Have I just been lucky?

I have noticed that some woodworkers will use clamping cauls on the top and bottom of their glue-ups in order to achieve a flat glue-up.  I have done many glue-ups in my woodworking thus far and I have yet to use a single “caul” for this purpose.  It is my position that if your stock is milled flat and your edges are 90 degrees than you will not need to use cauls in your glue-up.  So far, I have been doing just fine without them.

So my question is to those that use them.   What circumstances require that you use them?

3 Responses to “Have I just been lucky?”

  1. David Harms says:

    From the picture it looks like you may have used biscuits? if so is that always the case? I find that when I use biscuits (I actually use dowels, don’t own a biscuit joiner) that everything works out well, but if I cant use dowels (maybe I have to cut a pattern in the panel later) I find that without using a caul no matter how much attention I pay during the clamping process at some point a board will slip up or down causing an edge / uneven panel

    • Garagewoodworks says:

      Yep, I used biscuits. They do a really good job of keeping everything inline. I have also used clamps at the very end of each joint to keep them from slipping up or down. But, I have yet to use a caul that extends over the top and/or bottom of each board.

  2. John Hall says:

    I occasionally use cauls when I am gluing up a panel that is thin. For example 3/8″ or thinner. I do a lot of scroll work with 1/4″ material and often need wider panels the cauls help me keep things aligned. With thicker stock I use biscuts of splines and have fewer problems or need for cauls.

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