edge gluing boards

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Forum topic by RickB posted 12-28-2009 06:54 PM 4870 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 3380 days

12-28-2009 06:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: gluing


The short version is: My edge glued boards are bowed. Suggestions?

The long version:

Been trying to make an end grain cutting board. As I am gluing up the strips, I am seeing that there is a pronounced warp to the end product. While I was waiting for that glue to dry, I buzzed down a couple of strips of cherry which I glued together to make a plaque for an antler mount. This was just four strips of wood. These have a slight bow as well.

However, not everything I edge glue turns out this way. I made a seat for a stool some time ago. This was edge glued oak. It is nice and flat. Some of the pieces of the cutting board are cupped, other pieces are flat.

I checked my jointer and it is cutting flat. I did not double check the table saw, but I think it is fine.

The jointer is leaving a very slight ridge on the material… I do need to get that taken care of.

Any thoughts? One thought I have is that I am squeezing the parts together too tight, and causing a bow sometimes.



6 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5575 posts in 3903 days

#1 posted 12-28-2009 07:22 PM

You could be putting to much pressure on, but there are a couple of other things to check.

Are you clamping from both sides of the board? If all of you clamps are under the glue-up, that could contribute to the problem. I alternate clamps on top and under the glue-up and try to keep even pressure on all.

Also, boards have a tendency to cup towards what would have been the center of the tree. Take a look at the end-grain and check the direction of the growth rings. If they are all going the same direction, there is a pretty high probability they will cup on you. To counteract this, flip every other board so the growth rings are face down.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3858 days

#2 posted 12-28-2009 07:52 PM

Yeah….what TheDane said! Check your glue-up with a straight edge as you clamp it. Don’t overtighten.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View dkg's profile


30 posts in 3325 days

#3 posted 12-28-2009 07:54 PM

Try using cauls across the boards until the glue sets (overnight for titebond). I have been gluiing up Spanish Cedar for cabinet cases. The boards are random width and 8’ long. The panels are 24-34” wide and I use 3 sets of 2×4 on edge spaced about 3’ from the other. The 2×4 are clamped together.

View RickB's profile


48 posts in 3380 days

#4 posted 12-28-2009 07:59 PM

Thanks y’all. A quick followup question: Most of my clamps are simple bar clamps… hard to explain… What my clamps are NOT is parallel jaw clamps. Would a parallel jaw clamp help me or no?

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4062 days

#5 posted 12-28-2009 08:46 PM

Parallel clamps will enable you to spread the clamping pressure over a larger area and provide a more even clamping pressure. But the downside is that they are more expensive. Using cauls will help you in your situation but you might want to try the K-body clamps and see if they fit your situation. I tend to use only Bessey clamps. I do have a few 8’ bar clamps but use them only when I need a long clamp.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View TheDane's profile


5575 posts in 3903 days

#6 posted 12-28-2009 09:03 PM

Scott is right … it isn’t necessarily so much the type of clamp as it is the number of clamps you use and the pressure you put on them. I have a set of 6 K-body clamps that I often supplement with pipe clamps.

When I use cauls, I use 2×2 scraps wrapped in plastic with a pair of C-clamps on each one. I actually taper the cauls a bit so the center is a skosh higher than the ends, and put a caul on both sides of the glue-up.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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