By George Vondriska; Photos by Mike Krivit
Stave construction is a great way to end with a large chunk of wood, without using a large chunk of wood. Instead, small individual pieces are used which, cut at the correct angle, make up segments of the final piece.
Clamping the staves can be a challenge, since the pieces tend to slide past each other once they're slippery with glue. I've found two great solutions to the problem. One, glue the pieces in two halves first, then bring the two halves together to make the final assembly. Two, use masking tape as a band clamp to hold the parts while the glue is drying.
Lay the staves inside-face-down on a bench with half of the staves in each set. Stretch bands of masking tape across the outside face. Make sure that, as you're pulling the tape, you're keeping the parts flat on the table, and closing the gaps between each piece, Photo 1.
Flip the taped assembly over and apply glue into the seams, Photo 2. Then carefully lift the outside edges and gently pull the joints closed. Bridge across the top of each half with another piece of masking tape, Photo 3.
After the glue is dry, remove the tape and check to see that the two halves close against each other. If they don't, you can easily perfect the joint by sanding it flat. Be sure the sandpaper is secured to a dead-flat surface, like a tablesaw, and make a few strokes on each piece. This technique guarantees that each half will perfectly mate to the other, Photo 4.
When the two halves fit perfectly, glue them together, again using masking tape as a band clamp, Photo 5.