Sometimes you have to stop and work extra to facilitate the work. I have always glued braces and cleats with the help of clamps and cauls. It works relatively well with ladder bracing in the top with straight braces. It gets a little more difficult with X bracing. It is troublesome when the bridge plate or cleats are to be glued in a top that already has the sides glued. Then you need to work with pieces of wood to reach down when clamping and it can get crowded when excess glue is to be wiped away.
The solution that most builders use is a so-called Go-bar. Here you clamp bracing, cleats and bridge plate with resilient sticks that are held against a flat surface above what you have to glue. The problem with such is that they take up big space in a small room.
A picture to show the usual make and use of a Go-bar.
I got a radius dish CNC milled by my pal Per Marklund several months ago. The radius dish has a negative curvature of 20 ′, lower in the middle and highest around the edges. I glued on a thin rubber mat on the curved side. You have to have one like that under a guitar top to be able to glue radiused braces with the bend 20 ′. But it took a while before I figured out how to make a foldable Go-bar in my room.
The solution was to use my loose table. Four sleeves were screwed into the table, which had an internal M8 thread. Four coarse round woden rods had an M8 threaded rod screwed into both ends. A “roof” in solid pine (a 120 × 30 cm shelf cut in the middle and glued to a square) was manufactured and reinforced. Four M8 nuts were needed to secure the roof.
So far, all right. But the big job remained; to flatten the table top. The table has just been an alternative workplace for being able to sit comfortably in a chair and do the ditch and the daughter. Over the years the table top has been deformed, there was at least 5 mm between the table surface and the ruler in the middle with the ruler laid across the table. Really uneven in other words, the area under the radius disk must be completely flat. I attacked the table top with a small electric planer, a manual Stanley planer number 6, an electrich sander and 80 sandpaper on the underside of a Stanley planer number 5. I think I filled 3-4 consumer bags with shavings and a little more shavings and sust everywhere in the room before I got the table surface completely flat. A lot of work indeed! Took the opportunity to flatten for my main workbench too, there was little left to do after a similar operation a few years ago. After oiling the beech wood, it feels good to have at least two areas in the room that are completely flat 🙂
It remains to make the flexible clamps and test it properly for real. It takes a maximum of 5 minutes to pick up and screw in the four legs of the Go bar, pick up the "roof" and the radius dish that is stored under the table top and tighten the four nuts. All parts are hidden under the table top when not in use. I think it will facilitate and improve the job of gluing bracing, bridge plate and cleats in the top. I will continue to glue the bottom as before with clamps and counter holds, they are simple without glued sides and only transverse ribs.