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Reply by thebicyclecafe

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Posted on Need 5/4. Can I glue up my own?

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thebicyclecafe

23 posts in 880 days


#1 posted 623 days ago

Dukester,

you mentioned you need 1-1/8”... don’t think you can get 1-1/8” out of 5/4 stock anyway, since it’s usually exactly 1” surfaced from the mill. The mills generally allow 1/4” for surfacing anyway, so even if you could get 5/4 rough, you might have difficulty getting 1-1/8” or usable lumber.

If you want to try to resaw, try a good resaw blade on your saw, you just might be surprised. I’d recommend the 1/2” woodslicer from highland hardware- turns a lower powered motor into a quite capable machine.

As for your original idea, this will work in terms of it holding. As long as you don’t glue cross grain, being that it’s the same species wood the difference in seasonal movement from board to board will be minimal, the glue will do all the holding power. Quartersawn stock is more stable to begin with.

However, I’d be concerned if the 1/2” stock would be straight enough or surfaced correctly before glue up. My experience with 1/2” stock is that out of the mill it’s typically more bowed, cupped, etc, making getting seamless/voidless glue contact a bit more tricky without running at least the glued face over the jointer a few times.

The other thing is, and this is probably of more concern, is that you next to no margin for error or surfacing the wood if your target size is 1-1/8”. The two pieces glued up will yield 1.25”, and if your newly glued up board is slightly bowed, cupped, or needs any surfacing, you have only 1/8” room to do that. You also don’t have any room to do any surfacing on the pre-glued up boards. If you need to take off 1/16” from both boards pre glue up, you’ll have no ability to surface afterwards.

Generally I like to leave at least 1/4” for surfacing, a little more as a safety net. My preference would be, if you can’t resaw 8/4 or work with 4/4 in lieu of 5/4, is to glue 4/4, get to about 1.5”, and surface it down to 5/4.
The other thing is, when doing glue ups, it’s a good idea to balance the thickness of the boards such that the tension is balanced. Two 4/4 boards will be better than one 4/4 and one 1/2” board.


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