an even edge. Then use a planer to create two parallel surfaces.
You can check out this video for more information.
To save money, we recommend taking advantage of everything available at your workshop
Pro Tips For Caul Success
Here are some pro tips for caul success that are essential for professional woodworkers:
- Wrap your cauls using plastic wrap. It prevents glue from sticking to them
- The distance between the cauls should be less than 2ft to ensure even clamping pressure is provided.
- Clamp them in place with large c-clamps as they work better than traditional woodworking clamps.
Steps To Apply Cauls
- Step 1: Apply packing or duct tape to this equipment to prevent the glue from sticking to it.
- Step 2: Allocate them on the work surface. Make sure they are less than 2ft apart to create enough clamping pressure.
- Step 3: Fix this equipment with one on top of your work surface and one other on the bottom.
- Step 4: Apply side clamping pressure once this equipment is in place.
- Step 5: Wait until the glue dries.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to prevent the glue from sticking to the cauls?
There is always a risk that this equipment can adhere to your glue-up.
It is possible to use wax paper or sheet plastics to prevent the glue from touching this equipment. Alternatively, coating it with paraffin wax or varnish is a great solution to ensure this tool stays glue-free.
How thick should Cauls be?
You must make sure they are thick enough to evenly distribute pressure (at least an inch thick in most cases).
Can I make a caul for free?
The short answer is yes. Absolutely yes!
You can create one using what’s available at your workshop in less than ten minutes.
The Bottom Line
In general, incorporating the use of cauls in your woodworking projects, especially in gluing large wood panels, will come handy in limited warpage.
Making them is also very easy and quick. You can take advantage of all that you have at your workshop to create it. Moreover, you can expect to create these tools in under ten minutes.
Thank you for reading! We hope this article is helpful to you.