Woodworking 101 – How to Adequately Edge-Glue Boards Into Individual panels


There are several steps to consider during this process of edge-gluing lumber like (1) lumber selection, (2) cutting to rough period, (3) ripping, (4) jointing, (5) grain matching, (6) biscuit joining, (7) gluing, (8) clamping and (9) thickness sanding. Planning these steps depends on the lumber’s fitness, your machinery’s capacity, and the glue-ups final scale.


If possible, try to have all snowboards in the glue-up of the identical tree. If that is not likely, select lumber connected with similar color and material patterns. To me, the best glue-up looks like one extensive board with the stuff joints barely visible to the naked eye. Since this is simply an ideal, I always try to get as close to it as possible.

One more, less-important goal would be to have boards in the glue-up of the identical approximate width. I am certainly not suggesting ripping the larger boards down to match the particular narrowest board, as this will be a terrible waste of expensive timber. I suggest trimming extensive boards in a couple of to minimize the possibility of curling as a result of changes in humidity after shipping and delivery.

Straight or ribbon materials make the best homogeneous ultimate appearance, while wavy or perhaps swirly grain makes for an appealing but more difficult glue-up. Swirly grain will require orientation in the individual boards to minimize the number of places where the grain series suddenly stops at the stuff line rather than appearing to carry on into another swirl inside the adjacent board. This positioning is highly subjective.


I always rough-cut my lumber into plans an inch longer than the final product’s length. This allows the entire glue-up to be beautifully trimmed once the glue is dry. Playing also makes the ripping and jointing process much easier, as I will probably explain below. The same works for the width of the paste-up: Make sure it is about an inch more comprehensive than the final product after lowering.


Kiln or air-dried lumber often decides to help bow into a curve simply because it dries, and this must be solved before a glue-up is usually accomplished. If my accomplished glue-up is only three toes long and it is coming out of a new 14-foot bowed board, it’ll be far easier and economical to achieve the curve out of the 3-foot portions than it would to remove often the curve from the entire 14-foot board before cross chopping. This is why you should generally do rough cross-cutting before ripping and jointing. Another reason is that a 14-foot, 2″ thick x 12″ wide board is pretty hard to control on a jointer, or a table saw.

If there is a bend in one or more of your rough-cut pieces, those pieces must first have the curved ends ripped off on the table saw. The particular concave side of the table should always be towards the fence. Determine from the fence out to the exterior of the end of the board that may be nearest the fence makes the fence cut this specific width. Once you have trimmed off the convex side of the table, flip it over side-to-side and locate the point where the outer edge in the board is closest to the particular fence (somewhere near the middle), and rip the table to that width. When just about all boards have been ripped right, take them to the jointer.


The jointing process must now be straightforward; the boards have been cut straight. Take shallow-level cuts to minimize the possibility of tear-out. Tear-out is sometimes unavoidable in loose-grained lumber with a lot of swirls on the face. In such a circumstance, try running the panel over the jointer head in the opposite direction. If the tear-outs persist, you will have no other choice than to rip the tear-outs away on the table saw. You could then have a sawn edge within your glue-up. If you have a clean-cutting table saw blade like a lately sharpened Forrest Woodworker 2, this should not be much of an issue, especially if you plan on using a cookie joiner to secure your glue-up. You probably won’t be able to tell which glue outlines are jointed and which happen to be ripped in the final merchandise.


Lay out the many boards on your work counter and arrange them for an ideal appearance. If a single side of the final merchandise will show more than the other in the piece of furniture, you will want to have the best-looking sides typically all about that side of the glue-up. Examples of this would be table clothes and cabinet doors. Additionally, you must orient the forums so that the glue lines are not highlighted, as discussed in the sentences on lumber selection earlier.


Whenever possible, just be sure you biscuit-join your glue-ups. My answer is, “Whenever possible,” because you won’t be able to use a biscuit joiner on fragile wood. On the other hand, fragile wood (3/8″, for instance) will not usually have enough strength to pop open a combined. So , with very slim lumber, you will simply be utilizing glue without biscuits. With regards to lumber ¾” or heavier, I have seen several desktops, cabinet doors, as well as cabinet casings, open up together a glue line right after delivery. At this point, repairs tend to be difficult or impossible; therefore, the extra step of cookie joining is well worth the small time and expense. Look at it as primary headache insurance coverage! If you don’t yet own a cookie joiner, several excellent machines exist, including Tenir Cable, Lamello, and Freud. There are also two good options for using a biscuit jointer: The Festool Pèlerine floating tenon joiner and the Freud Doweling Joiner. Various methods, same result.

If you have your boards laid out how you want them in the glue-up, ensure all the ends are flush and the critical edge joints are touching. Double-check to ensure the glue-up is an inch wider than the final product after cutting. With a builder’s square or perhaps a straightedge mark, a pen line is 4″ within from each end from the rough glue-up across the feed, crossing all glue outlines but not continuing over the connecting sides of the glue-up. Make a identical pencil line across the hemp at the mid-point of the forums. Make additional pencil traces half-way between the other pad lines until all pad lines are about 6″ apart.

Mark the forums on one end, “A,” “B,” “C,” or “1”, “2”, “3”, etc . so that you can slide them back together in the same obtain when it is time to glue these people up. Put the boards away and nail, screw, or maybe clamp a stop board (scrap) to the bench top, still left to right in front of you, contributing to a foot in the edge of the bench. Because you are applying pressure with the cookie jointer while making mortises for the biscuits, this prevents board will keep the board you are mortising from moving far away from you. Make a mortise where a pencil line splashes a board edge in each board.


There are two ways to clamp up a glue-up: flat on the bench top and vertically with the first-panel mortised-edge-up in a woodworking vise on end or part of the bench. In the case of horizontally gluing up, place tube or bar clamps 2 feet apart within the bench top with the clamp handles hanging slightly on the edge of the bench. Pre-adjust the clamps to a ” larger opening than they’ll be when tightened. Place the first board on edge and across the clamps using the mortises facing up. The actual same with all the boards, to be able. Make sure you have sufficient cookies for the job ready.

A little dispensing glue bottle and sufficient glue for the work should be within easy reach. The kind of glue is essential: If the stuff dries too quickly, you will have significant problems, and if the stuff dries too slowly, you can lose valuable production. I like to use Franklin Titebond Glue indoors or Franklin Titebond II for out-of-doors applications. These are “aliphatic resin” type glues that can be quickly cleaned up with water. The azure formula gives a solid joint and has a reasonable 45-minute clamping time. These glues are generally widely available in hardware merchants, home improvement centers, and woodworking stores.

Run about a 1/8″-thick glue line down the midst of the edge of the first panel, making sure that the glue falls into every biscuit mortise along the way. Then apply brief glue lines on both edges of every mortise. This should lead to sufficient glue so that it seems squeezed out of both sides of each glue joint after clamping. Insert a biscuit in to each mortise. With 2″ lumber, you may need an extra stuff line for the whole joint. There is no such issue as too much glue since you can wipe the excess with a wet rag.

On the other hand, there is such a thing as too few glues and you will recognize that issue when you see that glue is simply not being squeezed out of the entire length of both sides of the paste joint. That is called “starving the joint,” and deprived joints often open up after. The glue is cheap! No longer skimp on it!

Lay down the initial board with the letter or maybe number up and the mortised edge away from you. Implement glue in the same manner to each doing well board wherever there are mortises and place biscuits in the considerable edge of each board, except the last board.

Typically the board ends should be removed, and the left clamp needs to be about 6″. The exemplary clamp needs to be about 1-foot six inches from the correct conclusion. This is because you will also place spaced clamps on the top area of the glue-up so that you will find a clamp (top or bottom) about every foot. The best suitable clamp will be about 6″ from the appropriate end.

Once you have all of this available, start tightening the clamp handles. Clamp all the bottom level clamps finger tight; then this top clamps finger small. Then, go down the short period of clamps tightening these people fully, bottom, top, bottom level, top, etc. With a soaked rag, wipe off the majority of the excess glue. Turn over the whole glue-up and wipe another side. Look at your view or clock and add forty-five minutes to the time. This will be the actual minimum clamping time, whenever after which you may remove the glue-up from the clamps. Mark now on the glue-up with an experienced pen. If you have multiple glue-ups, you can stand this glue-up against a wall to obtain it out of the way, although it dries.

If you have been paying attention to those mentioned above, you can figure out how to do an up-and-down glue-up in a vise suitable for smaller glue-ups and easier to manage. The difference is that when it comes time to apply the stuff, you will clamp the first panel at its center in the vise with the mortises facing upward. Apply the glue as well as the biscuits. Apply glue towards the mating edge of the second board and place it with the correct orientation on top of the primary board, and so on. Place the initial clamp 6″ in from the end, in front, the second clamp a foot away from the primary clamp, in the back, and do so.

Once your glue-up no longer has sufficient clamps, it can be thickness sanded in a drum sander and a wide-belt sander. If you don’t often have these machines, don’t fret. Most professional furniture-manufacturing shops in your neighborhood will be happy to thickness orange sand your glue-ups for an hourly rate. If you can rationalize the expense, you might want to consider shopping for your drum sander and a wide-belt sander.

It is best to know the highest possible width capacity of the finishing machine you will be using: 48″-wide glue-ups will not pass through a new 36″-wide sander. If you know you will have this limitation in advance, make two 24″ glue-ups and glue those combined with biscuits after the thickness texturing is complete. The stuff line won’t be perfect also, so it will have to be sanded true with a random orbit sander. Your glue-up must be sanded to at least 150 determination. 220 grit is more desirable. Trim the glue-up up-for-grabs saw to its ultimate dimensions, rout the ends, if appropriate, and then haphazard orbit sand the final part to 220 or 320 grit before finishing.

For many woodworkers, gluing raw lumber may not be the most interesting main craft. It is one of the most critical, however, because a glue-up performed incorrectly can be a recipe to get disaster. Furthermore, how you navigate the boards in the glue-up will have a lasting and irrevocable effect on the beauty of the accomplished project.

Bob Gillespie


©2010 Robert M. Gillespie, Jr.


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