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Joining warped boards

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Blog entry by dalec posted 2302 days ago 5200 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is part of continuing blog on a project to cut down a coffee table. I had difficulty cutting two board edges clean enough for joining. In part the owner of the table wanted not to disassemble the table legs, so we are not working with just the boards, but with boards with legs attached and some stretchers, that limits any milling of the two boards we need to join. I was able to get the edges cut for a good tight fit.

Now the problem: The two boards are warped (the edges are straight, but the boards (measure 57/64” thick) do not align (off by approximately 1/8”) . Is there a way to join the two boards and straighten the boards without planing the boards flat by using dowel or other mechanical joinery? If we are able to join the two boards without milling the two boards flat, will the stress on the joint be too likely to fail or will some mechanical joinery (doweling)

Welcome any ideas anyone has.

Dale



11 comments so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2614 days


#1 posted 2302 days ago

You can never pet boards perfectly level when you glue them. Some sanding or scraping is always required.

You could try biscuits since the biscuit jointer would reference the top surface when making the cuts.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2098 posts in 2354 days


#2 posted 2302 days ago

Gary, that makes me feel better about some of my own work. I thought I was just not good at aligning my work. That still may be the case, but it still helps.

View dalec's profile

dalec

613 posts in 2514 days


#3 posted 2302 days ago

Gary,

First thanks for the response. I don’t own a biscuit joiner, but would not be opposed to buying one. I have seen some comments about the strength of biscuits, would a regular biscuit have sufficent strength to hold the two 7/8” thick boards in alignment? Would dowelling with a centering jig be another option?

Dale

View Thuan's profile

Thuan

203 posts in 2443 days


#4 posted 2302 days ago

Coming from the kitchen countertop industry, we seam two pieces together all the time. There are different techniques for different materials, but your best bet is the joint connectors.

you spread glue on the mating surface, then tighten the bolt, this connector gives you enough play to move the seam before the glue sets. It will be under the table so the ugly hardware will not be seen. It’s not the best solution, but it is a proven systems in millions on homes with formica tops.

-- Thuan

View dalec's profile

dalec

613 posts in 2514 days


#5 posted 2302 days ago

Thanks Thuan.

I am most concerned with keeping the top and bottom board surfaces aligned. So a biscuit or some mechanical device that will keep the top and bottom board surfaces even may work best for my project.

Dale

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2370 days


#6 posted 2302 days ago

You can also spline them. A spline or slotting bit would be cheaper than a biscuit joiner and stronger.

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2614 days


#7 posted 2302 days ago

tenontim – has a point I was just coming back to mention. A slot cutting bit in a router would work
great.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View jjohn's profile

jjohn

390 posts in 2339 days


#8 posted 2302 days ago

If I can agree…Not needed said at this point, but that’s what I would have chosen to do.

-- JJohn

View dalec's profile

dalec

613 posts in 2514 days


#9 posted 2302 days ago

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and options.

Dale

View Karson's profile

Karson

34870 posts in 3026 days


#10 posted 2301 days ago

A row of dowels along the seam should line them up also .

make sure that they are drilled accurately all from the same edge of the two boards.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View dalec's profile

dalec

613 posts in 2514 days


#11 posted 2301 days ago

Thanks Karson.

I am considering getting a dowel jig or a PC biscuit joiner. I would hate to get a dowel jig and use it once only, but this also goes for a biscuit joiner. I am thinking, I may end up getting more out of a joiner. But really don’t know.

Appreciate your suggestion.

Dalec

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