Minimum Clamping Time for Doors

How long should you keep doors in the clamps? May 15, 2012

Question
Assuming that the joints fit well, that sufficient glue is applied, and that the pieces are set aside to finish curing, what would happen to a joint if the clamps were removed prematurely? I am interested mostly for my door production, to be able to glue more panels before I run out of clamps, but I am also considering a door clamp. Iím not in a position to consider a RF unit yet and Iím not a fan of pin nails so Iím curious what the consequences might be. For argument sake lets say they were removed after 15 minutes.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor G:
Fifteen minutes is enough time. If you use space balls make sure to fit the panels loose enough so the space balls don't want to spread the cope and stick joint. In all reality your customers probably couldn't care less, much less notice, if you use pin nails or not.



From contributor L:
Run some tests. I think 15 minutes at normal room temperature would be plenty. When we put cases through the case clamp they are only there for three minutes or so, by then the dowels have seized.


From the original questioner:
A good thought about the panel spacers, thank you. I guess my question was more based on the fact that the glue manufacturers are recommending 30 minutes or more for clamping time. One would assume that there is some science behind this and I'm trying to understand why.


From contributor G:
My guess is they are going to make sure they have themselves covered.


From contributor U:
Ten-fifteen minutes is enough for yellow glue with joints as you describe.


From contributor H:
I clamp only until the next door is ready to go into the clamp. Thereís a bit of concern during the winter - much less in the summer. Today we had to put several in pipe clamps for some extra time but most were just fine. We sand them the next day so have they have overnight to cure.