I want to edge-glue several boards together to make a wider board
for a bookcase carcase. The books I read give good instructions on
how to do this but they assume that if you want to end up with a
3/4 in. thick carcase board you start with 4/4 boards and after
glueing them together you pass it through a planer to get the final
I once made, just for practice, a wide board by this edge-glueing
method and it worked except that the boards did not line up perfectly.
I wanted the final board to be 3/4 in. thick and I started with 3/4 in.
I sanded the uneven areas and got it fairly level but it did reduce
the thickness in some places. I'm sure that this slight mis-alignment
is what the final planing takes care of. But I want to know if I
could, with a little practice, start with boards of the final thickness,
glue them together, and not have to do the planing.
Does anyone start with dressed 3/4 boards and glue them up to make
a wider panel 3/4 thick that does not have to be passed through a
planer? Or do I have to start with 4/4 stock and plane it after glue-up?
If you must have a thickness of precisely 3/4" in the finished product, then
you MUST start with thicker material and plane down, after glue-up, to the
precise desired thickness.
That said, it is a rare that a glue-up project doesn't have some room for a
bit of fudge factor. Providing you are careful in your alignment, and use
good clamping technique and cauls, you should not notice the difference in
thickness from leveling the glue lines of a properly glued up panel.
Tip: In a cabinet carcass/sides/doors, if you do your panels first, you can
adjust any dadoes, grooves, joinery, etc to correspond with the final
thickness of your panels.
Tip: If you're working with something like a tabletop, you can bevel an edge
down to increase the perceived thickness, or up to decrease the perceived
Yeah - did it a couple of days ago. Used biscuits and some very careful
cutting to get things to line up. That said, it was NOT perfect. Running a
finger over the joints, in a few spots, showed that two boards were a few
thou out of alignment.
Nothing 120 grit and the ROS couldn't fix.
If you want *perfection* then I don't know how to do it w/o starting thicker
and sanding/planing afterward.
[ My project was a 25" tabletop - that wouldn't have fit through my 13"
planer. And I don't have a wide belt drum sander. ]
A few years ago, I built a solid cherry blanket chest with raised
panels on all sides. Had a lid about 18 x 40 with breadboard edges. I
used biscuits on the lid and was very careful to align everything,
check all board thickness with a caliper etc, trying to minimize the
After the glue-up, I still spent abot 6-8 hours with a ROS to even
everything out. I think that the only way to get the "production" look
is to use a production machine (which I don't have of course).
Then again, I think it is very authentic to have a real piece of
furniture that actually "celebrates" the construction & wood and does
not look like it is a piece of laminate or is churned out by the 100's
at some factory.
And unless you are selling the piece, your family will think the same.
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