This is a very basic question and I can't figure out the right Google query: how should you clamp glue ups of long seams?

For example, say I'm glueing a pine 2x2 to a 2x6 to make a ledge to support slats to support a twin mattress (75" seam). That's 1.5 x 75 x 150 pounds of pressure. Clearly I don't need 112 small clamps. But what do I need?

Edit: I looked at this question but there was no practical answer (which, based on comments on this question, is "fewer clamps than the math says plus a bunch of screws").

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  • As you might already know, glue joints in wood are immensely strong. Or to be more accurate can be, an important distinction. Because of this it's best practice not to rely on glue only where there's an important strength requirement. Since you can't guarantee how strong your glue joints will be (especially with 2x material as you're likely to be working with it) it's best to supplement the strength of the glue joint in some way, with fasteners (nails, screws), joinery (set the 2x2 into a dado, or at least on to the edge of a rebate), or with additional support below where it's out of sight.
    – Graphus
    May 4, 2023 at 16:06
  • "can be" is a fantastic lesson to keep in mind. Thank you!
    – LoftyGoals
    May 5, 2023 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


I tend to use clamps every 12-18" (min 2) when gluing things up, and in your case I'd tend to add some screws as well. The screws would be for added strength after the glue has dried. Every wood bed frame I've seen has the screws holding on the ledge.

  • Screws can also be used as a clamping aid, especially if they are properly counter bored or if the screws have a smooth shank portion.
    – Eli Iser
    May 4, 2023 at 14:59
  • @EliIser yes that is true too
    – bowlturner
    May 4, 2023 at 15:19
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    @EliIser, clearance holes, not counterbores. It's the clearance hole that gives proper clamping force with screws, smooth-shank or otherwise.
    – Graphus
    May 4, 2023 at 16:09
  • This matches my intuition.... a reasonable number of clamps plus a a backup plan. Thank you!
    – LoftyGoals
    May 5, 2023 at 12:28

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